Mobile messaging capability is a feature on almost every mobile device out there. In fact, SMS messaging is usually included in mobile packages for free, or at a very cheap rate, because so many people are more likely to use their phones to text than anything else. Statistics show that the majority of people check their phones immediately after receiving a text message, usually within just minutes. All of this means significant ROI potential for savvy marketers who take advantage of mobile marketing.
A recent report claims that Coca-Cola is investing a whopping 70% of their mobile marketing budget in SMS marketing. Tom Daily, the Director of Mobile, Search, and Global Connections said, “It is important to invest your energy into things you know work, and we know that SMS works and is a thing to focus on.”
If your interest is piqued and you’re ready to plan an SMS marketing campaign, consider these tips before you launch.
- Integrate mobile messaging into all your marketing: Approaching mobile marketing as a completely separate initiative may not be the best plan. Though your SMS campaign will have its own, individual goals, don’t forget that it is also meant to impact your business goals overall. Review your complete marketing strategy and consider how your new SMS capabilities can integrate with your other marketing to improve conversion and response rates.
- A Clear Call to Action – one cause for SMS campaigns not succeeding is the call-to-action is confusing and does not give the consumer a clear understanding of what to do.Look at this example from Express. They ask you to text “START” to 397737Although the offer was clear, a good number of people texted “START” with the quotations (“”) around the word which did not get them added to Express’s program.There are two primary elements that drive the signup, the offer and the call-to-action.Best practices are to: 1) Make the offer compelling and 2) make the call-to-action as simple as possible.Express did a good job of making the offer stand out. Far too often we see companies making the mistake of giving an offer that is not motivating or compelling to the consumer. The consumer has to know why they are joining the list, it’s the old “What’s in it for me” scenario.
Second, make sure your call-to-action and keyword are: 1) clear, 2) easy, and 3) get the real-estate needed to convey your message.
- Offer rewards and other incentives.: You will need more than ads to drive consumers to you. People need something significant in return for allowing you access to their private devices and phone numbers. Offer these loyal customers something extra. This could mean discounts in the form of percentages or coupons, or a particularly low introductory offer. Asking consumers to spend a minimum amount in order to receive something in return is also a classic option.Once your consumers have accepted and opted-in, continue these efforts to ensure their loyalty. If financial incentives don’t suit you, there are a number of things you can do to attract and retain consumers – deliver meaningful news, useful reminders, interactive customer support, early access, or VIP privileges.
- Take advantage of speed and urgency: Most texts are read immediately, or within just a few minutes. Mobile messaging is one of the fastest ways to reach your audiences. Understanding this gives you another avenue to success with your marketing campaign. You have the ability to perfectly time your messages, knowing that the chances are high they’ll be seen almost immediately. Combine that with a clear, concise, 160-character call-to-action message, and you have a fast, powerful communication tool.
- Be consistent, but be relevant, too: Create a messaging calendar and send your SMS messages on a consistent basis. Not doing so regularly is a mistake many businesses make. However, you don’t want to go overboard, either. If you send a message once per week, make certain that it’s relevant to your consumer. You want to find the right balance between frequency of messages and significance of content.
- Integrate all other forms of media that you already use: All forms of marketing have their purpose and value, and they’re at their strongest when you effectively combine them. Mobile marketing is one of the best avenues available today and you could significantly boost your other media programs by promoting them this way. The first step is to look at your current media campaigns and consider which would be better suited to your plans and to your team for mobile marketing. The goal, of course, isn’t to flip a switch to automatically merge SMS and media; you want to create something that increases your marketing potential. You will also need to make sure that all language is clear and legal when you integrate the two marketing forms.
- Always measure your results: Simply put, there is no verifiable way to know if your campaign is working without measured results. There are a few things you can do when gathering information on the success of mobile marketing. You can monitor how much subscriber growth you experience within a time frame, such as each week. You can compare the number of people who opt-in versus those who opt out. With the use of keywords, you can measure which media outlets are performing best in your cross-channel engagement. The amount of people who redeem various offers is also a good indicator of success and allows you to see just how much communication with consumers costs you.
- Don’t forget that you need permission: You cannot simply pull phone numbers for your clients from your CMS. You need clear permission from consumers and they need to opt-in before you can include them in your SMS marketing channel. There are a couple of ways to do this: you can give them a code to text, or they can submit their number into a form online. No matter what, make sure what consumers are getting is clear to them.
- Your campaign must be legally in compliance: Because you’re entering mobile territory, you’ll have to contend with the FCC, the Mobile Marketing Association, and the CTIA. These three groups oversee the industry. The FCC, as you may know, handles the Telephone Consumer Protections Act (TCPA). If you’re using SMS, you’ll have to be compliant with their regulations. These regulations include having an established business relationship before gaining written consent, not making written consent a condition of any purchase, and more. These requirements, and all things relating to consent and purchase conditions must be made clear to customers.Fortunately, the TLP mobile marketing system is already compliant with the TCPA. You just need to make sure you inform your subscribers of the rules when opting in.A good example would be:VIP Connect: By participating, you consent to receive up to 4 text messages per month. Consent to these terms is not a condition of purchase. You may opt-out anytime by texting REMOVE YOURKEYWORD to 844-307-3500. TC’s/Privacy: www.mydomain.com/mobiletc
As you prepare to launch your mobile marketing campaign, consider all of these tips. They are keys to your success.