SMS Marketing in 2019: What Your Customers Want
The average American checks their phone 80 times every day — about once every 12 minutes. This trend hasn’t gone unnoticed, and businesses have learned to harness the power of cell phones to increase sales, brand recognition, and client satisfaction.
SMS marketing is one of the most obvious ways this has happened. But some consumers have mixed feelings about text marketing. Clients don’t just want any old text from any old company. To make your SMS marketing as effective as possible, you want to cater to the client.
Here, we bring our expertise in mass communication to detail some of the most important things customers want from your marketing texts: personalization, timeliness, space, and accessibility.
Personalization in SMS Marketing
Adding a personal touch to marketing texts is vital — particularly if you don’t want them to feel like a marketing text. This lets the client know what you have to say truly applies to them and reassures them they aren’t just a number on a list.
The three best ways to personalize an SMS message are:
- Name. Nothing gets a customer’s attention more than their own name. It’s important to gather this information when a client first opts in to receive messages, and include a tag for names in the template used to send the message. This could be a customer’s first clue that the message really applies to them.
- Location. Let a customer know that a message really applies to them by including a geographic location in your message. At the same time, you should be sure that customers aren’t receiving messages that don’t apply in their area. For example, a customer in Georgia doesn’t need to receive messages about this weekend’s big sales on the west coast. They may, however, want to hear about a new store opening just south of Atlanta.
- Topic. Another way to catch customers’ attention is to be sure to only send them messages that apply to them. A real estate client looking for 5 bedroom home doesn’t need to be receiving messages about open houses at apartment complexes. Likewise, a female college student probably doesn’t need to receive notices about men’s swimwear collections. One way to do this is to segment contacts based on expressed or inferred interests. When news about one of the interests is ready, only those groups will receive a notification.
Not all three personalization methods need to be used in each text message, but they could be. Even just one lets the customer know that the message really is for them and that it’s worth their time.
Timing in SMS Marketing
90% of all texts are read within three minutes of landing in the inbox, which means that most messages need to be applicable at the moment they’re sent. Customers who get reminders too early or too late are more likely to find them irritating or excessive. It’s important to take this into account when scheduling mass texts so that you truly target those that need that information then, and you aren’t providing it before or after it’s relevant.
Customers are most likely to respond well to marketing texts only if they’re sent in a timely manner. This could mean sending a follow-up just hours after their first experience with your business or being sure to remind them about an event with plenty of time to buy tickets.
Frequency in SMS Marketing
Not giving customers their space is a quick way to irritate instead of engage with them. Most customers don’t want to be hearing from businesses every hour, or even every day. Depending on the nature of your business and the service you provide, it could be appropriate to text customers very frequently or not very frequently at all.
What you do need to do is ensure that customers don’t feel that your text messages are overwhelming or invasive. There’s a great responsibility that comes with the ability to interact and communicate with customers at any moment, and giving customers space means not pushing too far.
Spacing out communication with clients is made easier with services like DialMyCalls, in which you can schedule messages to be sent out on a specific day and at a specific time. This allows you to plan in advance, get a better view of how often you’ll be contacting clients, and not worry about missing an important opportunity to contact clients.
Accessibility in SMS Marketing
Recipients of marketing text messages are rarely looking for a one-way conversation. Most want to be able to engage with your company, asking questions to get more information about your product or services.
This is simpler than ever with the many ways customers can access and provide more information via texts. For example, SMS keywords allow the recipient to choose a more specific topic about which they’d like more information. Texts can include phone numbers, dates, or times that recipients don’t need to worry about writing down to get back to later. In other cases, clients can respond directly to the message to communicate one-on-one with a representative.
With so many ways of getting more information, businesses can make it easy to provide customers with an action step. These can include:
- Clicking a link to RSVP
- Responding with a keyword for more info
- Visiting the website included in the text message
- Calling a representative whose number in included in the text message
- Casting a vote by following a link or replying to the text message
- Saving details from a message directly into their calendar
This not only makes the information more applicable to them by giving them a direction instead of simply causing them to ask, “what now?”, but it also allows for near instant feedback to the business sending the text. Tracking how customers responds helps the sender know what type of content they’re most interested in and what they find most useful.
You can show customers that you’re listening by responding to what you learn. If they like one type of content, maintain or increase it. If they don’t respond well, consider changing tactics.
Run a Successful SMS Marketing Campaign
All in all, what customers want is simple: information that matters, when it matters, from an organization or business willing to put in the work to make them feel like individuals.
Making customers happy with SMS marketing isn’t hard. Text messages make it easy to provide personalization, timeliness, space, and accessibility to customers. With services like DialMyCalls, you can use templates and contact lists, track results, and personalize your communication to each customer. Our mass text messaging services allow you to communicate with everyone you need to, but without wasting time or energy to manually enter phone numbers, type out individualized messages, or analyze open and response rates.
Happy customers are one of the keys to a successful business, and SMS marketing doesn’t have to be an obstacle to that goal. With these tips, text message marketing can be a way to achieve new levels of engagement.