Sending Your First SMS Campaign
Now that you’re convinced that creating an SMS marketing campaign is an easy, affordable, and effective way to boost your business, it’s time to get started. Sending your first SMS campaign can be done quickly by using a service like DialMyCalls.
The first thing you’ll want to determine is whether you want to create a pull SMS campaign or a push SMS campaign.
If you don’t have a list of phone numbers that have been gathered by other means, you’ll want to begin with a pull campaign to build your SMS distribution list. A pull campaign is meant to bring the customer to you, instead of you going after a particular group of customers. Create a keyword for your campaign and set up a short code. Remember that you’ll have to establish a dedicated short code beginning this spring as shared short codes will be eliminated in May 2021. Then, publicize this information through your other marketing channels such as posters, tabletop displays, web advertisements or email blasts. Invite prospects to text your keyword to opt-in for exclusive deals, a great coupon, or to learn more about a product or service.
On the other hand, if you have built a database of phone numbers and have already secured permission to text by another means, you can conduct your first SMS campaign as a push initiative, which means you publicize a new product or service to your existing list or offer an exclusive coupon to returning customers for a limited time deal.
Confirm Content List Permissions
The most important part of sending your first SMS campaign is to confirm content list permissions.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) legally requires that companies have secured “express written consent” before initiating SMS marketing campaigns. That means anyone on your SMS marketing list must have intentionally opted in to receiving text communications from your organization. This consent can be in the form of an opt-in text or completing a web form that clearly states individuals are signing up for text messages.
Failing to adhere to these laws can not only irritate recipients but can cost your company significant fines.
Understand Your Goals
Like any good marketing program, it’s imperative that you set clear, measurable goals before you start sending your first SMS campaign. For some organizations, the goal might be to build an extensive prospect list for an upcoming new product release. In this case, an SMS campaign may be one part of a larger marketing program that involves online ads, email marketing efforts or billboard communications.
For other companies, your goal might be to solicit feedback on a particular category of products, which would require using the two-way communications feature of SMS messages. In this case, you’ll want to have team members ready to respond to customer feedback so that your target audiences feel heard. When you understand your goals, you will increase the likelihood of a successful SMS campaign. Here are some possible goals to consider:
- Build an opt-in list of 100 subscribers in one month.
- Achieve coupon redemption rate of 25%.
- Convert 10% of subscribers to paying customers during first quarter.
- Boost customer satisfaction scores by 20%.
- Grow loyalty membership subscriptions by 15%.
Segment Your Subscribers
Before you send the first campaign, you’ll want to segment your subscribers into appropriate sub-groups. Although there may be instances when you want to communicate to all your customers and prospects, be sure to take advantage of the ability to personalize your SMS marketing efforts with segmented lists.
For example, if you know a subset of your subscribers has purchased a particular product in the past year, this may be the perfect audience to target for a complementary new product. On the other hand, a segment that faithfully redeems all coupons may deserve an extra exclusive offer. By keeping your SMS contact list well-organized, you’ll be better able to take advantage of this flexible marketing channel.
Optimize Your Campaigns
Before sending your first SMS campaign, think about how to optimize the response rate. You’ll want to keep your message clear, concise and targeted. If your audience understands exactly what you’re offering or what you are inviting them to do, it will be much easier to engage with them.
Be sure to include a call-to-action and identify your company clearly. Simply knowing who is sending the marketing text message is important to optimize your campaigns. In addition, give some thought to the time of day and frequency of your text marketing messages. Most marketing messages are generally welcomed in the early evening, as this is usually a winding down period of the day. However, if you’re communicating a sale at a brick-and-mortar store, you may want to send a promotional text that allows recipients to swing by and take advantage of the special deal while the store is open.
Write Great Copy
Finding the right words is always important in any type of communication or marketing material, but when you write great copy for an SMS message, you’re almost certain to get rewarded. After all 98% of all text messages are opened and 95% are responded to within the first three minutes.
The key to great SMS copy is to keep the message short, clear and concise. After all, you only have 160 characters to deliver your message. The beauty of the channel, however, is that the medium forces you to distill down your message to its very core. Concentrate on using active verbs, focusing on exactly what you want your subscriber to do, and highlighting the benefits of taking advantage of your offer.
Since nearly everyone who receives a text opens it, you have the rapt attention of your customers and prospects. Be sure you include CTAs so that recipients know exactly what you want them to do. Common CTAs may be redeeming a coupon, clicking over to your website to see a new product, or stopping by a store to browse a new collection. In some cases, the CTA may be a reminder of a previously arranged appointment or a request for feedback or comments.
Whatever your CTA, don’t forget to ask for it when you are sending your first SMS campaign.
Analyze and Refine Your Approach
Continuous improvement is important in any marketing campaign so when you are done sending your first SMS campaign, remember to analyze and refine your approach. This may include taking a close look at your open rates for messages, your redemption rates for coupons or exclusive deals, or your response rates for a text-based survey.
When you find something that works successfully for your particular SMS audience, be sure to plan additional similar campaigns. Those efforts that garner little response or generate negative comments should be eliminated. By constantly improving your SMS marketing efforts, you’ll discover what works best for you and your business.
If you’re ready to start sending your first SMS campaign, check out DialMyCalls. Sign up for a free account today. You’ll be able to take advantage of a free trial to see if SMS marketing works for your organization. We believe you’ll find that SMS marketing campaigns are effective, affordable and easy to implement.