When Customers Get The Message, Will You Get the Sale?
Texting is a hot topic these days. But maybe you haven’t heard much about one very interesting aspect, text marketing. SMS (Short Message Service) text mobile marketing is an important consideration for almost every business owner for one simple reason, consumers are much more likely to open a text than an email message.
As Minda Zietlin reports on inc.com, promotional text messages have open rates from 95-97%, while email open rates are only about 28%. This is not a surprise, since 95% of email messages are spam. Statistics like that are hard to ignore. We all realize the increased complexity of marketing today, with consumer targets becoming harder than ever to reach, the multitude of new communications and social media channels and the increasingly fractionalized attention of prospects makes traditional mass media less effective.
That is precisely why SMS text marketing can cut through because it is more personal, and reaches your key targets on a one-to-one basis, helping to achieve that customer “relationship” so prized in today’s marketplace. And text messaging is not just one of those technologies embraced only by “the kids.” An interesting study by Experian Marketing Services reveals that 94% of smartphone owners aged 70 and above engage in texting at least once a week.
So how can your business take advantage of this opportunity? You can learn more about the benefits here, but in short, SMS text marketing helps you engage and cultivate relationships with customers and prospects who have “opted in” to receive your messages. It is an excellent channel through which you can provide them timely offers, product news and other information. When done properly, your message can be received, almost welcomed, as more of a helpful comment from a friend than a high-pressure sales call. Well-thought-out and well-presented marketing promotions aimed at loyal customer-subscribers can achieve a much greater response than traditional media alone.
At Superior Business Solutions we can integrate permission-based SMS text messages with your other marketing efforts, which may include email, web, social media, traditional print and other channels. They work in concert to build and reinforce a consistent, strategic program that will help turn prospects into customers who will not only allow your text communications, but look forward to them.
Four Key Factors in Doing Text Marketing Right
- Get permission From Your Customers. The last thing you want is for your business to be seen as a “spammer” or an intruder in your prospects’ personal text-messaging space, so ask first. It’s not just a nice thing to do- think of it as “the law.” You can’t just start sending unsolicited texts because you will definitely displease your customers, their mobile carriers, and even the FCC. Make sure your customers know what they are doing when they “opt in” to your program, by having them perform a specific action, like texting back a trigger word, or scanning a QR code. And keep a record to prove they DID!
- Don’t Wear Out Your Welcome. This covers a lot of ground. Ask your customers what they want from your text messages, and do your best to deliver in terms of the kind of content they prefer. Don’t text them too often, or at odd times. It is usually safe to do so between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., but don’t forget time zones and odd work shifts. Why not ask them – then honor their desired frequency and time preferences? It is not difficult to customize a program which will meet both your needs and their desires.
- Give Them An “Out.” It doesn’t feel good to do it, but make sure every text marketing message includes the option for recipients to “opt out’ of future messages. If for some reason or other you haven’t met their needs, or their needs have changed, you aren’t likely to get a sale anyway. And who needs more annoyed prospects? Respect their wishes. It’s simple business courtesy.
- Give Them a Reason to Stay “IN” With Every Message! This is perhaps the most important aspect of all, because it will make every element of the process better. For every text marketing message you send, make sure there’s something important ‘in it” for the recipient. If you are just giving a sales spiel or boasting, that probably won’t cut it. Include important news, an intriguing offer or some other kind of “reward” for their attention. You can be creative here. Just put yourself in your prospect’s position, and try to make sure that, after opening your text message, they will think, “wow, I’m glad I checked that out.”
What’s Next in Marketing By Text?
While most of my comments here have been about “texting”, that calls to mind simple words on the screen. But remember that text marketing can be more than just words. It is not uncommon to see marketers include, in their text message, a URL that links to a YouTube video or other video resource.
Still, as Zietlin points out in her article, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) texts add the capability of including direct-play videos, product visuals, coupon codes and more. This clearly offers much flexibility in the content shared, and allows for more compelling offers and rewarding content. And, while a YouTube video link on a mobile device can reach 50-60 percent of Americans, an MMS with that video (or a portion of it) embedded can reach nearly 100 percent.
Finally, as this eMarketer article points out, new advances and technologies are constantly entering the space. Over-the-top (OTT) mobile messaging services are making inroads, with messaging apps and services that allow you to communicate with others (and, of course, customers) directly over the Internet, without working within the structure of the mobile network operator.
What does all this mean? Really, it means opportunity if you know how to manage it correctly. That’s what we’re here for, because we know this turf. We have the people to help you add it to your marketing program to strengthen relationships with your best customers (and turn occasional customers into loyal ones). Why not give me a call? I’d love to talk about it further.