While its overall reach and power is hard to deny, in order to get optimum return of investment from the usage of mass SMS messaging, you need to make sure that you are playing to its strengths. In the same way that you wouldn’t expect a still image to perform well at the cinema, text messages will not always be able to facilitate the same functionality of every other medium – so it’s important that you focus on using it whilst adhering to its main strengths.
If you follow the tips below, you’ll be well on the way to mining the full effectiveness of bulk SMS marketing!
Make clear, concise points to recipients
One of the more obvious limitations on the use of SMS is the character limit inherent to the medium; if the message you intend to send can’t be conveyed in 612 characters, you’ve got a problem! Bulk mobile messages should be used to disseminate short and effective calls to action, or provide links to more comprehensive marketing tools. Vouchers and discount codes are an ideal use for text; easily fitting into the limits of an SMS message, while delivering instant value to customers.
Content, timing and regularity are important consideration points too, as discussed by Textlocal.
Leverage the data that consumers provide to personalise your service
The data contained within your opt-in database allows you to truly customise the service offered by your business. This information can be used to personalise messages to specific groups, or, similarly, target specific messages at demographics that are liable to gain the most from its receipt. This additional, personal touch can forge another level of loyalty with customers; congratulatory messages on birthdays, or offers and prizes received in recognition of long-term loyalty, are great examples of this approach. The mass uptake of SMS has reached an estimated 3.5 billion users.
Utilise instant, direct client communication to full effect
As well as direct marketing, SMS messaging can also be used to improve the service offered by your business, allowing you to automatically contact customers with key information and functionality. For example, purchases made by customers on an event booking website could automatically trigger a digital version of their ticket being sent to their phone, making it much less likely that a given customer will forget their means of entry to an event.
Similarly, mass SMS systems can also be used to distribute appointment reminders, increasing efficiency and reducing the chance of delays.
While versatile, SMS should also be used within the wider marketing mix
Bulk SMS is just one marketing avenue amongst many, and whilst it is particularly effective and easy to use, it shouldn’t be utilised exclusively, overseeing the potential value of effectiveness within a wider marketing mix. As already discussed, there are limits to the information that can be displayed via an SMS message; lengthy marketing efforts, or internal communications, may be better expressed via a combination of text and email or a post on your business’ website. Bulk SMS can still play a massive role in the promotion of said content, informing consumers that it’s been published, even providing links to the content itself; but it may not be the best way to distribute the information itself.
Similarly, large scale SMS messaging should be used in the right setting, for much the same reason that it’s so effective in the first place. SMS messages are a very intimate way to contact someone; most people carry their mobiles with them wherever they go, so should feel that the communication is relevant and value add as opposed to invasive in any way.
This article hopefully highlights some of the key ways to leverage the potential form mobile communication and more specifically text messaging on a larger scale.