Another year has begun which means it is time to review the year’s goals. For marketers this means getting out the old marketing plan and making those necessary adjustments for a lot of marketers it’s probably best to just toss out that old plan and start with a blank white piece of paper. Since my last article more and more and more people have been asking me about Bulk SMS and what is the best way to use it. In this article I’m going to give you my best tips on how to squeeze the most juice from your Bulk SMS campaigns.
1. Segmentation is key
One of the problems with SMS is that it is probably too simple, this means people don’t typically think about using more high level marketing concepts says Ryan Wilcock from SMSPapa.com.au. Sure, if you want to get virtually 100% of people opening your SMS message it really is as simple as typing up a message and hitting ‘send’. But the next step is to get maximum ROI and using segmentation is a good way to achieve this. Typically business owners will plonk everyone into the same group, they will have 5000 mobile numbers all inside one address book. There is no way that all of these people share the same problems, fears, goals and desires which means when you send out a promotion it’s going to be hit and miss in terms of sales conversions.
Segmentation allows you to split everyone up into relevant groups so that when you send out an Bulk SMS campaign you’re able to maximum conversions with fewer unsubscribes. The second benefit to having segmented groups is that you can increase your send frequency. One of the problems with text message marketing is that because it’s such a personal medium people are a lot less tolerant of hearing from you too often, typically once per week is the maximum for most businesses and even that is on the high side. So if you send out an Bulk SMS campaign to a large group of 5000 you can’t touch that group again for at least a week.
On the other hand if you had 5 groups of 1000 then you could send out 5 campaigns inside that week further driving up your revenue. The final benefit to having segmented lists is that it makes it easier to come up with promotions. Since each group is clearly defined you know exactly which offers is going to resonate. For example, if you own a health club and you have a list of subscribers made up of:
- Weight loss
You see how easy it is to make offers that convert, also what language to use. If you had everyone on that list and you sent out a bodybuilding offer you’ve just alienated the other 4 groups.
2. Use it to boost other marketing channels
One of the major benefits of Bulk SMS is that is has incredible open rates, if you send out a text message there’s a 97% chance that person is going to see that text message, open it and then read it. As far as I’m aware there is no other marketing channel out there that can deliver this kind of result consistently. Why not use this super power for good? Why not use this to your other marketing campaigns? For example, if you have just sent out an important email marketing campaign chances are only 20% of people are going to open it but if you send out a follow up text message right after that campaign reminding your subscribers about your email then your email opens are going to go through the roof! The same can be used to help webinar attendance, the most common issue with webinars is people forgetting to show up or not receiving the email reminders, with SMS you can guarantee that they get your reminders this will of course increase your attendance rate.
3. Treat your SMS subscribers like VIPs
This is just a quick tip. One of the best ways to reduce unsubscribes is to offer your SMS subscribers better information, offers, etc. Have a real SMS strategy in play can really help your business grow and so it’s important to retain as many subscribers as possible and making SMS only offers and information is a good way to keep them on your list.
4. Use more than 160 characters
People always tell me that SMS is great but the 160 character limit can be a barrier. The good news is that most SMS services actually allow you to use more than 160 characters, it does cost more but depending on the goal of your campaign it can be totally worth it. A simple buy one get one offer doesn’t need more than 160 characters so it would be silly to go beyond that remember one of the beautiful things about Bulk SMS is that it forces you to cut the fluff from your communications. If you’re running a customer reactivation campaign on the other hand then you’re probably going to need much more characters to influence the recipient to become an active customer again.
5. Use Personalization where it makes sense
Just like email, SMS gives you the ability to automatically add the subscriber’s first name making it a little more personal. This isn’t a hard rule, if you’re more of a formal business then you would use this on every communication but if you’re a surf shop for example you will be able to get away with using a more one to one tone like how friends actually speak to one another.
6. Always have an opt-out
In a lot of countries and states this is mandatory by law but even if this isn’t required by law where you are it’s still important to give your subscribers an option to opt-out. This will actually reduce your unsubscribes and of course complaints because it lets the recipient know that you are professional enough to give them a way out.