SMS marketing has become an essential tool for businesses looking to engage with their customers on a more personal level. With its high open and response rates, SMS marketing can be a highly effective channel for reaching your target audience. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll explore what marketing is, how it works, best practices, examples of successful marketing messages, and the benefits it can bring to your business.
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing, also known as text message marketing, is the practice of using short text messages to communicate promotional messages or important information to a group of recipients. It involves sending targeted messages to subscribers who have willingly opted in to receive communications from your business. These messages can include special offers, product updates, event invitations, order confirmations, and more.
How SMS Marketing Works
SMS marketing typically involves using a bulk platform or service provider to send messages to a list of subscribers. You’ll need to collect phone numbers from your customers and obtain their permission to send them SMS messages. Once you have a list of subscribers, you can segment them based on various criteria to ensure you’re sending relevant messages to the right audience.
To send SMS messages, you’ll create concise and impactful content within the character limit (usually 160 characters) and schedule the messages to be sent at the desired time. The messages are then delivered to the recipients’ mobile devices, where they can read and respond to them directly.
5 SMS Marketing Best Practices
To ensure the success of your marketing campaigns, it’s important to follow these best practices:
- Get Permission: Always obtain explicit consent from customers before sending them messages. Implement an opt-in process and clearly explain what type of messages they can expect to receive.
- Make it Easy to Opt Out: Provide a simple and straightforward opt-out mechanism in every message. Respect customers’ preferences and promptly remove them from your SMS list if they choose to unsubscribe.
- Seek to Inform, Rarely to Promote: While promotions can be a part of your marketing strategy, focus on providing valuable and informative content that benefits your customers. Avoid overwhelming them with too many promotional messages.
- Make it Conversational (Sometimes): Engage your customers by using a conversational tone in your SMS messages. However, be mindful of the limited character count and keep the message concise and easy to read.
- Keep Context in Mind: Consider the timing and relevance of your SMS messages. Ensure that your messages are sent at appropriate times and provide information that is relevant to your customers’ needs and preferences.
9 Examples of Good SMS Marketing Messages
To give you some inspiration for your SMS marketing campaigns, here are nine examples of effective messages:
- The Flash Sale message: “Flash Sale Alert! Get 20% off all products for the next 24 hours. Use code FLASH20 at checkout. Don’t miss out!”
- The Hype-Up text: “Exciting news! Our new collection is launching tomorrow. Be the first to shop exclusive styles and receive a special discount!”
- The Feedback message: “Hi [Customer Name], we’d love to hear your feedback! Click the link to take a quick survey and get a chance to win a $50 gift card.”
- The Back-in-Stock message: “Great news! The product you’ve been waiting for is back in stock. Order now before it sells out again!”
5. The Giveaway message: “Enter our giveaway for a chance to win a free [product]. Text ‘GIVEAWAY’ to [shortcode] to participate. Good luck!”
- The BFCM message: “Black Friday is here! Enjoy 30% off storewide. Limited time offer. Shop now and save big!”
- The Welcome message: “Welcome to [Your Brand]! As a thank you, here’s a 10% discount on your first purchase. Use code ‘WELCOME10’ at checkout.”
- The Abandoned Cart message: “Forgot something? Complete your purchase now and enjoy free shipping. Click here to retrieve your cart.”
- The Cross/Upsell message: “You may also like: [Product]. It complements your recent purchase perfectly. Check it out!”
Benefits of SMS Marketing
There are several advantages to incorporating SMS marketing into your overall marketing strategy:
- High Engagement Rates: SMS messages have significantly higher open and response rates compared to other marketing channels. Customers are more likely to read and respond to text messages promptly.
- Easy to Write: With limited character count, messages require concise and impactful content. This simplicity makes it easier to create compelling messages that grab your customers’ attention.
- Strengthen Customer Relationships: SMS marketing allows you to establish a direct and personal connection with your customers. By providing relevant and timely information, you can build trust and loyalty.
- Customers Prefer SMS Communication: Many customers prefer receiving important updates and offers via SMS. It’s a convenient and quick way to stay informed without having to check email or navigate through other platforms.
SMS Marketing Software
To streamline your SMS marketing efforts, you can leverage marketing software that provides features such as contact management, message scheduling, automation, and analytics. Some popular SMS marketing software options include Klaviyo, SMSBump, and Attentive.
Using Text Message Marketing in Your Ecommerce Store
To effectively utilize SMS marketing in your ecommerce store, consider the following steps:
Collect Permission: Obtain explicit consent from customers to receive messages through opt-in forms or during the checkout process.
Segment Your Audience: Divide your subscriber list into segments based on preferences, purchase history, or demographics. This allows you to send targeted and relevant messages.
Craft Compelling Content: Create concise and engaging messages that provide value, such as exclusive discounts, product updates, or event invitations.
Timing is Key: Send messages at appropriate times to avoid inconveniencing your customers. Consider time zones and your target audience’s preferences.
Measure and Optimize: Monitor the performance of your SMS campaigns by tracking metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Use this data to optimize your future campaigns.
SMS Marketing FAQ
Is SMS marketing legal? Yes, as long as you comply with relevant regulations and obtain proper consent from your customers.
What are the types of SMS marketing? SMS marketing can include promotional messages, transactional messages, alerts, reminders, and more.
How do I start SMS marketing? Begin by choosing an marketing platform, building a subscriber list, and crafting compelling messages. Ensure compliance with legal requirements.
Why is SMS marketing effective? SMS marketing has high open and response rates, offers direct communication, and provides an opportunity to engage customers on a personal level.
Incorporating SMS marketing into your marketing strategy can help you reach a wider audience, boost engagement, and drive conversions. By following best practices, crafting compelling messages, and leveraging marketing software, you can effectively harness the power of this channel.
As with any marketing strategy, it’s important to stay compliant with regulations and respect your customers’ preferences. Obtain explicit consent and make it easy for recipients to opt out of receiving messages. Honoring their choices will not only build trust but also ensure that you’re engaging with an audience that genuinely wants to hear from you.
Remember, SMS marketing is just one piece of the puzzle. It works best when integrated into your overall marketing strategy. Consider how it aligns with your other channels, such as email marketing or social media, to create a cohesive and impactful customer experience.
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In conclusion, SMS marketing has proven to be a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. Its high engagement rates, ease of use, and ability to strengthen customer relationships make it an attractive choice for reaching and converting customers. By following best practices, leveraging marketing software, and providing valuable content, you can effectively incorporate marketing into your ecommerce store and achieve your business goals.
Ready to take the next step in your SMS marketing journey? Start your free trial of Shopify and explore the possibilities of integrating marketing into your ecommerce business. Remember, with proper planning and execution, marketing can be a valuable asset in your marketing toolbox.