“How do I create a good SMS marketing campaign?” I have heard this question for months, so I decided to put together some basic points every mobile marketer should be aware of. Below are some thoughts and ideas to get you thinking about how to successfully use SMS to better engage with current and potential customers.
Campaign Planning: Four Key Steps
- Create a Clear Call to Action – A clear call to action makes it easy for people to understand what you want them to do or what the next step is to take action on your message.
- Focus on Interaction – Make sure you have established the frequency with which you will be sending out messages and stick to it; ensure that you are meeting your customer’s expectations.
- Be Relevant and Timely – Be sure your messages pertain to the campaign; if your campaign is about weather alerts do not send coupons. Always send messages at respectful times of the day and when your customers are likely to respond.
- Know Your Target – Ask yourself what kind of messages you would want to receive. You know your industry better than anyone. What call to action would best motivate your customers and potential new customers?
Here are some samples of fun ways to encourage people to join your SMS marketing campaign:
Most industries are dependent on consumer loyalty, so it seems appropriate to incorporate a mobile campaign into the marketing mix to increase loyalty. For example, a small car dealership could easily run a TV, radio, or newspaper ad asking consumers to text the word OIL to the short code 86201 to get a coupon for a free oil change.
Customer Retention – After opting in, consumers get a reply with the location of the dealership and the promotional code to use when redeeming the offer. The car dealer is then able to send campaign participants a reminder right before the coupon expires as a means of not losing the potential customer.
A sweepstakes or contest using text message marketing is a great way to build awareness about your brand or organization. Something as simple as in-store signage asking consumers to text your keyword to enter a sweepstakes can reap large rewards. Participants are entered to win a prize and can also join a database for future marketing that will consist of product introductions, news, and special deals. A great sample text would be:
“Text SPLASH to 86201 to win a weekend getaway
for a family of 4 at Splash City Waterpark Resort!”
A pizza restaurant with three stores wants to create a database with customers’ mobile phone numbers by encouraging them to join a mobile campaign through several different marketing channels. The pizza place then sends out exclusive “one-day-only” mobile coupons to customers who have joined. The goal is to start a coupon campaign to drive in-store traffic on the days they need it. The database can be used for many other types of campaigns, but this is a great incentive to get a customer to join your campaign. Below is an example:
“Red’s Pizza salad bar only 99 cents. Good today 7/26
after 2PM only. Dine in. Show text to cashier.”
Starting your campaign and getting your customers excited about your campaign is easy. But remember, the campaign does not end there. Be sure to communicate to your customers that your campaign is ongoing and they will be rewarded for sticking with you. Not all rewards have to be monetary. Sometimes the best rewards are the ones that make your customers feel like VIPs.