When was the last time you received a text on your smartphone? According to the most recent data, which comes from 2014, the average American sends six texts per day. Now that it’s three years later, we imagine that figure has grown considerably.
Believe it or not, though, text messaging isn’t limited to pals who want to set up a movie night and parents checking in with their kids. Consumers also like to receive text messages from their favorite brands.
It’s the fastest, easiest way to connect with your target audience, but how can you make SMS marketing work for your business?
Every Word Counts
You only get 160 characters — make ’em count.
A text message, or SMS, can only reach 160 characters in length. At 161 characters, it converts into an MMS, or Multimedia Messaging Service. Your recipients can get charged by their mobile providers if you send long group texts.
This means that every word counts. Filler words and unnecessary phrases can quickly eat up precious characters. Additionally, people no longer have endless attention spans. If you lose the reader on the second word, you’re never getting him back.
When possible, start your SMS marketing texts with action words. An action word generates excitement and suggests that something is happening, which will maintain your recipients’ attention more easily than a word like “the.”
For instance, you might send a group text that reads, “Get $10 off your next order and free shipping. Order now!” to your most loyal clients
In this example, both sentences start with action words. The entire text is only 57 characters, so you have room to increase the urgency by adding a deadline, such as “Offer expires tomorrow.”
You’ll notice that this example isn’t written in complete sentences. Most people don’t text in complete sentences — or even complete words, LOL — and you want to get to the point right away. Again, every word matters.
SMS Marketing Creates Community
Are your customers just numbers in a database? No, they’re part of your team.
One main benefit of SMS marketing lies in its ability to create a tightly knit community. For instance, you can segment your text messages based on the people who receive them. One group of people might receive text messages that lure them into the top of the sales funnel, while another targets frequent fliers in your retail store.
Let your audience know that signing up for your SMS marketing campaign gives them exclusive access to deals, events, and other information. Make the people who patronize your business feel special.
Remind them every once in a while that they’ve subscribed to an exclusive list. For instance, you could break the action word rule just once and start your message like this: “For our subscribers only:” then follow with the offer.
However, this only works if you create captivating content. For instance, if you direct your customers to a survey or poll, make the questions brief and entertaining. Don’t bore your audience to tears.
Instead of asking, “How many times have you visited XYZ store in the last month?” you could ask, “How many times have we seen your smiling face this month?”
In other words, make it personal and dynamic.
Ask For a Response
As mentioned above, you want your SMS marketing campaign to help you build a community. To do so, you need a back-and-forth relationship, and group texting provides that.
For instance, in addition to offering an exclusive discount, you could ask your audience to text back “Yes” or “No” to take advantage of it. This simple action creates immediate engagement and lets your audience sense that you care about what they want.
Use group texting for customer service, as well. You might invite your subscribers to text you if they want to know if you have a particular item in stock. Additionally, you can host giveaways and contests, alert customers to upcoming events, and even confirm a recent transaction. The important thing is to keep your audience engaged.
Even if the message is transactional, add a personal touch. Consider ending the text with “We appreciate your purchase.” You could also add a personalized emoticon, but don’t go crazy with emoticons or punctuation. Remember, they eat up valuable characters.
You might assume that everyone knows internet shorthand, but you’re mistaken. Many people will read a text message, get confused over unrelated letters, and immediately delete it.
If you have to use shorthand to keep your message within the 160-character limit, do so sparingly. Only shorten words that are most likely to be recognized, such as “2morro” for “tomorrow” or “mnthly” for “monthly.”
Of course, you should customize your messaging language for your audience. If you cater primarily to millennials or even younger generations, a little internet slang might not hurt. Just keep it classy and don’t overuse it.
Offer One Idea at a Time
Yes, this actually happens in the real world. Take advantage of it.
People typically glance at their smartphones quickly to see what a text contains. They’re not settling in to read “War and Peace.”
To keep their attention, mention one idea at a time. For instance, don’t talk about three different sales; focus on just one. Separate different ideas with periods to make each sentence perfunctory and actionable.
SMS marketing has become one of the most effective advertising models available to brands today. When you use a group texting service that allows you to send messages from a regular phone number, you’ll increase your chances of getting your texts read.
Group texts need captivating content if you want them to resonate with your audience. Grab your readers from the first word so they don’t click away when something shiny captures their attention.
Categories: Text Message Marketing Tips