You’ve signed up to start a group texting campaign. You are so excited and ready to hit send on your first text message. Before you jump into your group texting program, it is essential that you set up a strong foundation.
Your foundation paves the way to long-term success. With the right structure in place, it becomes easy to reproduce success as you go along, and you reduce the amount of time required to create each text message. There are a few important key elements necessary for a strong foundation that lends itself to a dynamite SMS marketing campaign:
|Strategy||It is impossible to develop a long-term, strong campaign without a strategy.|
|Tone and Voice||Your SMS marketing program needs to adhere to your brand voice and display a coherent tone.|
|Keywords||Your keywords play an important role in attracting attention and getting people to take action.|
|Motivation||The words you choose will motivate your audience to take action.|
|Calls to Action||Your call to action details what action you want your audience to take.|
By taking the time to develop each of these elements and their connections to one another before you start, you will build a stronger basis for your program. This allows you to continually drive your program forward, even if you have to make some tweaks along the way.
Strategy and Plan
Get your marketing team together to develop your strategy.
SMS marketing is a short-form marketing channel, with each text capping at just 160 characters. This makes it very tempting to just forget about strategy and take action. However, this reduces the impact of your messages. When you have an underlying tactic that connects each text and also integrates them into your overall marketing strategy, it adds more value to each text. This provides your texts with a reason and action that helps you to achieve multiple goals.
Therefore, when you initiate your program, develop a detailed plan. Start by determining your objective or goal. It is important to focus on one main goal; otherwise, you might find yourself overwhelmed with trying to do too much. When this happens, your program quickly becomes unstructured and ineffective. The best goals follow the SMART method:
Next, analyze your current situation. A thorough analysis will reveal the areas where you could use some help. You also want to review your current marketing program to see where there might be gaps. It is in these locations that your SMS marketing program can work and strengthen your business. It is also important at this stage to know your target audience. You might already have the details from research you did for your other marketing channels, or you might need to conduct the research to find it.
With all this information, you will be able to build a plan that helps you to reach your goals. Write it out and make it specific, including both short-term and long-term actionable items. It should include:
- The purpose of each text
- A schedule for sending messages
- Message type(s)
- Target audience(s)
- Goal or objective
- Ways for measuring success
- Places to make adjustments as needed
- Assignments to team members when applicable
This plan serves as the foundation for your program and will simply need to be adjusted as time goes by to meet the new needs of your business and marketing efforts. Ideally, it complements your plans for your other marketing channels and fits in with your overarching marketing strategy.
Tone and Voice
One of the most important components of successful group texting is that you have a cohesive tone and voice to your texts that adhere to your brand identity. You need to determine whether or not to use a specific tone in your texts, such as:
It is important to choose something that complements your other marketing channels, even if you wish to have a unique identity for your texting program. By doing so, your texting program will support your overall brand identity. Although texts use few words, your word choice will play a significant role in creating the tone of your texts.
There are a few things you want to avoid, including negative tones and becoming too informal. Just because it is a text program does not mean that you can forgo professionalism. Avoid using text speak and too many abbreviations, as this might confuse customers and/or alienate them.
By choosing the tone and voice of your texts at the beginning, you ensure that your messages remain part of a cohesive unit. It is best to choose one that is positive and motivates people to take action right away.
A texting program is nothing without its keywords. These play a significant role in a few different places. They will be the word that customers text to you to opt-in. This means that they will be put on billboards, flyers and other marketing collateral. Additionally, you might use keywords within texts to have people respond to a text in a certain way. For example, you might use STOP or HELP for people who wish to opt-out or who have questions respectively. If you run a poll, then you might use keywords for people to respond and vote in the poll.
Choose a keyword that resonates with your customers for greater impact.
Keywords can also play a role in creating motivation and tone in your texts and promotional material. They can also reinforce an idea or subtly impart information about your company.
Depending on the service you use for your SMS marketing program, you might be limited in the number of keywords you create. No matter how many keywords you have, it is important to choose wisely. You want something simple that leave little room for error when customers text the word to you. Additionally, you want something catchy so that people see it and react to it.
Another important element in your texting camping is that you develop a sense of urgency and motivation in each message to increase the number of conversions. Text messages are opened and read within just a few minutes of receipt. This makes it easier to get people to respond and provides an opportunity for high conversion rates. However, the effectiveness of your campaign largely depends on your word choice — and whether or not it incites action.
The way to motivate people to take action is to include the following:
- Evoke emotion
- Make people fear they will miss out
- Facilitate a sense of urgency
You ultimately want to make sure that they will not decide to wait to take action. This leaves room for second-guessing and forgetting. With the right motivation, customers will do something right away before they miss the opportunity, increasing the success of your campaign.
Call to Action
The final component of a successful group texting is a strong call to action. This is the place in the text where you tell people what you want them to do. If you forget to include a CTA, or if you use a weak one, then you will find your conversion numbers decrease. This reduces the efficacy of your program, and you will struggle to reach your goals.
Therefore, you want to focus on developing strong CTAs that are clear, concise and motivating. Use action verbs that are easy to understand. This might include:
In your CTA, you subtly order your customer to do something. Although you might not wish to sound too commanding, it is just as ineffective when you use weak verbs. The other words in the text will create a message that resonates with customers without making you sound too demanding. Your CTA is the place where it is acceptable to urge action. You only have 160 characters, so make every word count.
Developing an In-House Guide
When developing your SMS marketing program, it helps to build an in-house guide that sets everything up so that you have a uniform program. This includes the specifications for each component of the program and acts as the foundation for your entire campaign.
In addition to the key elements listed above, you want to include a section about your target audience. This might be a place where you include the personas you have created based on your demographics and market research. You might also have several versions of your guide, one for each target audience or group.
A guide ensures a cohesive campaign even with multiple content creators.
Some important elements to include in your in-house guide beyond the key elements of a successful group texting campaign include
- Message templates
- Examples of successful texts
- Rules to follow
- A step-by-step guide to creating a text
- Best practices
Some key best practices to which each message should adhere include:
This guide provides you and your staff with a basis on which to build your program. It includes the most important elements of your program, making it easy to reproduce what you do over and over again. However, it is important to remember that this is just the skeleton of your program. You will take this and with each new message create something new, creative and unique that incorporates all of the key elements. This keeps your program fresh and exciting so that people do not decide to opt out because they no longer see the value in your program.
Whether you decide to run a short campaign or implement a long-term SMS marketing program, it is important that you include the key elements, including the right tone, keywords, motivating factor, and call to action. By mapping out a strategy before you being, you can ensure that every message contains these elements. This will increase the success rate of your program.
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Categories: Text Message Marketing Tips