Have you added mobile marketing to your marketing arsenal yet? If not, now just might be the time. About 6 billion text messages are sent in the United States each day, according to a new report from Silverpop/IBM Marketing Cloud. Short Message Service (SMS) messages have open rates of more than 90 percent and engagement rates as much as eight times higher than email marketing.
One of the best ways to use SMS is to use it in conjunction with your email marketing campaigns. Here are some ideas for doing so:
- Keep in mind that your customers want to have control over how they receive marketing messages from you. Give them the opportunity to manage their communications by, for example, choosing to get your business’s newsletters by email and limited-time offers by SMS.
- Try different types of communications. For example, if a customer never opens your emails, try sending an SMS message and see what happens. (Of course, always make sure you have permission from customers to send both emails and text messages.)
- As a customer interacts with your business more and more, you’ll be able to send more targeted messages based on their past behaviors. For example, you can see whether they’re more likely to take action on an email or an SMS message, and deliver more of the preferred format.
- Use SMS to drive email opt-ins and vice versa. Include a call to action in your email newsletter urging recipients to sign up for SMS messages; text a link recipients can click on to sign up for your marketing emails.
- Use what you learn from SMS to modify your marketing campaigns. For example, if you see that a lot of your customers respond to a certain type of offer or to SMS messages at a certain time of day, you can do more of those types of offers or extend them to different marketing channels.
If you’ve never done SMS marketing before, here are two important tips to keep in mind:
- When writing SMS messages, always include a call to action. Even more than in email marketing, it’s important to keep your SMS messages short and to the point. Recipients should be able to read your message at a glance. For instance, an ecommerce business could send an SMS message that says, “Free shipping on any size order, today only. Click here.” (Of course, be sure that hyperlink takes the user to a mobile-friendly website!)
- As with any type of digital marketing, test different SMS messages to see what works best. However, be careful not to overdo it. Sending SMS messages to frequently can cause your customers to unsubscribe, since these messages are hard to ignore. Once a week is probably the most you’ll want to send messages, unless you find certain customers are super receptive.
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Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.