Marketing for a startup isn’t easy. The competition will be at your doorstep, and other organizations won’t stop so you can keep up.
One way to lessen the gap between your startup and veteran businesses is SMS text marketing. Using text messages for your marketing schemes can help give you that head start you need to beat competitors at their game.
Continue reading to know the top seven SMS marketing tips for new businesses.
Integrate With Other Marketing Techniques
You can gain business success from SMS marketing. But, you can also leverage the power of texts for other marketing styles.
One example is cross-promoting with a ringless voicemail campaign with SMS text marketing. The campaign begins with your representatives sending ringless voicemail messages to targeted audiences. The dialogue may contain a phone number your targeted leads can text if they find your offer interesting.
An SMS autoresponder will be waiting for those text messages. Using this automated feature allows you to keep leads interested while focusing on other business aspects.
As per Call Cowboy, an SMS autoresponder is an easy way for businesses to communicate with leads and customers. Moreover, the program allows organizations to communicate in real-time, reducing the risk of diminishing interests from potential and existing buyers.
Aside from using text messages with ringless voicemail campaigns, you can integrate the marketing technique with other methods, such as:
- Paid media advertising
- Digital marketing
- Email marketing
- Direct selling
- Conversational or door-to-door marketing
Sit down with your marketing team and brainstorm ideas on how you can integrate texts with other promotional techniques. Use this opportunity to promote brand awareness across target audiences.
Know The Law
Ignorance of the law excuses no one, especially among SMS marketing practitioners. One of the reasons many companies and their marketers fail at text marketing is because they didn’t consult the law before starting their campaigns.
Understand that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is implementing strict rules that businesses should follow. Failure to abide by these regulations can net your company with fines ranging from USD$500 to USD$1,500 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
TCPA requires marketers to acquire written consent from their target audiences before proceeding with their campaigns. Hence, you need to make your target market agree to the terms that they’re going to receive advertising and marketing materials.
So, consider using other marketing methods before starting SMS marketing campaigns. For example, you can receive written consent from interested leads from your website or social media marketing campaign. Once you receive the approval, collect and organize the contact information of the leads. Begin sending marketing texts once you think you have enough phone numbers in your list.
Still, you can use text messages to ask for consent from targeted audiences before initiating certain marketing techniques. For instance, your marketing team sends a text blast to a list of phone numbers. The message contains a request to opt into a telemarketing campaign.
Next, use an auto dialer to call the gathered phone numbers from the SMS campaign. Now, you can be at peace, knowing that your marketing campaign follows the guidelines imposed by the TCPA.
Keep It Short And Simple
Another reason why many new businesses fail in SMS marketing is that they send essays than short messages.
Always keep in mind that people won’t have time to read long paragraphs. Stick to the ‘keep it short and simple’ rule to capture the attention and interest of your target audience immediately.
As a rule of thumb, don’t go over 160 characters. Many mobile networks will break a message if it goes over this mark. Some mobile carriers even refuse to send long texts. If you exceed this limit, the message will look broken, especially when read on older phones.
Keeping your text under 160 characters is also a good way to get your message across millennials. Many of them shudder at the sight of long text messages. Some folks wouldn’t hesitate to click the delete button upon a single glance at an essay-like text. Keep it safe and promote under 160 characters to ensure your brand’s message goes across different age groups, including individuals belonging in the millennial category.
Include A Call-To-Action
Have you wondered why your business isn’t booming even after sending hundreds of text messages to targeted leads? Perhaps, your promotional message looks like the following note: “This message is a reminder that you still have an unclaimed one-hour free massage session.”
Several glaring errors are in that particular text. But, one mishap to note is that it doesn’t have a call-to-action. This refers to a phrase or sentence used to tell audiences about the next step to take and how to take it. The phrase can be relatively simple, like ‘Buy Now.’ Otherwise, it can be a sentence, like “Don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post.”
Adding a phrase or sentence to tell readers about the next step can help pique interests and promote sales conversions. But, you can increase the chances of your calls-to-action attracting more interested buyers by including a web address or mobile number.
Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience—if you want to join an SMS service, you’d want to know the next course of action to take. A statement about an excellent product or service might not mean anything if the announcement doesn’t link to a particular product or your brand’s website. Conversely, you can add your company’s phone number so your leads and customers can contact your representatives directly.
Many people who’ve signed up for SMS alerts from brands, especially startups, know that the majority of these texts tend to be too robotic. For example, a message like buy generic Cialis at a discount. Various startups follow an industry-standard texting formula to help them promote their goods. However, if you want to stand out, you need to add personality to your messages.
Changing a robotic tone to one that’s more accommodating and conversational may help increase sales conversions. An example of a robotic message would be, “Thank you for your interest. Please click the link to know more information.”
Sending a text with a machine-like tone may attract some leads to become full-fledged buyers. However, consider changing the text’s tone to something like, “Hi, <name>, thank you for finding our product interesting. Please click on the following link to go through the next steps of your purchase.”
The seemingly simple act of stating your lead’s or customer’s name means that your company cares enough to mention their name in individual texts. It shows that you put great value to your customers, and that can become highly-appealing to warrant sales.
Don’t Forget To Follow Up
Don’t send one SMS text to your audience and call it a day. You should include follow-ups to help remind your leads and customers what they’re missing.
Aim to send one or two extra messages per week. You might not get the desired results if you only send one text per month. Sending extra texts helps improve engagements and minimize unsubscribes.
Also, you don’t need to set the alarm every time you need to send texts. Any reliable SMS marketing platform should have a feature that allows you to set up automated workflows. For example, you can start the campaign by letting the app send initial messages to your contact list. Then, the platform will send an additional message to the same contacts, minus the individuals who opted out of the subscription. Hence, you don’t have to worry about sending additional promotional messages to individuals who are no longer included in your contact list
Ask For Feedback And Reviews
Marketing shouldn’t be all about trying to promote a brand. Instead, you should also take your customers’ feedback, opinions, and reviews into account.
One way to ask for their thoughts about your products or services is by sending them additional text messages. You want your clientele to know that you value their experiences upon purchasing your goods.
Use your preferred texting platform to gather feedback and reviews from customers. You can even use polls and surveys to learn more about your target audience.
Next, use the gathered information to become a better brand. For instance, a customer messaged you, saying that the soup in your restaurant tastes bland. Hence, you can pass that information to your chef so that the said professional can make adjustments to the recipe.
You may also offer incentives to people who reply with their experiences with your company’s products or services. For instance, the receiver of the text gets a free drink from your establishment if they send feedback about a particular product. This way, you can encourage customers to reply since there’s going to be something in store for them if they do so.
New businesses tend to commit several errors with their SMS text marketing campaigns. You can reduce these mishaps by following the tips posted in this article. Also, keep in mind that marketing success doesn’t happen overnight. Study the metrics acquired from your campaigns to fine-tune techniques. In return, you should see positive results for your marketing efforts soon.