One of the most easily overlooked tactics in the world of digital marketing today is text messaging, usually referred to as SMS. To a lot of people, the concept itself is confusing (am I texting people who have never heard of my business before? How do I get their numbers? Is it complicated to set up?), but once you’re familiar with the basics, you’ll wonder why you didn’t implement an SMS strategy sooner. We’ve talked about SMS marketing in a previous post, but we’ll be going over some technical details here and giving a good overall look at why it’s worth considering this approach.
Some fundamentals: text message marketing is done through an SMS platform such as Textedly, SimpleTexting, or ClickSend. These platforms allow you to create a message you want to send, you purchase a phone number, and a message is sent to everyone in your contact list that you choose. You pay for two or three parts: The subscription to the platform, the dedicated phone number, and each message sent. The prices for each are very low in most cases, making SMS marketing a highly affordable option compared with PPC ad retargeting, for example.
Herein lies a key point: SMS marketing only targets people who have already consented to receive messages from you and provided their phone numbers. That’s why it’s important to cover some bases early when you start collecting customer information. Make sure you’re getting as much contact info as you can, and explicitly request consent to receive messages. That way, even if you’re not using an email or SMS strategy early on, you’ve got permission to do so whenever you’re ready.
Once you’ve got that large contact list, the options before you increase dramatically! SMS marketing allows you to send targeted messages at scheduled times, announce opportunities and deals, share key information, and more! Obviously, this will only have a strong impact if you’ve got a large amount of contact information to access. Learn more about how to grow your list fast at our blog post on how to build an SMS Audience.
There are two fundamental advantages to SMS marketing that make it stand out. First, you’re reaching people who are already interested in your business! Remember, these people have consented to receive messages from you. They want to learn more, and they felt strongly enough about this to give you their contact information. This engaged audience is priceless, and at Trajex we’ve seen incredible results through SMS strategies. Second, text messaging just reaches people in a different way. Most of us just have a more visceral reaction to a text message. We check our email, but we read our texts. Open rates for SMS are frequently much higher than email, because we mentally associate that form of communication with a more personal connection.
With your growing contact list and messaging platform in place, it’s time to get started with your strategy! There are lots of creative options for reaching your audience. Some businesses prefer to send targeted messages to clients or customers on a case by case basis. In other words, a sale is offered or a special opportunity becomes available, so an SMS campaign is set up with a link to purchase. This can work great and have fantastic returns, and it’s easy to use and set up if you want to do everything yourself.
A more integrated strategy is to use automated text messages to onboard or welcome new customers. For this, you’ll need one more layer of complexity. You’ll need to use a customer relationship management (CRM) software that allows for automation, and then build those pathways on the platform. Here’s how it works: Let’s say you’re using ActiveCampaign to collect and organize client contact information. Every time a new customer provides their information, they automatically receive a text that you’ve pre-written which serves as a welcome, offers a discount code, or provides an opportunity to learn more, for example.
The benefits of SMS marketing can be especially clear in a B2B context. When you’re trying to interest large numbers of professionals in your product, it’s helpful to send automated messages that keep them engaged and connected with your offer. It’s too easy for potential clients to get lost in the shuffle, but with a chain of (not too frequent) SMS messages, you’ll keep your brand at the top of their mind and warm them up for a more personal outreach from your sales team.
Some of this can seem pretty complicated, and the further into it you get, the more layers there are. Don’t let this deter you from using SMS marketing altogether though! The fact is, lots of startups are missing out on higher sales by ignoring this tactic. If you’re looking for some help getting started, or just want some questions answered, take a look at the results the Trajex team has achieved on our SMS Marketing page, or schedule a free consultation. We’d love to help you deploy an SMS marketing strategy to take your startup to another level!
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