Guest post by Pavel Webb.
These days everyone’s talking about the mobile web and (often expensive) custom-built apps. But there is another way to use the ubiquity of mobile phones to market your company and get your message across to thousands of customers quickly and efficiently. It may not be particularly new, but is incredibly cost-effective and powerful. It’s SMS marketing.
SMS marketing doesn’t use fancy programming or gimmicks to get its message across – it simply utilises the long established and globally used Short Message Service to deliver concise messages to handset users. And in this simplicity lies one of its key strengths. While it’s almost impossible to provide an app that will be compatible with all of your customers’ phones, or ensure that your website will be viewed as you intended, with SMS marketing you know that your message will be received and it will be the same, regardless of handset type.
According to a revealing infographic by MBA online, 4.2 billion people text worldwide – five times the number of global Facebook users, and four times the number of people who use Google each month. With such unparalleled coverage and without the compatibility issues of other methods, the potential for reaching customers through SMS marketing is clear.
A few pointers on using SMS to market yourself effectively
As with any tool, there is a right and a wrong way to use SMS marketing to your advantage. If you just go in blindly with hard-selling tactics and without obtaining proper permission beforehand, you’re highly unlikely to see positive results from your campaign.
If on the other hand you show the proper respect for mobile users and only send marketing messages to those who deliberately opt-in to receive them, you can benefit greatly from their communicative power, while also providing extra value to your customers.
Here are a few more brief pointers for effective SMS marketing:
· Be helpful, not pushy – Most mobile phone users are grateful of receiving a text that benefits them in some way. An equal number are turned off by persistent overt sales messages.
· Be considerate – Keep marketing texts to daylight hours to avoid annoying, and losing, customers.
· Keep the tone friendly but professional – Find a balance between being warm and accessible, and retaining the image of a professional company. Don’t try to be ‘buddies’ with your customers.
· Consider offering special offers or discounts to customers who present their SMS message in store (or key it in online) – This is a great way of providing value to customers and may earn you increased repeat custom as well as additional one-off sales.
· Make it easy for customers to stop receiving messages from you – Sometimes people just don’t want to hear what you have to say. Make it easy for them to leave and they’ll be more likely to return to you in future.
· Integrate your SMS campaign with your other marketing efforts – Be sure to mention your SMS service in your social media content, and put the sign-up form in a prominent place on your own website.
About the Author:
Pavel Webb is the affiliate manager at TextMagic, a bulk SMS gateway based in United Kingdom.