4 SMS marketing tips for peak trading seasonTopic: Marketing
1 December 2022
Research has found that the average open rate for an SMS message sits as high as 98% and 90% of text messages are read within 90 seconds of delivery. With engagement rates like that, it’s no surprise SMS is a key marketing communication channel.
When used properly, SMS can elevate your marketing promotion strategy – from expanding your reach to improving engagement. Here are some tips to help you ensure your SMS marketing campaign is a success.
1. Tailor your message
According to our global survey of more than 4,000 consumers, 29% of consumers are signed up to receive texts from brands and are open to receive texts from just 1-3 brands. This statistic reveals the untapped potential of personal channels like mobile messaging channels.
But it’s not about simply repurposing the same materials used for your email or direct mail marketing campaigns.
In a recent webinar about changing consumer behaviours and how businesses can stay ahead to ensure peak shopping season is a success, our Chief Marketing & Product Officer Tom Rahder said, “In mobile, your messaging needs to be crisp.
“It’s great that consumers are happy to accept newer channels with higher conversion rates. But you need to be able to tailor your message precisely in comparison to an email or direct mail promotion.”
So while you can use SMS to reach more customers and maximise engagement, if you want your customers to move down the buyer’s journey, you must tailor your messages to the channel, industry and individual recipient.
2. Maintain a consistent experience
That brings us onto the topic of multi and omnichannel communication strategies. It’s not just about being present on as many channels as possible. It’s about ensuring consumers can move from channel to channel and still feel like they’re experiencing the same brand.
Alternatively, if they start their engagement with you on one channel, you should continue this experience on the same channel. Even if the customer service or sales representative assigned to the case changes, the experience should remain consistent.
“Customers don’t want to have an impactful and timely marketing experience over SMS and then when they need assistance, move to a slower, offline channel,” explained Tom. “If you engage with a customer over a mobile channel, they expect for the complete lifecycle to continue over that same channel.”
3. Choose the right Call-to-Action for your mobile message
If you’re going to sell or promote something through a mobile channel, you need to understand the reason for the message. What is it that’s creating that initial interest among your customers?
“Winning the attention of the consumer in the 90 seconds during which they’re opening the message is critical,” said Tom. “You need to understand when to contact them and what CTA will get them to click through and go further on [in their journey].”
4. Use SMS alongside your other marketing comms channels
SMS boasts engagement rates such as a 98% open rate, a click-through rate (CTR) of 80% and 90% of messages being read within 90 seconds of delivery. When you compare it to email, where open rates typically sit at around 21% and CTR at 2.9%, it may seem like SMS should replace email in your marketing strategy.
However, your campaign stands a much better chance if you use various channels alongside each other. While SMS might have higher engagement rates, don’t forget that just 29% of consumers have signed up to receive texts from businesses. And when they’re opting in, it’s usually for only a select 1-3 brands.
In contrast, nearly half of consumers (48%) are signed up to email newsletters. If you focus on just SMS (for example), you could be missing out on reaching a wider pool. So, know the strengths of each comms channel and use them to complement each other.
For example, if you were running a campaign to re-engage with inactive subscribers, you could email them an exclusive promotional code to entice them to make a purchase. If some people don’t engage with your first email, send an SMS message as well as a follow-up email.
An example of a re-engagement campaign that uses two comms channels
Peak season is about more than the sale
Dates like Cyber Monday, Christmas and the summer months are some of the busiest periods for retailers. But it’s important to remember that while big discounts may attract customers, great customer service and experience are what will retain them.
Focus not only on boosting sales but also on building long-lasting relationships with customers. Know where, when and the pace at which your customers want to be engaged with. For the majority, it’s a two-way conversation that feels like they’re speaking to friends and family.