How to Get Started With SMS Marketing

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Everywhere you look (probably on your desk right now), there are mobile phones. SMS marketing campaigns offer a fantastic way of engaging with your customers to keep your brand relevant. It’s also a great way to keep customers happier and more informed, like if a customer was receiving shipping confirmations.  SMS messaging provides a 98 percent open rate (compared to a 20 percent open rate with email messages). And 90 percent of SMS are also read within three minutes of delivery!

If you planning on incorporating SMS messaging into your marketing strategy, here are some tips to get started.

Think about how you’ll gather contacts

With SMS, you need to find a customer’s phone number by, in most cases, asking. There are many ways to ask for a phone number like on a pop-up banner on your website or by asking a customer in your store. Just as you receive text alerts when checking into a hotel, reservation or flight, a great way to let customers know about your SMS programs is to tell them what they will receive upon subscription. Make sure to look at all avenues of a new or potential customer and determine if you have the ability to ask for a phone number.  

Note: If you are using Responsys and need some clarification on how you can opt customers in, shoot us a note here and we can help.

Remember the legal stuff

From a legal perspective, it is very important to get permission (even after they have submitted for information!) from your customers. You should always consider them potential subscribers until they have opted in to your shortcode.

Example: Press 1 to opt-in.

Alternatively you can include an option to opt-out prior to the launch of your SMS marketing campaign. This option should be clearly visible throughout the course of your campaign.

Example: Text ‘STOP’ to cancel.


Don’t forget about time zones!

I’m sure you have had someone who has sent you a SMS message at 5AM before, right? Make sure to keep your segments updated and ensure you’ve added time zone as a segment filter on your campaign. (Assuming you are using Responsys, you can do this simply by scheduling the messages within the campaign) It is never good to be the “neighbor who wakes you up.” Be cognizant and pay attention to time zones to send the right SMS message at the right time.

Think about the relationship- keep engaging with those who like to be engaged

Cross channel marketing and marketing automation help marketers maintain relationships with their customers. If you have a customer who continually opens and clicks on your SMS message, you are probably doing something right. Be sure to look at your SMS message to see if other campaigns can connect to keep your relationship stronger. If your customers are not opening your SMS messages, maybe it’s time to send them a coupon to see if this will re-engage them. Think about the relevancy you’d like to maintain on a 1:1 basis and then map all of your active campaigns to ensure your customer is receiving the correct frequency.

SMS messaging is a very effective marketing method as mobile is becoming THE way to engage customers in both marketing and service to provide the best customer experience. As you plan your campaign, use these tips to ensure its success when including SMS. If you are using Responsys, all of these features are available for you to manage at your fingertips! If you need more information about how to enable SMS messaging in Responsys, please let us know!