If a business wants to get its message out to where most people are these days, then it must reach them via their mobile devices, which in turn means text messaging. But it’s one thing to say that a business needs SMS marketing; it’s a whole other matter to actually do it.
Here is a primer for small businesses who want to jump on the SMS train and increase their customer base.
The Fundamentals Of SMS
For the sake of the neophyte, let’s pause for a definition. Short Message Service, or SMS, is defined as a message platform where users give the business permission to send out text messages of n more than 140 characters. The total character count is in fact 160, but the first 20 characters are reserved for the sender’s name. Twitter is the most well-known SMS platform.
Before You Start Marketing
Even before you decide on what sort of SMS text you want to send out, you need to have an audience in place that you can send it to. This is best achieved by having people sign up, either via a link in an email or one embedded on your website. Let them know that by signing up, they get advance word on promotions, sales, deals, and special occasions. People enjoy being in the know, and giving them this sense of exclusivity makes them more likely to sign up.
Now, as for content …
Start Small And Easy
If you’re just beginning your foray into SMS marketing, then start off with something that is basic and yet still actionable. Consider offering a discount for everyone who replies to the text by using a special code. The discount information can be sent via email to their account, possibly even using am embedded QR code.
This tactic is not only an easy way to get your business into SMS marketing, it also serves as a good indicator of how many people are reading the messages and are willing to act on them. But no matter what you include your message, heed the wisdom offered in the article “6 Tips For Writing More Effective Text Marketing Messages” and make sure that all of your messages have a call to action.
Have A Contest
People enjoy discounts, sure, but they also like having the chance to win something. Hold a contest and text the particulars via SMS. In fact, kill two birds with one stone and make it a contest for who can sing up the most friends on the text distribution list!
Promote An Event
If your business is going to be hosting some kind of special event in the near future, promote it via SMS, and again, building on the sense of exclusivity, include a special perk for the text recipients. This is particularly effective for restaurants and pubs that may be observing a holiday, or holding a viewing party for a sporting event.
Whatever You Do, Keep It Snappy
With only 140 characters to work with, it seems unlikely that there are any boring, rambling messages out there. You would be surprised. People’s capacity to waste words and not get to the point is limitless. So, be short, sweet, and to the point. Give the users the what, where, when, and why (as in, why they should care), and be done with it.
With an increasing number of people turning to mobile devices, SMS is the best way to reach them. Start off small, and build up your experience as you increase your address lists. In time, that increased list will mean more business.