When it comes to SMS marketing, the biggest mistake marketers make is thinking in isolation. In this article, Wasif Kasim, sales and marketing manager – Salmat’s MessageNet reveals the one thing you need to know about SMS marketing if you are ever to reach its full potential in building customer engagement with your brand.
Marketers know how to write the optimum SMS message. They know how to measure the results of an SMS campaign. And they’ve no doubt heard that a massive 98 per cent of text messages are read by recipients. But there’s still something missing from their campaign. The one thing with the power to transform it from a simple SMS campaign into an almighty lead generating, customer engagement, loyalty building machine.
The answer is impressively simple: integrate your SMS campaign into your other marketing channels.
Rather than using SMS as an isolated tool, marketing efforts will be amplified if SMS marketing is built into as many inbound campaign channels as possible. Print, social, email, outdoor, in-store, letterbox; whatever the channel, SMS delivers a simple and cost-effective yet explosive way to build a subscriber database and get closer to customers.
As an added coup, by integrating SMS into other channels, marketers can drop opt-out rates to an all time low. According to research, the average opt out rate is around 3.7 per cent for every thousand text messages sent. Where does yours sit?
Fortunately, integrating SMS into the rest of a marketing strategy is easier than you think. To get you started, here are five examples of how SMS creates the perfect match:
SMS + email
Leverage email marketing campaigns to give subscribers a reason to join your SMS list and engage with a brand in new ways. Take this Best Buy campaign in the US. In the lead up to the busiest sales period known to man, Best Buy emailed its customers encouraging them to text HOLIDAY to get the latest Black Friday, Cyber Week and holiday deals. Not only did this ramp up their database just before the big seasonal push, but the timely message gave customers a powerful reason to interact with the brand through another channel.
SMS + outdoor
Integrate SMS with an outdoor campaign and target customers in precisely the right spot. The trick here is simple and seamless execution, as Spotify Australia’s recent “text to listen” outdoor campaign demonstrated. This campaign not only won the OMA Creative Collection award for best creative execution, it remains a legendary example of how SMS marketing can work on every level. Eye-catching posters invited city commuters to text a number to receive instant access, on their smartphone, to chart-topping music. The results were staggering – read all about how Spotify got it right.
SMS + Facebook
If a Facebook page is thriving, use the fan base to grow an SMS subscriber base. Pizza Hut did exactly that when it posted a picture to its Facebook timeline, inviting more than 10 millions fans to text HUT to get free cheese sticks with their next order. Combining SMS with a free offer is one thing, but adding Facebook to the mix is pure genius.
Just as with Spotify’s outdoor campaign above, the process was seamless. Once fans texted the number, they were asked for their postcode and sent a link to the online order form – optimised for mobile, of course. This made it easy for Facebook fans to experience the instant benefits of SMS subscription, meaning they are more likely to remain opted-in.
SMS + shop-front
Include SMS in shop front banners so it is the first thing people see when they enter a store. Generating SMS subscribers is as easy as tying in the call-to-action with a great discount, like this one by Bed Bath and Beyond. Lead with the discount and you are not only giving them a great reason to subscribe for more SMS offers, you also encourage a purchase right there and then.
SMS + restaurant table talkers
Drive SMS subscribes and repeat visits by adding SMS promo to your table talkers. Restaurant diners are a captive audience – especially because people always have their mobile phones out while waiting for their food. Tempt them with a tasty offer (free dessert, 2 for 1 drinks, 10 per cent off) and make it simple, so customers can text quickly while their date is in the bathroom.
SMS + letterbox
Generating new leads for business can be as simple as adding an SMS campaign to your letterbox flyer. Salmat created this campaign for Stroke Foundation, which combined SMS and letterbox like a dream. Because this combination uses the lowest cost channels to market, it is an extremely cost effective and targeted way to reach consumers. An added option is to encourage people to text in their email address, meaning you acquire emails and mobile subscribers at the same time. Two birds, one stone.
Put it all together
To get maximum subscriptions for your SMS database, marketers should be putting campaigns on every channel they can – a social media networks, a website, email signature, email campaigns, direct mail, table talkers, point of sale, outdoor campaign and so on. It might be tempting to limit SMS marketing to digital channels but this is only limiting the number of eyes who see it. Wherever a customers’ eyes are, that’s where an SMS campaign needs to be.
Be inspired by Taco Bell, who launched an SMS messaging campaign across radio, television and print. Customers were invited to text TBIC to receive a free Frutista Freeze with any food purchase. To manage the promotion and encourage immediate action from customers, Taco Bell used expiry dates in the text message offer. As a result, the brand reaped over 13,000 SMS subscribers within just five weeks, with 93 per cent of those still subscribed at the end of the campaign.
If that’s not reason enough to integrate SMS across all marketing channels, we don’t know what is.