Are you using text marketing for your small business?
As a small business owner, you are likely to look for marketing channels that provide maximum efficiency with minimum price.
This is logical, considering that you need to expand your business and reach the level of your competition.
However, since you bear the title of “small business”, you can’t spend a fortune on marketing your company.
The era of the Internet—and specifically social media—have created lots of affordable marketing channels for small businesses.
On the one hand, this abundance makes it easier for companies to advertise themselves.
On the other hand, the same abundance creates an overload of various promotional campaigns everywhere, so people get fed up with them.
Although this overload of advertisements may look scary, you can still outsmart your competition by investing in SMS or text marketing.
This channel guarantees high open and conversion rates, increasing your chances to reach your target audience more precisely.
Let’s see how you can get the most out of text marketing.
Step 1: Start with a reliable text marketing provider
Being a newcomer in the text marketing space starts with having a reliable partner, who can provide high-quality services and meet your needs.
At this stage, it is essential to do in-depth research of the market, read reviews and compare findings.
Keep in mind that you may have to work with the provider for a long time. Therefore, choosing the right one is critical.
When choosing an SMS provider, make sure it has the following features.
You might not need this feature right away, but when you do expand your customer database it will be crucial.
This feature divides the database into different segments, which allows personalizing messages for each group of clients.
For example, you can send personalized offers to VIP clients or gifts to new customers.
Sometimes you may be too busy to come up with new campaign ideas, so you can use this feature to schedule them beforehand.
All you need to do is set the message text, date and time.
The system then launches the campaign automatically, without any additional intervention.
Analytical tools give an overview of the efficiency of your text marketing campaigns.
Don’t stress out on the term “analytical tools”. In reality, they are considerably simple to use.
Those tools give statistics on delivery status, number of clicks through messages and so on.
Without them, you will need to have a separate program, which is an additional hassle.
This feature is for sending automated text messages from your platform by integrating the provider’s system.
API function is very configurable, so you can check the details with the provider.
If you hesitate to choose among some providers, test them and analyze which one fits your needs best.
Most SMS providers offer a free test for registration, so it is not a big deal.
Step 2: Collect valid phone numbers and always keep them updated
Sending out promotional text messages is a small portion of SMS or text marketing.
The more difficult job here is to constantly expand the number database and keep them up-to-date.
Obviously, you don’t want to waste your messages because you pay for each one of them.
However, collecting phone numbers is not as easy as it seems. Technically, you can disregard your clients’ privacy and break into their phones without their consent.
However, it will either create a negative image for your brand or your messages will end up spammed.
Therefore, you must receive permission before sending promotional text messages.
So, how do you start collecting phone numbers for your SMS or text marketing campaign?
The answer is simple, you start with choosing a relevant keyword.
Keywords are short texts that your customers send to a special number in order to opt into your messages.
The keyword needs to be short, catchy and memorable. Additionally, it should be easy to spell not to confuse potential clients.
Typically, the best way to go is to associate it with your company or its services.
For example, if your company sells mobile devices, you can set your keyword to be “SMARTPHONE” or anything else for that matter.
Once you set a keyword, there are three effective ways to collect phone numbers.
Spread the word about your keyword
In this phase, you can use any means that you have on your hand to promote your keyword.
Make use of your social media pages and email database to let people know they can receive texts from you.
Motivate people to sign up for your messages
Keep in mind that you’re not welcome to bother people with additional text messages. Therefore, give them a reason to want to receive your messages.
Offer small gifts or discounts for opt-in or create contests where people can send the keyword and join in.
Offer sign up after purchase
This is a great way to grow the phone number database and convince the customers to come back later.
An important thing here is to let them know you plan to send them promotional text messages.
Otherwise, your customers may not be willing to give you their numbers.
Step 3: Get down to the actual business
Now that you have a reliable partner, relevant keyword and fresh database, it is time to start working on promotional campaigns.
In order to get the most out of SMS or text marketing for your business, check the following tips.
Send out engaging content
Remember that content is a key part of your text messages. Make sure it presents value rather than wasting the recipients’ time.
Considering that you only have 160 characters this may be very challenging.
Use call-to-action phrases
The ultimate goal of your campaign is to convince the customer to buy your products.
Use phrases to motivate them for a purchase. Emphasize those phrases so that they catch the users’ eyes the first.
This increases customer loyalty and makes them feel special. Don’t panic.
Most providers offer ready templates that have free spaces for first and last names. It is quite easy to personalize messages with these tools.
Include a link in the messages
Regardless of the theme of your message, you will need to provide a link for additional information.
Besides boosting your website traffic, this also increases the chances of your campaign success to a considerable degree.
Consider the frequency of your campaigns
If you send out messages too often, you will make your consumers anxious and wind up appearing spam.
On the contrary, if you send messages too rarely, chances are high that your customers will forget about you.
It is completely up to individual businesses to choose relevant time for their SMS or text marketing campaigns.
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Azat Eloyan is a digital marketer and mobile marketing enthusiast. With over 5 years’ experience in content marketing and SEO, he believes that valuable and informative content is key. He is currently working as a marketing specialist at SendSMS.Global, which provides SMS marketing services globally.