4 Tips for Building a Better B2B SMS Campaign
Using SMS to increase the ROI of your marketing efforts is always a good idea, especially when current data shows that:
- 43% of customers are more likely to complete a purchase when engaged by a cross-channel campaign featuring SMS
- 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of being received
- 64% of customers believe business should communicate via SMS more frequently
Obviously, this medium has a lot to offer both senders and receivers, who appreciate the ability to share information that’s convenient, quick and direct. Below we’ve rounded up four tips that are designed to help you fine-tune your messaging approach and ensure your SMS campaigns are well-received.
#1: Know the Rules of Engagement
Before you become an SMS superstar, you will want to make sure your messages are compliant with current standards and legislation established by the FCC, which primarily involves giving recipients options regarding how you engage them. A few of these options include:
- Opt-In: Just because a prospect or customer gave you their digits, it doesn’t mean they gave you the right to send them messages. They must give you permission by “opting-in” to receive SMS. Research by Oracle found that 46 percent of people opt-in to receive texts when invited via email, i.e. “Get text updates,” so be sure to include this as a regular opportunity in email campaigns.
- Preferences: SMS is about engaging with and responding to users, so when they don’t want to hear from you, you need to give them a way to tell you. While many SMS users still use STOP, you can save up to 25 percent of subscribers by allowing them to choose the frequency of texts, such as:
- Reply W to receive a weekly offer only.
- Reply S to receive special messages only (6 times a year).
- Reply N to stop all texts.
- Rates: Disclosure statements like “MSG & data rates may apply” seem obligatory, but they protect you from being responsible for rates charged by a subscriber’s mobile network.
- Chat: Including the ability for a subscriber to talk to someone in customer support isn’t mandatory, but it is smart. SMS is loved for its ability to provide instant gratification and empowering customers to connect with support in a way that’s convenient for them is a good way to differentiate your business and give it a real competitive advantage, especially since a leading tech research firm, revealed only seven percent of companies are currently leveraging SMS for customer support.
#2: Be Relevant
A recent survey found that three types of SMS messages serve as catalysts for customer actions: messages that are pricing based, time-sensitive, and/or location-based. In short, all customers appreciate news they can use, so use SMS to provide them with information that speaks to their needs as revealed by their data. A few examples of messages that customers find useful are:
- Sales – Alerts regarding price-drops on products and services your customers use are great ways to build mutually rewarding relationships and brand loyalty.
- Reminders – The best way to increase customer engagement is to remind people they have one, from appointments and service dates, to warranty expirations, extensions, and beyond.
- Event Alerts – SMS is an indispensable tool for connecting with customers at tradeshows, conventions and other business events, and reminding them to visit your nearby booth, hear your CEO speak, attend a customer forum, etc.
#3: Pace Yourself
It’s easy to fire off a message via SMS to customers anytime you want because it’s so quick and convenient, but don’t, or you may risk becoming annoying, or worse, a spammer. To ensure you don’t become that b2b marketer, try not to send more than three SMS messages a month. Better yet, weave text messages organically into your customer’s journey by including them in your automated cross-channel marketing strategy. For example, you could have your marketing automation platform send a text after a certain amount of time has passed and a customer has not responded to a time-sensitive email.
You can also use open, opt-out and click-through rates to gauge whether or not you are texting too often. If there is a dramatic increase in opt-outs after sending a text, it’s a good idea to take a step back and examine the content to make sure it’s relevant to your customer. Conversely, if there is a spike in click-through and open rates, take note of the content type, time of day, day of the week, etc. and let it be a guide for future messages sent.
#4: Segment Your Audience
Sending relevant messages that resonate with your target is easier when you use your marketing or customer relationship management platform to segment the audience. By segmenting subscribers according to their interests, past purchases, geographic location, demographics, etc., you can send SMS messages that they find meaningful to them. Segmenting will also help you to increase your open rates and decrease opt-out rates.
Give SureShot a Call
We hope our blog has helped answer a few of your SMS questions. However, feel free to call or text anytime (insert text-able business number here) to talk more about the power and potential of SMS.