5 SMS Marketing Tips Every Startup Owner Should Know
SMS marketing is one of those areas of marketing that many startups seem to avoid, at least in the beginning. They think about how it could annoy customers and how they don’t want to risk falling for the stringent rules on this type of marketing in the U.S.
But they’re leaving money on the table because SMS messages have a 99% open rate. You try finding those open rates when dealing with email. This guide is going to introduce you to some of the marketing tips every startup owner should be aware of when building their brand.
Do You Know The Rules?
One of the reasons why so many companies don’t pay much attention to SMS marketing is because they’re scared of what breaking the rules could mean. There are strict rules, but as long as you adhere to TCPA regulations you shouldn’t run into any problems.
The main rule you need to obey is to only send messages to people who authorized you to do so. In other words, this is not the time for cold calling. Some of the best places to work in the U.S. have been hit hard because they didn’t obey this simple rule. Many entrepreneurs haven’t survived their first year because they ignored this rule.
And just because someone gave you their mobile number doesn’t mean they gave you permission to text them.
Don’t Go Over 160 Characters
160 is an important number in the world of SMS marketing. It can redefine the language of SMS, quite literally. Mobile networks will break your SMS into multiple pieces of 160. As you can tell, you shouldn’t go over this limit or your ad could be sliced right down the middle.
Some networks will even refuse to carry long texts, and the slicing can be inconsistent. The safest option is to just not go over 160 characters, to begin with.
Timing Will Determine Your Success
When planning your SMS marketing strategy timing is everything. You already know that practically every message gets opened. What you shouldn’t rely on is them waiting for later. The majority are opened within minutes of arrival. If you send them at the wrong time you could send them an offer to buy something when they don’t really have an interest in buying something.
Marketers have to be able to reach their target audience when they’re making a buying decision. They have to be in reach. This is why restaurants will always send such offers two or three times per day, when people are thinking about what to eat at a specific time.
Research your target to find out when they are most likely to make a marketing decision.
The Call To Action Should Always Be A Web Address Or Mobile Number
The call to action should be part of any marketing material you send out. SMS marketing is no different. You have far fewer options at your disposal here. There are no anchor links and buttons you can take advantage of. Everything relies on the words you use.
When someone joins an SMS service they want to know where to go next. A general line about a great product means nothing if they aren’t being sent directly to that product on your website. Include a URL, which has been shortened, or just your number so they can send something to a dedicated line.
Someone in your company should be there to handle these people specifically.
Advertise Your Shortcode
SMS marketing should be integrated with everything else you’re doing. This is a numbers game and the number of people you connect with will determine how successful you are. Your SMS shortcodes should be promoted across the other marketing channels you’re taking advantage of.
It should figure in your email campaigns, social media campaigns, and even on any physical marketing materials you send out. Your shortcode is the gateway to your SMS marketing campaign.
Is It Still Worth It?
It’s easy to think that as people start to use web-based messengers the SMS will start to go out of fashion. There are no signs of this happening. People are using free online messaging systems more often, but they’re still receiving and sending SMS messages.
There has never been a better time to get involved in SMS marketing. More people than ever own a phone and these numbers are only going to go up as time goes on.
SMS marketing is a relatively easy form of marketing to add to your mix. Every company should be doing it. What are your experiences with using SMS marketing?
By: AJ Agarwal
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