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Despite the growth of social media, one of the most effective ways to communicate with clients is through short and clear SMS messages. However, unless you have a clear message and plan, you risk confusing your clients and pushing them towards competitors’ services. In this chapter, we will address the strategies for your SMS marketing campaign.

SMS marketing, everyone is doing it. Should you?

SMS marketing is a powerful tool that requires planning and extreme delicacy. A good way to burn a client’s trust is by bombarding them with spam and unwanted messages. Despite the dangers, a successful SMS strategy can be a businesses’ best marketing asset.

Ask yourself “What benefits will you and your clients gain from using SMS as part of your overall strategy?” It’s important to know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish and what your overarching goals are. Are you trying to build great customer relationships? Then you should be focusing on that goal and not how to push your products and services onto the customer. Build the relationship first, then you can offer your services in a more personalized way.

Many businesses want to begin utilizing SMS but are unsure how, and getting a client to provide their personal phone number can be prove to be a difficult first hurdle. One successful and effective way to get this valuable information is to provide the client an incentive, such as an exclusive offer only available through SMS.

A clear message across all platforms

Contradictions are a marketing campaign’s downfall. Your SMS strategy should be aligned with your website, your Twitter and Facebook—don’t say one thing then contradict it somewhere else. This is especially important in larger businesses in which multiple people are at the controls of social media. Always make sure everyone is one the same page.

To an outside observer there should be no question what your marketing goals are. A clear message will ensure a client is exposed to the same advertising goal no matter which platform they are using.

The strategies

  • The whole mobile experience: SMS marketing is a great way to provide up-to-date offers. Though people may not read your emails for days, a phone is a personal device that is rarely left behind. 98% of text messages are read within minutes of receiving them, a fact you should use to your marketing advantage.
  • Timing, timing, timing: SMS marketing is timely; use that to your advantage. Customers want their promotional coupons when they will need them most. When do clients most frequently visit your store, business, or website? Keep track of this data so you can target your advertisements more effectively.
  • Positive disruption: Your clients have given you their personal phone numbers; don’t make them regret this decision by sending a barrage of advertisements. Instead make it an experience that leaves them wanting more. Exclusive SMS-only promotions are a highly effective way to make clients feel appreciated.
  • Opt-in. Always opt-in: Though you may have your client’s phone number, there is no greater way to upset them than to send unsolicited marketing messages. While people are used for spamming online, the phone is still a personal device and unless they are expecting your message, it may be a disturbance.

What to do if your marketing strategy is stalling

Setting clear goals can help you keep track of whether your strategy is working, but if the strategy is not getting the desired results, you need to do a thorough assessment. What were your goals? Who were your ideal clients? Are you reaching your desired audience? Sometimes ideas and plans look great on paper but in retrospect were poorly designed and executed.

Implementing an SMS marketing strategy can be an incredibly effective way to enhance your lackluster marketing plan. By following the above strategies you can ensure your campaign is a success.