People are on their phones 4.8 hours a day, that is one-third of our waking time. To capture the attention that flows to mobile phones, businesses are taking advantage of SMS marketing.
SMS marketing is getting more and more popular as a way of connecting with customers. If you look at the numbers, SMS marketing has an average open rate of 99% and an average click-through rate of 45%. Compare it with email marketing, the numbers are significantly higher.
SMS campaigns have that personal touch and are short and sweet, that is why it is read within the first few minutes of being received.
In this post, we will dig into how you can use email marketing to keep in touch with customers, grow your business and increase your sales.
Let’s get started!
1. Be Compliant
Before starting your SMS marketing, make sure that you are compliant.
Compliance means you have to ask for explicit consent from your customers that you will market to them via SMS.
Being compliant means:
First – the opt-in for SMS marketing must be different from email marketing. So, a checkbox saying “I consent to email and SMS marketing” is not compliant.
Second – Customers should voluntarily opt-in to your SMS marketing. In other words, a checkbox that is ticked by default is not compliant.
These are the basic guidelines set by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). There are also mandates set by regulatory bodies such as Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA).
If you do not comply with TCPA and CTIA standards, you may get sued like car care franchise Jiffy Lube that cost them $47M in 2012 or shoe company Steve Madden with $10M in 2013 when both companies sent SMS promotions to customers without their consent. When you are faced with such a big lawsuit, it will lead to bankruptcy if you are a small business.
Keep in mind, always be compliant, to protect your customers as well as your business.
2. Use Your Existing Email List to Build Your SMS List
Businesses send emails to customers when they have company news, product updates and most of the time when they are selling them something.
So instead of just using emails by sending customers frequent and irritating sales emails, use it to provide value.
Remember, you need to give more than you take if you want to build a long-term customer relationship. One effective way to build and nurture your relationship with customers is to send contents via email. By providing value, you are cultivating trust and loyalty making customers receptive to your offer.
So, every time you send out valuable content to your email list, you can say at the footer “Join the SMS club and enjoy 10% off on your purchase.” Once they click the footer, they will arrive at a discount code page that will collect their mobile numbers.
Customers will be willing to give you their mobile numbers because they know that you respect their privacy by not annoying them with unwanted sales emails.
3. Use QR Code to Capture Mobile Numbers
QR code is a fun element you can add in your marketing strategy. Seeing that matrix barcode that says “Scan Me!” makes customers curious.
There are two ways you can use QR codes to capture your customers’ mobile numbers:
First, in the packaging of your product, you can add a QR code that says “Scan this to receive a present.” Once your customer scans, they’ll be redirected to a page where they will be offered a discount code in exchange for their numbers.
Second, inside your packaging, include a coupon with a QR code saying, “Give to your friends for a surprise.” After scanning, they will be then redirected to a page that offers a discount once they give their mobile numbers.
This will be some sort of a referral marketing – the one who receives the coupon will scan it out of curiosity and will likely buy the product because it was given by a close friend. People are more likely to trust and try a product recommended by a friend who has a similar taste to them.
4. Use Instagram Traffic for SMS Opt-In
Instagram Stories are very fun and addicting. You can utilize this feature to create engaging content to capture your customer’s mobile number.
For instance, in your Story, you have a slide that says “Want to enjoy free shipping + 10% off on your next purchase? Click Next.”
And when customers tap next, another slide will appear saying, “Join our SMS club by swiping up. TOS applied.”
Stories are an interactive medium for your dedicated followers on Instagram. If customers clicked next and swiped up, chances are, they will be willing to give their phone numbers to you. So, utilize your Instagram traffic to build your SMS list.
SMS marketing is a very powerful tool you can use to be up close and personal with your customers. But keep in mind that you have to respect their privacy, meaning limit the frequency of sending them SMS campaigns, make sure that the messages are relevant and give them the option to opt-out.
Despite the fact that SMS marketing is automated based on customer’s behavior, don’t forget to have the human touch. At the end of the day, you are communicating with a human and the aim of using SMS marketing is to build a lasting relationship with customers.