Being able to consistently grow your SMS marketing list can sometimes be understandably challenging. There are a lot of factors at play, each of which needs to be taken into account as part of a larger marketing strategy.
Text message marketing via SMS messages statistically has a 98% open rate. As optimistic as that sounds, this statistic at face value doesn’t provide an accurate picture of how SMS marketing campaigns work. It’s tempting to give in to the notion that text message marketing is a quick shortcut to big results.
The truth is, establishing an SMS marketing list is about more than simply getting people to enter their phone numbers into your prepared form. Effective SMS marketing is about building trust through clear communication while also providing your customers with a good reason to subscribe.
This involves a variety of factors and actions that you need to take when putting together and executing your SMS marketing campaign.
Make Sure Your SMS Marketing Message Has TCPA Compliance
The TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) was created specifically to apply to marketing calls as well as text messages. The verbiage of the TCPA makes it illegal to contact consumers without their explicit consent. Violations of the TCPA can be costly with a fine of up to $500 per violation.
One of the best ways to ensure that your SMS marketing is TCPA compliant is to use a double opt-in process. Once someone willingly adds their number to your SMS marketing list, you can send them a text with something like a code they can use to authorize you to send further communications. Just be sure to also tell them they might incur text messaging fees from their carrier before they finalize their subscription.
TCPA compliance also means that you can only send messages between 8 AM to 9 PM in a customer’s local time zone. You also aren’t allowed to send a marketing text message to anyone on the national Do Not Call registry. You also need to make sure that each message must include your company’s name and information on how they can opt-out of future messages.
Inform Subscribers Of What They Can Expect
To avoid annoying your subscribers and potentially loyal customers you need to clearly communicate what they can expect when signing up, and it needs to be done before asking for their phone number. The goal is to inform a new subscriber in advance, by telling a customer how often you’ll text and giving them a basic idea of what you’ll send. This might include giving them sneak peeks into key sales and event notifications or hinting at the chance to get access to exclusive coupons.
Once you tell them this information and give them a little preview of what to expect, you need to stick to those original terms. If they feel later that you have violated these expectations by either contacting them more than you originally promised or by not providing them a reasonable semblance of what you promised, they will likely unsubscribe. Once someone unsubscribes to an SMS marketing campaign, you have very little chance of getting them back.
In this communication, you also need to make sure they understand you respect their privacy. You need to use plain language to specifically explain how you will use their phone number, and you will likely need to promise not to sell their contact information.
Develop a Campaign That’s Specifically For Different Segments
You want to make sure that you’re targeting your SMS marketing list wherever your consumers are. This means developing a campaign that’s specific to the situations and contexts where you are most likely to encounter your audience.
The easier you make it to share information, the more likely people are to provide it to you. This might include the use of things like pop-ups or a form that is embedded within your email. The goal is for your potential subscribers to be happy and hopeful that they can gain the perks of joining your text marketing list without interrupting what they’re currently doing.
Offer Some Type Of Exciting Or Exclusive Incentive
Any potential subscriber to an SMS marketing program will want a good reason before they provide consent for you to contact them in the future. Your goal then is to get people excited to join your SMS list by offering access to some type of reward for signing up.
This might be something like access to a VIP club or some other type of exclusive insider program or some other type of perks your customers can’t get any other way. It might even be exclusive access to presales, birthday rewards, or even free shipping. Just make sure if you do offer free shipping that you don’t mark up the original cost of the products, as this could drive people to unsubscribe, feeling that you are manipulating the perk.
Make The Most Out Of Your Existing Channels
One of the most effective ways to SMS marketing is to incorporate it into your existing marketing mix so that you’re not just starting from scratch. Leveraging things like existing email subscribers, allows you to reach out to them via email and let them know that they can opt into SMS.
You can also include a signup form on your website. This makes it easy to harvest willing contact information from visitors who want to opt into SMS communications. It’s also a good way for you to gather quality leads, as they likely arrived at your website via an organic search, which means they are probably already interested or researching your company.
Offering an SMS message with access to exclusive deals or discounted shipping can be just the little nudge they need to go from being a visitor to becoming a returning loyal customer.
SMS is a great component to make different types of marketing campaigns. Though its limits the overall message length and reach, which means it’s probably not effective as a standalone marketing strategy. Instead, you should think of it as an enhancement to other marketing efforts that you are currently engaged in, or building a strategy for.
By making sure you are TCPA compliant and using industry best practices, you can avoid any costly fines, while reducing your risk of people unsubscribing. Leveraging your existing channels to draw interested visitors into willingly opting into your SMS marketing, and then providing them with exclusive opportunities is a great way to boost your sales. It also helps secure new customers and potentially turns them into returning loyal ones!