With so many different marketing touchpoints that customers interact with, businesses often struggle to deliver a cohesive and consistent customer experience across all channels. However, SMS marketing is an unsung hero in many ways and can become a game-changer for your omnichannel marketing strategy.
With the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones and the high engagement rates of text messages, SMS is more than just a means to share updates and offers; it is an underutilized pathway to strengthening customer relationships. In this article, we’ll detail what SMS marketing entails and how it can enhance your overarching marketing approach.
We’ll look at real-world examples, the benefits, and the challenges while providing actionable steps and use cases. Read on to learn more.
An SMS marketing strategy involves leveraging text messages to promote your products, events, and other aspects of your business.
Chances are, you have some SMS marketing messages sitting in your inbox right now. Some examples of SMS marketing messaging include:
SMS marketing allows businesses to send messages in bulk to their customers, reaching hundreds or even thousands of people at once.
For many brands, text messages are an easy way to reach customers where they are and disseminate relevant information to them. In many scenarios, customers are likely browsing on their phones already – sending them a link with a special promotion is an easy way to capitalize on that fact.
An omnichannel marketing strategy is an approach where a business weaves a uniform customer experience through its various promotional channels. For example, many businesses create a uniform experience across their online, offline, mobile, and social media channels to create a seamless and consistent experience across all touchpoints.
It’s easy to incorporate SMS marketing into an overarching omnichannel strategy by integrating it alongside other channels such as email, social media, and physical promotions.
For instance, a clothing retailer can use SMS to send personalized offers or reminders to customers who have provided their mobile numbers. The retailer can pair this with other channels by sending a text message as a follow-up to an abandoned cart or a promotion code for an item a customer has shown interest in previously.
Mendocino Farms, a West Coast fast-casual chain that specializes in chef-driven sandwiches, searched for an easy way to announce the launch of online ordering across their 27 restaurant locations.
Their biggest question, though, was how to let all of their customers know when online ordering was available at their favorite location. They knew they wanted to send out an email announcing the news to customers, but how could they easily gather the emails of interested customers at all 27 locations? Omnichannel marketing was the answer – specifically, SMS marketing in the omnichannel network.
With SimpleTexting, the team created text-to-join keywords for each location and invited customers to subscribe. Then, new subscribers received an automated message asking for their email address. The whole set-up process only took the Mendocino Farms team a day to complete.
Integrating SMS into your omnichannel marketing strategy has a wide range of benefits that can directly impact your business, including:
While SMS marketing solutions can benefit your business in various ways, there are some considerations to look out for regarding compliance, message lengths, and timing:
SMS marketing offers business owners the unique advantage of reaching their audiences directly, boasting high open rates compared to other platforms. Here are some practical ways you can get started with SMS marketing:
Select an SMS Marketing Platform: The first step in launching an SMS marketing campaign is finding a suitable platform. While there are many platforms available, SimpleTexting is a popular choice due to its intuitive interface and feature-rich services.
Grow Your Contact List: Once you have your SMS platform, it’s time to get your customers to opt in. Remember, consent is critical in SMS marketing. You can accomplish this by inviting customers to sign up through your website or during checkout. Offering an immediate discount or exclusive offer can also be a compelling incentive.
Other marketing channels, such as social media and your business’s website, can help grow this opt-in list.
Compose Conversion-Driven Messages: Your messaging should be clear, concise, and purposeful. Marketing messages should always provide value to the customer and prompt them to take action. This could mean offering discounts, exclusive promotions, or insider news. Remember, every message should serve a distinct purpose.
Coordinate Messaging Across Channels: Carefully coordinating your messaging across channels ensures your audience receives a unified brand experience, regardless of which channel they are interfacing with. While it isn’t necessary to match the wording verbatim across channels, it’s crucial that your messaging remains consistent in terms of its tone, brand voice, and overall narrative.
Reference Existing Campaigns: Referencing other campaigns within your SMS communications can create continuity and build on existing customer engagement. For example, you can send an SMS that refers to an email promotion that encourages your customers to check their inboxes. When done thoughtfully, these cross-references can foster deeper engagement and provide multiple touchpoints for customer interaction.
Synchronize Campaign Timelines: If you’re launching a new product, for example, you should coordinate your SMS, email, and social media campaigns so they’re all promoting the product simultaneously. This amplifies the impact of your messaging and creates a sense of excitement and urgency around your offer.
Create a Seamless Customer Journey: The end goal of integrating your SMS marketing with other channels is to create a seamless customer journey. Always consider the customer’s perspective and experiences as they move across different platforms.
For example, when a customer clicks on a link in an SMS message, it should take them to a landing page that reflects the same messaging and offers as the text message.
You can employ SMS marketing creatively in various ways to boost your marketing efforts. Here are a few scenarios where it can be beneficial:
Social Media Integration: A great way to engage your social media followers is by encouraging them to text a keyword to a specific number. In exchange, they receive exclusive content, discounts, or can participate in a contest. This tactic not only increases your SMS list but also fosters a stronger connection with your followers.
Customer Reviews and Feedback: Post-purchase, you can use SMS to request reviews or feedback. This not only provides you with valuable insight into your product or service quality but also demonstrates to your customers that their opinions matter.
Complementing Email Campaigns: If you’re running an email campaign, consider sending a follow-up SMS. A timely text message can create urgency and draw attention to your email content. This combination can lead to higher engagement rates and, ultimately, more conversions. Additionally, you can integrate your email service provider with SimpleTexting via Zapier, allowing you to sync contacts across platforms. With this powerful integration, you can trigger SMS messages based on whether an email is opened and more!
There are a few best practices to keep in mind when executing an effective SMS marketing strategy. First and foremost, you should always secure express written consent from your customers before sending them any texts to respect their privacy and ensure compliance.
Next, be sure to maintain a consistent send frequency; find a balance that keeps your brand at the forefront of your subscribers’ minds without bombarding them with content.
When drafting the content for your business’s messaging, be mindful of the language you use. Ensure that what you are saying aligns with your brand’s voice in a clear, engaging, and respectful manner. Similarly, you should avoid using spam words that can trigger carrier filters or alienate recipients.
Perhaps most importantly, never underestimate the power of personalization. Tailoring your SMS messaging to individual customers can significantly increase engagement rates and cultivate a more personal connection with your audience. By following these best practices, you can optimize your SMS marketing efforts for success and boost your overall campaign performance.
An effective SMS marketing strategy is crucial to any organization’s omnichannel marketing approach. As Mendocino Farms and similar businesses have shown, effective SMS marketing can engage customers and drive conversions. However, successfully navigating all the nuances of SMS marketing, from compliance and message content to optimal frequency, requires a robust platform to work with.
That’s why SimpleTexting is proud to provide businesses with a feature-rich platform designed to simplify your journey into SMS marketing. With its intuitive interface and comprehensive services, we give our clients the tools they need to implement the best practices, overcome challenges, and leverage the power of SMS marketing.
The future of marketing is omnichannel, and SMS plays a vital role in this vision. So why wait? Start your journey today with a free trial of SimpleTexting. Unleash the power of SMS and experience for yourself how it can bolster your omnichannel marketing strategy.
Nathan is the head of content and SEO at SimpleTexting. With the help of an awesome team, he’s attracted more than 65 million website visitors, converted 10 million email subscribers, and supported 300,000 software users. He's written for the likes of Fast Company and his work has been referenced in publications like Forbes. Nathan has 15 years of proven corporate and startup marketing experience and continues to venture off the beaten path. When he’s not marketing, you’ll catch Nathan canoeing in the Boundary Waters or training for his next ultra marathon. Connect with Nathan on LinkedIn.More Posts from Nathan Ellering
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