SMS is an effective tool for marketers and brands who want to reach a highly targeted audience. And we’re not just saying that because we’re an SMS marketing company. The numbers speak for themselves. More than 98% of texts get opened. The average click-through rate of SimpleTexting customers is 17%. And best of all, every phone receives texts right out of the box.
You get the point. Texts are powerful. In fact, they even played a huge role in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election campaign. So whether you work in e-commerce, politics or real estate, the best time to tap into SMS marketing is now.
Like everything else marketing, you need a plan before diving in headfirst. An important first step when communicating via SMS is to build and maintain a consistent brand voice. This blog post will show you how!
Why aim for consistency in brand voice?
It’s human nature to seek patterns and consistency.
Doing things the same way again and again, or sticking to an idea is a powerful persuasion tool. The more consistent you are in your brand voice, the more likely that you’ll be able to persuade prospects and customers.
Even with its character limit and straightforward interface, your SMS message must have a voice that mirrors your brand’s personality.
Like people with various personalities, you can opt to sound witty, open, serious, or authoritative. Think of your brand voice as food flavors.
You can start with the basics (sweet, sour, bitter, and salty) and come up with your unique flavor by playing with various combinations. You can sound authoritative yet sprinkle in a bit of humor at the same time. Or you can keep it authentic, cool, and adventurous.
These 4 effective steps should help you build and maintain an established brand voice in SMS messages.
Have you ever thought about what your mission is as a brand?
Think of your mission as your north star that helps define who you are and what you have to offer to the market. If you don’t know where to begin, find inspiration in the mission statement of online shopping giant Amazon:
“It’s our goal to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Amazon has indeed remained true to its philosophy and transformed the brand from a seller of books to a world-leader in online retail. Following their example, your mission should follow these three C’s: concise, confident, and compelling.
Your mission should act as a guiding philosophy that you can turn to whenever you reach out to your audience, no matter which platform or campaign.
Before firing off an SMS campaign, ask yourself, “Does this text message align with our brand’s core values and mission?” If the answer is yes, perfect! Click send! If the answer is no, consider how you can rework your message to further your brand’s mission and your company’s objectives.
Once you have nailed your mission, it’s time to get to know your text message recipients. Doing so can help you effectively communicate your message and speak in a language that your recipients can understand and relate to.
Begin by narrowing down your demographics into specific archetypes. Use the following questions as a guide:
The key word here is empathy.
Once you have successfully identified your audience, put yourself in their shoes and tailor your text messages to them. You’re more likely to leave a more lasting impression if you speak their language.
After figuring out your brand’s core mission and identifying the unique traits of your target audience, your next step is to craft an SMS message that sounds personal and relatable.
With all the ads and noise competing for your audience’s attention, you need to have a unique brand voice that is easily recognizable.
Make your customers feel like you are directly speaking to them. When an individual reads your message, it should feel like it was prepared just for them—even if you are sending it to thousands of subscribers at once.
Remember the archetypes you built from your SMS audience? Use their preferences and qualities as the bedrock of your messaging strategy.
For example, if you have 22-year-old modern young professionals in your list of subscribers, you might want to communicate with them in a way that sounds fun, friendly, and hip. You can even use text abbreviations. On the other hand, if you are sending text messages to professional law practitioners, your message should probably sound more formal and courteous. It might not be a good idea to use abbreviations and acronyms.
Finally, don’t forget to insert the recipient’s name at the start of the text using our custom fields feature. Your recipients are more likely to engage with messages that are directly addressed to them.
When was the last time you received an SMS from an unrecognized sender?
It made you feel uncomfortable, right? For this reason, it’s important that you identify yourself when sending a text message. Even if your business has a dedicated short code, your subscribers may not have saved your number.
Let them know it’s you! Doing so communicates to your audience that you are interested in building a long-term relationship with them, and you won’t come across as someone eager to make a quick sale.
Text messages have a character limit so keep your signatures distinct and to the point. A pizzeria may consider opening with something as simple as, “Hey there, Joe’s Pizza here.” Or, they could close off with, “- Your friends from Joe’s.”
You can also get more creative by using MMS marketing, which offers the ability to include more characters and pictures.
The specific message you need to send may change from day to day, but your voice should stay consistent. It’s important to keep things short and to the point in text messages, but with extended messaging, MMS marketing and loads of other features, there’s still plenty of room to be yourself. Follow the simple steps above and you’ll master your brand voice in no time.