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How to Use SMS Marketing to Boost Your Blog’s Audience

Posted By Guest Blogger 12th of May 2017 Blog Promotion 0 Comments

SMS marketing for Bloggers - ProBlogger.com

This guest post is by Josh Sayers of Adventure Connections

Remember SMS? That old-school way of texting people before the dawn of i-message and Whatsapp?

Don’t worry, most people have forgotten all about it too! Did you know that 98% of all text messages are read and, although most people don’t like to admit it, 90% of those messages are read within 3 seconds of receiving!

When was the last time your latest blog got those kind of statistics?

Make sure your blog is mobile friendly

Now that I’ve got your attention, the first thing to do is to ensure that your blog is mobile optimized. It seems like a bizarre tip to mention in 2017, but according to a recent survey from BaseKit, 91% of all small businesses do not have a mobile optimised site. Just remember that 100% of your messages are going to be sent to a mobile device!

Once your site is mobile friendly you can start working on your SMS campaign. Ready to go?

Outline your consumer life cycle

First things first, outline your target audience lifecycle.

Segment your audiences so that they receive tailored and personalised messages – nobody likes random spam messages that they’re not interested in.

1. Potential Customers

If somebody has browsed your blog and entered their details into your lead magnet, add them to your hit list. You can send them messages about your latest posts, special offers or an article that you want to particularly push. There’s a reason why they gave you their number, give the people what they want!

2. Existing Customers

Have you got a database of readers that are waiting to go on an event or recently purchased a service / product through your e-shop? This is your chance to up-sell. Get them excited and back on your site! Now that another pay-day has passed they may be interested in that premium product that you’re so eager to sell.

3. Previous Customers

Everyone loves a returning visitor but if they’ve got other things on their minds then they might need a quick tap on the shoulder or a buzz in their pockets.

Planning is key

When you’ve finalised your segments, you can start planning your campaigns.

Don’t worry folks, the beauty of SMS marketing is that it’s not as tedious as email campaigns! It’s all plain text and no designing skills are required. All you need to do is plan your text and pop in a short url link to your blog.

Although there’s a lot of scepticism around short-urls in today’s world; using a long tailed url link tends to fill up half of a mobile screen, which is what triggers the spam radar with most mobile users. Remember to test your SMS campaigns on multiple handheld devices and only send it when you’re completely happy with the presentation.

Sender ID

When creating an SMS campaign it is important to add a sender ID, people like to know quickly where the text came from and make sure that it’s not another spam message from a pestering PPI company. Make sure you set it as either your brand name or a keyword that your audience will associate with you.

Keep it personal

If you’re stuck choosing what text to insert, just think about what you’d like to see from a branded text message. Although you have 160 characters to use, you need to include a call to action, your blog link and be sure to keep upbeat. Oh, and please, please, please double check for spelling errors and typos!

“Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time.” – Ann Handley

As you’ll quickly come to realise the majority of your texts will be linking your audience to your latest blog post. Including a special offer within your post and text is a great way of capturing your reader’s attention.

One tip that will immediately boost your open rate is by stating when the offer or link expires. A sense of urgency will always boost engagement, even if it’s a simple bit of text at the end of the message.

Wait for the right moment

As with everything in the marketing world, timing is everything. As you can see in the image below, email opens tend to continue over a period of 24-48 hours before dwindling out. However, SMS campaigns spike within the hour.

If you want to maximise your open rate ensure that you’ve scheduled them to send at the correct time. Chances are, if your recipient is at work, they’re going to read it and then forget about it. You want to target people when they’re most on their mobiles, which tends to be during lunch and late evening.

Take it easy

Don’t be too trigger happy. People have learnt to tolerate email marketing letters on a monthly, weekly and sometimes even daily basis, but customers are not accustomed to receiving multiple text messages.

One quick way to get yourself unsubscribed is to send too many texts, so hold out and wait for a once-in-a-blue-moon kind of deal before creating a blanket campaign. Target your favourite customers through your mobile analytics and you’ll be able to maximise your results without pestering people and tarnishing your brand. As soon as people get annoyed, every time they see one of your posts, they’ll grunt.

If you start using my tips, I’d love to know how they helped you! Let me know your experiences in the comments or on Twitter.

Josh helps manage the Adventure Connections website, who specialise in organising team building events in the UK.

About Guest Blogger

This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.

  • Great article,
    I have gain many customers with SMS marketing. I believe timing is very important in SMS marketing.
    if you send SMS in Busy day time, it is just total waste.

    • ” if you send SMS in Busy day time, it is just total waste”
      its true !
      I experienced

    • Hi Manish,
      I totally agree, timing can either make or break an SMS campaign!

  • Nice article. But I am mostly concerned with the timings. What should be idea times at which the SMS needs to be sent? There’s no point of sending those SMS if the user is not reading them or get buried under other SMS. What do you suggest?

    • Hi Utsav,
      It depends on your target audience. Generally, lunch time seems to work well for me. You have to think about when people have time to read your article ie. not when they’re at work. Try some AB testing and see what works best for you. Let me know how you get on!

  • Hi Josh,

    Thanks for the great share. I was not utilising SMS method to promote my blog posts. This post is a timely reminder for me to start using the same.

    Cheers

    Reji Stephenson

    • Thanks for your comment,
      Let me know how you get on!

  • Smart tips Josh.

    I’d add to not fear blowing out your SMS or PUSH list. This fear cripples many bloggers who never follow up on buy offers for fear of annoying readers. Or, who follow up 1 week after the buy email versus 2 days after the buy email. People really want what you have to offer; be bold and clear in advertising your wares to drive sales.

    Example; a month back I decided to follow up on a sell email. Released a new eBook on a Friday. Followed up with a sell email on Sunday. 2 days after the initial sell. I was scared. I saw unsubscribes heading for the hills. Terrifying experience both building the email and hitting the Send button, because so many bloggers implored me to not follow up so quickly, to avoid sounding sales-y, to not blow out my list.

    On that follow day I sold twice as many eBooks as my initial release day. Brilliant. I finally realized that my subscribers really really really want what I have to offer. If a few folks don’t, from the list, and unsubscribe, no worries. They were not a match for me anyway. But most folks are happy to get reminders and buy when you follow up.

    The other day one loyal subscriber of mine purchased 3 eBooks and an audio books through one of my follow up emails. Easy peasy way to boost sales because he and my strongest followers simply want what I offer but sometimes need a little nudge or reminder to get their attention, because we all lead busy lives.

    As for the SMS deal it is awesome, easy and yes, seamless. So simple to publish a PUSH notification to my PUSH subscribers in like 10 seconds. Literally. I email my subs, alerting them to my latest post or maybe, asking them a question, and the engagement grows quickly. Because of that short shelf life you speak of in regards to SMS versus the longer shelf life for email.

    Don’t fear doing an SMS follow up 24 hours or less after the initial contact. As for your list, 1-2 days seems OK per your 24-48 hour open period. Email opens happen gradually. Those PUSH opens are instant, or maybe, an hour after the initial send.

    I’d also add how if you condition subscribers to get frequent updates they know what to expect. Don’t fear being bold and clear. Don’t let a few unclear unsubscribes spoil the follow ups for your hungry, loyal subscribers who crave to see what you have to offer and who will gladly buy whatever you are selling, if you follow up with them once, twice or three times during a short time frame.

    Excellent post Josh.

    Signing off from the Upper West Side of New York City.

    Ryan

    • Thanks for your kind comment,
      That’s an interesting point you make regarding the follow-up notification. I imagine it would work very well with your devoted followers but if you launched a new product or article too often then I imagine this could get annoying fast. I would recommend segmenting your lists so that the people that are passionate about your service receive regular updates and the not-so-frequent buyers don’t unsubscribe.

  • Very nice and helpful tips. Apart from SMS, we are trying Snapchat for marketing. We request ProBlogger to Cover one post on Snapchat marketing. Thanks!

  • Really a nice article , i think this is the most cheap and profitable way of marketing our product and services.

  • This is great … but the “HOW” of the article title was never actually addressed…

    What tools will allow me to do this? How do I get people to subscribe to SMS messages?

  • Ray

    Thanks for the great share I learned a lot. I am not using an SMS method to promote my blog posts. I was wondering what you think or what anyone else that reads this thinks is the best way to implement such a system for a blog?

    Thank you for the insightful info,

    Ray

  • Yes totally agreed with you sms marketing is great. Everyone want to see messages. Because of the curiousity they just want to see who message them and what was the message

  • Great Guest post. You have to be careful with sms marketing so to not look spammy, and choosing the timing is critical like another comment mentioned,. I have gained a lot of subscribers using this method.

  • Excellent tips for reaching out to more audience. Sms marketing might be seen a little bit expensive but protifable with good planning. Thank you for encouragement.

  • If people can quickly trash salesy emails, they won’t mind doing the same for SMS. So, the rule is to combine SMS marketing with other strategies

  • A well written article . I guess other than SEO of my blog , I must try SMS marketing to get added audience to my business blog. thanks

    • Josh

      Hi Emma,
      Give it a go and let me know how you get on!

  • I had never given a thought of SMS marketing and blogs together. But after reading this article I can say I can get more visitors to my blog through SMS marketing.

  • Hi Josh,
    I have never done sms marketing but the idea seems cool. Thanks a lot.

  • Hey Josh,

    Just like email marketing, you can use the numbers of your customers to let them know what you’re up to.

    It’s always a good idea to keep the SMS personal. People hardly get messages now, but when they do, they read them.

    The timing is a major factor to look for. You have to understand your potential readers.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    Enjoy your week ahead.
    ~Ravi

  • Hey Josh,

    It’s a Great Idea for nowadays, But sometimes it doesn’t worked a busy day. For that you also maintain the Timing. Almost people use Smartphone now. If you send a SMS with your product’s link to the people, they can easily browse your site. It will be help to promote your product and the other hand people can know what is that. everybody will benefited by this.

    Thank to Josh and PROBLOGGER for publish this kind of Article.

    Mamun Mahdeeb

  • How can we get targeted audience for sms flooding?
    Is there any tool or dork for This?

    • A quick search on Google will give you pages of such tools. What does not exist much is a way to send a message from your phone automatically after someone registered through your automatic funnel (landing page / squeeze page.) I posted about that at the top here if you’d like to see.

  • I would use a service that places there name in the text message to make it look natural. What do you think? What kind of lead opt – in are you using by the way?

    • Josh

      Hi Stan,
      I definitely agree, adding a sender ID is very useful. When I receive a text from an unknown number my spam alert starts!

      • He was not talking about the Sender ID. I did not even know that existed since it’s not available in the US. He meant writing something like “Hi Josh, how are you?” in the SMS, with the recipient name.

  • SMS marketing is a good way for getting traffic to your blog, but in my opinion it shouldn’t be overdone like e-mail marketing. People get irritated when they continuously hear the sound of there phone go’s off especially when in a meeting or working.

    Some workplaces don’t even allow cellphones inside so the person might not even see your sms. That’s why scheduling your sms is very important. Depending on your zone you might what to schedule it for after dinner or during lunch time when the recipient will be able to see your message.

    • Josh

      Hi Wayne,
      Thanks for your comment, I completely agree – timing is key! Lunch time has worked well with me in the past, I find that people aren’t that engaging in the late evening though so it’s interesting that you mention after dinner. It all depends on your industry I guess!

      • Interesting, are all your prospects on the same timezone? Here in the US we have 4 timezones (plus Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam…) so it requires us to know the prospect timezone (which should be easy enough, in general, but not always.)

  • Interesting post, thanks for sharing!

  • It was really helpful for me

  • Judd Wheeler

    This is fine if you’re outside of the US but here in the states, we have to comply with TCPA and get opt in before texting customers. Otherwise it’s a $500-$1,500 fine per text per person. So, US readers, keep this in mind before sending any text to your customers.

  • SMS marketing is a good way for getting traffic to your blog, but it is too costly

  • SMS marketing be useful for getting traffic but overdoing sms marketing will be considered as spam and this will cost the trust that readers had on your brand. So if used wisely it can work like a charm but if not it could bring down your blogs traffic.

  • Either send a handful of messages to a targeted group or send thousands of SMS messages to your entire list. A great SMS marketing service makes it easy to customize your text message campaigns to the needs of your SMS subscribers.

    Create a promotional message or a quick industry update; SMS truly molds itself to whatever the needs are of your business. Also, many SMS services easily integrate into your other online marketing strategies.

  • Great advice, and like you mentioned, timing is everything –even when it comes to sharing new blog posts. Thank you for the article.

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