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.
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.