Text (also known as SMS or “Short Message Service”) marketing is revolutionizing the way companies communicate with their audience. Using texting as a marketing strategy can be a helpful tool to bring you profitability—but be sure you’re using it in the right way.
By keeping these best practices in mind, you’re sure to build real connections and longevity for your business.
Trends in Text-Message Marketing
Texting has the potential to make a big impact on your SMS marketing strategy by getting you directly in the hands of your audience. In one study, 98% of recipients opened and read text messages, compared to a much less impressive open rate of 20% for the emails they received.
By following new trends in text marketing, you can be sure you’re getting the most out of your SMS marketing campaign. You also keep your subscription and open rates as high as possible. Try incorporating some of these trends into your brand’s SMS marketing to see if they’re right for your audience.
Discount Off First Purchase for Signing Up
The top trending way to use SMS marketing is to offer an introductory discount or special deal to first-time subscribers. Research on how promotions affect buyer habits shows that 80% of consumers said they would make a first-time purchase with a new brand if there was a discount.
Promotions are a simple and effective way to introduce your customers to your SMS marketing service, and Community makes it easy with our Website Sign-Up Units feature.
Just add a sign-up unit to your site offering a discount off their next order when signing up for your SMS service. Use your own custom design with professional-looking widgets that match your brand’s aesthetic. Our service lets you automatically send a message with their exclusive discount, and you’ll be able to tell where your new sign-ups are coming from thanks to the sign-up unit link.
Exclusive Deals for Staying Subscribed
Once users join your audience and are subscribed to your texting database, they’ll need a reason to stay. Engagement is key. Repeatedly show your audience there are several reasons to stay in your SMS community.
A successful way of achieving this is by offering exclusive deals that are only promoted through text messaging. Your loyal followers won’t want to miss out on deals, sales, or promotions.
When streetwear legend Bobby Hundreds and his lifestyle clothing brand The Hundreds needed to transform their March 2020 warehouse sale into an online sale due to shelter-in-place orders, Bobby used Community to give his subscribers early access to the sale.
In just 24 hours, Bobby’s message had a 73% click-through rate and a 9.6% conversion rate. Compare this to social media’s 1% conversion rate for e-commerce companies, email’s 2.3% conversion rate, and Facebook’s 0.9% average click-through rate, and you’ll see that Bobby’s Community message revenue per session and conversion rate were 151% and 120% higher than social media and email put together.
Through the power of the Communities he had built through SMS marketing, Bobby was able to offer his subscribers an exclusive opportunity that they were happy to accept.
Build Your Personal Brand
An emerging trend in the world of SMS marketing is the use of texting for building personal brands. From Creators to celebrities, bloggers, or anyone with a personal fanbase (we call them Leaders)—text messaging is an emerging method of connecting with an audience.
If you’re looking to build personal connections with your social media followers, what better way than giving them a phone number that connects them directly to you instead of Facebook Ads or email marketing? Use SMS to ask your fans questions, get feedback on what content they like, even take polls. You can segment your audience into groups by their interests, so you can easily ask relevant questions to the right subgroup.
For example, if you’re a lifestyle blogger and want to separate your audience into fitness content, fashion trends, and recipe groups—it’s easy! Your fans get to speak directly to you, and you are able to provide the content that engages them.
SMS texting is a Leader’s best friend for building a strong brand presence in a way that is quickly outpacing social media and email.
Provide Tips, Tricks, and Other Resources
In a world where markets are saturated with options, it’s no longer just about selling—it’s about providing value to the consumer. If your company uses SMS messages solely for advertising, your subscribers will quickly jump ship. Provide your audience with insightful information they’ll find value in instead of an ad.
Whether it’s about an upcoming product launch, tips on how to use your product, or links to behind-the-scenes content, your brand will want to provide more than just promotional offers to stand out from the crowd. Your customers will appreciate that they’re more than just a sale to you.
Send Images, GIFs, and Emojis
Text marketing is like regular texting—anything that can be sent over a typical SMS can also be sent through our text marketing platform. That means photos, emojis, and GIFs are all on the table.
Encourage engagement by giving your Community members something to enjoy looking at or laugh about. Sending one photo of a new product they may be interested in, or a clever GIF related to your message is the perfect touch of personality that will build a memorable connection with your customers.
Improve Customer Experience Via Text
Community drives revenue by creating an emotional connection between your customers and your brand. By having 1:1 conversations with real humans, your customers will associate your company with positive emotions and experiences. They’ll feel seen, heard, and understood by a company that acknowledges that they’re more than just a number. This drives brand loyalty, creating repeat customers for your business and an improved brand experience for your subscribers.
The aforementioned ability to send exclusive discounts and offers to your customers will also improve their experience, making them more likely to feel valued and tailoring your advertising to their specific needs. Instead of experiencing a one-size-fits-all advertising campaign, SMS allows you to only send relevant advertisements and offers to your customers, cutting out the spam and creating a useful new way to spread brand awareness.
SMS Best Practices
With great power comes great responsibility, so incorporate some of the following best practices.
Consider standardizing these practices to get the most out of your texting service. You’ll keep your audience engaged, feeling connected, and wanting more by always remembering this texting etiquette.
Don’t Overdo Do it
Treat your audience’s phone numbers with respect and care. Don’t abuse the ability to instantly notify your customers, which will help you avoid becoming an annoyance. Only send bulk SMS texts when the information is important, relevant to that audience, or time-sensitive.
When in doubt, you can conduct a survey or poll that asks your audience members how often they’d prefer to be texted. The beauty of SMS marketing is the two-way exchange of information. Ask questions and listen to the feedback you receive. The best marketing strategy is one that adapts to the needs of its customers.
Less is More When it Comes to Emojis
The use of emojis brings a human touch and a warm tone to your SMS marketing. Less is more, though, so be sure not to overdo it. Try keeping emoji usage limited to one or two per message for the perfect amount of fun that won’t overwhelm the reader.
Make it Personal
Brands using bulk text messages should personalize messages by segmenting their audience. By only sending text messages that are relevant to your subscribers, you ensure they’ll stay engaged.
Categorize and segment your audience by age, location, gender, interests, and more. When you know exactly who you’re sending your messages to—whether that’s “Sushi Lovers” or “Men in Boston”—you can personalize your conversation not only in content, but in tone. Using the second person in texts can make your SMS marketing feel like it’s a 1:1 conversation, helping your customers feel valued and stay interested.
Build strong connections with your customers by showing them you respect their time and only want to send information they care about.
Be Mindful of the Hours
The great thing about text marketing is the ability to “ping” users and notify them instantly. It is important always to be mindful that you are sending out SMS marketing messages, so try to stay within the typical business day hours of your audience's time zone. Your audience will feel respected and valued, which is essential to providing an excellent customer experience.
Keep Text Messages Clear, Concise, and to the Point
The most important practice of text marketing—that your community will truly appreciate—is keeping your messages clear and to the point.
The receiver of the text should be able to quickly assess the meaning of the message without having to stare at their screen to fill in gaps in information. Make sure your messages are clear and easily digestible to stay respectful of your audience’s time and energy.
SMS marketing trends are all about understanding your company’s reach when the channel is used properly. Stick to these best practices to be sure you’re respecting people’s time, needs, and desires—in return; your audience will build trust and loyalty with your company.
Mass text messaging enables you to speak with your audience members right into their mobile phones and to provide them with personalized, useful resources at a click. Provide a sense of exclusivity to your customers by offering text subscribers special deals and offers. Remember to get to the point of the message in a quick, clear, and concise way—not being afraid to use an emoji or two!
Keep these tips and trends in mind, and your Community will find enjoyment in engaging with you over text. SMS marketing offers your company the ability to maximize ROI with the gift of instant contact; value that ability and use it to build real connections with your members.