How to Make Money through SMS Marketing

Written by Reshu Rathi on May 09, 2019

Let’s face it: Most of us believe that SMS marketing doesn’t work anymore. If you're a marketer, you probably pay more attention to channels like mobile app marketing, email marketing or social media marketing. After all, these are the channels preferred by millennial. But don't give up on text message marketing just yet. Because, done right, this channel can actually help you grow your business and boost your conversions, especially if yours is an e-commerce business.

What's more, you can actually use this channel to take your mobile marketing strategy to another level. But before we go into how to use SMS marketing to grow your business here are some statistics to show why it’s still worthwhile your time:

  • Americans look at their phones 52 times a day on average; for young people, it’s 82 times. (Deloitte)
  • Consumers are more likely to open text messages before any other form of mobile communication.
  • 83% of millennials open SMS messages within 90 seconds of receiving them.
  • 78% of US consumers say receiving a text message is the fastest way to reach them for important service updates and purchases.

    Let us see how to grow your business with SMS marketing:

Create a strategy

SMS marketing works but only if you have a strategy. Before you start sending text messages, you should analyse, plan, and then start sending.

Gain consent of sending text messages: SMS marketing is a permission-based marketing channel. GDPR and other data protection policies protect users from unnecessary messages by allowing users to stay on the DND list. Therefore, your first priority should focus on getting the users to opt-in to your text message marketing.

Segment users

To get good results from SMS marketing your messages need to be relevant. Because if they’re not relevant, they aren’t valuable. To make your messages relevant, it is imperative to segment your subscribers according to their interests, location, and behaviour. Segmenting your list can instantly help you in sending personalized text messages.

But when it comes to SMS marketing, there are very few marketers who are actually segmenting their list, as figuring out the best way to categorize your contacts is tough. To make it a little easier for you, given below are few ways to segment your SMS marketing database:

  • Gender
  • Geographic area or Zip code
  • Engagement
  • Past behavior Response rate
  • Buyer loyalty
  • Age

Pay attention to your send time

When it comes to text messages timing is the key to success. No matter how good your SMS messages are if they land in your customers phones on the wrong time you won’t get results from them.

To get good results pay attention to your send time. Here are some helpful questions you should ask yourself before deciding the send time:

  • Does a certain time of day make sense to reach out to users?
  • What time zone your customers are located in?
  • What time of the day did users prefer receiving your messages (Look at your data to find the best time)?

Customize your send time for better conversions, and don’t forget to localize your send times for customers’ specific time zone.

Pick the right frequency

No matter how good your text messages are if the frequency is not right all the hard work you have done in creating good SMSes will go wasted.

Now the question is how many text messages should you send?

Well, there is no fixed number the frequency which will work for one business may not be right for another one. As it varies depending on the type of industry, business model, etc. and it should also be influenced by engagement.

Ultimately each company has to determine the right frequency for them, but the short answer to this questions is:

Send as many text messages as you want, as long as you are adding real value to your prospect or customer.

How do you know if you’re adding value? Simple. Watch key metrics such as,

  • Open rate
  • Click through rate
  • Opt-out rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Revenue generated

Make it personal

Personalisation work we all know that - still there are very few brands who personalise their SMS messages. But you certainly should if you want a good ROI from this channel.

Now the question is how to personalize your text messages?

Well, to begin with, use the basics, such as the person's name and location. Then, get more advanced. You can use information such as behavioural data and profile data to create highly targeted messages. Also, use the words “you” and “your” in your SMS copy (especially if you don’t have the data). Speaking directly to your audience makes them feel important, and it creates the sense that your messages are personal – and it allows you to create a friendly and personal relationship with your list right off the bat.

Use all the space

Text messages give you 160 characters - maximize your SMS power by packing all the information you can into this space.

Don’t forget to include a URL, as you want the reader to take an action. But, do not overwhelm the reader. Stick to just one URL.

Given below is an example from Forever New, a clothing and accessory retailer to show you how to effectively utilize the space:

Mid season Sales SMS Example

Do double-check your messages

Before hitting send do check your SMS copy for spelling and grammatical errors. These errors make your messages look unprofessional and will reduce the chance of readers acting on them.

Now that you are aware of what to do, it is the right time to start creating text messages. Here are a few text messages which almost every ecommerce company should be sending in to instantly increase their sales:

Sale or discount alerts

Text messages are an excellent way of announcing flash sales. Why? Because they grab your customers attention in real-time as they are usually opened within 3 minutes of being sent. You should use SMS messages to send alerts regarding time-bound sales, discount coupons, and exclusive deals.

Do not forget to add urgency in the copy otherwise the recipient may leave it for later. If this happens there is a good chance they could forget about it and you won’t be able to drive traffic to your sales campaigns.

Abandoned cart recovery notifications

Do you know on an average e-commerce store loses over 75% of its sales to cart abandonment? These are the people who have shown some interest in your products but have not completed the purchase. As these people are already interested in your products, there is a high chance that if you nudge them they will become your customers or repeat customers. Targeting them with some personalized text messages can help you in converting these abandoners into sales.

Do not forget to add a direct link to their abandoned checkout URL to increase your purchase rate.

Cart or wishlist on sale notifications

Sometimes people add products’ in wishlist or cart if they don’t want to buy it at the current price. As a retailer, it’s your duty to remind them when these products go on sale to ensure that they come back to make a purchase. One of the most effective ways to remind these people is sending them text messages. As text messages have a high open rate it increases the chance of your messages getting seen.

Offer reminder notifications

Every online retailer offers discount coupons and promotional codes to prospects and customers to increase their sales.

However, if you want to generate sales, offering coupons is not enough. You need to repeatedly give prospects reminders and opportunity to avail these offers. And text messages with its 98% open rate is a great way to do that.

Wrapping up

SMS is one of the best marketing channel, but don’t forget that SMS marketing is a process rather than a one-time action. That means you’ll need to test and refine your messaging. Doing so will improve your ROI from this channel.

Test the offer, as well as the SMS copy and the best day and time to send an SMS message. By tweaking your text messages, you can boost their effectiveness and see better ROI. SMS marketing can generate a lot of revenue for your business, but your messages need to be thoughtful and tailored to hit their mark.

Reshu Rathi

Reshu Rathi is an online marketing and conversion rate enthusiast. She has been in the internet marketing industry for nearly ten years, specializing in content and product marketing, lead generation and engagement strategy.

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