SMS messaging is making a comeback in mobile marketing and customer loyalty strategies.
Mobile marketing is still very much in the incubator but its use has increased enormously over a short period of time. In fact, the use of short messages or SMS are one of the types of communication which has increased the most.
In the year 2012, 9.6 trillion SMS messages were sent as part of mobile marketing campaigns, and the return of investment is obvious. One of the main reasons for adopting this method of communication is to reach clients or consumers, and promote customer loyalty.
Moreover, SMS is one of the most effective methods to retain consumers and foster trust in your brand over the long term. SMS messages are perfect for small or local companies for their low cost. Such a direct method of communication captures the attention of the consumer and is able to convey the message in just a few seconds, with the percentage chance of the mobile user reading the message at nearly 100%.
If you are able to combine a strategy of short SMS messages with all the other communication techniques already in use, you’ll be able to be a lot more effective and establish long-lasting relationships with new clients.
In this guide to promoting customer loyalty to your brand using SMS, we’ll take a look at the benefits of these mobile strategies and provide some advice on how to implement them.
Foster loyalty to your brand using SMS: A practical guide.
– Lead capture and segmentation
One of the first steps in any marketing strategy is to obtain a segmented database, and this isn’t easy. Through loyalty promotion strategies and client cards you can create a list of clients which interact with your brand’s information and communication. This is beneficial because it allows you to create a segmented list and adapt the messages based on the target audience, making the strategy much more effective.
To carry out the segmentation, you can send short surveys which will help you to discover a little more about your clients and get to know what it is they really need.
Well-segmented SMS campaigns can help to retain clients and promote customer loyalty very effectively.
Consumers that receive relevant SMS messages which fit with their interests will see the information, offers and other notifications as something very positive.
– Inexpensive campaigns
Brands or companies that decide to go implement a marketing strategy have to allocate a budget. This is what, to a certain extent, will define the techniques or channels of communication used by the brand or company. Mobile marketing is one of the most efficient strategies and obtains the best results, so with just a small budget you can have a great impact.
Utilizing such an inexpensive channel means that companies have the opportunity really specialize their campaigns. The offers and promotions sent via SMS are always depend on the planning and conceptualization of the campaign. Utilizing SMS guarantees efficiency.
– Take advantage of the context and situation
Link SMS messages to national holidays, current affairs, as well as contexts that mean a lot to your consumers. Having information about your clients or consumers, and having this information segmented, will make it easier to create relevant messages for each group. This won’t only immediately connect to the consumer but also create a special link with the brand as it gives it a more human character.
B. How to do it
Now you read about some of the advantages of SMS to promote customer loyalty, let’s take a look at the steps to follow to implement a strategy of this kind.
– Create a valuable proposition and promote it
This means finding a point of interest with the client, finding the substance which links the brand with the consumer, and creating a brand value proposition which is relevant to the recipient of the campaign.
The value proposition transmitted via SMS messages, which will be the focus of the campaign, should be different to anything they’ve seen before. Because users are constantly receiving messages and inputs from a multitud of brands, if you don’t communicate something different, the user won’t pay any attention to it and the campaign won’t have the success expected success. If you propose unique offers, personalized messages and promotions which might interest them, the message will become relevant and the link between the brand and the client will be strengthened.
You always keep the frequency of communications in mind, and make sure that the content is coherent and linked to other channels of communication like social networks, newsletters etc. Communication should be comprehensive and contain the same principal concepts.
– Identify your target market and segment your audience
The best way of capturing leads or amplifying your database is that clients themselves sign up. In this way, information that they receive will be on their request and won’t be indiscriminate messaging. A campaign of this type produces considerably better results and you’ll see an immediate rise in conversions.
We therefore recommend that you ask your clients if they want to receive discounts or notifications on purchases by SMS or communication through other channels or actions.
We recommend you create different categories of messages or distribution lists so that the client can chose the theme, or the type of messages they would like to receive. In this way you can segment the messages, creating channels of communication according to the information you have about your clients (age, recent purchases, location etc.) or depending on what they choose from the list of notification channels.
– Simplify, adapt the message and be consistent
In SMS messages you can include a key word which acts as a call-to-action i.e. it directs the clients to click somewhere, buy something, or to any other conversion.
An example would be: “Discover our new offers on the iPhone 6 with the code GR53FD http://myshop.com/iphone6”. This directs the audience to your website and provides exclusive content to attract their attention.
The SMS can be a direct and simple message. It’s more effective and doesn’t distract the attention of the user. Send a clear, high impact message which directs the user to the required conversion. You don’t need to use up all 160 characters of the message – if you can write what you need to in 30-50 characters, all the better. Less is more in such direct communication as SMS.
As for the frequency of the SMS, bear in mind that consumers are bombarded with hundreds of inputs and notifications daily. Only communicate when the content is of genuine interest to the recipient, and the number of responses will increase.
Finding the right frequency is important. Experts recommend between once and twice per month is sufficient in a customer loyalty or mobile marketing strategy. But this general rule should be applied and adapted to each specific sector and case.
There is no customer loyalty strategy without tests or modifications. Checking the effectiveness of your SMS will guarantee that your campaign or communication is more successful.
Trace which offers or promotions have been most successful among users. It’s important to be able to differentiate between each message sent with an indicator and examine the clicks or visits for each message or user. All this information is key to directing and adapting your campaign to future actions.
A good initiative is to carry out satisfaction surveys on campaigns or loyalty strategies. This provides you with very valuable information to really maintain the objective of campaigns.
– Motivate and support
As for the content of the SMS, there are two key things to bear in mind:
- Exclusivity: One technique is to give the sensation that the message contains important and exclusive information, that will make the user want to take part in future campaigns in order to access offers or information which is only available to loyal customers.
- Immediacy: Including that there are only a few units left or that the offer is subject to limited time can increase the chances of an impulse purchase or impulsive conversion.
- Support: All of the messages should include a method of contact in case the recipient has any doubts or questions about the campaign. Either the sender, or a telephone number or email in the body of the message are sufficient to maintain contact.