More than 97 percent of Americans own a cellphone. Of that, 85 percent own a smartphone. That’s according to a study published in April 2021 by the Pew Research Center.
Our smartphones have become a reliable form of reaching our loved ones and extended network. Many people use SMS or text messaging for urgent and priority communications with individuals they know. For that reason, a whopping 98 percent of SMS messages get read.
Reach your customers with targeted and relevant outbound SMS campaigns. These campaigns may be high-volume promotions sent to an extensive list all at once or a drip reminder campaign based on a customer-generated activity.
High-volume SMS requires special software and knowledge to effectively communicate while keeping your brand out of hot water with federal regulators and your customers.
How might you use outbound SMS in your marketing?
There are many different use cases for outbound campaigns:
- Promotions, reminders, and notifications
- Abandoned cart reminders and recovery
- Reply to purchase
- Welcome or campaign series
- Call-to-action and news alerts
How to execute an outbound SMS campaign without annoying your customers?
A great campaign executed poorly can spell disaster for your brand. Here are our tips for setting the stage for a great outbound SMS campaign:
- Get explicit permission. Just because you have someone’s cell phone number does not mean you can use it. As part of your new customer journey, make sure there’s a field for cell phone and a checkbox to control SMS opt-in. Another idea is to launch an opt-in campaign, perhaps with a free gift or special promotion as an incentive to participate. Be clear about your purposes for SMS and consider creating topical lists that your customers can join.
- Hire professionals. Developing effective outbound SMS campaigns while increasing customer loyalty can be really difficult. There’s the software to learn how to use, creating the campaign and campaign messaging, developing the timing (what if your customers are in different time zones?), creating and managing a complaint process, ensuring compliance, and programming it all to work correctly with your CRM. This role is ideally suited for your contact center team. Imagine your contact center handling your replies with personalized service and immediate response!
- Provide value. There should be a real benefit to signing up and staying on your SMS marketing list. Offer up special deals, exclusive coupons, secret or early-bird product opportunities, or alerts that only those on your list receive. Make your customer feel special and increase loyalty with an outbound SMS program that keeps their needs in mind.
- Go personal. Address your customer by their preferred first name. Did you know that personalized content gets 42 percent more action than generic content? But be careful with personalization. It can get a little creepy when you mention too many specific details about your customer.
- Keep it short. SMS messages are limited to 160 characters. Make your message stand out with impactful copy. With this little room, be careful about the language you use. Go too short, and your message may be lost on your readers. Make sure to include a call-to-action such as a hyperlink to a special landing page on your website! And make sure to identify yourself!
These are just a few tips to consider with outbound SMS campaigns.