I’ve’ worked in marketing for more than 15 years and been involved with google ads, Facebook ads, social media, email marketing, SEO, copywriting, content marketing and there is one marketing tool that has always delivered incredible results regardless of the market that was being targeted.
That of course is online SMS.
This technology was consistently able to delivery solid results the only downside I would say is that I couldn’t use it more often since people are less tolerant of receiving loads of SMS messages as opposed to email.
There is a clever way around this which I’ll get into later on in this article.
But back to online SMS and I why I think is could be the best marketing channel available today.
Super High Engagement Rates
One of the most important metrics to marketers is how much engagement you are able to achieve with an email, social media post, online ad, etc.
If you are not able to get the attention of your potential customer then you are not going to make the sale, period.
In terms of online SMS you are able to get roughly 97% open rates which as far as I’m aware no other marketing channel can achieve.
Imagine this for a moment.
You spend a couple of hours strategizing, writing and designing a great promotional email only to see it achieve a 20% open rate, 30% if you are a killer email marketer.
How long does it take to prepare and send out a text message? After you have pulled together the overall strategy, it is simply a matter of typing your message and clicking send. We’re talking a couple of minutes and on top of that you are able to get nearly every single person to open and read your message.
Strong click-through rates
SMS has roughly 10% click-throughs or tap-throughs and when combined with 97% open rates adds up to a lot of traffic heading towards your offer.
I don’t think that there is anything special about online SMS in terms of getting you a higher percentage of conversions per se, but the mere fact that you are able to get such an incredible number of people to open your text message, and click through to your offer means that you could experience anywhere from 2-4x more sales just because more people were exposed to your marketing offer.
So now that I’ve covered off why I love online SMS, let me share with you how to squeeze even more performance from your online SMS campaigns.
1. Generate leads
“A lot more businesses and marketers are using online SMS to communicate with their customers but most of them only use 50% of the power of SMS.” – Peter M, SMSpapa.com.au.
When it comes to online SMS it’s important that you become very good at generating fresh new leads to continually build up your SMS list, think of this as a business asset that you can mine for profits.
Too often business owners will just slap their existing customer database into their SMS list and call it a day, this is not optimal.
While it’s good to add your exiting customers to your SMS list you need to make sure that:
- You have asked them to opt-in
- You categorize them so that you are able to increase conversions, more on this later.
Once you have set up your lead generation campaigns that target certain customer segments you actually have a 24/7 lead generation tool consistently delivery new, highly qualified potential customers.
How do you create these campaigns?
The technical aspect of setting up a campaign is not as important as the offer that drives the campaign which we will get into next.
2. Use irresistible offers for massive leads
The better your offer the more leads you will attract.
It’s a simple strategy but harder to execute.
What makes an irresistible offer?
An irresistible offer is one that your target customer feels an enormous amount of internal pressure to take.
This means that if you have been walking a dry, hot desert all day what would be an irresistible offer? Water.
This is an extreme example, but you want to think along those lines.
Here are 3 rules for creating an irresistible offer:
1. Don’t use free trips or giveaways (unless that’s what you sell)
A common tactic I see with inexperienced marketers is that they will come up with free giveaways or offer competitions for products that they do not sell.
For example, maybe you sell a cleaning service and you’re giving away a trip to France, this makes zero sense to your business.
What you are going to get is a list of freeloaders who will at the moment they know the competition has been drawn will abandon your SMS list instantly.
Remember the water example I gave earlier, you want to offer the right product to the right person at the right time.
If you are offering 30% off the first 3 cleaning visits then you will only get people who are interested in hiring a new cleaner – perfect.
This doesn’t mean you need to give discounts or offer additional freebies you can offer a valuable free piece of information for example, if you are a real estate agent you can offer a free report on the latest sales in that specific area and then offer a free price evaluation report.
This again qualifies the lead because you know that they are curious about the market and could be potentially looking to sell down the road – a great way to build up a prospect list.
2. Use offers to segment leads
Another major mistake I see with online SMS marketing is that businesses will have one single list filled with different types of customers – big mistake.
A business will have customers who are looking to solve very different problems which means if you hit everyone with one message you are going to alienate the majority of your list, the result being an increase in un-subscriptions.
Instead you want to think about the different types of customers you have and why they are buying your product.
Then split these up into segments inside your online SMS dashboard.
Now when they opt-in they will be added to specific groups for example, if you are a health supplement company you may have 9 distinct types of customers:
- “To feel better” – 41%
- “To improve your overall energy levels” – 40.8%
- “To boost your immune system” – 35.9%
- “To treat digestive issues” – 28.4%
- “To relieve pain” – 25.5%
- “To lower cholesterol” – 20.6%
- “To lower high blood pressure” – 15.7%
- “To treat arthritis” – 13.3%
- “To improve mood or alleviate depression” – 11.9%
In the above example, if you send out an SMS promotion with a discount on supplements that treat arthritis then you have turned your back on the other 8 types of customers – a missed opportunity.
Instead you want to create 9 different online SMS segment groups and create 9 irresistible offers that each group would love.