In a marketing world where email promotion fatigue has long set in—with many marketing emails fated for the trash bin before the snazzy headline has even been brainstormed—how do you engage directly with your consumer in a way that they’ll actually notice?
If you do it the right way, SMS marketing can be the solution, especially in a post-COVID-19 world in which 56% of consumers report that they are using their cell phones more since the pandemic began. Even before the coronavirus limited entertainment options to those found within the home, it is no secret that cell phone use has steadily declined over the last decade.
SMS marketing walks a fine-line, though, between convenience and intrusiveness—which is why many are wary to use it as a form of engagement with their audience. The potential value that SMS can offer to your business’ consumer engagement is worth finding the happy medium between connecting with your customers and annoying them.
With more than 75% of consumers reporting that they would rather receive SMS promotions than see a targeted ad on social media, a reevaluation of what kind of marketing we perceive as intrusive may be in order—especially when SMS marketing requires an element of consent on behalf of the receiver.
If you’re considering using SMS as part of your marketing strategy, follow these tips and tricks to ensure you maximize engagement and minimize alienation.
Ask permission and be upfront.
Don’t mislead someone into signing up for a text-based marketing list by making faulty claims about how often you will communicate with them or what types of messages they will receive. When you ask for permission for a customer to opt-in to texts from your brand, let them know exactly why you will be communicating with them in this format—this buys you instant trust with the consumer and sets the standard that if you’re texting them, it’s going to be good. What does the subscriber have to gain from opting in? If you can’t answer that question honestly, perhaps you should consider a different strategy.
Make it easy to opt-out—and honor that decision.
If a customer decides that they do not want to receive texts from you any longer, it should be extremely easy for them to unsubscribe—and upon doing so, they should truly be removed from your list. Few things are more frustrating to a consumer than unsubscribing from a service only to continue receiving communication. Such a move could impact your brand’s reputation in a majorly detrimental way.
Don’t bombard them.
The beauty of SMS marketing—the fact that phones are always with consumers—can also be its downfall. If you send too many messages, it can be easy for your audience to feel overwhelmed or annoyed by the amount of communication that you are sending. Be strategic in your messaging—does this text provide tangible value? If the answer is no, consider waiting until you have a message that does. Texting a customer just to text them doesn’t build loyalty, but rather frustration.
When done correctly, SMS marketing can be an invaluable prong in your brand’s overall marketing strategy. A slippery slope that has big returns, if you mind these simple rules you’ll be on your way to a new level of consumer engagement.