3 Steps to Launching a Successful SMS Marketing Program
Shoppers have embraced a “mobile-first” mindset over the last couple of years. Today, consumers use their phones at each step of the shopping journey — from discovering new products to staying in touch with brands after they click “buy.”
A recent report shared that nearly all U.S. consumers (91 percent) would consider signing up for text messages from their favorite brands. This means that marketers have a major opportunity to connect with their audience where they spend all of their time — on mobile.
Where should marketers begin? First, make sure you choose a SMS provider that not only meets your needs today, but will grow and innovate with your company, its tech stack, and industry regulations. Once you’ve chosen your provider, prioritize these three strategies to start driving results:
1. Grow your SMS subscriber list.
The first step of building a successful SMS marketing program is growing an opted-in subscriber base. Think of your e-commerce website as the foundation of your subscriber acquisition strategy.
You're already driving traffic to your site using organic and paid marketing. Convert those visitors into text messaging subscribers by showing sign-up units on both your mobile and desktop site experiences. You’re probably already collecting email sign-ups. Consider a SMS provider that can help you collect email addresses and phone numbers in one intuitive flow.
Note, your website isn’t the only place you should be encouraging consumers to sign up for your SMS program. Drive sign-ups across your digital channels — including email and social media — to guide shoppers further down the funnel. And don’t forget about using Text-to-Join to engage consumers in real life, including in-store signage, product packaging, and even on receipts.
Just remember, you should never buy subscriber lists or opt-in subscribers without their express consent. It’s important to keep compliance at the forefront when growing your SMS channel.
2. Personalize your campaigns to deliver content that resonates with your audience.
Consumers don’t just want personalized content — they expect it. Text messages that are tailored to your subscribers’ preferences are more likely to inspire action and drive incremental revenue. Personalizing your messages based on what you know about your shoppers is key to keeping them engaged.
Think about each subscriber's experience. Have they recently made a purchase that you could encourage them to leave a review for? Did they leave something in their online shopping cart? Are they located in a certain climate where you can geo-target relevant products? Segmentation lets you deliver content that resonates with your subscribers and is more likely to inspire action.
You can personalize your text messages using dynamic segmentation based on each subscriber’s behavior, like their purchase history, past text message engagement, VIP status, and location.
When you personalize your subscribers' SMS experiences, you're able to not only drive more incremental revenue, but turn shoppers into brand loyalists.
3. Set up triggered messages to automatically drive revenue.
Triggered messages can help ensure you reach your subscribers at the right time. Think of this like “mindset”-based marketing — communicating with content that resonates in that particular moment for each subscriber.
Triggered messages let you effectively send personalized SMS messages at scale, driving revenue and building loyalty. Plus, once you’ve set up these messages, they’ll send automatically.
Engage your subscribers at each step of the customer lifecycle, including:
- welcoming new SMS subscribers after they’ve opted in;
- encouraging shoppers to purchase recently browsed items;
- recovering abandoned online shopping carts; and
- engaging customers after they’ve completed their purchase.
Relying on real-time behavioral data takes the guesswork out of sending relevant text messages to your subscribers, letting you focus on optimization and results.
By prioritizing these three strategies when launching your text messaging program, you can quickly turn SMS into a top-performing channel that helps your brand connect directly with consumers at scale, driving powerful results.
Brooke Burdge is the senior vice president of marketing of Attentive, the most comprehensive text messaging solution for innovative brands.
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Brooke Burdge is the SVP of Marketing of Attentive, the most comprehensive text messaging solution for innovative brands. Prior to joining Attentive as part of the founding team, she was the Head of Marketing at TapCommerce, a mobile advertising company acquired by Twitter in 2014. During her time at Twitter, Brooke led B2B marketing for the Mobile Apps & Telco verticals. She has also held prior marketing roles at Movable Ink, a real-time email marketing technology, and Deloitte, the global consulting firm. Brooke has a BA from Fordham University, and resides in New Jersey with her two rescue dogs.