Want your customers to pay more attention to you? Invest in mobile marketing. Although the typical email marketing message
is opened by fewer than 20 percent of its recipients, “open rates” for text messages often exceed 95 percent, Mashable reports. What’s more, your potential audience is huge: Half of all Americans now have smartphones, and their ranks are swelling.
If you’re ready to plan a text-message marketing campaign, here are four strategies for success.
- Find a good service provider. You can’t personally text each one of your customers, so you’ll want to find a good mobile-marketing service provider. Consider the level of service you need: Can you craft the messages yourself and track your results, or do you require assistance? Seek out providers that specialize in full mobile-marketing solutions or limited assistance accordingly. Check out this chart for a rundown of some of the options and pricing.
- Pay attention to the law. When sending text messages, you’ll need to follow the laws governing mobile marketing, as well as the privacy policies of each wireless carrier. You’ll only be permitted to send messages to customers who’ve expressly opted in to text messaging campaigns, even if they’ve given you their mobile numbers for other purposes. Check out the Mobile Marketing Association’s Consumer Best Practices [PDF] for a detailed look at what you can and can’t do when it comes to marketing to customers and prospects via smartphone.
- Present a valuable, limited-time offer. Most consumers check their smartphone messages within minutes of receiving them. Take advantage of this instant access by using text-message marketing to promote offers that can be redeemed immediately. For instance, if you own a restaurant, you might attract local customers by offering free drinks to people who come in during the next two hours; if you run a hair salon, you could send a message mentioning a sudden opening for an appointment that day.
- Don’t go overboard. Used in moderation, SMS marketing is an excellent way to connect with your customers and prospects. Go overboard, however, and you could alienate your entire customer base. The mobile marketing site SnapGiant recommends sending no more than three or four messages a month, with the exception of “micro-campaigns” focused around specific events, such as a three-day sale, which might warrant more frequent messaging. Keep your messaging clear, relevant, and focused on information and offers your customers will want to receive — or risk getting blocked.