Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices have become indispensable tools in our daily lives and the possibilities for marketers have similarly expanded dramatically. Now marketers can generate conversations with customers and prospects in different channels such as email, app notifications, websites, and ads, all on the device they carry with them night and day.
Mobile also offers an added advantage for marketers: Text messages (SMS). These differ from emails as they can only use 160 characters, but the message appears directly on the user's screen, often as a push notification. A company can also send a high volume of SMS and have them delivered directly to the user in 30 seconds. Here are some metrics that speak to their marketing power:
- The open rate of SMS is 98% compared to 22% for emails.
- Text messages can be 8 times more effective at engaging customers.
- Approximately 50% of consumers in the U.S. make direct purchases after receiving an SMS branded text.
- Applying SMS marketing techniques is predicted to contribute a 40% growth rate of revenues by 2017.
Integrating SMS marketing with Marketo
Using the straightforward integration between Marketo and Vibes, you can start sending SMS to prospects and customers in no time. This integration does not need any code or webhooks, just sync both platforms using the Marketo launch point and you will be ready to go. Even though it is straight-forward to set up, we have the following recommendations to make the most of SMS
Types of SMS
There are several types of SMS that you may use:
- Promotions: Promote your marketing campaigns by sending highly personalized SMS.
- Appointment reminders: Send reminders after the event is scheduled and before the event begins.
- Product updates: Notify your customers about enhancements of your products.
- Operational: These can include prompts to subscribe and unsubscribe.
SMS Content recommendations:
Despite the SMS message being delivered on the home screen of the user's device, it is important to send a clear and valuable message so your efforts don’t get flicked away unread or even worse, cause the user to unsubscribe completely. There are some key points to have in mind:
- Be brief, conscious and direct: as you only have 160 characters you need to use every character to the upmost.
- Try to avoid using abbreviations If they have no idea what you are talking about, they will not pay any attention to the valuable offers you provide.
- Use shortened URLs As you only have 160 characters make sense to avoid using long URLs. Have in mind that the URL needs to be inside of the 160 characters.
- Offer value: If you don’t offer value, you risk your customer opting out of your SMS communication.
- Test and optimize: you can optimize your strategy by testing among others, the tone of the message, the call to action, send times, and cross-channel.
Opt-in Best practices
Since 2013, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) has created regulations regarding the consent for delivering SMS that needs to be in place before you start sending to your audience. Basically, you need the consent of each user. There are several ways you may obtain this consent: Text Message: Subscribers may opt-in by sending the word SUBSCRIBE once you have sent a message asking them to text back.
- Website form: Use your website form for subscribing prospects once they enter their information including phone number.
- Social media: Ask your subscribers on social media to opt-in to your text messages, you can create tabs or widgets to improve conversions.
- Email: You may include subscription options in your email templates asking them to opt into your SMS channel.
With all these considerations in mind and with the appropriate tools you can add this important channel to your marketing stack and report back on how well you are doing and optimizing. Soon you will see the results!
Finding and refining your best SMS strategy can take time and expertise, so don’t hesitate to contact us here at Harnon to get the best advice.