Although smartphones get all the attention nowadays, we shouldn’t forget that still around a third of all mobile numbers worldwide are accompanied by an “old-school” feature phone. Remember those? No mobile internet, no apps, no email, no push notifications. Calling, being called and Short Message Service (SMS) text messaging were all you could do with them.
In spite of its modern successors, the always reliable SMS with its unmatched delivery rates should still be an integrated part of any marketers’ cross-channel strategy. But how can you start an SMS conversation that really engages? Just read on and find out how brands around the globe use SMS to expand their customer loyalty.
1. Target your customers in the heat of the moment
Same as with push notifications, the mobile phone user has to opt-in before you can send SMS messages. The most effective way to get subscriptions, is to attract their attention when soon-to-be-customers move around your brand. A perfect example for retailers and restaurants would be a window signage with the call to action to send a text so they can receive discounts. Southwest Airline takes advantage of this opportunity to reach engaged people by printing a short code on napkins for drinks and on the bag of salty nuts. Customers can send a text to that short code and start receiving special loyalty discounts. Right there, on the spot.
2. Make sure your SMS Marketing is valued by your customers
Consumers like smart deals; especially when talking about mobile gadget fanatics. RadiumOne, an online advertising software development company, reports that 42,3 percent of mobile users rather receive SMS coupons over push notifications or barcode scanning. Everybody knows the frustration of forgetting your coupons at home, right? By using SMS, consumers can save their precious coupons on their phone. Regal Cinemas, an American Cinema franchise, gave away weekly discounts to customers who like their Facebook page and opt-in for their SMS list.
3. Your customers are competitive. Use that in your advantage
Whether its free concert tickets, money prizes or film tickets; consumers will sign up for SMS when lured in by sweepstakes or other giveaways. Skinny Water ran an SMS marketing campaign to educate their target audience about their “fitness water”. Customers at Walgreens in Pennsylvania were asked to send “BEATS” to a short code to be able to win big prizes. The campaign got more than 2100 sweepstake entries and 1300 new Facebook likes.
4. Always be the source for information your customers wants and needs
Consumers are happy with every service that makes their hectic life a bit easier. One smart way Amazon gets their customers to opt-in for SMS, is by offering real-time shipment updates for their order. The online tax preparer TaxACT uses text messages to send updates to their customers about the state of their federal tax returns. Besides getting new customers engaged, make sure you never forget your existing customers. They are open for a little SMS love as well. For example by sending special coupons on the birthday of your customers and then sending an SMS to warn them when the offer is about to expire. Smart SMS marketing shows appreciation for your customers and will engage them for sure.
Most important step of all is, making the option to opt-out as simple as possible. Not offering the option for a hassle-free opt-out after your customer shared his personal information with you, will backfire for sure. Making it a user friendly and easy to find process, will work in your advantage and customers will appreciate your SMS Marketing and trust you even more.
Ready to start using SMS to improve your customer loyalty? We have a solid SMS Marketing solution for every kind of company. Let us know your SMS marketing idea and together we will make sure we create a perfect fit for your needs!