Although smartphones get all the attention nowadays, we shouldn’t forget that still about half of all mobile subscriptions are accompanied by an “old-school” feature phone. Remember those? No mobile internet, no apps, no email, no push notifications. Calling, being called and text messaging were all you could do with them. Short Message Service (SMS), ie texts, are facing the same hurdle that push notifications have now: mobile users just hate every mobile message (SMS or push) that is unsolicited or even worse, without the slightest connection with the mobile users’ needs.
That’s the dilemma right there: SMS should 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…
Target your customers in the heat of the moment
Same as with push notifications, the mobile phone user have to opt-in to receive SMS alerts. The most effective way to get subscriptions is to get attention when soon-to-be-customers move around your brand. A perfect example for retailers and restaurants would be when a window signage would have the call to action to send a text so they can receive discounts. Southwest Airline takes advantage of the opportunity to reach engaged people by printing a shortcode on napkins for drinks and on the salty nuts bags. The customers can send the text to the shortcode and start receiving special loyalty discounts. Right there, on the spot…
Make sure your SMS Marketing is valued by your customers
Consumers like smart deals, especially when talking to mobile gadget fanatics. RadiumOne, an online advertising software development company, reports that 42,3 procent of mobile users rather receive SMS coupons over push notifications or barcode scanning. Everybody knows the frustration of forgetting your coupons at home.
By using SMS consumers can save their precious coupons on their phone. Regal Cinemas, an American Cinema franchise, is giving away week discounts to customers who like their Facebook page and opt-in for their phone numbers.
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 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 shortcode to be able to win big prizes. The campaign got more than 2100 sweepstake entries and 1300 new Facebook likes.
Big Red Soda, in collaboration with Twentieth Fox Century, created a SMS marketing campaign to win tickets to see the latest Die Hard movie. People had a chance to win after sending “MCCLANE” to the shortcode. McClane is the character in Die Hard, played by Bruce Willis. They accelerated the campaign by adding short video displays in supermarkets to encourage people to send the texts and win a sneak-preview of the movie in the cinemas.
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. Designer Shoe House sends special coupons on the birthday of their customers and then sends an SMS to warn them when the offer is about to expire. Smart SMS marketing shows appreciation and will engage your customers for sure.
Most important step of all is, making the option to opt-out as simple as possible. It shouldn’t be a hassle when customers are about to give away their personal info and there is no option to opt-out. No hassle-free opt-out will backfire for sure. Making it hassle-free 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!