Today’s consumers are mobile. They’re always on the go, sending and receiving messages of all types. As a merchant wishing to promote your services, or with the objective to improve the way in which you communicate with your customers, you can meet the increasing mobile expectations of your consumers by using SMS marketing.
Here we will cover some best practice advice, to help you get the most out of your bulk SMS marketing campaigns. These fundamentals provide a solid foundation for how to communicate with mobile subscribers appropriately and comfortably using SMS.
Used in a meaningful, relevant and appropriate way for customers, SMS communication strategies can help businesses to:
- Acquire new mobile customers
- Welcome mobile customers
- Increase mobile engagement and conversions
- Retain your customers with mobile
SMS marketing and notifications should be about adding value – not just creating noise. Here are our tips for achieving these goals with your SMS marketing campaigns:
Provide above-and-beyond value via “positive disruption.” Offer exclusive offers and avoid sending offers and information that consumers can find in your emails, print ads, or on your site. Consumers are extremely connected to their phones and text messages are reserved for their inner circle. If they let you in, make it worthwhile for them.
Consider the conversation
As marketers, we know what we want from consumers. Take a step back and consider what the consumers may want to receive from your brand. What types of messages would they like to receive? What useful information can you provide? How can you make it easiest to obtain? And is it meaningful to the customer – does it save them time, engage with them better, make the business cost saving and increase awareness and interest in product?
Do not disturb
Don’t send promotional text messages after 9 PM or before 11 AM to avoid annoying those who go to bed early and those who are late risers. When a consumer opts in to receive your text messages, request time zone information; and, accordingly, send your SMS in waves to ensure you are optimizing the interaction.
Provide value first, capture data second
Get to know your customers. Right now, you may not know anything besides their phone number and that they want to receive SMS messages.
Consider the total mobile experience. While planning your campaigns, ensure you are optimizing the customer experience by linking to mobile sites. The best experiences are when customers can be directed through the SMS directly to a mobile web page or other content.
How do you get the most out of SMS Marketing, and what metrics do you need to be able to effectively analyse the impact of these campaigns? Read our blog ’5 Key Metrics for Bulk SMS Marketing.’
HLR Lookup to clean your data
You would use HLR on mobile data that you have stored before running a campaign in order to check its health and save costs and improve messaging accuracy. HLR Lookup – commonly used for Mobile Number Portability queries the network to obtain MCC/MNC.
txtNation Number Portability Discovery is a complete, global Number Portability service. It provides critical Number Plan and Number Portability (MCC/MNC) information enabling identification of the true destination network on a worldwide basis.
Number Portability is an API driven or managed service, dependent on your requirements. Data is continuously refreshed, scrubbed and stored by a dedicated team to provide a high quality, low latency source of number portability data. Customers, like SMS aggregators, who have typically used HLR Lookup services in the past, can now use txtNation HLR with a single interface and obtain global number portability data. In addition, new sources of data are continuously added as required, or when new countries come online.
By checking against the home location register, you can very quickly and easily see (for the fraction of an SMS cost) whether a number is still valid and therefore worth trying to market to.
This means you end up with an optimised data list, having removed the duds and also means you get a much clearer view on your overall return from a campaign.
If you’re blindly marketing to 50k customers but 20% of the numbers are invalid then this instantly skews your measure on return – plus costs you more money than was necessary. Read more about txtNation’s HLR Number Lookup.
txtNation focuses on offering local mobile network routes only , unlike many companies selling interconnect routes whereby messaging is sent via far-flung destinations before being redirected to the intended market (meaning low latency and poor reliability).
Cheap routes often result in very poor campaign results with far fewer messages successfully landing on the intended handsets, compared to local routes. In addition, interconnect routes are not officially supported by the mobile networks and are considered ‘illegal’.
SMS marketing and notifications are far out performing other methods of communicating with new or existing customers; and whilst customers now demand more and more from mobile and expect you to be mobile friendly in the way they can engage with you then the most reliable and natural way to support this is SMS.
SMS is quite simply the only standardised, clear and ubiquitous mobile technology which works for every customer, every device.
Implementing SMS programmes does require thought and our biggest piece of advice is to keep your message clear and concise and above all relevant!
Think carefully about who you’re sending messages to, the message and when, and what you expect the end result to be.
Contact us to find out how your business can benefit from bulk SMS marketing.