SMS marketing is highly effective. According to Link Mobility, 90% of all SMSes are read within 3 minutes, 98% of all SMSes are opened, and SMS has a 209% higher response rate than emails or Facebook messages. In other words, hardly anyone leaves an SMS unread.
SMS is a simple form of communication with your members, and it is quick to learn how to set up and send campaigns in Diller®. Below are some tips and tricks for success.
What is better – SMS campaigns to all members or to targeted groups?
SMS works great for selected segments of your membership base. It can be an advantage – and also financially smart – to send SMS to selected groups with customized messages. As a rule, targeted and personal communication based on members’ preferences and purchasing patterns is more effective than generic SMSes sent to everyone.
The better the adaptation to a member’s interests and preferences, the better the response you will get. For example, a member of a gardening club that has a balcony, but not his own garden, will respond better to information about flowers/vegetables to balconies or micro-cultivation indoors, than to campaigns on perennials and trees. It is therefore important to segment well to get to know your customers, because only then can you be fully relevant to your members.
However, sometimes it can be effective to send the same message to everyone at once. When you have big sales events (such as Black Week), it can be better to push the SMS to the entire member base for maximum visits to your store or online store.
How often should you text?
Receiving an SMS from someone can feel more private than getting an email. It is therefore important that you as sender respect the recipient and make sure not to send SMS too often. Furthermore, the content of what you send should be perceived as relevant – and not spam. The vast majority of us are happy to get offers or messages that are interesting and relevant.
We recommend an SMS frequency of 1-3 per month. For new members, however, it is important to send an welcome SMS as soon as they have become members, so that you start the dialogue in a good way.
How long should the SMS be?
First, there are financial reasons to keep the message at a maximum of 160 characters (i.e. the message is dispatched as one SMS). In addition, it is also best to keep it short, because most of us prefer a message that “gets to the point” quickly. The author Mark Twain once wrote in a letter to a friend: “I apologize for such a long letter – I didn’t have time to write a short one.” In other words, spend some extra time formulating yourself in brief – it (almost) always is better.
Send a birthday greeting – everyone likes attention on their birthday
A member’s birthday is a good opportunity to give extra attention and create a personal dialogue. Most people will be very happy to get a birthday SMS!
Examples of SMS to new members
All new members should receive a welcome greeting as soon as they have signed up. You remind the member that are part of the loyalty program and that they will receive SMSes and emails from you going forward, plus the customer experiences an immediate benefit of being a member.
Examples of SMS campaigns that yields good response
Timing is important, but the content must also be relevant. Here are some examples of great promotions. And don’t forget that members are loyal for many more reasons than discounts! They return again and again if they feel that your particular store makes them feel more welcome and appreciated that at your competitor’s store.
It’s a good idea to plan your campaigns in advance
It pays off to plan seasonal promotions well in advance to make sure to offer relevant benefit to members when they are interested. Use segments and purchase data to tailor content to your different audiences.
Don’t forget to tell employees about ongoing campaigns
How to keep the SMS under 160 characters
Since many links can become long and use too many characters, you can shorten links with URL shorteners such as tinyurlor bit.ly. When you send an SMS each character counts, and 160 characters are the maximum per SMS. You may of course send a longer message when needed, but it will cost “an extra SMS”.