Every good marketer knows that in order to develop relationships with customers, you would need to proactively go where they are instead of waiting for them to come to you. Obviously, it isn’t recommended that you go to your prospects houses like a door-to-door salesman but you can do the next best thing – Text them.
Ever since mobiles have become indispensable, text messaging has become the mode through which marketers can have a direct line of contact with their customers. This makes SMS marketing one of the most effective forms of communicating with customers.
In order to follow current and potential buyers wherever they are in their customer journey, marketers need to embrace the role of mobiles in B2B marketing with the help of vigorous SMS marketing campaigns. According to various studies, business decision makers use their mobile devices when they need to make decisions and choices and so it just makes sense to communicate with them via this medium.
Combining SMS with Email Marketing
Apart from text messages, people read their email as well on the phone and that is what makes it the perfect complement to your email marketing efforts. The right message can be sent at the right time to virtually all of your customers via the one-two punch of email and text messaging and they both even offer a two-way communication.
Email can be used for sending more content and information to the customer’s inbox while text messaging can be used for short and time-sensitive information. As 43% consumers access their emails and text messages via mobile devices, this combination of SMS and email marketing could very likely be what you need, in order to make use of the increasingly mobile audience.
Types of Messaging
There are two types of messaging when it comes to SMS marketing:
- Campaign Messaging: These are the classic bulk messages that are typically used to communicate promotions or any general information.
- Transactional Messaging: These are messages that are ‘one-to-one’ and are triggered by a certain event or behavior. This kind of messaging communicates relevant and timely information to your contacts.
Rules to SMS marketing
But as with every marketing strategy, there are a few rules that need to be kept in mind when implementing SMS marketing.
- Contacts need to be opted in – SMS marketing, like email marketing, is a very permission-based medium. As SMS has an extremely high open rate, your strategies will fall flat if it is being sent to people who have no need for them. Add to the fact that many countries require opt-ins to send messages.
- Use caution with the message timing – People open most text messages almost the instant they receive it which is great for messages that have urgency but this power mustn’t be abused by contacting customers at odd hours of the day.
- Sign off messages with the company name – When sending bulk messages, providers tend to send it through shortcode which would result in the contact not knowing it came from you would defeat the purpose of the message.
- SMS should complement the rest of the digital marketing strategy – There are multiple digital marketing channels that can be used when interacting with customers and if all are tied together in one marketing communication system, it will enable businesses to build relationships at a larger scale.
Howarth Timber has over 175 years’ worth of trading experience, knowledge and expertise and is now the UK’s largest privately-owned timber company. Not only do they lead the way when it comes to timber and building supplies but they are leaders in the way they market themselves to their customers.
With the help of mobile marketing, they push their monthly promotions that are available to customers and can be availed both online and at their branches. They also use it to make their customer aware of any sudden offers or discounts or even to make the customer aware of any issues with their branches.
After implementing this strategy, they witnessed an excellent response rate as people would react quickly to the SMS. They use SMS marketing as an extension to their newsletters. Their customers call their branch via the number provided or click URL links that are included in the SMS as well.
Their one advice to businesses who want to venture into SMS marketing is to not overload contacts with too many SMS messages from your end as this would most likely force them to opt out than engage with you.
So as is clearly seen, SMS marketing is a great communication strategy as it has reliable delivery, a direct line to the customer, high rates of engagement and brilliantly compliments your email marketing strategy.