Did you know that, on average, Americans check their cell phones 80 times a day? That’s once every 12 minutes when you factor the hours you’re asleep.
That close connection to our phones is the very reason why it’s a no-brainer to include an SMS blast in your marketing plan.
The trick now is to make each blast as effective as possible. Because each of those times people check their phones, you’re competing for their attention.
Here are 8 tips to help get a person’s attention, keep it and start turning it into a sale.
1. Know Your Audience
Every good marketing plan includes customer personas. Make sure yours includes how your ideal customer uses SMS.
But what might be even more important is knowing how comfortable with text messages your actual customers are. The best way to find out is by asking.
Create opt-in forms and account profiles that prompt customers to let you know their preferred mode of communication. Generally, the younger the customer, the more they prefer blasts.
If you are buying a list of phone numbers, ensure the demographics align with your customer base. Otherwise, it will be a waste of money. Plus, sending SMS messages to people who aren’t likely to buy your product or service can become bad PR.
2. Keep It Simple
Why do people like SMS? Brevity.
Most often, SMS messages can’t be longer than 153 characters. That doesn’t give you many words to convince the recipient to click to learn more.
It takes practice to write a hook, pitch, and call to action without a lot of words.
To give yourself as much character space as possible, always shortened the URL you want the recipient to click on.
There are several shortening services available including, Bitly, Goo.gle, Ow.ly, and TinyURL.com.
3. A/B Test Your SMS Blast
If you’re not familiar with A/B testing, it’s a method for figuring out the SMS blast strategy for your business. You’ll send two different blasts to help see which gets a better response rate.
Like any experiment, you want to limit the number of variables. That allows you to see what is leading to a different response.
For example, message A might have the CTA (call to action) in the middle of the text while message B has it at the end. Everything else about the SMS blast is exactly the same.
Or, you might keep the CTA at the end but use different words to prompt the recipient to click.
If you’re new to A/B testing or want to test your know-how, try this fun quiz.
4. Provide Value
With each SMS blast, you have a recipient’s attention for at least the second it takes to open the message.
If you manage to capture their attention enough to read the message, make sure it offers value. If you don’t, they’ll be less likely to read the next one you send.
Value can come in forms. A discount or special offer. A useful and timely tip. Even a good chuckle has value.
What doesn’t have value? Reminding them of what you sell. Sharing a link to a feature article on your company. Lame jokes.
5. Don’t Spam
Finding the right SMS blast frequency is an ongoing concern.
Start with a frequency that you can manage. If you think weekly is the right frequency but don’t have the resources to send a valuable SMS blast every 7 days, don’t. Remember, value is critical to success.
Your initial frequency will be an educated guess. You’ll get baseline response rates. From there, you can use data to make adjustments to your campaign.
You’ll know you’re getting into spam territory if response rates decrease and unsubscribe rates increase.
It’s a good idea to ask people their preferred frequency when providing their cell number. Then make sure you respect their selection.
6. Use Triggers
Personalization is a powerful aspect of digital marketing. Each time a customer visits your site, you know exactly what they’re looking at, which pages they view, and for how long.
You can use that information to send an SMS blast at a specific time and only to that customer.
Let’s say you sell coffee beans. And, one of your customers spends a long time on the page highlight a new blend. But they don’t add it to their shopping cart.
That sequence can trigger an SMS blast that includes a promo code for the new blend. It’s a personalized nudge toward making a purchase and can be quite effective.
7. Give a Clear Call to Action
Don’t send an SMS blast without a CTA unless you want to squander the opportunity of connecting with customers.
You’ve captured their attention. Ask them to do something. Direct them to your website or social media accounts and give them a clear and compelling reason to go.
For example, tell them there’s a deal waiting for them on the website. Or, there are more great pics on Instagram. Or, you’re live tweeting from a big event and they can follow the action.
8. Create FOMO
FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is the secret sauce of a good call to action.
The most common way to create FOMO and get people to take action is to limit time. For example, a promo code for a super deal expires in 6 hours.
Another way involves community. Let the recipient know other people are participating. Better, they’re benefiting.
This tip comes with a warning though. Don’t hit the recipient over the head. Be authentic and enthusiastic, not aggressive and phony.
There’s no question that SMS blasts can be an effective part of any marketing plan.
Yet, if you’re crunched for time or resources to do it right, you risk losing opportunities to build customer loyalty and increase sales.
But what if there was an easy way to create, manage, and analyze your SMS blasts?
At UltraSMSScript, we offer a cost-effective way for you to have full control over your SMS marketing messages. You get an easy to read dashboard with real-time stats to help you manage campaigns.
It includes templates, auto-responders, calendar, control over who can send messages and more.
Try our demo right now!