Getting Started with SMS Marketing

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GDPR - Consent

Did you know that SMS marketing can have up to eight times higher response rates than email marketing? With statistics like this it’s clearly an avenue that should not be dismissed but how do you get started with SMS? Take a look at some of our tips to getting started…

Data and Consent

When considering SMS marketing majority of Marketers check their data lists and soon realise that they haven’t got as many mobile numbers as they would have hoped. Additionally, of the numbers they do have, they haven’t actually gained the explicit consent to communicate with them via SMS.

So how do you get started with SMS without this consent and data? Step one is to harness the data you already have. Your opted-in email list should be a priority as you can target these subscribers by sending them an exclusive offer and request their mobile number and consent to contact them via SMS marketing. In return for these details, you could offer them special discounts and deals.

Creating a workflow would be a useful way of addressing these subscribers as you can continue to target users who haven’t signed up right up until the deadline that you set.

Additionally harnessing your social media following is another way you can build this offer. Using targeted ads and organic posts, you can quickly share your special sign up offers and grow your SMS as well as your email list. You can use email as the starting point for confirmation to the offers, and then when an offer is live, send your SMS to all of the relevant consent gained contacts.

Valuable Content

As with all marketing collateral, the content included needs to be valuable to its recipients. This is very important with SMS messages as they are clearly a lot shorter than most other marketing channels so planning and prioritising what you are going to say is key.

Conduct market research into your target audience to see what information will be most valuable to them. Sending non-targeted content or lengthy messages can result in subscribers being charged, confused or annoyed.

Popular SMS content includes:

  • Offers and discounts
  • Reminders
  • Tips and hints
  • Transactional messages
  • Timing

    With people taking their mobile phones everywhere with them and open rates of 98% it can be tempting to send subscribers an influx of messages however, timing is key. The majority of users will open a text message within 3 minutes so this is perfect timing for sending messages alerting of limited time offers or flash sales that are relevant to them.

    The send of SMS messages should also be kept to a maximum of one to two per week, any more than this and you will probably see your list of unsubscribers grow. People still see SMS messaging as quite personal – between friends, family or colleagues and too much of that oh-yay-I-have-a-text-oh-actually-it’s-just-another-marketing-message feeling can lead to unsubscribes.

    Find out more about how you can use SMS as part of your email marketing strategy.

    About Rupert Adam

    Marketing Manager at Emailcenter, the UK's largest independent ESP.

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