If you are new to SMS marketing, this kind of marketing may seem complex.

Actually, this mobile communication is quite immediate and affordable. It is a great way for small businesses to grow. With more and more people using their phones for all internet access and communications, why not go mobile marketing?

Jamie Turner of 60 Second Marketer explains:

While reviewing this guide, take note of these important points:

  • When choosing a textword, keep it simple and unique to your business.
  • Grow your list by offering an irresistible opt in incentive.
  • Treat your SMS marketing subscribers like VIP customers, always send out exclusive offers.
  • When drafting up campaigns, always abide by CTIA compliance.
  • Promotion is essential to growth. You can’t expect your list to grow if you’re not spreading the word.

Your success in MSM marketing is “directly related to the time you spend educating yourself,” encourages Turner.

Break It Down

What is SMS marketing? SMS is also known as text marketing or text messaging. You can communicate coupons, promotions and alerts. All communication is done via permission and opt-in from your audience. The audience must give consent.

If done right, your audience welcomes and looks forward to your messages. “Never randomly upload phone numbers. Doing so will result in a slew of legal trouble,” shows the image from Turner’s post. Unrequested text message would not only be irritating for a receiver, it would result in negative marketing results, the opposite of why you are doing this in the first place.

The Skinny

Your messages are to be a maximum of 160 characters. They are short and sweet. You will need a SMS marketing keyword, which is a textword unique to your business or organization. This keyword is the word your audience texts to you to join your SMS marketing list.

When choosing your business-specific keyword, keep these quick tips from Turner in mind:

  • Stay relevant
  • Don’t over think, or try to be too clever
  • Stay away from special characters
  • Keep it to one word

Think of your audience, and keep the word as easy and simple to type in as possible. Remember you want your audience to want to join.

And Then

After an audience member becomes a subscriber by texting the keyword, they immediately receive an “auto reply”. An auto reply confirms their subscription, and offers incentive for joining. It also lets them know how often they will be receiving your messages, and how to opt out if they want to.

The Long and Short

What is a shortcode? Businesses purchase a shortcode, which is a 5 or 6 digit number designated for commercial use. This is used for mass mobile communications. “All SMS marketing messages must be sent through shortcodes to prevent legal implications to both the service provider and the business sending the text message,” notes Turner.

Do I need a shortcode? A small business doesn’t necessarily need their own shortcode, but is is a small cost to get a shortcode from your SMS marketing provider.

Join In the Fun

How can I get my audience to join my SMS marketing list? Promote your exclusive offer via your marketing channels. Word of mouth, table tents, business cards, radio, social media, website sign-ups, newspaper, blogs, email marketing, customer receipts, and other print materials are a number of ideas.

Let’s Do This

The list of 9 steps:

  1. Create an account with a top SMS marketing provider.
  2. Set the desired frequency.
  3. Pick irresistible opt in incentives.
  4. Decide on effective list promotion techniques.
  5. Watch your list growth and make sure you are growing weekly, if not daily.
  6. Provide value in your first (and every) message.
  7. Create a sense of urgency.
  8. Include a clear call to action (always).
  9. Keep track of your churn rate (people opting out). If this rate is high, you have something to fix.

And That’s Not All

Always test different offers. If you don’t succeed with the first, or another offer, test different offers, different send times, different campaign frequencies and tactics. Always measure your results. Take your measurements and make changes accordingly. Be a constant learner, improve every campaign and get the most from your results.

The results speak for themselves: Your average American looks at their phone 150 times a day. 95% of text messages are read within 5 minutes. 70% of Americans want to get offers from their favorite businesses on their cell phone. 22% of text messages are forwarded to friends and family. and the average redemption rate for a mobile coupon is 20%. (Thanks Turner.)

For those of us who are visual learners, this infographic by SlickText rocks:

071715_InfographicSMSMarketing-Blog

 

Image and Content Source: http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2015/07/14/the-beginners-guide-to-sms-marketing/

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