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Paola Bergamini
19 January 2021
Reading time: 6 min.

SMS Marketing for your business: strategies and secrets for effective SMS campaigns

Sent for the first time in 1992, SMS messages have survived an entire technological era and today, almost 30 years later and with the upcoming mass diffusion of 5G, they still have enormous potential.

The statistics speak for themselves: SMS messages are far from being considered obsolete technology and are still an excellent marketing channel:

  • 75% of consumers are in favor of receiving SMS messages from brands (Source: LeadsBridge)
  • SMS messages have an average open rate of 98% (Source: The Daily Egg)
  • 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes (Source: Random Facts)

The presence of SMS messages in the marketing world grew to reach 56 billion dollars in 2017 and forecasts say that it will exceed 90 billion by 2021.

We have analyzed all the components and processes of SMS marketing in order to offer you theoretical insights, best practices, and all the indications to develop a winning SMS marketing strategy.

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From developing integrations to strategic support, from creating creative concepts to optimizing results.

User life cycle: where do SMS messages come into play?

The answer is simple: SMS messages have potential throughout the entire customer journey, not only in the post-sales phase, but in all eight phases that characterize the relationship between brand and customer:

  • awareness, the discovery of the brand
  • understanding, learning more about the offer
  • interest, the evaluation of the offer
  • selection, comparison of products and services
  • purchase, choosing the product
  • satisfaction, achieving and exceeding expectations
  • maintenance, the loyalty process
  • advocacy, word of mouth and active support

Promoting products, offering discounts, recovering abandoned e-commerce carts, upselling, customer care: these are all activities to which SMS messages, if supported by best practices and adequate tools, make a decisive contribution.

Types of SMS messages

SMS messages are a flexible tool that adapts to different types of campaigns depending on the objective, the phase within the customer journey, and the type of communication to be transmitted:

  • Massive campaigns. Also called bulk campaigns, these are characterized by a sending of one-to-many and are used by those who intend to send SMS messages for promotional or commercial purposes.
  • One-to-one campaigns. Typically all those campaigns focused on transactional messages. They are characterized by the presence of unique fields related to the specific customer (order number, appointment time, or event date).
  • Inbound campaigns. Inbound campaigns stimulate interaction by leveraging the advantages of Marketing Automation. By sending an automatic SMS, you can ask a segment of the database to reply to the message and then thank them through a predefined flow.

What can you do with SMS messages? 12 ideas for real campaigns

SMS messages are an extremely versatile tool that can be used in many ways. We have identified 12 macro activities that exploit the immediacy and incisiveness typical of this channel to offer you ideas and tips for real campaigns:

  • Launch a new product
  • Encourage subscription to a service or program
  • Offer coupons and flash sales
  • Cultivate the relationship
  • Offer tips and advice
  • Manage transactional communications
  • Offer assistance
  • Appointment reminders
  • Promote an event
  • Manage schedule changes
  • Involve recipients in a sweepstakes
  • Launch fundraising campaigns
  • Ask for feedback
  • Launch polls
  • Promote a new mobile app
  • Reactivate carts and inactive customers

Building an effective SMS campaign: the 4 fundamental steps

Collect contacts and grow your database

Collecting contacts is the preliminary phase to any SMS Marketing activity. There are several ways to obtain a phone number: make sure to identify the right incentive and rely on the right tools.

Follow these best practices to build your database and grow it at each touchpoint:

  • Create and customize subscription pages with the integrated drag & drop editor in MailUp
  • Create a digital iPad form
  • Use a dynamic pop-up to collect leads from your site
  • Insert a link in your SMS message to mobile landing pages that you can easily create with the MailUp platform

Segment and customize SMS messages

Generic sendings are never good for a marketing campaign. On the other hand, the more a communication is personalized, the greater its communicative potential. This is why you must absolutely segment and personalize SMS messages before sending them, based on each contact’s activities, interests, and personal data.

Take advantage of the potential of personal data filters and geolocationinsert dynamic fields to start a one-to-one conversation and personalize the sender to add an extra human touch to the campaign.

Launch your campaigns automatically and with good timing

An MIT study found that real estate agents who contact leads within 5 minutes of signing up, rather than 30, are 100 times more likely to receive a response. This explains why choosing the SMS channel to collect information and data on your contacts is a winning strategy: text messages convey a sense of urgency and are effective in the very short term.

The first step you need to take, therefore, is to rely on a platform like MailUp that allows you to send up to 200 SMS messages per second.

Again with the help of a platform such as MailUp, you can set up those automation functions that guide and make the flow of communications autonomous. Doing so will ensure that the right message is sent to the right recipient at the right time, to communicate in a timely and effective manner.

Measure performance to improve the effectiveness of your next sendings

As with any other marketing activity, SMS also requires familiarity and experience to refine strategies and obtain the best results.

MailUp’s accurate reporting system allows you to observe your campaigns’ progress in real time

and in hindsight to understand how to improve and evaluate the best time slots and days to schedule your sendings.

Anatomy of an effective SMS message

But what does a really effective SMS message actually look like?

An effective SMS message must:

  • have a known and recognizable sender
  • go straight to the heart of the offer
  • make good use of power words, capital letters, punctuation, and abbreviations
  • have a human approach
  • arrive at the right time
  • directly address the recipient
  • be relevant
  • provide the possibility of unsubscribing
  • convey a sense of urgency

Summing up

If you’re not sure how to use SMS messages, in this article we tried to help you understand SMS Marketing and use SMS messages correctly to obtain meaningful results with your campaigns.

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Paola Bergamini

I was born in 1993 in Como and I escaped from this little town to study in Milan, where I graduated in 2017 in philosophy. I've always been interested in marketing and communication and I love writing and reading. As Content Editor at MailUp, I try to keep up to date with Email and Digital Marketing news, in order to share trends, theories and tools about this constantly evolving sector.

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