7 ways marketers can use SMS to increase revenue and customer engagement

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30-second summary:

  • ClickZ recently partnered with Acoustic, the largest independent marketing cloud platform, to present the on-demand webinar.
  • Presenter Dave Haucke, Acoustic’s VP of Product Management, leads Acoustic’s portfolio of mobile marketing, social advertising, and content management solutions.
  • Presenter Pinky Lees is the Worldwide Mobile Strategist at Acoustic. Lees provides strategy and planning services to global clients across all sectors.
  • Campaigns that have a high sense of urgency are a perfect fit for SMS, with coupons and offers a key reason that consumers opt in.
  • The Acoustic team reviews seven use cases for mobile engagement as follows: loyalty programs, SMS for mobile app download/email opt-in, new product/information launch, promotional opportunities, coupons/offers, thank you/welcome messages, and purchase/fraud/transaction alerts.
  • Acoustic provides an in-depth review of best practices and tips that can be applied to SMS marketing including creating dedicated campaigns, ensuring your program is opt-in and complies with mobile regulations, and leveraging other channels such as email and social media to encourage people to sign up for loyalty programs or alerts.

As marketers, pinpointing which channels are most effective is the key to successfully driving business growth. To this end, ClickZ recently partnered with Acoustic, the largest independent marketing cloud platform, to present the on-demand webinar, 7 Ways Marketers Can Use SMS to Increase Revenue and Customer Engagement.

Dave Haucke and Pinky Lees of Acoustic are co-hosts of the webinar, which focuses on using SMS marketing to build revenue and drive growth.

Dave Haucke, Acoustic’s VP, Product Management, leads Acoustic’s portfolio of mobile marketing, social advertising, and content management solutions, driving the overall strategy and direction for these offerings. Dave guides a cross-functional team on prioritization, planning, and delivery.

Pinky Lees is the Worldwide Mobile Strategist at Acoustic. With over 20 years of mobile marketing experience, Lees provides strategy and planning services to global clients across all sectors. Lees has deep knowledge of mobile messaging best practices and cross-channel campaigns.

This post summarizes some of the key tips and strategies outlined in the webinar which is available to view on demand from ClickZ.

SMS is a powerful marketing tool

For most businesses, SMS should be part of an integrated part of an overall digital marketing strategy, rather than viewed as a separate channel. SMS offers powerful ROI, engaged consumers, and high coupon and offer redemption rates.

Consider the following statistics:

  • The average person checks their phone roughly 47x each day.
  • Consumers redeem SMS-related coupons 10x more than other coupons.
  • SMS has 150x the engagement rate of email campaigns with 56% of respondents citing deals and offers as the main reason they opt into SMS messages.

SMS

Campaigns that have a high sense of urgency are a perfect fit for SMS, with coupons and offers being a key reason that consumers opt in. These campaigns have clickthrough rates of nearly 40% and redemption rates that are 8x higher than email offers.

Mobile messaging marketing is clearly a powerful way to drive KPIs including increased engagement, improved conversions and ROI, and stronger customer loyalty.

A word about measurement

There are several helpful metrics that businesses can measure to monitor and gauge the success of their SMS campaigns:

  • Deliverability of messages
  • Clickthrough Rate using Bitly links
  • Call to action measurement (e.g., coupon and offer fulfillment)
  • Response rates to customer feedback
  • Customer satisfaction based on feedback and response to personalization

SMS measurement is challenging, but the above metrics can help marketers determine the success of their campaigns, particularly when established from the start and integrated as part of your overall strategy.

Mobile engagement is a key component of mobile messaging campaigns and can be used as an indicator of success based on the above metrics. The type of outreach you incorporate into your SMS campaigns varies based on your industry, but use cases exist for mobile engagement within all industries, as the following graphic illustrates.

SMS

SMS and a multi-channel approach

A multi-channel approach to marketing allows you to leverage customer engagement across every customer touchpoint. It ensures that you can reach your customers wherever they are, regardless of screen type, operating system, platform, or device.

Leveraging mobile channels is an important component to any multi-channel marketing plan because mobile usage is so ubiquitous across all customer segments and buyers.

The Acoustic team put together seven strategies that businesses can use to incorporate SMS into their multi-channel marketing plan. Here is a brief overview of each, with a more detailed drill-down available via the webinar.

  • Loyalty programs: Loyalty programs driven via SMS enable businesses to continually engage with customers via exclusive incentives and offers and program updates.
  • SMS for mobile app download or email opt-in: App download promotions present a great opportunity to leverage SMS marketing by inviting customers to download your app via various media channels. Once the app is installed, it gives you another mobile outreach channel for customers.
  • New product/information launch: SMS is a great channel to promote new product launch information and helpful content such as videos, discounts, promotions, and news.
  • Promotional opportunities: Loyalty program offers, store openings, new classes, educational tips, and events are all examples of promotional opportunities that can be pushed to customers via SMS. Just about any product, program, or service you create for your customers can be highlighted via SMS communication.
  • Coupons and offers: Targeted coupons sent via SMS can help increase store traffic and drive online sales. There are many ways to incorporate coupons and offers into a mobile messaging campaign and using unique coupon/offer codes will enable you to track ROI for these campaigns.
  • Thank you and welcome messages: Delivering personalized welcome and thank you messages enhances customer experience and can be combined with targeted offers and incentives to get new customer relationships off to a good start.
  • Purchase/fraud/transaction alerts: Confirmation text messages for purchases, tickets, donations, or other transactions also enhances customer experience while helping reduce calls to customer support. Fraud alert updates can also be leveraged via SMS to help manage customer issues and maintain communication with customers when needed.

Best practices and tips for SMS marketing

Many of the best practices for SMS marketing follow the same general best practices for all digital channels.

For example, SMS is permission-based. The law states that before a marketer sends the consumer a text message, they need prior written consent in the form of a text message back to the company (or via an online form).

There are several different ways that businesses can use other channels to drive signups to their SMS program including email, websites, social media, in-store signage, direct mail/print, and at point-of-purchase. Some approaches companies can take to make these channels more effective include focusing on delivering value (not spam), offering an incentive, and making sure you have a clear call-to-action.

Another important tip: Creating a dedicated SMS adoption campaign has been shown to produce higher opt-in returns across channels, as demonstrated by the following chart. This is particularly true for email, in-store, and social media campaigns.

SMS

As with standard digital campaigns, SMS campaigns have certain rules that marketers must adhere to including adding disclaimers on data rates and opt-out information when users join.

The webinar reviews additional best practices such as frequency of messaging, the best hours to send messages, and the content that works best with mobile.

An overview of next steps for getting started with SMS campaigns includes how to best make the case for SMS marketing with management, set goals, and integrate SMS with your other digital channels.

You can register to view the on-demand webinar, 7 Ways Marketers Can Use SMS to Increase Revenue and Customer Engagement, on ClickZ.



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