More and more, we hear about how content is king and how businesses need to focus their attention on the content they are providing customers on social media platforms, blogs and email marketing newsletters. However, these aren’t the only channels retail stores should be paying attention to. Text message marketing can be a great resource for retail stores who are looking for an alternate means of communication. Despite all the attention that other forms of mobile marketing receive, a 2012 report also found that SMS and MMS-based marketing programs continue to grow, with more than 100 percent growth in participation since April 2012. Because not all retail stores are using text message marketing, your business should to stand out from the crowd. Here’s how to get started.
Create Mobile Content
In order to have a successful text message marketing campaign in place, your retail store will need to have text-ready content before you begin. Bite-size content is easily distributed through an SMS and should stay within the same character range as a tweet. The content you send via text message, although short, needs
- Tips, Tricks & Trends: Sending out quick tips and tricks that customers don’t see elsewhere is a great way to provide short, quick and valuable information.
- Repurposed Content: Send shortened links to blog posts, videos, podcasts and more. While customers want more exclusive content after granting you permission to reach out on a personal device, if you’re timing is accurate, this shouldn’t be a problem.
- Discounts & Coupons: Have text message specific mobile discounts and coupons that offer those who subscribe special savings. Encourage them to invite friends to opt-in so they can receive the same savings.
Build a Database
Having content isn’t enough, especially if you don’t have anyone to send your text messages to. Asking in-store customers to sign-up may be the first idea that comes to mind, but Here are 3 easy ways you can build your text message recipient database as you start building SMS campaigns.
- Ask customers to text for more information. You can promote your store’s events and sales while gathering more names and numbers for your text message and call center database list.
- Offer coupons or discounts specials that can only be redeemed via text. Let customers know about it on your blog, social networks and website. On slow days or in correlation with another campaign, you can ramp up your database by offering a savings incentive.
- If you have an email marketing strategy in place, use your email database to reach out to current customers. At the bottom of each message you send out, you can include a number that customers can text for more ways to save, blog posts, etc.
Analyze the Data
In marketing, we are always interested in what yields the greatest ROI. Without measuring campaigns and the impact of various types of content and wording, it’s hard to determine the effect of your text messaging campaign on your business. Text marketing programming can provide your business with handset detection and customer segmentation tools.
- What kind of phone are your users using? Smartphone users will respond better to a hyperlinked text than those with more basic phones.
- What prompted someone to opt-in? Knowing what peaks someone’s interest can help you better determine what kind of content someone is interested in receiving so you can reach out at the right time.
- What actions does this person take when receiving a text? The types of content that leads to a customer taking action can help you measure the success of one campaign over another and can help you better analyze testing.
While text message marketing is a valuable tool to have in your strategy bag, it isn’t a good fit for every customer. Make sure you provide ways for customer to opt-out or change how often they’re receiving text messages from your store. To get your business started with text message marketing, you’ll need a plan of action that incorporates creating content specific to text messaging communications, how you plan to build your database and what your business will be analyzing to measure ROI.
Author Bio: Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as inbound call centers utilizing text messaging and phone systems for business. She is a web content writer for Business.com.