Lately, on a weekend I went out dining with friends to an expensive restaurant. After a sumptuous meal, I was asked to fill out a feedback form on an iPad. When I could’ve declined, I casually obliged to put in my contact information.
What followed next was blatant misuse of the permission I gave in good faith. In a matter of just one week my phone got inundated with the pile of messages that they thought would make me a loyalist of the restaurant. From coupon codes, to special offer on mother’s day, to Super Saver Wednesday; I received too many of them.
Irked, I used my only recourse, blocking the sender on my phone’s messaging app.
I will say this on behalf of many, Marketers should put themselves into the shoes of customers and empathize with them. How would they feel if someone barged into their personal space (in this case the messaging app on their phone)?
Context Is King, It Has Always Been
I can say with certainty that you must have read about the importance of Personalization to stay relevant to customers.
It affects how customers perceive a business, how they shop and their tendency to do repeat transactions with the business.
A Forrester study put forth that 77% of customers chose, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provided a personalized service or experience.
Marketing sans ‘relevance’ is like an unanswered prayer, all the effort goes down the drain giving nothing in return.
Marketing in this permission driven, more and more customer-centric world is all about finding the right time to deliver a contextually relevant message on the channel preferred by the user.
SMS allows marketers to reach customers when they’re ready to act on a need with intent,
context and immediacy.
If you’re using Triggered SMS Marketing, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you using SMS for the right target segment?
- Are you tracking the performance of SMS campaigns merely by clicks or engagement or by larger goal i.e. campaign contribution to bottom line?
- Are you mapping the multi-channel, multi-device customer journey towards purchase to identify key moments of influence to send SMS?
- Are you bombarding users with spray and pray bulk SMS campaigns?
- Given the directness and immediacy of SMS do you know the right triggers to determine when to send SMS?
- Having done some questioning around your existing SMS Marketing efforts, lets now see what makes SMS stand out.
What differentiates SMS/Text Marketing?
The following 6 benefits of Triggered SMS Marketing powered by the use of right triggers make it an alluring channel for marketers:
01. SMS gives unmatched opens and click through rates:
The average SMS Marketing CTR is 36%, higher than most marketing channels including emails, push notifications. The average open rate is at a whopping 98%. High engagement directly impacts the revenue the channel. High engagement rates make it a highly efficient channel and also prone to overuse by marketers.
02. SMS offers smart ways to build audience:
By means of Short Codes users can opt-in simply by sending a Text Message. A short code is 5-6 digit number either registered by a business or is shared. There are other common ways to capture user permission such as online and offline lead forms.
03. SMS gets you instant attention:
Text Marketing is known for its instant deliverability. Moreover, 90% of SMS are read within the first 3 minutes of getting delivered. Text messages are rendered in two ways, A2P (Application to Person) or P2P (Person to Person). Marketers make use of A2P to send automated SMS campaigns with SenderID or Short code in the ‘From Field’.
04. SMS is a great channel to add value (don’t be just promotional):
SMS offers a wide range of use-cases that can instantly add value to users. Think of targeted SMS sent to users in a particular geography (location based marketing), sending Triggered SMS when order is shipped, when a bill is due.
05. SMS has character limit, and yes that’s an advantage:
When it comes to messaging, less is more. The character limit keeps the message terse and meaningful. Given the attention span of humans at a meagre 8 seconds, anyways that’s all the attention you get.
06. SMS is mobile and so is marketing in today’s time:
As projected by Ericsson, there will be 6.1 bn Smartphone users in the world by 2020. Moreover, customers expect brands to communicate over the medium of their preference. To be successful, brands have to be present where customers expect them to be.
Having seen the top benefits that differentiate SMS Marketing, let’s look in these campaign ideas at how using smart triggers can make SMS marketing strike the right chord with customers.
It takes two to Tango – Triggers and SMS Marketing
Triggered SMS marketing uses the right triggers to send contextual messages that are relevant to recipients. Here are a few SMS marketing campaign ideas:
Weather Based SMS Marketing-
Weather based marketing brings the intelligence of triggering marketing campaigns based on a change in weather conditions in a particular geo-location. Data from Weather API is used to trigger such campaigns, read more on weather based marketing.
Location Based SMS Marketing-
SMS Geo-Targeting is used to send targeted messages to users in a particular location by means of geo-fencing. Identifying user location is tougher in the absence of apps on user’s mobile device. Moreover, it is a prerequisite to get user permission for location specific offers.
Triggered SMS Marketing in Food Tech Industry-
Food Tech businesses send triggered based SMS to notify users of order status, delivery and gather feedback among others.
Commonly used SMS Triggers:
- Order Accepted/Confirmation
- Order Out for delivery
- Order Delivered
Likewise, businesses in other industries make use of triggers like – transaction successful, credit card payment overdue, add to cart but not purchased, poor feedback rating etc.
Read more about events and triggered campaigns.
Triggered SMS Marketing presents an immense opportunity for adding value through your marketing. That said, it is about finding the sweet spot by means of optimization to send the right message to the right audience at opportune times. If not done right users will either opt-out, block or register complain. And, nobody wants that.