An Introduction To SMS
Mobile marketing has become increasingly popular over the last few years. With many eCommerce shoppers owning smartphones, mobile marketing is an easy way to reach customers where they are. While we discussed many aspects of mobile marketing a few weeks ago, short message marketing, more commonly called SMS, is one that is rapidly gaining in popularity. Curious to see if SMS is a good fit for your customers and business? Here are things to consider, and ways to get started.
What Is SMS?
SMS refers to short messages under 160 characters that are sent directly to a mobile phone. MMS stands for multimedia message service, and covers longer messages up to 1600 characters that can include attached media such as photos or videos. SMS messages are typically more reliable and cost efficient to send, which explains their huge rise in popularity.
Different types of SMS messages have different codes involved. They are broken down into two categories: short codes and long codes. Long codes are used mainly for transactional SMS (think of apps like Lyft) and are best with low volume sends. Short codes are what you usually see in marketing messages. These are mainly used for high volume sends, and are better able to withstand high volume traffic. There is a lot that goes into developing each type of code, but having a basic understanding is helpful to keep everyone on your team aware of what you will be working with.
How To Get Started:
Once you’ve looked into what type of SMS will work best for you, building a subscriber list is the next step. Add a pop-up when customers enter your website offering them an incentive for signing up for your SMS list, such as a small product or a discount code. Make sure that you add a disclosure letting them know exactly what they are signing up for, and do not bombard them with messages.
Sending out a message to your current customers who are following you or subscribed on different channels is also a good way to gain SMS subscribers. If they are loyal customers, or interested in your products, SMS is a shorter and quicker way for them to get information about sales, deals, new products, and more.
Advertising your new SMS option on your established channels also helps spread the word. Add a story or a new post with a number for them to text, announcing your SMS subscription and the opportunity to be the first to know about new and exciting products and deals. Every once in awhile offer a special deal just for your subscribers with a code sent straight to them. This will make them feel special and appreciated for their loyalty to you, and encourage them to try out your new products.
A fun part about sending out SMS is that you can use a more relaxed tone, and use emojis to grab attention and make the messages more fun to read. Emojis are free and easy to use, but help drive traffic. They also will help your subscribers feel as though they are texting a friend!
A lot goes in to planning your SMS strategy, from the coding to the marketing to the actual messages. Although this was a quick summary of the basics, working as a team will help you build a great SMS strategy for your own company! Have you ever tried SMS marketing? What were some of your favorite tricks? Let us know in the comments!