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5 Key SMS Marketing Strategies For The Retail Industry In 2021

SMS marketing has always been around the corner but has become more prominent in recent years. Thanks to human beings’ overwhelming dependence on smartphones, marketers find it easy to crawl into their inboxes. 

Did you know SMS open rates are as high as 98% compared to 20% of emails? That makes it more effective than email marketing. 

Of course, there will be users hanging on the sidelines satisfied with emails and Instagram ads, but your loyal and niche customers will want to receive immediate information. And for them, you need to optimize your strategy to get a positive return on investment. 

What is SMS marketing?

The technique of sending out promotions, new releases, sales announcements, coupons, delivery updates, alerts, and more via texts. SMS or short message service marketing allows businesses to communicate to a wide range of audiences within 160 characters. 

The greatest benefit of text marketing is that it is trackable. So, you have the scope of tracking what kind of texts work, which texts are undermined, etc. and it’s lightning-fast. With just one click it reaches instantly.  

SMS marketing works. Because hey! Every time your phone vibrates you are likely to check out the text faster than those emails piling up in your inbox. And, if your business friend has got something exciting for you, you wouldn’t really want to miss out on that. More like this – 

“Too lazy to join the weekend crowd? Enjoy our Black Friday deals right from your couch. We’ve curated some items that will suit your taste:”

Short and sweet (and mouth-watering!) 

What strategies should you adopt to reach your audience? 

Firstly, there is no one-size-fits-all technique that will drive business growth. Myriad texts are sent every day but not all generate conversions. So, how can you effectively strategize your campaign? These pointers will help you with that.

Get permission

Before you start sending your texts, make sure your customers have opted to receive such texts (because without consent it is illegal and immoral). Getting your subscribers’ permission is a mandate. There are certain ways to get permission.  

You can encourage prospects to send keywords and shortcodes like:

SMS Short Codes | Shared Vs Dedicated Short Codes | Klaviyo
Source: Klaviyo

‘Y’ is the keyword and ‘225-12’ is the shortcode. 

You must provide opt-out options to let your subscribers unsubscribe at will. Informing them about what kind of texts they are likely to receive is also a good practice. 

Source: Send Grid

Your campaign can also include opt-in buttons and links that follow up after certain actions. Something like this:  

What is SMS Opt-In: Definition, Video - Definition | SendPulse
Source: Send Pulse 

Leverage SMS Marketing tools

Is it not difficult to type out a hundred text messages on your phone? And in case you are typing one message and sending it to a thousand, that might lead to privacy issues. So why not let an efficient tool do the job.  

There are a lot of tools in the market that can help you send automated messages in bulk to prospects, manage your lists and track open and click rates. 

Keep it short and to the point

The limited screen space is your target and 160 is the limit. Writing novel-like texts or multiple messages claiming the same point is more likely to annoy prospects. 

Keep your text short and to the point. Add value to your text (because they have opted in to get something worthwhile) with a clear call to action so your customer is motivated to respond positively. Special deals and offers are a great way to make your texts valuable. 

Source: Tatango

Make your timing right

Timing matters (a lot!). Firstly, abstain from sending texts before 8 am and after 9 pm (no one will want to receive coupon codes and promotions at 4 am). 

When are they likely to be on their phones? Maybe during the cozy lunch breaks between work and class, or the evening tea time with colleagues. And maybe you should hold onto your text before sending it after work (because they might be driving back home and unable to read texts).  

Also, in a study by Mobile Marketer, Mondays have the lowest response rates. So, you can avoid it (unless your message is specifically relevant to that day) 

Personalize your messages 

Make your customer feel one in a million by leveraging personalization to your texts. You can start by segmenting your audience on the basis of location, age, gender, shopping history, search history, etc. Once you have your segment list ready, you can start creating campaigns that target each segment. 

Addressing by the first name, abandoned cart reminders, product delivery updates, follow-up texts after registration, are some ideas that can be included in your campaign.

Logistics - Speed Up Deliveries Through SMS Alerts - TxtSync
Source: TxtSync
5 Easy Examples Of SMS Marketing That Works | MessageMedia
Source: MessageMedia

Done right, your SMS marketing strategy can generate a positive ROI and establish brand loyalty. Make sure to track the responses regularly and keep optimizing your strategy for better results. These 5 takeaways will help you craft an effective marketing plan.