The number of smartphone owners is increasing every year, and the statistics of the opening of sent SMS, according to research, reaches 94%. It would seem that these are ideal conditions for advertising campaigns using SMS. Is it really?
SMS messaging stop working?
More and more often, marketing departments are cutting the costs of sending SMS or completely excluding them from the advertising campaign. There are several reasons for this:
- Increase in the price of mass mailing. The average cost of 1 rupees per message significantly loses to alternative options, such as mailing in messengers or social networks.
- Increased competition. Even 10 years ago, instant messengers and social networks were not so widespread. Now they are a combination of high efficiency and low cost of promotion.
In retail, competition is increasing every year. This is the expansion of the feds and the development of local brands. As a marketer, it is important for me to develop not only an offer, but also a way to convey information to the buyer. SMS messaging remains one of these channels. However, it is important to understand conversion rates and customer value.
5% of our cardholders came to stores after receiving SMS. In 2016, the conversion was 7% under equal conditions for the promotion. We analyze the indicators:
The cost of sending SMS
In general, we understand that this method is unprofitable.
Viber messaging is also not a panacea. The conversion rate of such mailing is 2% higher than that of SMS. We can place graphic elements and are not limited to 70 characters in the text. However, the mailing limit and business chats, all hidden together, have reduced the benefits.
Where are we going in the end? To chat bots.
Firstly, it’s free (not counting the investment in development, but now you can write a simple bot yourself). Secondly, we can write scripts, chains, and not every time segment customers almost from scratch.
And now let’s calculate: the conversion of the messenger is 7%, an unlimited number of messages, since the newsletter is free. SMS conversion is 5%, and the price of one SMS is 1.5 rupees (roughly). The choice is obvious, it remains to work out the tool.
In the meantime, we are writing a chat bot and testing its work on a loyal audience, sending SMS once every 15 days.
- Decreased purchasing power. The ongoing economic crisis is not helping to increase the income of the population. People are more and more inclined to limit their spending. Since SMS marketing is not considered the cheapest option, it was the first to suffer from cost optimization.
Advantages and disadvantages
Sending SMS is a unique way to promote goods and services. On the one hand, this method has been in use for over 20 years. At the same time, many points are still not regulated by law, and there are many loopholes to improve efficiency.
The benefits include:
- guaranteed attraction of the recipient’s attention;
- instant message delivery;
- a simple system of settings (it is enough to have a base of numbers and text);
- inability to unsubscribe, the recipient can only block the sender using special services;
- the fastest collection of reading statistics.
The disadvantages should not be forgotten either. First of all, this is the constantly increasing cost, which we have already mentioned earlier. Collecting a database of contacts is no less problematic. The phone number for sending SMS is information that people are least likely to trust third-party services.
One of the foundations of marketing is collecting and analyzing information. In a situation with SMS messaging, the amount of data available is usually limited. The advertiser sees the number of messages sent, how many were delivered and read, and the number of clicks on the link. There is no way to collect information about age, gender, purchases on the site, heatmap and other data. However, if you use SMS marketing in conjunction with other channels, and collect and analyze all data on advertising activities in the personal account of the analytical system, you can easily identify each contact, link all the data and get complete information about the effectiveness of your mailing.
Who benefits from using SMS messaging
In a short message, you need to make an interesting and motivating offer to buy. Earlier, due to the low cost of SMS, many companies used mailing lists. In modern conditions, this marketing channel is more suitable for the following organizations:
- Cinemas, clubs and other entertainment facilities. You can inform your audience about new events and discounts.
- Banks and financial enterprises. Notifications about changes in tariffs and new offers.
- Travel companies. Sending information about last minute deals or new destinations.
- Educational institutions. Sending notifications about the start of courses or other changes in the curriculum.
- E-commerce companies. Here you can notify about a wide range of events: from sales to promotions or discounts to regular customers.
- Carriers, taxi companies and courier services. A great way to inform your audience about plan changes or special promotions.
How to improve the effectiveness of SMS marketing
It was mentioned earlier that almost all sent messages will be read. Such an advantage is often offset by incorrectly drafted appeal. Here are some tips on how to make your SMS messaging effective:
- Please include the sender’s name (company name). It is his recipient who will see in the first place when a notification about a new SMS arrives, and it is better if he immediately understands who the message is from. This is considered good practice. But catchy, deliberately attention-grabbing names are best avoided – in our time it will rather serve as a trigger to block the sender than attract attention.
- Use Cyrillic. The limit for Latin characters is higher, but now not zero. Advertising must be carried out in the language of the audience. Try to keep within one message – receiving two SMS in a row annoys many users.
- Add contacts. The link will allow you to quickly go to the required page of the site. Now it is an obligatory component of SMS marketing.
- Individual approach. If the recipient has a personal account on the site, create personalized mailings. Notify us about special offers, unused points and other opportunities.
- Encourage the recipient to take action. The strategy of using action verbs – “activate the card”, “get points”, “apply the promo code”, etc., shows high efficiency.
- Observe the dispatch times. Submit your mailing from 10:00 to 21:00. Consider time zones if you are mailing to a large territory.
- Segment your base. Try to divide contacts into groups if there is enough data for this. Change the text of the message depending on the preferences of a particular audience.
- Analyze the impact. A mailing list assumes a relatively small amount of data received (the number of sent and delivered SMS, the percentage of messages read and the number of transitions). By analyzing this information, you can improve the effectiveness of your advertising campaign.
It is important to use the multichannel principle. Let the user choose how to receive the newsletter. He may not be interested in receiving SMS, but he is ready to receive letters by email or notifications through the messenger. Consider this.
SMS marketing may seem like an outdated tool to many that, apart from annoying, causes nothing. However, if you work with him competently, then he brings good clients for a very low price.
What is required for your SMS marketing to work?
- Developed CRM, namely: you must have a good understanding of the level of loyalty of each client – “lost” “cold” “warm”, etc.
- Contact the copywriters, let them suggest some creative approaches, catchy headlines. If you start your message with humor, you will not only be opened, but also shown to your friends.
- Don’t get it! Here we go back to the first point. Knowing who you are sending your message to, you can make it as personalized as possible. Send those who haven’t used your services for a long time with a nice discount that costs you nothing, but will allow you to return the client. Loyal and regular customers actively respond to service assessment questionnaires.
- Test email texts and see the conversion.
- Reinforce with other tools: e-mail newsletters, digital advertising, SMM.
How not to become “information noise” for the client
1. Use your own subscriber bases
It is a long and complex process that pays off in the long term. Buying a ready-made base often results in low emissions. It often contains third-party, unused or specially added numbers for the volume. Its database ensures that all contacts are potential buyers who have expressed interest. When collecting contacts, be sure to ask permission for the distribution. This will reduce the audience, but leave the most interested customers.
2. Don’t be annoying
What is the difference between important notifications and outright spam? Often – in the number of messages. Don’t be annoying: 2-3 messages a month is enough to convey all the necessary information to the client and not irritate him.
3. Keep track of the content
This includes not only a well-written proposal. Try to take into account the place of residence, the availability of the promoted product in the warehouse, and much more. Keep in mind that in the information age, marketing campaign mistakes can be made public. Starting from a negative review, ending with a detailed post of a disgruntled client on social networks.
There is no need to talk about the low efficiency of SMS marketing in modern conditions. This is still one of the best ways to get important messages across to potential consumers. However, it should be understood that not all companies are suitable for promotion in the mailing format. If you are not one of them and are already planning SMS marketing, there is only one advice: take responsibility for creating a customer base and carefully think over all the details of sending messages in order to be useful and not annoying. 😉