Posts Tagged ‘sms marketing’

Is SMS Marketing The New Email Marketing?

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Is email marketing dead?

And is SMS marketing going to take its place?

Let’s face it.

Email campaigns are a headache to put together.

I remember when I was an EDM specialist in retail sending out emails would require a shed-load of effort not just from myself, but also the team.

Here is a short list of what goes into preparing an email broadcast:

1. Select the product you want to promote or if it’s a newsletter, decide which subject matters to cover.
2. Write your first draft
3. Get those drafts proofed by the editorial team (this could go back and forth a few times)
4. Get designers and photographers involved to produce the right product shots or if it’s a newsletter go and find stock images that don’t look like stock images.5. Write the new version with everyone’s feedback
6. Check links and landing pages are working
7. Make sure your subject line is compelling
8. Send a test version out to select people in your company for a final green light
9. Once approved you can now select the segment of people to send the email to
10. Schedule and hot the go button

Here are some other issues with email:

Spam detectors – it’s like your email is travelling internationally and has to go through a border security check and if it gets flagged, your email is instantly jailed without a fair hearing.


Getting opened – if you email gets to the recipient will it even get opened after all of that work? People receive so many emails so you need to work harder to get it opened.

Platform friendly – Will your email stay together once it is opened on the other side? You have to check to make sure that you email looks great across all email clients.

Sender Reputation – your email performance is being closely monitored by your email service provider – earn a bad sender reputation and watch your emails go straight to spam and even get completely blocked by your ESP.

There are seemingly endless things to consider when constructing an email campaign including obstacles and hurdles to overcome.

And even if you manage to deal with all of this, you can expect to see results like these:

• 10% – 30% open rate (40% if you have a highly responsive list)
• 6%-7% click-through rate


Let’s take a quick look at SMS marketing.

Here’s the process:

1. Decide on an offer
2. Type out the offer
3. Select the list segment you want to send the offer to
4. Prepare landing page on website (if necessary)
5. Hit send.

No email border security checks to worry about.

No need to worry about open rates because people almost always click on their SMS messages AND there’s next to no competition in their SMS inbox.

No need to worry about your text message being ‘platform compliant’.

It’s beautifully simple.

And for this you can expect the following results:

• 98%+ open rates
• 36%+ click-through rate
• 83% opened within the first 3 minutes

SMS goes straight to its intended target like a guided missile; nothing stops it apart from the phone being off or the person being out of range.

A lot of us are ‘addicted’ to our mobile devices and always have them close by.

When people want information they turn to their mobile device.

When people are bored they pick up their device.

This presents a magical opportunity for businesses that are thinking about using SMS marketing.

I’ve found few strategies quite as effective as SMS when it comes to getting the phone to ring with customers or driving people to an offer.

It just works.

It’s cheap too, for pennies per SMS you’re getting maximum engagement.

Is email marketing dead?


Email is still a strong channel and will not go anywhere soon but here’s how I like to think of email vs SMS:

Email is like general mail, it gets delivered to the customer’s home or office in amongst dozens of other envelopes.

Your customer (or their assistant) starts sorting through that pile of mail throwing out the ones that don’t immediately get their attention straight into the bin.

SMS is like a Priority Courier package.

When you get a courier package what is your first reaction?

Generally excitement and curiosity.

You want to see what’s inside.

It costs a few cents to deliver, but this buys you a first class ticket past all of the envelopes getting thrown into the bin and lands directly to the recipient where they feel compelled to tear the package open to see what’s inside.

When a person receives an SMS their attention shifts immediately to their phone.

Getting instant attention and getting your message opened and read is
what makes SMS marketing so powerful.

That maximum reach and engagement come with a caveat.

You can’t treat SMS like email – unfortunately, most people make this mistake.

A person’s mobile device is incredibly personal and for this reason, needs to be treated delicately.

SMS is not a brute force marketing channel (like email) where you can send out messages every day until your customers plead for mercy.

Use it intelligently.

Want a few tips on how to use SMS correctly?

16 Tips That’ll Set Your SMS Marketing On Fire








16 Pro Tips For SMS Marketing [UPDATED]

Thursday, December 28th, 2017


Here is what Smart Insights had to say about the power of SMS:

Over 97% of text messages are read within the first four minutes.
• 19% of people will click a link in a SMS campaign rather than just 4.2% for emails.
• SMS campaigns receive average response rates of 19%, compared to 4% for emails.

Don’t get me wrong when used correctly email, PPC, social media marketing etc. can be a fantastic tool but when you absolutely need to get the attention of someone it is hard to beat SMS marketing.

In this article I’m going to share some of our best tips to help your improve your SMS marketing campaigns.


16 SMS Marketing Tips & Best Practices


1: Build Your List Organically

The big advantage text message marketing has over a lot of other channels is that it is permission-based.

This means that a person has given you explicit permission to send marketing messages to them.

While you could just buy a big ole’ list of mobile phone numbers and push out a bulk SMS marketing message campaign (which would deliver results) the legal hellfire that could land squarely on front doorstep makes this “strategy” not even worth the risk.

Instead, you want to grow your SMS marketing list naturally, this ensures that you have a high-quality list of potential customers.

Set expectations of how the relationship will work either on the promotion piece or inside your welcome SMS message.

For example…

When someone subscribes to your SMS list you may want to include things like:

• How often you’ll be texting them
• The time of day you will contact them (example: if you own a restaurant and have weekly lunch specials)
• Content type: The type of texts they can expect to from you i.e. receive offers, updates, reminders etc.
• How to opt out from your list


2: Create And Nurture Positive Expectancy

Did you ever know someone who would come around to your house uninvited and it annoyed you to see them? I.e. a pest.

On the other hand, do you have a friend or family member that you really enjoy coming over to spend time with you?

A person’s mobile phone is incredibly personal so you always want to be the person that they love to hear from.

Quick story:

Recently I received a text from Commbank asking me about a strange transaction on my money card.

I called them to find out what had happened and apparently, someone had skimmed my money card electronically and tried to withdraw funds, Commbank had frozen my account so thankfully no money had actually come out.

Obviously, I was grateful that they sent me that text and took action.

Naturally, whenever they text (which is rare anyway) I welcome their text messages like when that good friend comes around.

This is what I call positive expectancy.

There are a handful of companies that I enjoy contacting me because they always deliver value when they come around so think about what your customer avatar values and then build out SMS campaigns around that > see our post are you making these 13 SMS marketing mistakes to learn more about what a customer avatar is and how to build one.

This will help with your conversions and reduce unsubscribes.


3: Be Clear

You’re only dealing with 160 characters which most will say isn’t a lot.

Personally, I think it’s plenty, if there is a situation where you need to explain something that requires more than 160 characters then simply use the SMS message as a teaser to entice the reader to go to a web page where you can fully explain what you have to offer.

You don’t need to use up every single character if you’ve got a special offer: Kelly! 50% off. Online only. Ends midnight, Jim.


Here are a few other tips:

1. Lose the jargon

Lose the industry talk – use your reader’s words where possible.

2. Bring them to your place

You’re only working with a few characters, sometimes it’s not helpful to hang on the phone, instead, take the reader to another location so you can expand on what you want to say – typically your website.

3. Lead with your best stuff

Lead the message with your big benefit, curiosity phrase or offer. Before a person opens a text they can get a glimpse of what the message is about so make it count – you could think of this as the headline for an ad or the subject line for an email designed to tempt them to open the message.


4: Write 1-to-1 And Make It Personal

Personalisation works. Period.

Here are 6 ways to personalise your SMS messages:

1. Write to them like you’re talking with them one-on-one

One tactic in copywriting is to write one-to-one, that is, speaking directly to them as if you’re there – one person talking to another.

It helps to think of your subscriber while you write the text message to help you make it more personal.


2. Use the subscriber’s name

Some SMS marketers will say that you should always include the person’s first name but I don’t think this is necessary.

Before you text a friend do you start the message with their name?

This depends on the relationship you have with your subscribers but just know that it’s not a hard rule to follow.


3. Use your name

Hey Jennie, I see that you added the Cleveland boots to your cart but didn’t end up buying. Get 10% off for the next 24 hours. Jessica. To opt-out, reply STOP.


4. Communicate to subscribers based on location

If you move around a bit then you can send SMS messages to people in specific locations “Hey Tammie, the Gourmet Food Truck is in Fernwood tonight! Click here to see the Fernwood Menu…”


5. Targeting an offer specifically for that person

This would most likely be used for triggered event for example an ecommerce store where shoppers who added an item to their shopping cart but didn’t end up buying.

I know this really annoys ecom marketers!

As soon as some abandons their cart, an SMS alert is sent out to the shopper to remind them that they still have an item in their cart and that they can continue shopping by following the link in the SMS.

NOTE: On the 1st tip I mentioned how important it is to get permission to send text messages to people – in this instance you will be fine sending this out to them (because it’s positioned as a helpful service) but you will NOT have permission to send marketing offers unless they ticked a box saying that it was ok to do so.


6. Targeting specific interests

This is incredibly powerful and is only possible if you have segmented your lists.

When you have segmented lists (contact groups that have people with similar interests inside them) you can send highly targeted offers and messaging which will often result in higher open and response rates.

For example:

If you run a pet store you might create a “Pug” contact group which allows you to send pug related tips, reminders and offers that pug owners would benefit from.

Mobile is very much a one-to-one channel so look to use personalisation often.

Customer Avatars are incredibly powerful for going deep into personalising your messaging.


5: Mobile Friendly Landing Pages

Are you sending people from their phone to your site?

You better make sure that when they arrive at your ‘home’ everything is tidy.

Make sure that your page:

1. Loads quickly
2. Looks great on a mobile screen
3. Uses the same words from your SMS on the landing page
4. Makes it easy to find what they’re looking for is easy to find
5. Has no or very few distractions
6. Carries on the conversation from the SMS message (seamless communication)
7. Has clear calls to action (make it easy to move them through your funnel)
8. Is designed to lead them to the single action you want them to take.


6: Frequency and Timing

How often do you plan to contact the people on your SMS list?

If the frequency is too high, they’ll unsubscribe.

If the frequency is too low, and they may forget subscribing to your list and unsubscribe.

This needs a bit of forethought and can be covered in your pre-framing SMS or opt-in page from ‘Tip 1’

How often you text will largely depend on the type of relationship you have.

• If you’re a personal trainer then clients will welcome daily reminders and updates.
• If you’re an eCommerce or physical store and you want to send offers then once a week may be perfect.
• If you’re launching a product then slow to more rapid SMS messaging as the launch gets closer will be required.

Either way, let your list know how often you’ll be contacting them.


7: Show Them Where The ‘Break Up’ Button Is

Place an unsubscribe option on every SMS.

This gives your subscriber or customer peace of mind knowing that they can opt-out whenever they want – kind of like a 30-day money back guarantee.

If you’re doing a good job at SMS then you won’t have to worry about a mass exodus from your list.

SMS marketing laws are different in every country so it is advised that you read through your country’s spam laws so you avoid legal headaches.


8: Drive Action With Urgency

It is often said that ‘deadlines’ were man’s greatest invention.

The thought of an impending deadline where a person can lose something is often times enough to push a person forward.

If you care about subscribers taking action then urgency should be a common theme.
“Sale ends at midnight tonight” creates urgency.

If you send them through to a web page with a countdown timer mercilessly counting down every second, minute and hour to midnight this reinforces that sense of urgency.

Never underestimate how hard it is to get a person to take action, whether that be to:

• Click on a link in your SMS
• Go to your website
• Find the product
• Read all of the information (description, money back guarantee etc.)
• Go through the cart process (entering information into all of those fields if they aren’t a member of your site)
• Entering in their credit card details (the BIG one)

The bigger the action you want the person to take the more effort you will need to get them to complete the action.


9: Smooth Out Resistance Points

Remember that scene in “The Aviator” with Leonardo DiCaprio where he was inspecting his new plane which included running his fingers across the rivets to ensure none of them stuck out.

He understood that even rivets would create drag and resistance which could mean failing to break the record for the world’s fastest plane.

Whenever you want an action from a customer, there is often resistance from the customer that precedes that action.

If you’re surprised at no one buying your product even though you have a lot of people clicking on your link it could mean the the landing page is not mobile friendly, the offer is different, the cart is broken etc.

Step through the process from start to finish as a customer, ask yourself at each step whether you are creating friction-points and if so, how can you smooth it out?


10: Use SMS To Boost The Performance Of Other Channels

Got an event coming up that is important to lead generation or direct sales?

Then how could you be using SMS to make sure that you’re squeezing the most from that moment?

Boost webinar attendance rates with a quick SMS: “Hi Jack, don’t forget our webinar is on in 5 minutes – here’s the link > See you there!” watch your attendance rate go up.

Increase open rates on emails. Smart Insights said that sending out an SMS right after an email improved email open rates by 20-30% – that’s a huge uplift in response.

According to a 2017 study from Deloitte Australia:

“Thirty-five percent of us check our phone within five minutes of waking up in the morning, with 70 percent using phones during mealtimes with family and friends.”

People don’t check their emails every 10 minutes, but they will be checking their phones.


11: Leverage Exclusivity

Clubs are popular because it means exclusion.

A great way to increase value (and perhaps reduce unsubscribes) is to make offers that exist only inside the SMS channel which are not accessible elsewhere.

• Early or Alpha Access to a product before the rest of the world knows about it
• Special bonuses just for VIP SMS clients
• Free vouchers
• Faster shipping times


12: Track Performance

If you don’t track then it is almost impossible to improve so like any other of your marketing activities make sure you’re able to determine the impact of each  SMS campaign.

Track your CTR and conversions, inbound calls, unsubscribes etc.


13: Segmentation

Not all customers are the same and not all prospects are the same but they do share common traits (needs, wants, desires and outcomes) and it’s important to separate these needs into different groups.

Paper Style used to use a blast & pray approach to email marketing but when they switched to segmentation they increased their open rates by 244% and increased their click-through-rate by 161%.

Once you have segmented lists, it’s far easier to create targeted offers and improve conversions.


14: Increase Sales

An easy way to increase sales that most businesses overlook is simply helping customers complete their purchase.

A typical strategy used by online retailers is to send out an SMS to buyers who added products to their cart but failed to complete the order – called an abandoned cart SMS reminder.

When someone adds a product to cart, that is a strong buying indicator so using a direct messaging method like SMS to let them know that they have left items in their cart is a great way to recover potentially lost purchases.

Another way to help customers complete a purchase is to give them a way to contact you during the decision making process.

Bohemian Guitars increase their sales by 98% in a single month just by giving customers a chance to interact with them via SMS. When customers are close to a buying decision they may have one or two specific questions that are not available on your site – this simple little tactic will help you increase sales.

Another simple way is to use bundled offers, a popular version of this is the “spend this, get that” style campaign that eCommerce stores use to increase their AOV (Average Order Value) goals.

You can offer: free shipping, a free complimentary product or more of the same for a discount.

There are countless ways to increase sales using SMS.


15: Consistency

It is generally good practice to maintain a schedule when it comes to broadcast style SMS messages since most humans are conditioned for routine TV shows being a good example.

Determine how often you will contact your list and stick to it.


16: ABT (Always Be Testing)

It’s tough to improve if you never adapt and the marketplace is always moving and shifting gears.

Testing allows you to flip over rocks and uncover mysteries that would otherwise be hidden.

The businesses that lead the way are able to do this because they test constantly and are able to discover new ‘wins’ leaving their competitors to always follow behind.

1. Come up with a hypothesis
2. Test that hypothesis with real customers and prospects
3. Record your findings
4. Endlessly Repeat

It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.

• Test time of day
• Test offer A with offer B
• Test different parts of the buying process
• Test offer in message vs teaser copy with offer on landing page
• Test males vs. females
• Segments (some will be more profitable than others)

Want to learn more about SMS Marketing see our SMS Marketing Guide.


Ready To Try SMS marketing?

Click here to learn more about SMS marketing services.

Use The ‘3R’ Method To Improve Your SMS Marketing In 2018

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

SMS MarketingWith open rates as high as 700%, click-through rates up to 36% and higher and the fact that people are always on their phones this should improve your marketing results, right?

Often times I’ll hear my mates complain about receiving SMS marketing quickly texting back ‘STOP’ ‘OPT OUT’ and ‘Remove my number!!!’

Before you say “hey, nobody likes receiving marketing” let me spin this around so that we’re addressing the core problem.

People don’t hate marketing.

People hate marketing (or anything) that is unwelcome.

Direct response copywriter Dan Kennedy likens most marketing to being an unwelcome pest.

Let me explain…

The Unwelcome Pest

If a plumber called you out of the blue during dinner time while your favourite show was on asking to see if you require any plumbing you would not be interested and even annoyed that he had the nerve to call!

The Welcome Guest

But let’s imagine for a moment that you’re having dinner, watching your favourite show and all of a sudden water starting pouring from the ceiling all over your wooden floorboards due to a burst pipe and that same plumber called, your reaction would be a lot different, I’m sure he would be welcomed with open arms “when can you get here!”

What changed?

  1. You instantly became the perfect candidate for plumbing services
  2. The timing was perfect
  3. The offer was spot on

I’m going to share with you a simple 3-stage framework to help you go from an unwelcome pest to welcomed guest.

Introducing the 3 R’s

When aiming for high ROI on your SMS marketing make sure that you target the right person at the right time and with the right offer.

The Right Person

The reason this sits at the top of the 3 R’s is that it is the most important when it comes to marketing in general not just SMS marketing.

To make sure you target the right person you must be using segmentation.

Sending email campaigns without segmentation guarantees higher unsubscribes, lower open rates and reduced conversions.

What is segmentation?

Think of segmentation as common traits shared by various groups of people.
Each group may share a specific language (as it relates to their needs), tastes, worldview, buying habits etc.
Segmentation allows you to group people together in meaningful ways so that when you send an offer or message out to them it feels like you wrote it specifically for them.

If I’m selling wine, at the very least, I want to know who:

1. Drinks red wine
2. Drinks white wine

Ideally, I would want to drill down deeper and know who have shown interest either by opting into my list OR even better purchasing:

• Chardonnay
• Pinot Gris
• Sauvignon Blanc etc.

This means when I plan my Chardonnay offer only my Chardonnay list will receive it.

You can drill down as far as you like: Chardonnay drinkers who wear pink gumboots on Tuesday’s.

If you haven’t segmented your list yet, an easy place to start is grouping customers together into themes like in the example above.

With you can not only create specific segments but you can automate it so that when people see one of your advertisements and they can respond to it they can be automatically added to a specific segment for you to market to later.

The Right Timing

Often times getting a sale, generating a lead, getting your list to take a specific action comes down to timing.

Your customers and clients are always shifting between moments.

Things that influence these shifts could be:

1. Trends
2. News – When Donald trump called North Korea’s President “Rocket Man” this kicked off a popular range of rocket man t-shirts.
3. Seasons – Christmas etc.
4. Personal events – Pregnancy, divorce etc.
5. Awareness shift – Meat eaters are now switching to veganism due to viral information spread about the dangers of animal-based foods.
6. Recency – The best person to send an SMS offer to is a buyer, an even better person to send an SMS to is a buyer who bought from you recently.

The path to purchase is a critical timing factor.

When a person is looking to buy your solution, they will start researching, then reassess their needs, reduce options down to 1 or 2, get social feedback/reviews and finally make a decision.

Whatever business you’re in it helps to know what specific events have an impact on your customer’s world or what stage of the buying process your prospect is currently living in.

Each stage of this process represents an opportunity to guide them towards your solution.
Understanding what’s going on with your list is useful and sending out well-timed SMS messages will have large payoffs.

The Right Offer

Now that you’ve got the right person…and you’re sending your SMS offer at the right time, your campaign will be more welcomed.

In terms of creating an offer, make it compelling and constantly test as most offers bomb.

Unless you’re getting 100% conversion with your offers you should always be looking to improve them.

The 3 R’s stack on top of one another in order of importance for example: 70% off hearing aids (great offer) to a person that has perfect hearing (wrong person) = fail.

Always think of the right person first and then craft the compelling offer.

Side note: an “offer” doesn’t need to be a special discount, and offer just needs to target the specific desire of the person you’re trying to convert.

If you run a weight loss clinic and your prospective buyer needs to lose 10 kilos your offer could simply be enrolling them into your “lose 10 kilos in 10 weeks system”. No special discount, but the offer speaks to the exact need of the prospect. is a cloud-based SMS messaging platform which helps businesses and agencies reach new and existing customers.

• Build segmented lists of people interested in your product or service
• Create 2-way conversations
• Send SMS via your favourite email platform
• Get replies sent to your email inbox
• Automate SMS marketing to go out on specific dates and times
• Easy to use platform

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