One of the dangers of SMS marketing is that it’s easy to use.
It requires zero learning curve, right?
- You type in a message.
- Select people from your contact group.
- Click send.
What else is there?
SMS campaigns are won and lost before they’re even launched.
By asking you a few questions I can tell you whether your campaign has the makings of a champion campaign or if it’s going to flop without even looking at your campaign.
In this post, I’m going to share 6 SMS marketing ideas that focus on what needs to happen before you launch your SMS campaign because if you get things right at the beginning your rewards will be greater as your list grows.
TIP 1: Target The Gatekeeper
The gatekeeper is the most important person because they hold the key to other important people to your business.
By helping this person out you’re more likely to get access to their personal network.
Let’s use a local dentist who is trying to drive more family units into their practice instead of just single patients.
The opt-in offer could be:
For new mothers who want to make sure their newborn babies have healthy teeth. There are 3 critical stages of teeth development before your baby reaches 12 months that determine 80% of overall health when they become adults. Text “FreeCheckup” to XXXXXXXX and receive a free baby teeth health check-up.
For every SMS lead that comes in the admin team can call or text to book the appointment.
The goal here is to:
- Call out the decision maker: the mother.
- Identify a potential problem and offer a low barrier solution to solving that problem.
By exposing her to the clinic, chances are she is going to recommend the dentist to her family as well giving our dentist the opportunity to bring on the entire family.
TIP 2: Use Granular Targeting
The “universal remote control” strategy in marketing is…long gone.
That is making one big fat offer that attempts to target everyone at once.
These offers just don’t work as well as highly targeted offers.
People have very specific needs and the more you can align your offer to that need the better results you will get.
Imagine an asthmatic who has a head-splitting headache they walk into the pharmacy to get some headache pills to solve that problem.
They’re presented with 3 options:
- Headache pills
- Headache pills for people with asthma
Which one is she likely to go for?
Even though the ingredients are exactly the same they’ll opt for the ‘headache pills for people with asthma’ and here’s why:
If they purchase either the general painkillers or the headache pills, at best, they may not be as effective, at worst they could potentially cause serious health issues or even death.
By drilling down on your offer and matching a specific problem to a specific person you make your competitors’ products seem irrelevant, inferior and in some instances potentially dangerous.
TIP 3: Make Your Offer Easy Like Sunday Morning
What I see a lot of businesses doing is promoting their flagship products that require a lot of thinking on the part of the buyer.
If you have ever worked in retail you know that when a buyer as to “think about it” they’re not coming back to your store.
The goal with this strategy is to make them an offer that they’re already interested in, yet doesn’t involve a lot of commitment on their side.
Think about this for a moment…
When you think about your target customer, what are they ultimately trying to achieve as it relates to your product?
What’s the big goal that they’re marching towards?
Now, what’s the first and easiest step they need to take?
If the person is trying to lose weight from 100kgs down to 75kgs what is the first step that they are already looking for?
Maybe it’s a free fat loss consultation specifically designed for new mothers who want to lose the baby weight including and written fitness program based on their fat percentage, lifestyle and dietary habits.
Whatever that first step is to make that available for a very good price or if it makes sense give it away.
The goal of the offer isn’t to make money but to bring people into your solution in a logical way.
TIP 4: Build A Buyer Persona
This is considered SMS best practice.
Before you craft any offer you need to have a good understanding of who it is that you’re looking to target.
We use what is called a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a fictional character that carries the same needs, goals, frustrations, desires etc. of a specific group of people who buy from you.
Here’s what you want to know
- Location (especially important if you’re a local business)
- What are their frustrations? What current problems are they experiencing?
- What are their fears?
- What are their wants and desires?
- What goal are they trying to accomplish?
- Where do they hang out online?
- Who are they influenced by?
- What are their beliefs about their current problem?
- What do they believe they need to solve that problem?
The more detail you can go into on each of these points the better.
Just knowing the answers to these questions will help you a great deal when running your marketing campaigns.
TIP 5: Always…Always…Segment
Relevancy is ultra-important, especially with SMS subscribers.
SMS subscribers have an incredibly low tolerance for irrelevant information and offers.
Before you put together your SMS campaign remember this:
Your average subscriber is looking for a reason to unsubscribe.
The moment you send them untargeted, valueless information or promotion, they’re jumpin’ ship!
The secret to avoiding this is to stay relevant and this is done through segmentation.
You can segment people based on whatever criteria you want:
- Buyer Persona
- Product based
- Age or gender etc.
Whatever is meaningful to you in terms of improving your conversion rates.
You can find out how to create a segment using contact groups here.
TIP 6: Have A Goal For Your Subscribers
What do you want to achieve once you send out an SMS promotion?
A great way to get the most bang for your buck with SMS is to have an idea of what you ultimately want to do with that customer once they purchase your product or service.
Do you have specific upsells that would be a valuable complement to that product?
Do you have the next logical purchase ready to go so you know what to send them next?
Apple’s had a clear buyer path for their customers:
First, you’d buy the iPod which was an easy sell, right?
Store your entire music collection on one device.
Then they introduced the iPhone and then finally the Mac Book to complete the trinity.
I wonder how many people own a Mac book but don’t own an iPhone?
This goes back to the buyer persona, right?
What is your buyer persona’s goal?
Can you line your product suite up so that they intersect at the top?
If you don’t have a logical plan for what you want your customers to purchase then they will buy whatever from whomever.
To generate a lot of sales with SMS it’s not about having an enormous list of subscribers, it’s about building a highly responsive list that values your SMS messages.
The best way to build a highly responsive list is to:
- Understand your buyer (preferably at a granular level).
- Craft offers that speak to specific pain points or interests that only that type of person would be interested in.
- Map out a logical solution sequence so that you know what you need to get them to buy next in order for them to achieve their ultimate goal.