Mobile SMS marketing in developed countries is viciously difficult. You are constantly dancing the fault line of being ineffective, being marked as illegal spam, or getting blocked by the user. Plus, unlike with emails or multi-media messaging services, you may only use text, and the notification for texts only shows a few words of the first line. Here are a few strategies you should consider, including things you shouldn’t do.
Offer a Cost-Cutting Freebie
The Bannatyne Gym seems to get it right and wrong at the same time. Their SMS messages tell you that for seven days they are dropping their sign-up fee. Most people click on their link to find out if this is a free-for-a week deal, or something just as enticing.
Yet, what they really mean is that if you sign up for Bannatyne Gym, you have to pay for the year, and you have to pay a sign-up fee too. They are saying that they will drop the sign-up fee.
This is disappointing because what they are saying is that for a week, they will drop the nasty tacked-on fee that their subscriptions usually have.
Their click-through rate is great, and they get plenty of viewers come through from SMS marketing, but the fact that they have such a disappointing, and misleading offer is one of their biggest downfalls.
A Discount Code or Freebie Code
Pizza Capers send out an SMS marketing message every Friday or Saturday. In most cases, they offer a freebie code. If you make an order with them, and then enter the code, then you get a free garlic bread or bottle of cola with your order.
They are smart by only sending one message and sending it over the weekend. Their offers are fair, and they do not dress it up with silly starting text like “FREE.” Instead, they start each SMS message with the name of their company, and their subscribers already know that within will be a discount code or freebie code.
The Congrats Crowd
For some reason, starting your SMS marketing text with “Congratulations” or “Congrats” is not in violation of the 2003 spam act, even though it is very misleading. Especially when it is followed by “Text this number to see what you have won.”
Yet, the fact it is still legal is not the problem. The problem is that most people will block you if they see you start your messages with something as spammy as “Congratulations.” They will not text whatever number to unsubscribe, they will simply block you via their phone book on their phones. Consider all the spammy things you have been sent over the years, and make sure you leave them out of your SMS marketing messages.
Setting Up a Wishlist
The Steam gaming platform has its flaws, especially when it comes to letting indie developers post any old rubbish and call it a game. However, the best thing they do, and something that Microsoft and Sony could learn from, is their wish list. You see a game on Steam, and you click to put it in your wish list for later.
It is similar to the Amazon “Save for Later” functionality, except that whenever your game has a new piece of DLC, or has a price drop, Steam emails you and lets you know. It is brilliant, and it is only a shame they do not do it with business SMS messages too.
That is where you come in. Sending people SMS messages whenever you have a price drop is pretty old hat and pretty useless since most companies do it. However, if people have a wish list with your company, and you send them SMS messages about discounts for their wish list products, then your click-through rate will skyrocket.
Precious few companies do this sort of thing because it takes a fair amount of processing power to achieve the desired result. But, these days with Cloud computing, you can move mountains and get the click-through numbers you desire.