In this guide, you’ll learn what SMS campaigns are, how they work, and how you can use them for your business.
Chances are your prospects and customers carry their mobile phones on them most of the day.
And while email sequences are known to be very effective, there’s a way to get much much closer to your customers.
That’s where text message marketing and running an SMS campaign can come into play to nurture and convert prospects at scale.
Let’s start with the basics.
- Why SMS campaigns & text message marketing is highly relevant today
- SMS campaigns vs. text message marketing
- What type of businesses can make use of SMS marketing
- How SMS campaigns work
- How to structure your SMS campaign
- SMS campaign use case examples
- The first step to starting today
SMS & Text Message Marketing — It’s Never Been More Relevant to Marketers
It’s been found that a whopping 54% of consumers want to receive marketing text messages, but only 11% of businesses bother to send them.
And while email isn’t going anywhere soon, texting is becoming an increasingly critical part of everyone’s lives.
So the real question is:
Why wouldn’t a business owner want to utilize texting to get ahead of the curve?
SMS Campaigns vs. Text Message Marketing: Is There a Difference?
Now that we’ve gotten the “why” out of the way, it’s time for the “what.”
So, are text message marketing and SMS campaigns the same?
Well, kind of.
What is Text Message Marketing?
Text message marketing is just that: marketing through text messages.
It’s an extremely effective way to market yourself if used correctly. For instance, you’ve probably gotten text message ads from businesses offering coupon codes in the past.
This is a form of text message marketing, and the reason those types of texts are so common is because they work.
What are SMS Campaigns?
SMS Campaigns are the “bigger picture” when it comes to text message marketing.
While text message marketing may just be single messages, SMS campaigns include the overarching strategy, planning, and messages themselves.
So let’s get into how you can build a high-converting campaign for your business.
What Businesses are SMS Campaigns & Text Message Marketing Best For?
In short: SMS Campaigns are excellent tools for practically any business if used correctly, but there are some that they tend to work better for.
It’s very common for B2C retailers and ecommerce stores to utilize SMS campaigns for discounts, promos, special offers, or even memberships.
But that’s not to say that SMS campaigns don’t have a place in the B2B world. B2B companies with high-volume sales pipelines can also make use of SMS.
For example, SaaS companies could use SMS instead of an email sequence to send to prospects.
So, in short, the use cases are as endless as your imagination. (We’ll get more into examples later in this guide.)
How SMS Campaigns Work
Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty details of SMS campaigns:
How they function and how to set them up in your own business…
Texts are going to be scheduled at different times for various businesses. The time you should send out messages depends on your customer base, but there are a few commonalities that most companies share.
Two such common rules are that you probably shouldn’t send your texts during the typical workday from 9-5 on Monday through Friday (unless your customers are other businesses) or during the night unless you want a low conversion rate.
Besides those two rules, you should track your results during various times to pinpoint the optimal times for texts, a process we’ll dive deeper into later.
Sending Mass Text Messages
Automating your marketing process is one of the most effective ways to set up your business for quick, consistent scaling.
Without automation, linear business growth doesn’t necessarily mean linear profit growth due to a growing bottom line.
But with automation, you can mitigate much of that bottom line, so more of your revenue is profit.
And mass text messages are a form of marketing that’s integral to SMS Campaigns.
Without mass text messages, sales reps would have to send every single text message out manually. But with tools like VipeCloud’s text marketing suite, you can send out messages to hundreds or even thousands of prospects and customers in an instant.
This is why SMS campaigns are excellent for dealing with high-volume sales pipelines.
Programming the Right Keywords
A step above just sending out mass messages is to use VipeCloud’s “keyword” feature.
You won’t want to be just sending mass text messages to just anyone in your texting list. So programming keywords is how you personalize your SMS campaign.
With the keyword tool, you can set up auto-responses and categorize prospects purely on how they respond to texts.
A simple (yet effective) example of the keyword function in action would be to send out coupons to any customer who texts “holiday special” during December. But while coupon deals and discounts are great ways to utilize keywords, they’re far from the only ones.
Creating these keywords and their actions will help you design the framework of your campaign.
A well-programmed and designed SMS campaign will only get you so far.
At some point a customer or prospect on the other end of your campaign will need personalized help.
And that’s where the “Conversations” feature will come in. The Conversations feature allows you to communicate directly to a phone number without the use of your cell phone.
This could be key whenever a user gets hung up in your campaign, or it could be used for when a lead is ready to convert.
How to Structure an SMS campaign — Tips for a Successful Endeavor
So first, you’ve got scheduled mass text message marketing tools to send texts out to various customers.
Then, you’ve got keywords, which allow you to set up auto-responding text campaigns.
And lastly, you can even use VipeCloud to have direct, one-on-one text conversations with prospects — no phones required.
Each of these features has its own strengths and drawbacks, but when you tie them all together, you’ll have a well-oiled test message marketing machine.
With many of VipeCloud’s texting features out of the way, let’s get into how you can structure your businesses’ SMS campaign.
Avoid Spammy Tactics: Make Opting Out Simple & Get Permission First
The first rule is to follow the rules.
If you weren’t aware, sending unprompted mass texts without permission from the recipient is illegal (and unethical when it comes to marketing standards).
If you want to avoid getting into trouble and onto your prospects’ bad sides, always get permission and opt-ins before sending them mass messages.
And not only that, ensure you’ve made opting-out easy too. Don’t trap unwilling customers in your marketing machine if they want to leave; you only want the interested prospects anyway.
Make a Compelling Opt-In
Your SMS campaign is for nothing if you don’t actually get users to join your list.
This is where creating a compelling opt-in will come into play.
Your opt-in should be tailored for your business, but the main gist is to offer free value.
Free value could be in the form of updates for premium content, PDFs, free courses, free software tools, or other valuable resources.
Don’t Overdo It
Besides getting permission from your recipients, never overdo it to those who give you permission.
If you’re sending out dozens of texts a week to each prospect, it shouldn’t be a surprise when you see the opt-outs start rolling in.
Remember that in many cases, and especially this one, less is more.
Rather than sending tons of texts and using a “quantity over quality” approach, try sending out highly effective messages at just the right times to get a high conversion rate.
And this leads us to the next point:
Use Data & Analytics to Get the Little Details Right
During the course of any SMS marketing campaign, you should be tracking the marketing data points along the way.
If you aren’t tracking your campaigns, you’re effectively flying blind when it comes to improvements, since they’ll be based on intuition rather than data.
After the “tracking data” step comes the “using your data” step.
All of the data you collect during a campaign should be used to tighten things up and refine them.
For instance, what times tend to yield the best conversion rate for text messages? Once you’ve found it, make it common practice to send texts out at that optimal time.
Do certain types of messages work better than others? Great, start focusing on those.
How about your audience, are there any trends in the prospects with high-conversion rates? All of this data can be used to hyper-focus your campaign on the tactics that work well, which leads to higher profit for your business.
Send Relevant, Valuable Messages
Knowing who you’re sending marketing texts to and where they fall in the customer journey is critical in sending relevant, valuable, and high-converting text messages.
The keyword feature is great for helping with this too.
One example could be asking if prospects are interested in a certain offer.
If they text back “yes,” you can funnel them into a category for hot, ready to buy leads.
If they don’t reply or text back “no,” you can either funnel them to a category for cold leads or drop them altogether.
From there, you should have a much better idea of what to send each particular lead.
So make sure your SMS campaign can be tailored towards your unique customer journey.
Know What Makes a Compelling Message
Want to increase your conversion rate?
Teach your reps how to do effective copywriting and content writing.
A great place to start is our guide on writing effective marketing content; you can find it here.
But here are some golden rules:
- Provide value
- Make it about them
- Keep your messaging very concise
Use SMS Marketing in Tandem with Other Avenues
The best marketing approach is a multi-faceted one.
It takes each customer an average of seven touchpoints before they make a decision; if you’re only using one avenue, it’ll take much longer to hit that seven mark than if you were utilizing technology to its fullest.
Following Successful Examples: Some Great SMS Campaigns
With all of this said, you might still be stumped on just how many ways you can use text marketing.
So let’s cover some super effective (yet simple) ways you can use SMS campaigns.
One of the most straightforward ways to use SMS campaigns is to offer discounts and coupon codes to people who opt-in.
It’s simple, a prospect opts-in to get regular offers, they get discounts on select items or services. It’s a win-win, you get more business, and they get to save some cash.
Another way you can use text marketing to great effect is to confirm appointments or calls with prospects.
The great thing about this is that it’s automated, which means you can use it to avoid all the wasted time of missed calls and dead time slots for your sales reps.
It also works great with features like VipeCloud’s scheduler to save even more time when it comes to managing calls and meetings with prospects.
Promoting Your Content
Remember how I mentioned that a multi-faceted marketing approach is the best approach? Here’s a perfect example of that.
Text marketing gives you a perfect way to notify prospects when you upload new content.
This is excellent for multiple reasons.
First, it lets you funnel prospects closer to the sale and onto your website. And second, it gives your content a boost in traffic, which could help its SEO.
Using VipeCloud to Create Powerful, High-Converting SMS Campaigns (and More)
Want to see how VipeCloud can help your business launch its own SMS campaign? (and transform your marketing efforts as a whole)
How about we show you first hand with a free demo?
Click here to request your free demo of VipeCloud today. (We’ll even help you migrate your current data and systems for a silky-smooth transition)
Or if you’re shy, try out a 15-day free trial to see our amazing tools for yourself.