There are many benefits to SMS marketing such as increased customer loyalty, wider brand awareness, improved customer relationships, better sales, and the fact that as far as marketing is concerned it's an inexpensive marketing method.
To get started with SMS marketing, you'll want to get people to sign up. You can use all of the following ways to get people to do that:
1. Signage If you have a bricks and mortar business, simply ask people to sign up, or put up a QR code that they can scan with their phone.
2. Radio Yes, radio ads still work, and you can make it short and sweet by asking them to text you at a specific number that will opt them into your SMS list.
3. Billboards You won't need that many letters on a billboard to get your audience to view it and text you to get on your list.
4. Email Messages Already have an email list? Send out a message with a free offer that requires them to provide their mobile number.
5. Website Sign-Up Forms Ask for mobile information on your web sign-up forms.
6. Social Media Sign-Up Forms Ask for mobile numbers on your social media sign-up forms, along with email addresses.
7. Newsletters Do you send out email or paper newsletters? Use the distribution to get the audience to sign up for your text message list.
8. Contests Have contests that require SMS information to enter, thus signing them up for your list.
Always remember that whatever method you use to get them to sign up, you should allow for easy opt-in and opt-out. Once you have collected the information, you can get into actually marketing to them.
Get to Know Your Audience
Researching what type of messages they want to receive will be the best way to figure out your next steps. Knowing who they are and the type of schedules they stick to will also help you determine the best times to message them.
For example, if you have a restaurant, you can plan to send out text messages right before dinner time with a special coupon code. If you know your audience loves watching cooking shows, you can tie that into with your messages by having sales during those shows while your audience is hungry.
Conversely, if you own a cooking website you can send out an appropriate recipe two hours before dinner linking to tonight's dinner recipe idea. The simple fact of getting to know who your audience is and how to trigger action is all you need to come up with more SMS marketing ideas.
Create Shareable Messaging
The more interesting your messages are, the more likely they are to be shared by the recipient – thus growing your list or growing the amount of people who answer your call to action. Messages like, “Get 20% off with six of your best friends at Downtown Pub from 8 to Midnight” is something that will be shared so that six people go to the pub. It's a great idea to send something compelling enough that they'll share it.
SMS marketing is a great way to retarget old customers and get repeat purchasing, as well as turn them into referrals for new customers.