How to Create an Effective Bulk SMS Marketing Campaign?
Reaching out to your customers and prospects through SMS marketing is a great way to put your business and its offering in the spotlight. SMS campaigns send your message out to a large crowd of people in just a few seconds.
These are just a couple of reasons why even some of the most famous brands globally use SMS marketing as an essential part of their mobile marketing. Here’s an interesting fact: Coca-Cola invests 70% of their mobile budget in SMS marketing. And, when the company was asked why it does that, the answer was really simple: “Because we invest in what works”.
If a global company with marketing expenses of $2.77 billion in 2020 trusts SMS marketing as the main promotion channel, so should your business. This example can be a good indicator that SMS marketing isn’t dead, as some digital marketers would argue, but it is instead very alive and efficient.
Bulk SMS marketing explained
As the name might suggest, bulk SMS marketing represents the use of large numbers of SMS texts for delivery to mobile phone terminals. Brands often use bulk messaging to send alerts and reminders to their customers, as well as for marketing purposes. Bulk marketing allows you to contact your database using SMS as a communication channel.
To implement a bulk SMS marketing campaign, marketers need to pre-craft messages containing their promotional material, which can be an announcement, a special promotion, or a timely offer. Next, these pre-crafted messages are sent to a database of numbers.
Why start an SMS marketing campaign?
Is it a good idea for your business to start an SMS marketing campaign? Absolutely! There are plenty of reasons for starting a bulk SMS marketing campaign, including:
- A massive reach since there are over 5 million mobile users globally able to receive text messages.
- Text messages are a direct and personal way to reach customers.
- The average Internet user checks their phone 58 times every day. Most people even report checking their smartphones even before they get out of bed in the morning.
- SMS marketing outperforms other channels.
Benefits of a bulk SMS campaign
Speaking of SMS in comparison with other communication channels out there, there are plenty of benefits to using SMS as opposed to other marketing channels. Here are a few benefits of using bulk SMS:
SMS is the most mobile-friendly channel you can use to reach out to your customers. Literally, 100% of all mobile phones are SMS enabled. No matter if your customers use “smart” or “not smart” devices, SMS is still an integrated part of these devices. So, you’ll never worry that your message might not be displayed right on your audience’s screens when using SMS.
Speaking of how SMS performs on mobile devices compared to other communication tools, SMS is also superior as it is an offline tool. More precisely, although it is a digital communication channel, like email, social media, or websites, it doesn’t need the Internet to reach your recipients. Your SMS texts will get to your audience whether or not they have their Internet data on.
High open rates
Data shows that text messages have an average open rate of 98%. In contrast, the average open rate for emails sent for marketing purposes is 30%. The numbers drop even lower for organic marketing on Facebook, for example.
So, it’s clear that SMS marketing has a superior open rate that will help your brand be sure that your message was opened and read by the recipients.
A high ROI for low costs
SMS texts are considered one of the cheapest marketing tools, especially when compared to other tools like emails, social media or Google ads, or other channels. For this reason, and the fact that text messages have an open rate of 98%, this marketing channel also ensures a high ROI (return on investment).
Steps to create an effective bulk SMS campaign
Now you know what an SMS bulk campaign really is and how it can benefit your business. But, the real question is: “How do you create a campaign that will be worth every penny?” Well, don’t worry! It’s easier than you may imagine.
Here are all the steps you need to follow to know everything about running a successful bulk SMS campaign. From setting your goals to figuring out who you’ll be sending your texts to, how to engage your recipients, and how to optimize your future bulk SMS campaigns, we explain everything step-by-step.
Identify what you want to achieve
No matter the type of marketing campaign you are planning, the first obvious step is to set up some goals. Whether you want to attract customers and prospects to your website, increase your sales, increase brand awareness, or promote a new product/ service to your audience, you need to be sure of what your goals are. In other words, you need to know exactly what you want to achieve through your marketing efforts.
Here’s the deal: if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to achieve through your bulk SMS marketing campaign, you simply can’t determine its effectiveness once it’s all done. What’s more, not having clear goals will also give you a hard time crafting a compelling message. For example, if you want people to visit your website, your message should say that. Or, if you want them to hear about your latest product, the message you send should offer a short overview of the product/ service and invite people to learn more about it.
Define your contact list
Once you know what you want to achieve through your text messages, it is time to decide who you want to send them to. Now, with so many mass text messaging services out there, it may seem tempting to simply bombard phone numbers with an SMS message blindly. But, will this bring any actual and effective long-term results to your business? The chances are the answer is, “No”.
When running an SMS marketing campaign, you need to have a clear idea of the ideal recipient you want to receive your message. The perfect recipient can be someone who would genuinely be interested in your latest product, or it should be someone who would genuinely appreciate a customized promotion. In other words, your contact list should be in line with your campaign’s goals.
What’s more, another essential aspect of an effective contact list is to contain only valid numbers. Using HLR Lookup services, make sure that you have a clean mobile numbers database that only includes valid numbers. If you don’t do that, not only that you’re wasting money, time and other resources, but your message also never makes it to the right pair of eyes, which will help you achieve your marketing and sales goals.
Craft a short and engaging message
Once you have a clear contact list that you’ll use to reach a lot of prospects and customers, it is time to figure out what your message will be. Now, this is one of the most critical parts of your marketing efforts. The message you send to your audience will make all the difference in finding success or not.
First of all, keep in mind that your message needs to be short. 160 characters short. If your message is longer than that, it will be sent as a multipart or a separate message, which won’t be very user friendly for your recipients. So, craft a message that keeps it short.
Next, make sure that your message is engaging. How do you make it engaging? There are plenty of strategies for that, including:
- Be concise
- Tell a story
- Adapt your language to your audience
- Be friendly
- Add value
Let’s talk a bit about adding value for your customers because this is the most crucial factor of an engaging message. Like it or not, your text messages will reach their best potential only if they create value for the recipients. If they are only some spammy, uber-promotional messages, your audience is very likely to opt out of your contact list quickly.
So, to avoid wasting your customer’s time (and your money), craft messages that add some value to the recipients. For example, if you reach out to your customers to inform them about your latest product/ service, make sure you make it clear how your offering will help them. In other words, make sure your message tells why they should care.
Double-check your message
When that brilliant copy idea hits you, you write faster than ever before. We get it. But, once you’re done putting it in words, make sure you check for potential mistakes. Your message can:
- Be more ambiguous than you thought it would.
- Be too long.
- Be too salesly.
- Be too dull.
- Contain grammar or spelling mistakes.
Make sure you reread your message again and again and have some other people read it as well. Never send a message before checking it and hearing an opinion or two from others. Others may spot something that you simply don’t see.
Once you’re done crafting your message (and checking it), take a few more moments to come up with the proper CTA. Call-to-action phrases are an absolute must no matter the channel you use to send a message to your audience. Whether you make a social media post, send an email, call your customers, or send SMS texts, you need to end your messages with a clear and engaging CTA.
Now, the CTA you use must be in line with your campaign’s goal. It is the tool the completes your marketing efforts to make a customer or prospect do what you want them to. So, if you want your recipients to visit your website, make sure your CTA mentions your business site and, ideally, includes a link to it. If you want them to learn more about your latest promotion, invite them to do so.
The thing with CTAs is that they conclude your messages by clearly telling your customers what is expected from them after reading your message. If your message misses a CTA, after reading your text, prospects and customers will feel the “now what?” confusion.
Schedule your bulk SMS campaign
All ready and set about your goals, contact list, and message? Great! But, before you press the “send” button. Make sure that you wisely schedule your campaign and don’t fall for one of the most common pitfalls of SMS marketing.
More precisely, it is time to choose the RIGHT date and time when to send your texts for the highest open rates. Start by not choosing weekend days. Consumers don’t like to be disturbed during weekends by promotional material from brands. So, stick to weekdays.
Next, when choosing the time, choose neither a too early nor a too late time. Stick to business hours when you know for sure that consumers are neither still sleeping nor preparing to go to bed. Once done, save your chosen schedule and go further to running the campaign.
Track your campaigns and optimize
Last but not least, make sure to track your current campaign for future improvements. Use all stats and tools available to track the results of your existing bulk SMS marketing campaign. Only by doing this, you’ll know what you’ve done right and what you should improve for your future campaigns.
Running an SMS marketing campaign comes with plenty of benefits for your business. You can use this direct, instant communication channel to reconnect with your audience and announce whatever latest news you have to tell. Simply follow these steps to create a campaign that has the potential to help you achieve your goals and prevents resource waste on texts that won’t meet their purpose.