How to Leverage SMS Marketing Campaigns to Grow and Maintain E-mail Lists

E-mail, text and social media marketing represent some of the most efficient and cost-effective means of advertising today. The influx of internet-ready portable devices has expanded the internet and increased the possibilities for advertisers. However, privacy concerns have prompted authorities to implement laws and regulations limiting the use of e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Unwarranted e-mails are marked as spam by servers and may impact negatively on business. So, given the power of the internet and the stringent marketing rules governing it, how does a business leverage this power to create legitimate e-mail lists and drive customers and profits its way? SMS marketing may have the solution.

SMS campaigns represent a simple yet powerful marketing campaign for any business. Over 86% of consumers send a text message every week, with 30% of the 320 million wireless service subscribers having interacted with a brand via SMS. Since sending an e-mail requires that the sender must have permission to send the e-mail to the recipient beforehand, SMS campaigns represent the best way in which to obtain this consent. Unlike e-mail marketing where someone can send e-mail to anyone and risk being marked as spam, sending an SMS requires the receiver to first opt-in or accept texts. This reduces the instances of messages being marked as spam and having the desired marketing effect.

Grow email subscribers via SMSOne way that SMS campaigns can be leveraged to build an e-mail list is by incorporating a promotion into the SMS campaign. Initially the subscriber is asked to text in a specific keyword in order to receive a discount or a promotional code. Once they reply, this will represent their decision to opt-in for any future texts from your company and that you are free to continue with the advertising message. You may then send a message asking them to reply with their e-mail address to receive their promotional code or any other promotional material as appropriate. When properly implemented and managed, such an SMS campaign can result in valuable e-mail capture and help you build a legitimate e-mail list.

Another way to encourage opt-ins is by implementing mobile text-to-win or mobile sweepstakes. The basic idea behind these types of campaigns is that people generally love free giveaways and gifts depending on how legitimate the offer appears. For a business that attracts referrals, the text-to-win strategy works extremely well especially because of the ease of texting and the high number of text-savvy individuals. A basic text-to-win campaign would begin by creating the call to action to promote your campaign – simply asking participants to text in a KEYWORD to a SHORT CODE. a text with a keyword that represents your industry and business niche with a prompt to reply to win. Once the user replies, a follow-up text is sent prompting the user to reply with relevant details, such as their email address. Once you receive a reply with this information, you can then proceed to carry the draw and pick out the winner. Other methods that can be used to get emails for your email database include text-to-vote and text-4-info which provide good platforms to engage subscribers.

It is important to remember to send an email as soon after receiving feedback from the subscriber to maintain engagement. Maintaining a clean e-mail database is almost as crucial as hunting for one. Therefore, it is important to remember to send regular emails and promotions to keep subscribers engaged and to ensure good ROI for your business.

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Learn how MMS can boost your SMS marketing campaigns

Once you have a successful Mobile Marketing campaign up and running, you might think there is little room left to improve on this avenue of your strategy. However, beyond SMS marketing there are a wealth of further opportunities available to communicate with your customers which you should be tapping into.

MMS is Multimedia Messaging Service – messages containing content other than just words. They can include videos, images, audio and slideshows as well as accompanying text to explain your message. Mobile Marketing Magazine stated in 2013 that 7 in 10 people in the UK and US own a smartphone, while Business Insider puts the figure at 1 in every 5 people in the world! Put another way, TechCrunch.com found that 80% of adults who use the internet have a smartphone. Having a smartphone allows people to engage more fully with multimedia messages and these statistics show that this way of reaching out to customers is an opportunity not to be missed. In some cases, MMS campaigns are resulting in up to three times as many click-throughs and conversions than standard SMS marketing messages, so it is becoming increasingly important to incorporate video and picture messaging into your current Mobile Marketing strategy.

Short code MMS campaigns

So how could you use MMS campaigns alongside your existing SMS Marketing techniques?

A good example is the way Starbucks launched an SMS and MMS campaign – Frappuccino Fun All Summer Long – last year with a call-to-action to text in a keyword to a short code. Once the user texted in he/she would receive a Happy Hour Frapuccino picture. Also, Starbucks incorporated videos into the campaign. The participants would receive a total of six SMS and MMS messages (combined) per month when they opted into the campaign.
The efficacy of Starbucks’ campaign is proved by the fact that it was covered so widely by online media and was considered something of a novelty. The campaign was heavily promoted via Facebook, Twitter, the company’s website and even on the Starbucks app.

Increasingly other businesses are using these strategies and it may no longer be so surprising, but many companies still haven’t tapped into this potential. MMS offers can prove to be a valuable way of reaching customers, and a good way of maximizing outreach is combining it with the power of social media as well as your existing SMS Marketing. How about sending an SMS to make people aware of a new offer or discount code, and then follow it up with an entertaining video clip to say thank you when they use the code? You can also include text with the MMS message to encourage them to share it on Facebook or Twitter, or a link for them to ‘like’ it on your own page. If a funny clip isn’t suitable for your business or branding, this can be adapted to suit – the main thing to remember is that people love to share interesting things with their social networks, so the more you can make your communication stand out, the better.

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Incorporating SMS Campaigns to Your Social Media Channels for Better Performance

As technology is advancing, SMS continues to grow and become a powerful source of marketing. It has proven more powerful than even social media campaign. Statistics show that 97% of people check their mobile phones every 15 minutes for a text message. Out of the 97%, 84% are bound to reply. Businesses capitalize on this fact in order to drive their sales.

Promote via SMS and Social MediaBut, as many other marketing tools, the power of SMS can be amplified when adding other channels. Social media is a great channel to compliment your SMS Marketing efforts and when SMS is integrated alongside other social media forums, a magic touch is added and an increase in sales is bound to be seen. The two marketing platforms can work hand in hand. A business that combines these two is bound to perform much better than one which uses only one of the above forms.

The question right is how a business can use SMS marketing to build themselves a wider social media platform?

Most businesses engage in text messaging to promote a one on one touch with their clients and communicate their sales to their clients in a quicker way. Businesses still use social media to increase their clientele base by targeting the youth mostly and following the norm of the modern times. Let’s integrate both marketing strategies and see how one can benefit from the other.

Businesses can leverage their Social media sign up list and extend them the option to join their SMS Marketing program. Anytime the company posts from new sales offers, to discounts or promotions; their clients can receive them directly to their phones. This flow ensures that your conversation does not stop on Twitter or Facebook but you have another channel to reach your audience – the SMS channel. The clients’ phone numbers are stored in your SMS Provider’s database.

Companies also have the option to send out an SMS alert from their SMS Platform and post that same alert on their social channels such as Facebook and Twitter. Another strategy is for companies to create a Text-to-Win campaign and promote the campaign on any Social media platform. Businesses can also start friendly competitions on social media all aimed at promoting their sales. The competition however, will run on text messages. You have to text a particular code and keyword in order to enter the Mobile Sweepstakes. Not only would businesses have acquired a lot of new phone numbers, but they would also see their sales increase.

Have you ever stopped for a minute and thought about the number of people buy online via the phone in a minute? Imagine the impact on your business sales if you were able to access their phone numbers. A simple text message will convert them to your clients. Remember to send them a URL that links them to your company’s social media sites and website.

These two powerful channels can help you grow interact with your customers, promote your brand and increase sales.

 

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Why SMS Sweepstakes are a Great Way to Build Customer Loyalty

Everybody loves prizes, giveaways and complimentary samples. This is why sweepstakes have long been among the most effective ways for businesses to engage with potential clients. One of these giveaways is text message sweepstakes. SMS sweepstakes are one of the most popular new methods of entering contests. With them, a giveaway can go a long way in creating a short-term buzz for a business. It is also an excellent way of getting subscribers and keeping customers coming back. Below is an overview of SMS sweepstakes.

SMS sweepstakes along with other sweepstakes are designed to attract customers while they are in a full purchase consideration mode. Potential customers enter a sweepstakes program with the hopes of winning a certain prize. Once the sweepstake is completed, the prize is awarded to the winner. These sweepstakes are an attractive option for entrepreneurs wishing to offer potential customers an exciting way of interacting with their business.

Also, SMS sweepstakes are an attractive and beneficial option for consumer. Below is an explanation of how to enter a sweepstakes program and what the benefits are:

How to join a sweepstakes program

To enter an SMS sweepstake, a person needs to text a specific keyword to a telephone number known as a short code. This information, also known as call to action, can be found in advertisements for the giveaway or in its rules. The person then uses their cell phone to send a text message to that number. In general, all an individual has to do is compose an SMS containing the keyword and then send it to the short code number. Generally, it is not necessary for participants to purchase any items in order to join a sweepstakes, but it is strongly recommended that participants read the Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy so they understand what they are opting in for.

Benefits of joining a sweepstakes program

By registering for a sweepstakes program using a cell phone, a person may be agreeing to receive advertising messages texted to his or her cell phone. This can be beneficial for both the company that is promoting the sweepstakes as well as for the individual that is opting in to receive additional offers and alerts as SMS Marketing may provide better deals than other marketing channel. The overall sweepstakes rules and privacy policy should be listed on the sweepstakes official site. Also, a text message link is included in the advertisement language of the sweepstakes program.

For active users of cell phones, SMS sweepstakes are more effective when compared to those that take place at certain physical locations. They are also better than those that mail entry forms by post. If an entrepreneur runs a sweepstake from a business location, customers can only participate when the business is open. This means that the entrepreneur is missing out on more potential entries. If the sweepstake relies on mailings, no immediate impact is observed.

The importance of extending sweepstakes to the cell phone space is now apparent. Entrepreneurs owe it to themselves to utilize it as an addition to their next promotions. They should not let competitors gain an advantage by using this exciting way of engaging with customers. Ignoring the opportunity presented by SMS sweepstakes can seriously damage visibility of a business. Those interested can contact ProTexting, a well-known SMS sweepstakes provider.

Text to win campaigns via SMS infographic

Get started with an interactive Text to Win campaign and engage your customer base via ProTexting’s SMS marketing platform.

 

 

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5 Ways Your SMS Marketing is Slacking (And How To Fix It)

Smartphones are all the rage nowadays and people want lightning-fast apps—but the reality remains that smartphone penetration is only at around 65% in the United States. However, there’s hope—nearly 100% of all mobile phones have SMS, which makes it the most effective way to market to consumers. Although it’s rather basic, you might still need to brush up on your SMS marketing skills.

SMS = Simple Marketing Solution

98% of all texts are read—compared to only 29% of all tweets, 20% of emails, and 12% of Facebook posts. That means you can reach customers faster via SMS than any other method. You won’t reach someone with, let’s say, 1,000 Facebook friends or 1,000 Twitter followers as easily as you would via text because of the news feed clutter—it goes directly to them and them alone. In addition, texting is the most convenient to the customer—emails may end up in the junk folder and Facebook and Twitter posts may be lost in the rapidly moving news feed (unless you pay more to promote your posts).

SMS marketing read rates

Make An Offer They Can’t Refuse

You’ll need to give your customers an incentive to opt in. One of the most common ways of doing this is text (word) to (number) to enter for a chance to win (insert reward here). The reward can be anything, but one of the most common promotions is something like (amount) off products and services when they buy at least (another amount) worth of products and services. This increases sales and gives people the incentive to save.

I’m In VIP

selfie marylin text messagingWhy should the good times stop for your customers? You can continue to reward your loyal customers. You should also give them another incentive to opt in, such as a mobile-specific VIP program—giving special discounts or coupons to those who choose to opt into the program on a regular basis. You should also give more incentives to those who refer others into the program—customers tend to talk to each other and word of mouth is still extremely strong when it comes to marketing products and services, even via SMS.

Ask Permission (Really)

You need to ask for permission from your customers. They can do this one of two ways: texting a keyword to a shortcode, for example: text (keyword) to (shortcode), or by using a web form. This means that the customer has consented to receiving marketing materials from you. Going through old customer records and adding mobile numbers and messaging customers without their permission has legal ramifications—such as Jiffy Lube being sued for $40 million.

The Legal Eagles

As with all things, these are regulated by laws—in particular the Telephone Consumer Protections Act, the Mobile Marketing Association, and the Federal Communications Commission all are watching what SMS marketers are doing. You need to include the following terms in your SMS marketing materials: “By participating, you consent to receive text messages sent by an automatic dialing system” to account for prior written express consent, “Consent to these terms is not a condition of purchase” to account for condition of purchase consent, and to stay in line with FCC regulations, you need to include STOP and HELP instructions, frequency, terms and conditions, business entity, and disclosure of additional carrier charges.

Conclusion

When done correctly (and legally, of course), SMS marketing can serve as a powerful tool to gain conversions and get people to know your brand. It is essential that you leverage SMS because of its universal availability, the high likeliness that your message will be read, and quick lead to conversion time.

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