Text marketing is perhaps one of the most underrated marketing tools used by companies. If realized to its full potential text marketing can become one of the most potent tools to achieve sales target. What makes Text marketing so effective is that companies themselves are sitting on a user database. The customers and clients of the company form the primary database of text marketing. It’s like your very own mobile telephone directory with names. Customers may be reluctant to give away their email address but not their mobile number. Customers know that mobiles are the fastest way a company has to reach them. Hence, Text marketing is a major tool that when used effectively can work wonders for your company.
However, text marketing through a popular medium of generating leads still needs to be worked out to the last detail for it to be a successful campaign. It is not simply sending a text to a list of cell phone numbers. It is much more than that involving a detailed study and research on the current trends, your target audience, and an effective marketing plan. It is easy to procure a mobile number list with a name but difficult to execute the perfect text marketing plan. Text Marketing involves a lot of factors but is undoubtedly a cost-effective marketing ploy.
One of the best examples of a successful text marketing campaign is from the fast food giant Mac Donald’s. In Italy, Mac Donald’s came up with a Merry X Mas campaign that invited customers during the Christmas week to take part in a unique contest. There were assured prizes with codes printed on the cups. The prizes ranged from prepaid credit cards to free food and even mobile phones. The campaign soon caught up and roughly 1.5 million people participated in it. Imagine the sales!
Text marketing has an amazing potential not only to reach a wide base of an audience but also to engage them. Text campaigns where customers are offered prizes lead to a lot of interaction. A simple non- monetary Text campaign can also create a positive brand building among your customers. E-commerce giants like Amazon and E-Bay also use SMS marketing to connect with their client. One of the major attributes of Text Marketing is that it delivers your message right into the hands of the potential customer. The average user reads his SMS within 3 minutes of receipt making it one of the fastest modes of marketing communication.
4 Huge Text Marketing mistakes to avoid-
1) Call to Action missing in the Text:
One of the basic but huge mistakes that majority of texts marketing campaigns do is missing the call to action in the SMS text. Without the call to action text, our SMS is worth nothing other than another junk message in the recipient’s mobile inbox. Be precise on what you want your consumers to do otherwise it is simply a waste of time and money. If you want to invite your clients to a program that is sponsored by you mention that in the text along with timing, date, and venue. Just don’t send a text to any mobile no list saying that you are sponsoring an event. Mention the invite along with the details.
Try and give the details in the text itself or insert a link to your website. If your invitation requires registration of the clients then insert the registration link in the SMS itself. Do not expect that the consumers will find your website and register them. Even the most loyal of the consumers will not have the time to do it. You need to give them the direction to execute it. Many companies just write the words “free” and “hurry” and think their SMS campaign will be a hit.
However, it’s the other way round. Consumers today are smart enough to know that nothing comes for free. Scan your text before you send it out. One of the best ways to avoid a fiasco is to send the text to a layman, a friend or a relative and take feedback on what he/she understood from the text. If the answer is what you expect when you have achieved what you had in mind.
2) Spell Error:
Another common mistake is spelling errors and use of short forms and acronyms. While short forms are allowed to a certain extent over usage of them makes you look extremely unprofessional. Many companies resort to sending SMS over the internet where your recipients receive text online in the form of an SMS. Many times online SMS service providers have restrictions on text characters and this prompts companies to use a lot of short forms in their text campaigns. This is a strict
NO. Look for online SMS service providers that allow for more character usage and avoid using too many short forms. Even if your target audience is the youth refrain from using short forms like TTYS, UR, 4 etc. As a professional company, you should always avoid this.
Secondly always check for the spelling error in your text. Most people remember spelling errors and that gives a very poor impression of your company. You may even end up misconstructing what you actually intend to say. If you are addressing someone by their names, make sure you spell it correctly. If you have got the name and the number from the mobile number directory from a database company, make sure that the name is entered correctly by them. A wrong mention of any one’s name is a huge put-off. Always check, double check before sending for any spelling and grammatical errors. One mistake could prove costly as your SMS goes to a long list of potential customers and you risk losing out that much business.
3) The timing of the Text:
One of the things to remember in text marketing is that your SMS goes directly into the mobile of the recipient. It means that there is a high chance that your SMS will see it in a span of 3-4 minutes of receipt. This makes SMS the fastest and accurate marketing tools. However, the timing of your text will make or break your campaign. By timing, we mean the actual time you send the SMS. Avoid peak working hours; nobody has the time to look into it while they are busy chalking out
their plans for the day or preparing a presentation for their boss.
Research shows that a lot of people tend to ignore the SMS when in office and will think of blocking you. Treat your mobile phone numbers list as your potential clients and hence you do not want to offend them in any way. Sending a text on Monday mornings is also another mistake that should be avoided. Mondays are the first work days and everyone has a lot on their plate. There is nothing like being caught up at a bad time. Do your market research about the general working hours and try and avoid sending text messages during those. Choose a time when you know that your client will see it and can at least think over it.
Typically, we tend to be relaxed at homes in the evenings while still being active on our mobiles. That generally is the best time. Weekends are again a dicey time to send texts to potential customers. Most text campaigns have reported a number of opt-outs during weekend times.
4) Opt-Out Option:
Many companies simply fail to provide the opt-out option in their SMS. This could get you in serious trouble with the anti-spam laws. As a rule of the thumb always and we mean absolutely always provide an opt-out option. Majority of the companies get the mobile number online of potential clients and not having the opt-out option for your SMS can mean that the client can report you to the Anti Spam authority. This can incur heavy penalties for you. Give your clients the option to unsubscribe from your SMS list in a smooth and non-fussy way. Many companies provide a complicated procedure for opting out which leaves the customer all the more frustrated. Keep it simple and easy.
If possible acknowledge the opt-out of a client with a polite thank you text which shows that you respect the privacy of the customer. This will be a welcome gesture for the client and even though they may have opted out, they will always think of you as a customer oriented company and may actually turn into your customer in the near future.
A lot of customers have admitted that the polite and client friendly attitude of the company gave them a positive image of the company and they might buy a product or service in near future. Besides, it is also compulsory to have the opt-out option for clients when you indulge in text marketing. Opt-in and opt-out options serve as confirmations of the client to receive or decline your text messages.