New year resolution 10 of 12 – add SMS!

6 minute read

Until now we’ve only been talking about email, but one of the advantages of the Sign-Up.to platform is that you also have SMS and social media tools all within the same platform.

So if you’re not currently using SMS we think your new year resolution 10 of 12 should be to take a quick look at some of the additional opportunities that adding SMS brings to your marketing mix.

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If you need convincing, here are 4 reasons why SMS should be on your agenda.

1. SMS has become one of the most popular methods of communication and the mobile phone is the worldʼs most ubiquitous consumer device, so if you want to engage with people when theyʼre not by their computer, itʼs the ideal choice.

2. While you might think Apps are the big trend, in fact they only represent 8% of the market, compared to 87% of people using SMS messaging. SMS has the widest reach of any mobile technology by a long way.

3. 62% of UK retailers donʼt use SMS, yet 44% of retailers expect mobile revenues to overtake online sales in the coming years – so thereʼs a huge gap in the market for SMS promotions, for all kinds of businesses.

4. SMS is the ideal way to reach out to contacts with short time-sensitive messages. Whether itʼs a reminder or a special offer, targeted SMS messages will get straight to your audience and are practically guaranteed to be read.

There are a couple of interesting ways to use SMS.

Perhaps the most obvious is bulk SMS communication. In many ways this is similar to email. You collect your subscribers (mobile) contact numbers (remember that Permission is equally as applicable to SMS as it is to email), create your message, and then send and analyse as usual. Of course you are much more limited with your content (you’re pretty much limited to 160 plain text characters – but that’s OK), but the beauty of SMS is that you’re reaching your subscribers wherever they are, whatever they are doing. That’s why it’s such a great medium for timely alerts and spur of the moment promotions.

The process is quick, reliable and secure. To ensure high quality, fast, reliable delivery of SMS messages we created our own SMS gateway software in-house, giving us complete control. We only route messages through high quality networks with full support for delivery receipts, concatenated messages and ported numbers, so you can be confident in your delivery rates.

You can also use SMS to manage 2-way (that is send and receive) campaigns. You choose your keyword on our UK shortcode (61211), set up the rules for how we should handle inbound messages and create any automated SMS replies, or autoresponder sequences. Our systems take care of the rest and your campaign is ready to go.

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One other neat application of SMS is to use a text-to-subscribe process to build your database – they simply text in a keyword, optionally followed by additional information like their email address to a shortcode. Offering a text-to-subscribe service is a quick and low-cost way to allow people to opt-in to receive SMS and email alerts from you. It enables people to opt-in wherever they are, using a technology everyone is familiar with and gives you a number of tricks that you can use to engage people in more depth and measure return on investment (ROI).

The collected data flows directly into your subscriber database. You can use this to automatically send back SMS and email responses, allowing you to send customers further information or even vouchers immediately. According to a survey by mBlox, 71% of UK consumers would like to receive vouchers to their phones – so it’s a great way to incentivise response and reward people who take the time to show an interest in you.

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So, adding SMS to your communication mix should be your new year resolution number 10.

If you’re already using email it’s really easy to extend your process to add SMS too. Give us a call. We’ll talk you through the process and help you to plan your SMS strategy to get the most benefit.

Meanwhile, here’s a summary of a few actions to take:

1. Check out how text-to-subscribe works. Text TRY followed by your email address to 61211 and we’ll send you back an SMS and an email response automatically (UK only).
2. Take a moment to plan how and where SMS would be most appropriate to your business, and just like email make sure your SMS messages are welcome, relevant and beneficial. The medium is different but the principles of communication are the same.
3. Read our Coffee Break Guide to SMS. Its free to download from our website and it contains lots of information and tips.

I’ll be back with new year resolution 11 of 12 soon. In the meantime if you have any questions regarding using SMS, give us a call, we’ll be pleased to help.