How to Leverage the Power of SMS Marketing to Promote your Mobile App
If you have started your journey of building an app or have already launched it on the preferred app stores, you must be wondering about your next step. The next step should be app promotion and marketing.
You need to promote your app to stay in the trend game. Else, you will be out of the competition league at the very early stage.
When it comes to mobile app marketing, as a marketer, you need to choose a marketing channel first. Get a channel that can even be combined with location-based campaigns to deliver valuable offers to your customers right at the point of purchase.
SMS marketing is that channel right at your fingertips. Most businesses make it a major component of their mobile marketing strategy.
Wondering if SMS marketing is right for you, or how will you get started with it? Let’s understand all the ifs and buts of this amazing marketing network:
How can SMS marketing be used?
Although there is no such thumb rule for this question, SMS marketing is better suited for businesses that have certain marketing objectives than others.
Fundraising or raising awareness
SMS marketing works well with non-profit organizations. From sending texts for donation campaigns to getting people engaged in a cause to take action (like signing a petition), all can be done through SMS.
A substantial amount of statistics back the use of SMS for customer service, such as:
- 90% of the customers are satisfied with the way of texting, that service centers use to contact them.
- About half of the consumers prefer SMS over all other methods of communication with a support center.
- The majority of consumers say they prefer to get order status alerts, appointment bookings, and reservation confirmations via text over other methods.
- 64% of consumers like the company that offers SMS as a customer service channel.
The best use of SMS is sending reminders to your customers. For example, car dealerships texting their customers when it’s time for routine maintenance, or health care providers reminding their patients for upcoming appointments to reduce no-shows.
Businesses can also send reminders via SMS. You can immediately contact your customers in the case of a last-minute cancellation, for example.
Customer loyalty and engagement
Sending texts is a great way to communicate with your loyal customers because they have already shown their interest in your products or service.
Remember that SMS is not the way to promote your loyalty program. You need to get the word out using other channels. However, once you opt-in other mediums, you can also use SMS for giving exclusive offers to your members.
New customer sales or conversions
Combining an SMS campaign with a location-based social campaign can be an effective driver for getting new sales. You can ask your prospective customers to get a coupon or special offer that you have sent to their phone when they make a purchase.
How does SMS marketing work?
Here are the two elements of an SMS campaign that are being used by many companies: the shortcode and the keyword.
The shortcode: It is a five-or six-digit number that serves as a phone number, customers text the keyword to.
The keyword: It is the word that is included in the body of the message and signifies which campaign your customers are signing up for.
If, for example, you are launching an SMS marketing campaign, you can ask your prospects to text ‘BOGO2020 to 123456.’
In this campaign, the keywords are BOGO2020, and the shortcode is 123456.
You need to engage a text marketing service to get started. That service provider will give you access to a shortcode for your campaigns. This way, you will manage all your campaigns through an online dashboard once you sign up with an SMS marketing company.
Depending on your chosen vendor, you can select from a variety of campaign management tools, like analytics and reporting.
How much does the SMS marketing cost?
You will generally have two main costs associated with your SMS marketing: first, the fee for sending the text, and second, the costs for renting keywords.
While each company has its pricing options, the most preferred pricing model is a monthly fee that includes a certain number of SMS and keywords.
Additionally, many SMS marketing companies offer packages, including a fixed number of text messages and keywords for fixed monthly fees.
Depending on your text volume and a number of keywords, when you are choosing a text marketing company, look for the ones that offer the following useful features and help you expand your options:
You can even add images, videos, and even sound for more engaging texts that you can send to your subscribers.
Voting and Polling
This feature allows businesses to make the best use of immediacy of text messaging to gain insight about their customers, and also helps in increasing engagement.
This drip campaign is similar to an email marketing campaign, excluding text messages. Once you have set and deployed them, you do not need to go through the day-to-day campaign development process.
Unique Coupon Codes
This is the most valuable feature in SMS marketing that encourages your customers to make a purchase with you.
Are there any legal requirements for using SMS marketing?
SMS marketing is a permission-based system. This system demands users to opt-in before you begin sending them messages.
Once customers have signed up with your text campaigns, you need to confirm their participation with the following text. This second text must include instructions for opting out.
It is because you cannot send messages to users who have not given their permission to receive texts.
SMS marketing is regulated by three separate bodies: The FCC, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), and the Mobile Marketing Association.
Your chosen SMS marketing company will help you with legal compliance issues.
What are the best practices for SMS marketing?
SMS is interactive communication between you and your customers with high engagement rates. Make sure you make this a part of an integrated, multichannel effort that combines physical prompts. For example, signage, print ads, packaging, email marketing, optimized landing pages, and social media.
You need to stay updated with the following questions before you launch an SMS campaign:
– Is the information in this campaign time-sensitive?
– Is direct communication the best way to get the information out instead of, say, email, or social media?
– Is the information so valuable that your most engaged customers will appreciate a text message?
– Can you effectively convey the information in 160 characters or less?
– Does the message value the highly personal nature of direct mobile communication?
If, for example, you are sending a text on Wednesday announcing a store-wide clearance sale on Saturday to your subscribers, this is not a good use of SMS marketing. Email marketing would be a better medium in this case, though. However, if you are sending them a discount code that they can use while shopping on your app, this will work.
Let’s get started with the best practices:
Make sure you have a defined call-to-action (CTA)
SMS marketing campaigns fail when your subscribers either do not understand the incentive behind the campaign or do not even know what to do to get it.
In an SMS campaign, you need to define your call-to-action clearly, and what your customers will get by using it.
Keep it short and sweet
For using SMS, you will only have 160 characters to engage your customers. Therefore, you need to put your value proposition upfront and use a URL shortener to avoid long, or unappealing links.
For example: Click Here for 50% off one item in-app only. Expires Sunday.
Segment your subscriber list
When you have built an app via WooCommerce mobile app builder for your online store, you must have a long list of app subscribers. You just need to segregate that list to give your customers the most personalized and relevant experience possible.
Spell out the requirements
If your customers need to use a coupon code to get the app-only offers, for example, make sure that’s written clearly.
Only send exclusive content
Treat your text subscribers as a special VIP member.
Avoid using the same text or information you have already used in your email campaigns or print ads.
Reward your SMS subscribers with premium content and offers that they can only get via text.
Use urgency to your advantage
Create a sense of urgency in your texts.
For example, Your SMS offers must come with a specific expiration date and time. You can use phrases like ‘today only’ or ‘4-hour sale’ or ‘expires at midnight.’
Don’t be afraid of MMS
Using multimedia messages has several advantages over SMS. These messages have a 1000-character limit as opposed to just 160 for SMS.
Multimedia messages are the most entertaining way to engage with your subscribers. It is because visual content is by far the most effective way for marketing. For example, you can send a video, a photo, or even an audio recording to your SMS subscribers.
Time it right
Do not send messages late at night and early in the morning, unless it’s necessary for your offer, or you are targeting an audience segment you know won’t mind.
Make sure you are not going beyond time zones. Be specific to that.
As a general rule, avoid sending text between 9 pm to 9 am.
Establish a schedule
Scheduling the texts is the best way for an effective SMS marketing. In that sense, pick a schedule and stick to it.
Each marketing campaign has its rhythm, and it’s important to find the one that works for you and your subscribers.
If you don’t want to shower your subscribers with daily texts and only want to text every few months, you may come across a considerable wave of opt-outs each time. However, if you are offering valuable content weekly or even every two weeks, you might click and connect with your subscribers.
Get into the practice of promoting your shortcode and keyword(s) across all of your marketing channels to grow your subscriber list.
Insert your CTA at the bottom of your emails, or on the top right corner of the website, if you are offering app-only discounts for example.
There are thousands of brands that are incorporating SMS into their mobile marketing strategy, and so can you!
Make SMS marketing a part of your mobile app promotion this year, and let us know the feedback in the comments section.
The article was written by guest writer Appmysite.