It’s no secret that customers are almost surgically attached to their phones nowadays- everyone is, even you and me. It stands to reason, then, that when you devise new marketing strategies, you consider the omnipresence of customer’s cell phones. If you want to drive sales, you have to market where your audience is. In recent years, text message marketing has become increasingly popular, and it certainly can be effective, but as with anything, it is crucial you know what approaches to use and what approaches to avoid. But not everyone knows that intuitively, so we have put together this list of 7 strategies that will help you increase sales through text message marketing.
Number 1: Encourage Engagement
When devising a marketing strategy, it is important to figure out what your customers need so that you can stay relevant to their interests. Text message based marketing can be a great way to do this; it allows you to quickly figure out your audience and craft ads that reflect their individual needs.
Going about this is relatively easy. Simply send a text to a customer with a survey question about your product or service. In this message, it is crucial that you include the customer’s name as well as some kind of incentive to respond. This will 1) make it clear to the customer that you care about them as an individual, and 2) make them much more likely to offer useful feedback. After all, if you offer a discount or a prize for comments, people will be better inclined to respond. So if you have a question about your customers’ preferences or their thoughts about your company, sometimes it pays to ask them directly!
But be careful; although this is a great strategy to understand your audience, it can backfire quickly. If your customers feel that they are receiving too much communication from your company, they will be less likely to purchase from you; make sure any text communication is thoughtful and purposeful.
Number 2: Incentivize Testimonials and Reviews
Every company, from the smallest mom and pop store all the way up to Fortune 500 companies, relies on word of mouth marketing. It pays to reward customers who refer their friends and family to you or simply review your product/service. So if you notice a positive review or a thoughtful testimonial, it is worthwhile to send that customer a “thank you” text message with a discount or coupon. This will do two things at once: it builds a relationship with that customer in the short term, which will encourage them to continue to speak positively about your company. And this works both ways- see a customer that hasn’t reviewed you? Try texting them with an incentive to review!
Number 3: Celebrate Your Customers!
If you use the survey texts from tip 1, try asking customers about their birthdays, anniversaries, and other special days. This way, when those days roll around, you can offer them a discount or some other special deal on that day; a personal discount like this is an excellent way to create a strong, recurring customer base.
Number 4: Advertise Current Offers
Text messages are a great way to keep customers in the loop about your company’s sales and special offers. If somebody already needs something you can offer, a quick text might be all it takes to ensure a sale. Simply send a text with information about your current sale (maybe include a link to your website) to past and potential customers. You would be surprised how many takers you have.
Number 5: Keep Customers Up to Date
On a similar note, if you have a new product or service to debut, text messages are a great way to let customers know. Letting your loyal customers in on future releases will help to build anticipation, which can often translate into increased sales. This is also a great opportunity to encourage pre-ordering by offering a special discount or promo code for customers who place a pre-order. Text messaging is a great way to keep your customers up to date with the touch of a button.
Number 6: Use Automation for Scheduling
If your company relies on customers scheduling appointments, text messages are a great tool to make the process easier on everybody. When you send out a scheduling-related text, such as an update, change of time, reminder, etc, you can include a link that will allow the customer to place themselves on your business’ calendar. Not only is this much easier on the customer, it is also easier on you; at that point, you can use your text messaging system to remind customers of their appointment and alert them to any changes.
Similarly, a good text message system is also great for quick housekeeping updates. If you have new hours of operation or make changes to your rules/ company policy, a quick text message is sure to get out to customers much more reliably than an email would. And if your product is somewhat complicated to use, a scheduled text message after purchase could be used to give customers detailed instructions and assistance.
Number 7: Cater to the Customer
As the old saying goes, the customer is always right. So it’s important to be sure that you are keeping in touch with your customers and providing them the best experience possible. Use text messages to send your customers surveys covering your company’s strengths and weaknesses- be sure to incentivize their participation. This is a great way to gather data about your customers’ experience that you can then use to improve your product or service.
Marketing is a challenge- it continually responds to the technology of the time and the way customers interact with that technology. It is crucial that you update your strategies to adapt to the times. And nowadays, text messaging is more important than ever; if you incorporate it into your sales and marketing strategies, you are sure to grab more customers. After all, no one is away from their phone for very long!
Want to know more about the text messaging services we offer for small businesses to power up your marketing, visit our SMS messaging service page or contact us.