As more and more consumers use their smartphones to find brands and products, as well as shop online, a strong SMS marketing strategy can make a difference between a successful business and a business that struggles.
And here are some numbers to prove it: According to Nielsen, texting occupies more than 14% of consumers’ total mobile time. For comparison, email is only 5%.
- Nearly 45% of people prefer to receive promotions via SMS
- 9 in 10 consumers prefer texting to call
- The average CTR is 17%
Focusing on mobile marketing, conversions, and engagement plays a very important role in your business and for that reason, it’s better to start as soon as possible.
So, how can you capture people through their mobile phones? Or, to be more specific, how can SMS marketing help you generate sales leads?
People interact with text messages differently than with emails, calls, and other marketing forms. So, if you want your SMS strategy to be successful, you will need to adapt accordingly.
Here are 8 tips that will help you create an effective SMS lead generation strategy.
1. Let People See It
Just like other means for generating leads, people need to see that there is an option to communicate through SMS in order to be converted into leads. So, the first step is to place your number in as many places as possible. Here are a few suggestions:
- Place it on your site’s homepage. It’s very likely that the majority of people coming to your site get there through their smartphones. Therefore, most of these people would prefer to text you rather than fill out a form or call you. Add a simple CTA, like this one: “Text us to schedule a demo” with a Click-to-Text button that will open up a text message when clicked.
- Advertise your landing page. A standard landing page has some copy, a CTA, and a form for visitors to fill out. If your goal is to generate leads, ditch the form and use a Click-to-Text button instead. Then, use your preferred advertising platform (like Google or Facebook) to target your audience by the device.
- Add it to printed marketing materials. Most companies print things (flyers, business cards, posters) that are either displayed or handed out. Use these printed materials to let people know your business texts. If you only want to get your contact information out there, use something as simple as “Text: (XXX) XXX-XXXX” or choose a CTA like: “Text us with any questions.”
2. Focus on the CTA
Ensure that every message you send to your customers includes a strong CTA that excites your audience and encourages them to take action. Here are some great call-to-action examples:
- Leave us a review for a chance to win a prize!
- Confirm your appointment today!
- Take advantage of this deal now!
When creating a CTA, pay attention to the copy, the button, and everything that surrounds it on the page. But most importantly, keep it simple and clear!
3. Use SMS to Qualify Leads
Did you know that SMS texts can help you qualify your leads and acquire more customers?
Stats say that on average, more than 99% of SMS texts are read, and 45% of them get responses! What’s more, the majority of these responses come in only 90 seconds!
For comparison, if you try to reach your leads via phone, they’ll probably won’t answer your call. In fact, studies have shown that SMS yields nearly 300% higher conversion rates that calling.
4. Respond ASAP
Once you receive the initial SMS message from your subscribers, make sure to follow up; otherwise, you’ll miss the opportunity to guide your potential customers into the sales funnel.
Most SMS marketing platforms allow you to create automatic replies. Send an auto-reply to confirm their action and thank them for signing in. Then, make sure to send messages to your customers with a consistent frequency (2-4 texts a month should be enough).
5. Personalize Your Texts
SMS marketing allows you to personalize your messages and communicate with your customers one-on-one. Make sure your recipients feel like a unique contact, by doing the following:
- include their name in the SMS message
- mention recent activity (for instance, a shipping update, recent purchase, or appointment reminder)
- customize the SMS message to their area (by including a reference to local sports teams, weather…)
6. Add Value
When it comes to SMS marketing, simply sending a message won’t do the trick. Recipients need to see some kind of value in your messages in order to feel compelled to click through. Here are a few ideas that will help you create campaigns that customers will want to interact with:
- target offers based on customer behaviors and segments to make the campaign more personal
- create offers and coupons unique to your SMS marketing list
- switch up your offers to add variety and avoid boredom or stagnation in your campaign.
7. Keep It Simple and Conversational
SMS messaging is a simple tool – each message contains 160 characters with no graphics. That’s why it’s best to keep your messages simple. Use keywords that are easy to remember (avoid numbers or special characters to prevent people from texting the wrong word and losing a potential lead).
In addition, people are used to more casual and abbreviated writing on their smartphones, compared to other mediums. Use common abbreviations to sound more conversational and playful (for example, ‘save $$$’ instead of ‘save money’, ‘txt’ instead of ‘text’, etc.).
You can also occasionally add GIFs or emoticons, trivia for prizes and coupons, a quick, easy-to-remember joke, etc.
8. Get the Timing Right
Customers keep their phones within a hand’s reach 24/7 but they don’t want to receive SMS messages all the time, especially not in the middle of the night, during meals, or during holidays.
Run tests using certain metrics like CTRs and opening rates to determine your top regions and customers. In addition, use your user, location, and market data to customize message delivery and make sure your customers get your offers when they are most receptive.
Despite flashy app development and advanced features, SMS has endured as one of the most efficient ways to engage with customers. What’s more, it has been trending upwards for the last few years. Businesses are starting to leverage it for targeting millennials, attracting and capturing mobile viewers, being able to convert leads faster, and staying ahead of the competition.
Now that you get the idea of how SMS messages can be used to generate leads, you are almost ready to get started. Use this SMS API provider to build custom solutions and make things much easier.
Don’t wait for your competitors to beat you; start using SMS to generate leads now.