How to Plan an Effective SMS Campaign in 2019

31 Jan

As you align around your marketing goals and objectives for 2019, it’s time to get serious about text message marketing. 91% of Americans keep their mobile devices within arm’s length at all times. This is why the average response time for a text message is 90 seconds compared to 90 minutes for email.

SMS marketing is a go-to channel for growth-oriented businesses, organizations, nonprofits, and more. And building an actionable, relevant, and timely SMS campaign is a surefire way to engage customers and prospects in 2019. At EZ Texting, we’ve helped thousands of organizations get up and running in minutes with texting. Let us show you how to kick your year off strong.

How to Start Planning Your 2019 SMS Campaign

Sometimes you need a plan to build a plan — we’ve got you covered! Here are 5 key steps that you need to follow to build an effective SMS campaign for 2019.

1. Decide Which Type of SMS Campaign that You Want to Build

There is a wide variety of SMS campaigns that you can use to grow your business in 2019. First, you need to look at your company’s goals.

Grow Your Subscriber List with an SMS Keyword Campaign

If you want to grow your list, then a keyword campaign is a great strategy. You will use a Keyword like “SUBSCRIBE” on a short code like 313131.

Then, you can integrate your keyword into your other marketing efforts. You can put it on your in-store signage, include it in your email marketing, publish it out on your social media posts, and even place it on your product packaging.

Increase Sales Using a Promotion Campaign

Once you have opted-in subscribers, you can leverage promotion campaigns to get them to purchase more products. This offer should be designed to capture their interest and have a clear action for them to take. Make sure that you segment your audience and send a relevant offer. For example, if you have a list of vacation shoppers, you might send them something like: “Last minute deals available now at the EZ Beach Resort! Book now (555) 123-4567

Save Time & Money with a Reminder Campaign

If your business relies on customers keeping their appointment, then automated SMS reminders can be a huge time saver and reduce your number of no-shows. You can set up the reminder to go out at any time frame that you want before their appointment, and they’ll get a text message reminding them of their appointment details like date, time, and location. You can even include information telling them what to bring, or how to reschedule their appointment.

Reach Your Audience with an SMS Notification Campaign

SMS notification campaigns are a great way to get the word out quickly about an event or limited time offer.

You can reach thousands of people in just a few minutes with messages like this: “It’s game time!! Come enjoy some wings and watch the Oklahoma vs Virginia Tech game at 6:30 on Friday at EZ Wings in Chattanooga”

2. Select an SMS Marketing Tool

With so many service providers to choose from, it can be a real headache to narrow down your choices. What features and functions do you need? What questions should you ask?

Obviously — we are a little biased. We have gone to great lengths to build out EZ Texting’s software to provide an easy-to-use and intuitive interface, provide outstanding customer support, and help make sure your business succeeds. When you (hopefully) choose, us, we want you to feel confident that you’ve made the best decision. So check out our competition and compare apples to apples with these 5 questions.

  • How hard is it to get started?
  • Do they understand your needs?
  • Do they deliver the features that you want for your campaigns?
  • Is their customer service team actually helpful?
  • Will their software help make your company money?

3. Analyze Your Target Audience

If you’re going to build a successful campaign, then you have to know who your target audience is, and — more importantly — you need to know what they want out of your text marketing campaign.

Let’s look at an example of how one of our customers successfully assessed his audience and built clever campaigns.

Let’s Eat!

Let’s Eat! Is a meal assembly store in Atlanta, GA. They prepare meals fresh and then freeze them and include simple cooking instructions on the package. These meals require at least 24 hours to thaw before they can be cooked, so most customers pre-order them ahead of time.

They realized that some customers prefer to pick them up fresh on their way home for work so they had something ready to cook for that evening’s meal. Because these meals spoil faster than frozen ones, they only keep a few on hand. If a customer comes in and they are sold out, then they lose a sale.

They knew that if they could let their customers know what was available, they would have more sales. So, they launched their “Dinner Tonight” subscription.

Subscribers receive a single text message per day Tuesday through Saturday each week. Those messages include 3 to 5 daily specials and are sent out right around 4pm — just in time for the drive home that day.

Let’s Eat! knew that their customers had a desire to simplify their nightly meal preparation and found a way to use a text message campaign to meet that need.

4. Build Text Marketing Assets

It pays to be organized. Before you build your campaigns, start gathering all of the assets that you’ll need. This includes things like:
  • Images, videos or other graphics that you will use in the campaign.
  • Digital or physical materials that you will be using alongside your campaign — like in-store signage that features your keyword.
  • The overall message tone and style guide that you want to follow to keep your campaigns consistent and professional.
  • A list of your contacts that you want to use for text marketing.

Having all of these items together before the campaign starts prevents you from making things up on the fly and helps you avoid making costly mistakes.

5. Upload Contacts

Before you just dump your whole list into the software, you should take some time to segment them into different groups. This will help you tailor your message to the individuals on your list.

It’s essential that your messages resonate emotionally and financially with your customers. They all want to feel special, so you have to find a way to tailor your bulk messages to each individual person.

This process starts with segmentation. When you group your contacts by common elements, you are able to target your promotions better.

For example, you should separate prospects from customers. You would speak differently to someone that has never purchased from you versus someone that has been a customer before.

Deploy Your SMS Campaign, Track Your Results, & Ramp It Up

Now, you should have all the knowledge that you need to create your plan. Follow those 5 steps and start crafting the perfect SMS campaign for your business.

Once you have everything together and ready to go, deploy your campaign to your customers and start tracking the results.

Make sure that you look for response rates to determine how successful your campaign was (or wasn’t.) You will want to adjust your plan accordingly based on those results.

Finally, jump start 2019 and download your copy of The 9-Step Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing. You will learn the additional steps that successful text marketers take when they are just getting started so you can hit the ground running in the new year.

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