What Is an SMS Drip Campaign?
First, let’s define what a Drip Campaign is for those who may be new to this type of marketing. A Drip Campaign, whether sent via email or text marketing, is a time-released set of automated communications. These messages are cued by specific triggers, from click-throughs and sign-ups, to a series of messages sent out according to a scheduled calendar.
This type of automated campaign is designed with one purpose in mind – to pique the interest of potential customers through continued and targeted engagement. Simply put, a Drip Campaign automatically adjusts which marketing communication will be sent out next and to whom, based on their reaction to the previous communication.
An SMS Drip Campaign simply employs text marketing to deliver these messages directly to the cellphones of opted-in customers, instead of to their email inboxes.
Benefits of an SMS Drip Campaign
Understanding the benefits of a Drip Campaign starts with a reality check. Marketers like to think that consumers are just waiting for our next clever communication tactic. But in truth, the consumer is extremely busy. A savvy marketer knows that the best way to win is to find moments where our hopefully helpful and relevant communication can intersect serendipitously with the consumer’s interests. That’s where the relentless benefits of a Drip Campaign come in. By interjecting consistently with a Drip Campaign, we have a greater likelihood of garnering the consumer’s interest and action, over time, just by sticking with it!
But which type of marketing works best for Drip Campaigns? Email or SMS? The answer depends on your particular customer base and their preferred channel for communication. For many, a mix of email and text marketing is ideal. While for other businesses and organizations, an SMS text campaign may make the most sense if the vast majority of email marketing communications are going unread. Granted, SMS text open rates are exceptionally higher than email (98% for SMS text vs. 20% for email, respectively). This would lead many to believe SMS Drip Campaigns are clearly the more effective or preferred channel. However, it is important to consider the habits of your specific contact list. It is worth noting that despite impressive text marketing open-rates, email remains a behavioral touchstone for today’s consumer, and savvy marketers recognize that reality and combine both tactics.
How to Set Up an SMS Drip Campaign
So what does an SMS campaign look like in action in an SMS platform like EZ Texting? Here’s a brief run-down.
1. Name Your Campaign
Assigning a campaign name will allow you to track and differentiate which Drip Campaigns are running from your EZ account. This campaign name or title will not be visible to the contact receiving your messages.
2. Connect Your Campaign to a Group
The group or contact list you connect to a campaign will be the one contacts must join in order to receive your series of text messages. This group must be empty, to begin with, to ensure that only new contacts added will receive the drip based on the timeline of messages you have created. Feel free to create a new empty group if your desire is not listed.
After adding the new or empty group, you can begin to add the contacts you would like to start receiving messages from your Drip Campaign to that specific group. Or, you can connect your Drip Campaign to a Keyword.
3. Create Your Messages
Write your message(s) and add an image the same way you would on the New Message page. A preview of what your messages will look like will appear to the right.
Important note: Once your contacts have been subscribed to your Drip Campaign, edits you make to the campaign will not appear in their messages, and they will still receive the original curated messages.
4. Review Your Campaign
A preview of your messages will appear in the phone icon to the right of your screen. You will also see a description displaying when each message is scheduled to be sent.
That’s just a brief overview. You can explore setting up a Drip Campaign in greater detail here.
Here are some great ideas when it comes to an effective SMS Drip Campaign:
A typical, practical example is using an SMS Drip Campaign to improve opt-ins for an email Drip Campaign. Sound difficult? Not really. You can drive sign ups via email by:
- Adding email opt in opportunities directly from a helpful text message in your SMS Drip Campaign.
- Add a text message about the email campaign itself, promotionally.
- Sending a dedicated text regarding an email campaign.
- Adding an email address in each SMS signature as a separate opt in channel.
You’ve probably figured it out already, but you can also do the same thing in reverse with your email just as effectively. How?
- Your CRM team can include a link to the SMS sign-up information in the email.
- Your web team can add an SMS opt in option on your website as an alternative to email sign-ups.
- Your sales team can simply add SMS numbers to their signature lines and relevant social bios.
Top 5 Final Takeaways for a Successful SMS Drip Campaign
Connecting with customers can be challenging as customers are bombarded with offers and advertisements from all directions. A successful SMS Drip Campaign is not difficult to create, and there are tried and true approaches that you can continually weave into your campaigns to elevate your engagements. As you begin to think about how to incorporate SMS Drip Campaigns into your business or improve your existing Drip Campaign endeavors, here are some of the foundational principles to keep top of mind:
1. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition
By creating a good Drip Campaign and - this is important - remaining consistent in your messaging, you can raise the chances that a prospect will not only open your marketing message but ultimately invest in an ongoing relationship with your brand.
2. Be Clear on the Conversion
When setting up a Drip Campaign, always be clear on exactly what you would like from the customer. Is the end goal to receive a purchase, a sign-up, or a referral? Create a clear conversion goal for the campaign and a remarkably coherent pathway for the customer to get there. Make sure the call-to-action is concise and straightforward, and the conversion process is as easy as can be. If customers don’t quickly understand what to do next and how to do it, they probably won’t do anything!
3. Strengthen the Relationship
Think about how to build better relationships with customers. Personalized messages can go a long way to strengthening customer relations. Address clients by name, and send messages from a personal account whenever possible (rather than an automated one). In addition, be sure to send customer greetings on special holidays and birthdays. Consumers appreciate the attention to detail and feel connected to brands that address them personally.
4. Provide Value
Customers must see the benefit of engaging with a brand. Every email or text message should contain content that clients find helpful. Include links to engaging articles and blogs, announce exciting events, comment on current trends, or offer them participation at upcoming webinars. Sending customers special or exclusive offers is perhaps the best way to provide value in a Drip Campaign.
5. Automate with Excellence
Be choosy when it comes to message automation. Make sure the email or text marketing service you choose meets all of your brand’s needs. The auto-responder should have follow-up capabilities, exhaustive analysis of metrics, and matchless reliability. Don’t waste your time with second-rate services, as there are several reliable and affordable marketing companies from which to choose. With Drip Campaign best practices in your marketing arsenal, you are bound to gain some traction with current and prospective clients. Start planning and testing a Drip Campaign for your business to stand out above the milieu of advertising spam.