How To Create The Best SMS Offers

In this article, we’re going to look at how to make use of SMS in order to create simple and effective sales offers. The techniques we’ll discuss can be applied to any other communications medium. They should help you improve the results of your upcoming marketing campaigns.

Are you ready to create SMS offers that drive big results for your business?

We’ve put together a few simple and easy to follow instructions to help you create the most effective SMS offers.

In this example, we’re going to create a summer discount offer for our imaginary client Moo Cow Burgers who run an imaginary hamburger chain selling burgers which are loved by young and old alike.

The steps are fairly straight forward once you’ve got your list of recipients. You have been collecting your clients’ contact details right? If not, check out this article for some pointers on building your customer list. It’s never too late to start.

SMS Offer Template

SMS Offer Template

1. Identify Your Business

We start off by identifying the business sending this offer. You’d be surprised at the number of people who fail to do this.

2. Personalise Your Message

If you have have more information about your clients, why not use it?

Personalised messages will always be way more effective compared to generic offers. All you need to do is add your customer’s first name in each message. Better still, why not tailor the message or offer according to their interests or preferences?

The above example uses the online address book in the directSMS platform to customise each message with the client’s first name before sending all messages out in bulk.

3. Lead With Your Offer

It’s best practice to lead with the offer you are making to your customers. Get them hooked straight away.

You can then follow up with any fine print or qualifying criteria.

The top 3 types of offers. In order of effectiveness are:

  1. Buy one get one (BOGO) free offers. These are the easiest to communicate and the easiest for your clients to grasp because it represents the most value to them.
  2. % off discount offers. These are great offers. They come second to the BOGO style offers because they generally need a bit more mental arithmetic in order to work out a value.
  3. Free with purchase offers. These come in as a distant third because generally, the item being given away is not as valuable to the client.

In this case, we’ve gone with Buy 2 Moo Cow Burger Meals, get one free. The most effective type of offer.

4. Add Redemption Instructions

How do you want customers to redeem this offer? This largely depends on how much effort your customers need to go through to redeem this and how you want to track take up and redemption.

Some great and simple ideas:

  1. Send an offer code for your customers to enter into your website with their next purchase.
  2. Ask them to show the message when they come to your store next as per the example above.
  3. Ask them to quote a “secret password” to your sales staff when they call you on phone.

You’re only limited by your imagination…. And what your POS or eCommerce platforms can track.

5. Add Expiry Date

It’s always best to clearly state how long the customers have to act in order to redeem the offer. Having an expiry date on the offer adds a sense of urgency.

6. SPAM Compliance

You have to remember. Any marketing message of any kind needs to be SPAM compliant. That means it must conform to the ICU principle. This goes for ALL of your marketing message. Not just SMS.

Identify – You must identify yourself in any marketing messages. Customers must always be clear who they are hearing from.

Consent – Ensure that your customers have given you direct or indirect consent to receive messages from you.

Unsubscribe – In all your marketing messages, you must give customers the ability to opt out. Including “To opt out, reply STOP” at the end of your message will do the trick. Having said this, you can ask them to call or email you to opt out instead… As long as they have a way of removing themselves from receiving future marketing messages.

For more information on your marketing campaigns and SPAM, you can view this short video.

What Else Should We Do?

OK, so the above is good but how can we make it better? What other considerations are there?

1. Targeting

Before you send any marketing message, you have to ask yourself; why would your clients open it?

The best and most successful marketing campaigns are ones where the product or service offered are specifically targeted at the given customer base.

In Moo Cow Burgers’ case, they are targeting this campaign at their existing clients. These are clients who have bought from Moo Cow Burgers before. They already trust Moo Cow Burgers. It is MUCH easier to sell to them again.

2. Timing

In marketing, timing is everything.

You need to make sure the offer is in front of your target clients’ eyes when they are most likely to take notice of it and action it.

If you are a restaurant chain like Moo Cow Burgers, your best bet is to target your clients just as they are about to make plans for a meal. So, just before lunch or just before dinner.

You can always use the directSMS platform to craft your message and schedule it for later delivery.

One thing to keep in mind… People do not generally want to receive marketing messages over the weekend. There are a number of surveys out there that show the opt-out rates jump by 200-400% for marketing messages sent during the weekend compared to messages sent during normal weekdays.

3. Use Landing Pages

If your offer is long, or you have a lot of content you want your customers to see, all is not lost.

You can always create a mobile friendly landing page and then include a short URL to this landing page in your SMS message. Services like bitly.com and other URL shortening services are great for this.

Tip: Almost all mobile operating systems know that bit.ly links are URLs and will display them as such.

Best of all, you can use various web analytics packages to dissect the response and see where people went on these landing pages.

This approach really gives you the best of both worlds. You use SMS to grab and hold a client’s attention, and the mobile web to educate or convert them.

SMS has a 97% open rate. That’s many times the open rates of email or other mediums.

Check out some of the other articles on the directSMS blog to see what else you can do in this space.

4. Test And Measure

Without measuring your results, you will never be able to quantify how well each campaign is going. This part is crucial and is often one of the most neglected components of marketing.

Look at the reports available to you once you send your offer. You can see who received your offer, and when they received it from our delivery reports.

You can use the reports to clean your database of any old or out of date phone numbers. Check out the number of opt-outs and remove them from your CRM or other data source and so on.

From here, you can segment your database and perform A-B style experiments. Send slightly different messages to different segments of your database to see which offer or wording is more effective. You are only limited by your imagination.

That’s it. To your success…