Are you frustrated by the low open rates of your email campaigns?
We’ve put together a few simple and easy to follow instructions to help you add SMS messaging to complement your email marketing campaigns.
Your typical email marketing campaign will be getting a 15-20% open rate these days. And that’s considered good!
So no matter how good your offer, or how clever your headline, 80% of customers are simply never going to see your email.
SMS on the other hand still enjoys a 97% open rate.
Not only that, there have been many studies that suggest that a very large portion of those people will read their SMS within 5 minutes of it being delivered.
Now… What if you can combine the two mediums to communicate your message and ensure it is seen by just about the whole of your customer base?
It’s worth remembering that the 80% of people who did not open the email either:
- Received the email and did not care to hear from you… Perhaps the subject line did not appeal? Perhaps they don’t have a need for your products or services any more?
- Received the email and did not have the time to look at it. We all lead busy lives these days.
- Received the email and it went straight to their SPAM / Junk / Promotions folder. Thanks Google… And who knows how often those folders get checked… If ever.
It is the last 2 groups are the ones we are trying to reach out to via SMS to take advantage of the more intimate and real time nature of SMS as a medium of communication.
In this example, we’re going to create a mother’s day discount offer for our imaginary hamburger chain Moo Cow Burgers. Yes… We’re imaginative like that.
The steps are fairly straight forward once you’ve got your list of recipients and their mobile phone numbers.
Step 1 – Create Your Offer
We won’t get into a lot of details here but generally, you want to create great compelling offers that will resonate with your target market. Or at the very least, the list of leads you are trying to reach with this campaign.
Have a look at our previous article on creating great SMS offers for more detailed information on how to do this.
While the article is concerned with creating great SMS offers the same principles apply to all forms of marketing.
Step 2 – Craft Your Email
This is the email we’re going to be sending to our marketing list. The email needs to be intriguing enough for people to read it and take action.
Depending on the product your selling, the length of the sales cycle and many other factors will determine what you put in this email.
For our imaginary campaign for Moo Cow Burgers, the main call to action for our email will be to come to the store to redeem the offer.
Step 3 – Send Your Email Campaign
Test the email campaign by sending a quick batch to yourself or colleagues and check on the different combinations of email clients and screen resolutions. Once you’re happy that everything works, email your customer list.
Step 4 – Get The Un-opened List
After 2 days you should be able to get a definitive list of people who did not open your email. This is not always fool proof due to various privacy and other settings in modern email clients but we typically see rates of 80% and up!
That’s 4 out of every 5 people never even seeing your message let alone dismissing it as irrelevant. Things like Google’s Promotions tab, Inbox! and similar tools are only going to mean that this problem only gets worse from here.
This is where SMS comes into its own. Remember, SMS has a 97% open rate.
If you can export the list of customers who never opened your email (and their mobile phone numbers), you can still get your message in front of them. Most email marketing platforms these days will give you this list at the click of a button.
Once you export the list of people who never opened the email, you can import it into your directSMS address book… Here’s a step by step video on how to import contacts into your directSMS address book.
Alternatively, you can use the the bulk or mail merge upload facilities in our Web 2 SMS platform to send the SMS directly without having to first import the list into your address book. How you do this is completely up to you.
Step 5 – Send Your SMS Campaign
Here, we follow the same process we followed to create the email. The only limitation is space. Have a look at the sample message below and see how we managed to do this.
Again, we’ve used the earlier article on how to create great SMS offers to help us format the SMS we’re sending here.
1. Identify Your Business
Make sure any marketing messages always identify your business. This is one of the cornerstones of being SPAM compliant. Here we’re stating that this is Moo Cow Burgers.
2. Personalise Your Message
Personalised messages are way more likely to be read and absorbed than non personalised ones. We had these clients’ email addresses in our email marketing or CRM system and we also know their names.
At the very least, let’s use their first name in the SMS we’re sending. The directSMS platform will let you do this in a number of ways.
A message starting “Hi John….” or “Hi Jane….” will always go down better than a generic message. We opted to keep things short in our example message in order to get the preview into one screen.
3. Lead With Your Offer
Give them the offer early. They’ll keep reading if they are interested.
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.
Here, we’re asking them to show it in store and we can track the success of this offer through our imaginary Moo Cow Burgers POS/CRM system.
5. Add Validity / Expiry Date
In this case, this is a one day offer – Mother’s Day!
6. SPAM Compliance
You have to remember. Any marketing message of any kind needs to be SPAM compliant. That means it must roughly conform to the ICU principle.
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 instead. As long as they have a way of removing themselves from future broadcasts.
In the above example, we’re sending this as a 2-way SMS. This allows the client to reply back to our message with any comments. It also allows them to opt-out. A typical SMS campaign will see an opt out rate of 2-5% depending on how the mobile numbers were obtained.
Once a customer opts out, they will be added to your directSMS blacklist. This means any time you attempt to send them an SMS in future, whether by accident or by design, the system will block you from doing so.
Add Landing Pages And Stir…
If your offer is long, or you have a lot of rich media content you want your customers to see, all is not lost… You can always create a responsive landing page and then include a short URL to this landing page in your email or SMS messages.
The vast majority of mobile subscribers in Australia these days are attached (yes, physically) to their smartphones. You can use the best of both worlds and use SMS to get your marketing message in front of them. And landing pages to to provide multimedia or rich media interactions.
In this way, SMS can be looked at as “your foot in the door” and a conversation starter. Landing pages can then contain the meat of your offer.
What’s A Landing Page?
A landing page is a page that is optimised for goal conversion through one distinct call to action (CTA). It can be seen as a page with a single purpose which gives you the best possible chance to convert the lead.
You can have whatever you want on the landing pages, but generally you want clients to take an action at the end. Whether that’s to complete a form, call you or interact with you on social media… It’s completely up to you.
Best of all, you can use Google Analytics or similar services to collect lots of information through your landing pages, as well as measure the success of campaigns via the number of link hits and conversions completed through these pages.
SMS as you know is limited on space. For all it’s usefulness, you’re still paying in increments of 160 characters roughly. We don’t want to eat up most of this space with long or cumbersome URLs.
Services like bitly.com and other URL shortening services are great for keeping long URLs short. http://www.moocowburgers.com.au/specials/2015/mothers-day-offer can very quickly be reduced down to http://bit.ly/moo or similar.
This leaves you with a lot more room to get your message across in the SMS. And the landing page gives you all the flexibility of having as much content as you like.
That’s it. To your success…