In the business of SMS marketing, building a subscriber list is one of the hardest tasks there is, and no marketer would want his subscribers opting-out of their SMS plan any reason whatsoever. Although you must prepare yourself to lose at least 5% of your subscribers per year (which is healthy enough compared to the 15% of email subscribers), if subscribers are leaving for plain reasons you can prevent, there is a problem.
On the flipside, subscribers might not opt-out of your messaging campaign but your conversions might be too low to cover the cost. Understand that for a subscriber to take action on an SMS received depends heavily on how well the content is structured, and how compelling the call-to-action. On top of that, if you’re missing out on some retention practices, your subscribers might as well opt-out of your messaging program.
In this article, we detailed some proven ways to retain SMS subscribers and increase conversion rate. After all, it all comes down to sales:
1. Target the right audience
You don’t want to target people who would never buy your product. Invest in data analytics (link to my related post) to better understand your target audience and save on marketing costs. Ask for detailed statistics on why numbers were unreachable or why failures happened, as well as how many were blacklisted. Use responders’ statistics to see who your likely customers are and who are not.
2. Be messaging complaint
This means giving subscribers only what they ask for. If a subscriber opt-in for new arrival updates only, don’t send them promotional content on existing products. If one subscribes for surveys, limit your texts to surveys. Been messaging compliant saves you a lot of trouble and subscribers can relax knowing you wouldn’t bombard them with unsolicited content.
3. Personalize messages
Yes, it’s a lot of work, but everyone enjoys personal messages strictly meant for them even if it’s as simple as the first name appearing in the text. People want to feel they aren’t just another number on the list. It’s a great way to build relationships with them. The after-effect of that is personalization can increase conversion by over 50%. Psychology!
4. Birthdays and Seasonal texts
If you have access to personal information of your recipients (information they provided willingly) like date of birth and can track these easily, you can send them short happy texts on their D-days. However, nothing should stop you from sending out seasonal texts. A short Christmas text might go a long way endearing your customers to you. Keep trivia messages like this short always! Readers already have enough messages coming at them.
5. First 10 words are keys!
About 50% of the world’s mobiles are not smartphones. Some of these phones show an SMS first 10 words on the phone page before it is opened. You want to catch your reader’s interest in those first 10 words. The reader can get the gist in those first words and open to know more if they are interested or delete instantly if they are not.
6. Choose your words carefully
You only have around 25 words (160 characters) to convince the recipient that your message is worthwhile, how do you pass a clear message in 25 words? Do try to abbreviate words, it’s could be taken as unprofessional. Rather start from scratch, rethink your message and choose your words carefully. Use words that increase conversions such as; Get, Free, Sale, Deal, Save, Special, Limited, Exclusive, Now, Today.
7. Include strong call-to-actions
People typically react to SMSes within 90 seconds, so you want them to be able to take up your offer right away. Your SMS should include a sense of urgency, concise, and words that makes a reader want to take action immediately.
8. Make It easy for subscribers to interact with you
Offer details that allow quick interaction like simple codes to input right after the SMS e.g “text WOW to get place order for new arrivals of Italian shoes”. You can add links that lead to webpages or even emails. Everything that makes converting via the message as simple as possible. Don’t include too many steps, conversions would drop. Also make it easy for them to change plans, make a complaint, and even opt-out. The easier it for subscribers to navigate your SMS world, the higher your retention, and conversion.
9. Send reminders on a previous sales text
So you’ve finished sending out a promo or hot sales text, don’t rely on that to make your conversions. Certain customers would need two, even up to three reminders in the form of that same text with a little touch of creativity here and there to buy your product. However, you may want to give your readers a breathing space. Space out the texts and send at reasonable intervals where you’re neither too late to make the first text forgotten or too early to make your texts look like a bugger.
10. Timing is everything
Well, it doesn’t make sense to send your reader a text when he’s napping 2 am in the morning. If your recipients are at different time zones then you would need to segment them before sending your texts.
That was a long one, and we appreciate you staying till the end. Here’s a bonus point to reward your efforts and give you that little edge over everyone else:
Bonus Point – Send a thank you text!
Happy customers always come back and what better ways to ensure your customers are happier than to thank them for purchases? Everyone loves appreciation, your subscribers are no different. Studies in various marketing fields have shown that a little appreciation endears customers to a business, so send a ‘thank-you’ text at reasonable intervals. Don’t over do it!
To get started on your SMS marketing campaign or speak with an SMS expert, log on to www.smsexperience.com