Businesses are driven by profit maximization, it’s a universal truth! In order to achieve this goal business owners/organizations continuously look out for creative and innovative marketing strategies to better market their products and services. Today, there are so many effective mediums to choose from in order to initiate a successful marketing campaign for example; Newspaper, television, internet, radio, billboards etc. the focus of this article is going to be on how to initiate a successful SMS marketing campaign and how to make it more effective.
SMS (Short Message Service) marketing is one of the most trending ways to derive an effective marketing strategy. According to the data provided by the official website of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) there are approximately 139 million mobile users in Pakistan as of March 2017, and the number is expected to grow by leaps and bounds. Fortunately all of the cellular devices used around the world come with the built in functionality of sending and receiving text messages with ease. Many organizations these days capitalize on this information and use it to their advantage by creating awareness of their products and services using this medium. Given the facts above SMS marketing in Pakistan is booming.
Following are some of the most effective tips to create a successful SMS marketing campaign;
1. Data Collection
Before initiating the campaign itself, it’s important to collect the required customer data. There are many ways through which this task can be accomplished like by simply asking the customers to share their contact details so that promotional offers can be communicated to them or asking your customers to fill out customers surveys can also be helpful. Another way to build up your customer database is to ask your customers to willingly subscribe to receive the SMS alerts by replying to a simple SMS or by sending a short code to a certain number along with the option to unsubscribe from the service. This option provides the customers with a greater authority to opt or withdraw from the service.
2. SMS Content & Frequency
You must pay close attention to the content of the SMS being sent to the customers. It should be short, sweet and simple, otherwise there is a risk that the SMS will be ignored by the majority. Customers are often reluctant to share their personal contact details especially like phone numbers because of the nuisance that is caused if the information is shared with someone else or unnecessary advertisements are being directed to their contact number. The reason why the content should be kept concise is because otherwise it will be dealt with the same ignorance as email marketing is dealt with, customers pay minimal attention to such emails.
The frequency of sending out SMSs to the customers should also be closely monitored. Ideally once or twice a month is considered more than enough, otherwise customers tend to lose interest.
3. Create Awareness About New Products/Services
SMS marketing offers a great platform to introduce new products and services. Text messages should be sent out to the loyal customer base to create awareness about new products and services available that might interest the customers. For example a fashion brand that launches seasonal collections and customers are at times not fully aware of the timings of the launch. In Pakistan designer ladies lawn brands introduce their exclusive summer, spring, autumn, winter and Eid collections and the interested customers always wish to grab the brand new designs as early as possible. Hence, information regarding such dates is crucial to those customers and ultimately increase the revenue.
4. Promotional Offers/Incentives
Customers always look out for promotional offers and other various incentives offered to them. Try to tempt your customers by letting them know about exclusive coupons and deals, it builds the customer loyalty and trust. Make your text message sound exclusive to the customers, they must feel like they are part of a secret group where they get to know about such promotions and offers before anyone else does.
5. Timing Matters
The timing of sending out SMSs matters a lot! Some restaurants carefully select the timing of their SMS like an hour before the lunch break or shortly before dinner time in order to lure the potential customers that are planning to dine out. Usually office going people are enticed by cost effective lunch offers and if they happen to get a text message just before their lunch break which offers “Buy One Meal & Get 50% on the other”, the restaurant is surely going to get more customers.
6. Include a Deadline
t’s important to create a sense of urgency in your text message so that a quick reaction can be expected from your customers. This can be achieved by including a deadline or an expiry date to the offers like “Get a flat 50% discount! Rush to your nearest store soon! Offer expires in TWO days”.
7. Location Based SMS
SMS marketing can be carried out in two ways for example; on country level or on city/district level. Firstly for businesses which operate across the country, it’s easier for such businesses to send out a standard SMS to all their loyal customer base across the country and inform them about an annual clearance sale and a similar response can be expected in each city individually.
Whereas, some SMS marketing strategies are especially designed to target the audiences in a particular city. For example; a famous laboratory in Pakistan, Aga Khan Laboratory recently carried out a campaign in response to a disease named “Chikungunya” that has affected hundreds of people in Karachi, Pakistan. Following the outbreak of the disease the laboratory sent out text messages to the residents of Karachi offering them a discount to get themselves screened for the disease. This is a great example of carrying out a socially responsible SMS marketing in Karachi.
8. Personalize your SMS
Another effective way is to personalize your SMS by including the first or last name of your customers at the start of the message. Customers tend to respond more to the material that is personally directed towards them.
Thus if you are considering the option of initiating a successful SMS marketing in Pakistan, this is the right time to do so! By incorporating the above tips you can surely come up with an effective SMS marketing campaign.