Using Text Messaging To Capture Your Customer’s Loyalty

It is estimated that millennials now send between 60 and 85 text messages per day. That’s a lot of texting and a lot of time spent looking at a very small screen!

According to their article of August 2015 ‘The UK Is Now A Smartphone Society’,

OFCOM says the UK is now clearly addicted to the smart phone.  Statistics tell us the mobile phone has overtaken the laptop as internet users’ number one device.

There isn’t much we can’t do on the smartphone these days. Several years ago it was quicker and more reliable to surf the internet and make our purchases on our PCs or laptops, or even tablets. But superfast 4G is helping us to do our shopping, banking, booking and buying all on our pocket sized hand-held devices quickly and easily. The average person now spends approximately two hours online on a smartphone every day. If you can spot a teenager without a mobile phone on his/her person, it’s likely they are on a ‘digital detox’ or from another planet!

90% of SMSs  are read within the first 3 seconds and SMS has a final read rate of 98%. MOST text messages are read. In comparison, only 20% of emails are read and 12% of Facebook posts are read. It is glaringly obvious that if you want your message to be read, a text is the way to go.

Mobile Phone

So if your customers are now mobile savvy, are you? Or are you still producing A4 size newsletters to pile up near your exit in the hope that your customer will collect one on the way out?

If done properly, SMS campaigns can build a strong and positive relationship with your customer base. But there are some factors to consider when preparing a campaign which involves texting.  Whilst texting can have extremely positive and immediate results, there is always the risk of your customers becoming frustrated with your service or disengaging themselves from your brand.

Texting is a direct, usually two-way conversation and, unlike emails, is considered a far more personal method of communicating. There are certain ‘codes of courtesy’ that must be considered before you text.

Ten Top Tips For Creating A Successful SMS Customer Campaign

1.     Capture your customer’s mobile number.

This could be on a membership or loyalty scheme, otherwise run a competition or raffle.

2.     ASK permission.

Always ask the question ‘may we contact you by phone’, however you choose to word it.

3.     Ensure your SMS has an opt-out option.

Make it simple and obvious for a person to stop receiving SMS communications from your business.

4.     Have clear campaign goals.

Ensure you have clear and tangible goals. Don’t confuse or muddle your customers with multiple offers or vague promises. Be brief, clear and direct.

5.     Text only occasionally and when you want a really good response.

Shout about immediate and relevant campaigns or promotions.

6.     Start slow and leverage incentives.

Our mobile device is one of the most personal devices we have. The customers that welcome you into their phone are probably some of your most loyal customers. Therefore, it’s important to treat your most loyal customers with some extra love. So incentivise your customers to opt-in, stay in or come in to your premises by giving something of value; a 10% off voucher or free coffee. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter the most and the small incentives often create a much bigger spend overall.

7.     Use an efficient automated text service and schedule or plan your campaigns from your PC.

There are many SMS automated systems and platforms available. Choose carefully.

8.     Make your texts useful or beneficial to your customer; don’t just SELL.

Ensure that at least half of your texts contain information that may be useful to your customers in some way. This might just be a link to a recipe or game or blog on your website or advice or perhaps a tip relevant to the season. Then, when you do text with an offer or an invitation to buy you won’t be reaching tired, disenfranchised eyes who will simply glance then divert.

9.     Have a clear Call To Action

One of the most common reasons SMS campaigns fail is because the call-to-action isn’t presented in a way that the customer recognises or understands what to do.

10.  Measure your campaign results.

Be sure to clearly measure your subscriber growth, opt-out rate and offer redemption rates.

If you haven’t started looking for ways to add SMS text message marketing to your marketing mix, it is certainly time you took a close look.

The mobile channel is certainly the channel that offers the widest possible reach and the incredibly high read rate of text messages means this a method of communication you can’t afford to ignore.

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