As a result of the global pandemic, businesses shifted to a digital-first approach to keep up with customer demand. Settled into a life of online grocery shopping, takeout meals, and Amazon deliveries, it’s no wonder consumers have come to expect convenient, personal, and seamless digital experiences as the bare minimum.
When businesses aren’t meeting these convenience standards, customers become disengaged, resulting in poor retention and lost revenue. Mobile messaging provides the reach, immediacy, and convenience to meet these growing standards. So how do you implement mobile messaging and use it to drive positive outcomes for your business and your audience?
First, you must establish if mobile messaging is right for you. Do your customers want to interact with you on mobile? If you see mobile messaging as a channel that will compliment your current marketing efforts, how do you identify the right partner for you?
Finding the right partner
Many companies can provide SMS and MMS services, so take the time to review potential partners that meet your specific needs. What is their value proposition? Can they easily integrate with you and your existing data? If this is your first time implementing mobile messaging, can your partner integrate with your current programs with minimal disruption?
Understanding the level of input and support you will receive from your partner will help to identify the internal resource you’ll need to get your mobile messaging program off the ground.
Once you’ve identified your partner, you’ll want to start putting your mobile messaging to work. For that, you’ll need an audience. How do you incentivize your audience and encourage them to subscribe to your list?
- Discount offers – in return for signing up, provide your audience with a new subscriber discount.
- Milestone campaigns – perhaps it’s one year since you started your business. Incentivize new customers with welcome offers and keep existing customers engaged with loyalty offers.
- Promote your SMS via existing channels (email, social media, etc.)
- Run pop-ups on your website.
- Leverage in-store signage/posters and QR codes to promote your SMS subscription list.
The acquisition method you choose will depend on your current marketing activities and your industry. For example, as a restaurant, you could introduce QR codes and keyword promotion to your tabletop displays. Or, if you’re a retailer, you could bring posters and signage into high traffic areas – such as changing rooms – to promote discounts as a result of signing up.
Whatever the method you choose to promote list subscription, be clear on what your audience will gain from subscribing. Make the action you want them to take clear and deliver on the outcome you have stated.
When your audience opt-in, they are stating they want to hear directly from your brand. Consider these subscribers to be brand loyalists, perhaps more so than email as they’re allowing you to text them directly to their device. Therefore, you need to be sure the messages you’re sending are impactful. To do that, collect data that will allow you to provide a targeted and personal approach.
Depending on how much personalization you want to add to your program, data such as zip code, state, preferred language, and first name would allow you to provide tailored messaging, like a location-specific offer. But like any channel, don’t scare your subscribers away asking for too much too soon.
Measuring your success
Sending expertly crafted mobile messages to your audience is one thing, but you need to know whether the channel is working for you. Setting KPIs and tracking your activity to understand engagement levels is essential. This tracking includes reporting on metrics such as click-through rates, time of day/week, and opt-out rates to understand perhaps where the message hasn’t had the desired effect. By measuring your mobile messaging performance, you can start to modify your program based on subscriber behavior.
Whether you’re looking at launching mobile messaging as a new channel or optimizing your current program, having the right partner by your side is essential to maximizing the benefits mobile messaging has to offer.