In the previous four posts (see part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4) in this series we looked at how to set up and deliver an SMS marketing campaign with TextMagic, and how to interact with your customers when they responded. In this final post we’re going to look at some ideas for maximising your return on investment (ROI) from any SMS campaign.
The first thing we need to say is that the investment doesn’t really need to be very much, at least in cash terms. There are no fees for joining TextMagic or starting a campaign – you just pay for the text messages you send. So, if your campaign involves sending a single text to a thousand people on your marketing list, you’ll pay for a thousand texts.
How much you pay will vary depending on the country or countries your recipients are in. We price messages in TextMagic credits (for example, a single text sent to a phone in the UK costs 0.8 credits right now). You can find out how much credits cost on our SMS pricing page – as you’ll see, the first thing you can do to maximise your ROI is to buy credits in bulk, as we offer discounts of more than 30% on large purchases.
So what else can you do to maximise our ROI when you run a campaign? We’ve looked at quite a few tips in the previous posts, but here’s a summary and some useful bits of extra information:
1. Use a high-quality list. This is probably the number one piece of advice we’d offer. A good list won’t guarantee the success of an SMS campaign (or any sort of direct marketing campaign), but it’s the essential foundation you need. Probably the most valuable list you can use is also the cheapest – your database of existing customers. However, if you don’t have a customer list, or you want to expand your customer base with new leads, you can buy a list that includes mobile numbers and demographic information from many list brokers.
2. Base your campaign on a specific, interesting offer. SMS marketing works best when you have something concrete to offer – a competition with a decent prize, a sale on your most popular products, a new product you want to pitch to your customers, and so on. The best way of thinking about this is that you should want to run an SMS campaign because you have a great story to tell your customers. If you decide to run a campaign and then cast around for something to say, things might be harder. You might still have some success, but probably not on the same scale as if you’re offering something brilliant to an interested, targeted audience.
3. Write the message carefully. There’s not much point in having a great offer and a great audience if the message you send is weak or ineffective. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to spend some time carefully putting together the message you are going to use as part of your SMS marketing campaign. Standard SMS messages are 160 characters in length. You can fit an awful lot of information into those 160 characters if you think carefully about it. The main thing is to make your offer clear, focus on a key benefit, and ensure that your customer knows what he or she has to do to take advantage of the offer. Because SMS messages are sent as plain text, you can’t use any fancy fonts or decoration to drive your message home. The only thing you can do is use capital letters to emphasise certain words. This can work very well, but make sure you only do it sparingly or the effect will be lost and you will send your customers a message that looks like spam and is difficult to read. One final tip: before you send your message to your customer list, send it to your own phone so you can see what it looks like. Is it easy to read? Is the offer obvious?
4. Build loyalty with fast responses. If you’re offering your customers a chance to reply to your SMS marketing messages, make sure that you are polite, efficient and professional when you deal with their responses. Ideally, you should have a workflow in place that is designed to deal with common responses and questions. That way you can ensure consistency even if you are dealing with hundreds of customers and using multiple customer service representatives at your end. TextMagic offers you a robust, flexible and fast system for working with your customers via the medium of SMS. However, it will only ever be as good as the quality of customer care you put into it.
5. Think seriously about testing. A very popular way of increasing ROI in any kind of marketing campaign is to perform a split test. Let’s say for example that you have a list of 20,000 potential customers. You can start off by sending your message to just 200 of them. At the same time you can send a similar message with a slightly different offer to another 200. Which message and offer holds the best response? By using a small portion of your list to test the best approach you can be sure that when it comes to contacting everyone, you have a message and an offer that work. Testing does not have to be time-consuming or expensive, but in the long run it can deliver very substantial returns.
6. Make it part of a larger campaign. One of the beauties of using TextMagic to run an SMS marketing campaign is that you can design and run the project very quickly, sometimes in less than a couple of hours. However, you might find that you get more long-term value from TextMagic if you use it as one part of a larger marketing campaign. Basically, the secret of success is planning. Running a single isolated SMS campaign might deliver rewards, but in the long run you will probably achieve greater things if you embed it in a carefully strategised marketing campaign that encompasses several media over a considerable period of time. At the end of the day, it’s about deciding what is right for your business – an off-the-cuff, quick campaign that is very responsive to market demands, or something more long-term and considered.
So that’s it for our series on SMS marketing with TextMagic. We really hope you found it useful. If you have any questions, comments, ideas, or examples from your own experience, we’d love to hear them. We think SMS marketing is going to be an essential tool for millions of businesses over the next decade – and we want to help yours make the most of it.