SMS Marketing and CRM
Since text messaging first became available in 1996 it has a mass market communication platform and a cultural phenomenon of the 21st Century.
The use of SMS will continue to grow as companies turn the service into a critical business function. Text messaging’s ability to immediately reach a customer anywhere and its low cost offer the ability to reach customers (external and internal) with a personally targeted message delivered “into their pocket in real time”.
Used properly SMS marketing is really effective Customer Relationship Management as it goes a long way to giving information, knowledge and empowerment to customers and the understanding that “my supplier is really looking out for me”. For example: an insurer or broker sending details of local emergency numbers such as hospitals and consulates.
It’s not all about ring tones and logos. There are many different uses for SMS including notification, emergency advisories, scheduling, news and information and staff collaboration.
SMS can generate very high levels of response, but a campaign must leverage the medium’s strengths and minimize its weaknesses. The key element of a successful campaign is value and entertainment. To market to someone effectively you must provide them value and / or entertainment in each SMS message.
It is also important that your campaign targets recipients who have expressly given their consent to receive messages from you. You must also provide them with a simple and free method of opting out from further messaging.
Successful SMS marketing is about:
– Saying the right thing.
– To the right person.
– At the right time.
The greatest strength of SMS is its immediacy. Examples of how to use it are:
Voting is an exciting way to engage your audience and let them have their say. Big Brother 3 created 3 million votes.
Instant win prizes where customers can find out if they have won a prize straight away really work.
Timed vouchers drive footfall into your store, bar, club, theatre, cinema, petrol station etc and if you want user interaction then using a viral campaign where vouchers can be sent onto friends and family increases response. The SMS advises time the voucher becomes invalid.
Daily recipe ideas, special promotion alerts, diet tips, cocktail recipe ideas, music reviews, release dates, Top 10 charts, in store promotion alerts.
You are only limited by your imagination.
Richard Hill is a director of E-CRM Solutions and has spent many years in senior direct and interactive marketing roles. E-CRM [ http://www.e-crm.co.uk ] is involved in ECommerce and Emarketing and helps you to grow by getting you more customers that stay with you longer. We provide practical solutions that pay for themselves.