How to “Court” your Clients via an SMS Marketing Campaign

By Philip Trampe

“You have to be on mobile!” As a company, you must have heard all the statistics and reasons why it’s almost suicidal for a brand not to market via mobile devices. Sadly, this piece of advice isn’t false. The world is getting busier and on the go, and with statistics claiming that 91% of all U.S. citizens have their mobile device within reach 24/7 (Source: Morgan Stanley, Hubspot), mobile phones have become the ideal platform to reach potential consumers.

But besides using overly complicated apps and web marketing, marketers can also use basic phone functions to reach their audience, through text messaging.

Now don’t disregard the rest of this article and immediately go and mass text a random amount of potential clients. An SMS campaign is a thin wire to successfully cross, but it can be done.

The important thing is to realize that texting is a very personal point of contact. Lead360 created an infographic concerning SMS marketing with a unique twist comparing SMS marketing to SMS dating.

Although it may seem silly, the method of one courting someone via text message is quite similar to companies trying to gain business from any consumer. Therefore, in order to have a successful SMS marketing campaign, there are multiple components to keep in mind:

  1. Be Personable– Receiving a text hits a lot closer to home than an email. This is a medium that people use more to communicate to friends and family. A direct line if you will. Make sure that the connection to the client does not come off as mass marketing, shouting potential deals. Entice the client. Don’t command them.
  2. Don’t Spam! – Most messages from companies can come off as spam, just using a platform to get information out there. Don’t do that, or the client will delete you like hanging up on a telemarketer.
  3. Be Brief – You are not the client’s mother. You have no reason to write a small novel for them to scroll through. Short messages not only get your point across, but will also increase the chance to get a response. You are having a conversation with a client, not at them.
  4. Respond – It’s good that you enticed the client enough to gain a response, but that is lost if you don’t respond to them. Make sure that you respond accordingly and in a timely manner. Like dating, how would anything progress if you make first contact and don’t develop the relationship?
  5. Be Clear – We’ve all received that text where we take a step back after reading and think “What??” Some messages can be interpreted in multiple ways, and be confusing to the reader. Make sure your company doesn’t send any of those messages. Be clear. There should only be one way to read the message, and that should be the way you intended it to be read.
  6. Call to action – There has to be a reason why you texted. You are not the client’s best friend, so skip the foreplay messages of “Hey” and “How are you doing?” and dive into why they should respond. They have given you their phone number and are aware that you will text them for a particular reason. Don’t shy away from it, but be aware of how you phrase it (remember the previous points)
  7. Don’t text anyone without them giving you permission! –Make sure that those you SMS are on a list of people who have willingly given you their cell phone numbers. If you don’t, you will most likely get your messages deleted as spam, hurting your brand image more than helping it. Think of it in a dating context. You shouldn’t text anyone you haven’t met using the line “I found your number on Facebook.” That is just creepy and will most likely not yield any results. If a person shouldn’t do it, neither should a marketing team.

As mentioned earlier, it’s a fine line to walk when it comes to SMS marketing. If anything it should be used to keep clients whom have expressed interest in your brand engaged with you. If used properly, this method can help boost your brand image further through word of mouth, and creating a sense of loyalty. Just remember, when using text messaging, your company is viewed as a person, not just a company. Be careful with the process, and if it done successfully, you’ll have steady relationships with clients in the future.