6 non-promotional SMS marketing tips

23 August 2022

Sms marketing is rapidly evolving into a leading marketing platform. Not only is it cheaper to send out a text message, but it’s far more likely to reach your target audience than any other channel. An sms marketing strategy when compared with email, billboards, leaflets, tv, and internet ads is 4 times more likely to get you noticed and engage subscribers. With an open rate of 97% and a fast read rate within minutes, it’s not hard to see the attraction.

The hard sell

Finding different ways to reach your customer base can be a tricky balance. Ultimately, you want people to invest in your brand. Over the years, customers have made it abundantly clear that they do not like the hard sell. You know that feeling you get when you walk into a very small shop, manned by its owner who is all over you? It’s off-putting and awkward. So what can the shop owner do? They need to find a way to keep your attention and make you feel welcome without the discomfort. Whilst online businesses and larger brands are a world away from a small shop, they are still able to turn customers off by being too pushy.

Keeping subscribers

All sms subscribers need to opt-in to give permission to receive text messages from your brand. With this in mind, it is really important to work on how you keep hold of those subscribers. What do they want to receive from you? We know that the majority of customers prefer sms to any other method of communication and 77% of consumers opt-in to receive coupons or to hear about deals and sales. Perhaps that’s why 64% of consumers think that companies should contact them more often through sms campaigns. So, you know why they are subscribed, you have to find a way to keep them engaged and interested. It shouldn’t all revolve around sales.

Our 6 best non-promotional tips:

1. Personalisation

Personalising your sms program can enhance your marketing communications and help you cut through the competition. It is one of the most sophisticated advances in automated mobile messages that can turn casual observers into loyal customers. With a good sms platform, you will be able to include more specific details within your texts such as the recipient’s name, relevant dates, and times, or even direct them to specific pages of interest on your website. 

2. Segmentation

With sms marketing, you can personalise data fields to target a specific audience. Using the information you hold on your database you will be able to separate your customers by areas of interest and send more targeted comms. Segmenting can be set up with the data that you have collected on sign-up and categorised by your database. Sms content can be matched with groups of recipients and sent automatically to the right person at the right time. One of the quickest ways to lose your customer’s interest is by sending them information that they don’t need to see.

3. Free delivery

Subscribers will be used to sms messages about flash sales, vouchers, and coupons. They kind of expect it but there are other offers which may entice them to engage with your brand, such as free delivery. It’s a small gesture but it could be the push your customers have been waiting for. 50% of the UK population were identified to be prepared to spend more money to qualify for free delivery. Free delivery with your favourite brand feels like you are getting something for nothing and allows you to build trust and feel appreciated.

If you are interested in gifting your customers a free shipping code, you could tie this in with your sms marketing sign-up campaign and boost your number of subscribers. 

4. Tips and ideas

How about using tips and ideas to complement your sms marketing strategy? Many brands are offering this kind of content in connection with their products, on their websites, and via email. This type of sms message is an emerging technique, used to showcase the full potential of products directly to the customer’s hand.

For example, beauty businesses can send links to videos or live make-up tutorials to all relevant customers. Food and kitchen equipment suppliers could send top food tips or links to recipes. Links can be used to drive traffic back to your website and customers feel that they are getting more out of their purchases. Show customers product ideas that you know they will love based on previous purchases. They could be inspired to buy a product based on your suggestions.

Having a good reason to share content with your subscribers will prove invaluable because, if you start to overload your audience with information that doesn’t interest them, they will opt out of hearing from you. So, show them the content they want to see and show them the personality and story of your brand at the same time. If you’re unsure about what kind of content they would like to see, just ask your subscribers for feedback.

5. Product Launches

Let your subscribers be the first to know. If you are launching new products or services, you can give them an exclusive feel by giving your prospects the heads-up. When promoting limited edition items, your subscribers will have the first pick, which will incentivise them to continue to opt-in. In your drive to boost your opt-in take-up, letting customers know that limited editions and product launches will be brought to subscribers first will create a sense of urgency. People like to know things that other people don’t know, it’s human nature.

Another great way to drive up your subscriber numbers is to offer a text back service for “back-in-stock” alerts. Retailers can offer customers on the sms marketing list the chance to be notified as soon as an item they wanted has come back into stock if they join the sms. You can personalise these messages to look like a conversation and with two-way sms it is possible to complete a purchase either via sms or with a link directly to the item. Adding to the message the number of items that are left in stock can also spur the customer to act.

In your product launch text messaging campaign, try to include images to spark interest.

6. Abandoned cart reminder

With automated sms, you can set up your database to send out reminders to your customers to check out the contents of their baskets. This may seem pushy but there are lots of reasons why busy people fail to check out. They could have been disturbed by the events of daily life. They may be shopping around for a better price. If the latter is true, then you will be putting yourself back at the forefront of their minds. It also shows that you are prepared to go the extra distance and make the sale easier for them. This method will help you to build a relationship with your customers and enable you to nurture the lead. With that in mind, it is important to get the right tone with cart reminder messages. There is no need for a hard sell, text like a friend, and personalise it. For example:

“Hi Kate, we noticed you checking out these items (insert eye emoji). You have great taste BTW. If you would like to complete your sale, please click on the link provided”

For cart reminders, you could also add a discount code to encourage the completion of the sale, taking the hard-sell feel away from the interaction. The general advice is to send a reminder 20 minutes after the initial abandonment and then again the following day. Any more than this and your customers may feel harassed and unsubscribe.

See what you can achieve

So, what have we learned? We learned that not all marketing is designed to drive immediate sales and that the softer approach is sometimes required to nurture the customer/business relationship. Taking a gentle approach and showing your subscribers that your interest in them is more than just about sales, will pay off. Welcome them into your world, invite them to discover the story of your brand, interact and make them feel special.

For your sms marketing campaign, make sure you choose the right supplier who can give you the best advice. At TextAnywhere we understand a thing or two about the best ways to boost your ROI with sms marketing messages, it’s what we do best. We offer sms landing pages and can help to build engaging campaigns that capitalise on the benefits of sms while offering images, videos, and interactive elements. 

Here are some of our highlights and things that any good provider should offer: 

  • Studio two-way chat for conversational commerce. 
  • Advanced analytics on campaign performance using studio tracking open rates, conversions, and more. 
  • 99.9% uptime. 
  • Enterprise-level support for companies of all sizes via phone and email. 
  • Professional API to integrate with your software. 
  • Bulk segmented SMS campaigns that can be sent using our platform.  
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