For a marketing campaign to work, it needs to be seen. Therefore, the communication channel you choose is crucial to the success of your campaign. Do you know which channel has the highest open rate? SMS.
Why choose SMS as a communication channel?
Compared to any other communication channel, SMS has by far the highest open rate. It reaches an average open rate of 97% within 3 minutes. This incredibly high number is due to today’s usage of mobile phones. People keep their phones close to them wherever they go, ready to use it to quickly check their e-mail, post a social media update or find information they need. So, when they receive an SMS, they open it right away.
So, this is a first good reason to use bulk SMS to reach your customers!
SMS also allows you to receive feedback from your customers. It’s an interactive channel. So, you could simply put a link that your customers can click or you could ask them to reply to the SMS with a specific word for more information or to participate in a contest, for example.
SMS is also a channel that is easily trackable. You can see if your messages are delivered and who answered to them in an easy-to-use analytics tool.
All of this put together makes bulk SMS a splendid marketing tool. The cherry on the cake is that bulk SMS has a very high ROI. Being the channel with the highest open rate, SMS has also one of the lowest costs!
Why isn’t bulk SMS more widely used?
So, why isn’t bulk SMS the marketeer’s favorite yet? Because there is a lot of misconception over using it. Some say that sending bulk SMS is so regulated that it’s almost impossible to set up. Others say that SMS is too intrusive, or that you can’t fit a marketing message in an SMS.
1. Bulk SMS is too highly regulated to be used for marketing
In general, telecommunications are highly regulated. As is marketing, especially since the implementation of GDPR in Europe. This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to use SMS as a communication channel and certainly not that you should give up on the idea. To enable bulk SMS marketing, make sure that your customers have given their consent before including them in your bulk SMS database and that you use their personal data in a conscious way.
2. SMS is too intrusive to be used as a marketing channel
As it’s often the case, you shouldn’t over use a communication channel, especially when doing marketing. If you’re thinking of sending your customers a ‘good morning’ SMS with a special offer every day, then don’t even consider using bulk SMS. But this channel is not intrusive if it’s used in an appropriate way. If you have special quarterly promotions for example, or if you would like your customers to give you feedback on your services, SMS would be an appropriate channel.
3. An SMS is too short for a marketing message
Today’s technology allows you to send up to 8 combined SMS messages at once, which means you have over 1200 characters to put your message in. These messages will be concatenated and displayed as a single SMS to your recipient. This should give you plenty of space to transmit a good and efficient message!
5 examples of bulk SMS for B2C marketing campaigns
Now that we have set why you should use bulk SMS, let’s see how you can use it. Let’s go through 5 examples of marketing SMS you could send out.
1. Send out efficient mass promotional SMS.
Using bulk SMS to present your offer to your customers is the right way to go. Remember, the open rate of SMS is as high as 97% within 3 minutes after reception of the message. This means that almost all your customers would see your offer. Of course, you should use this channel only to send out very special offers. If you’re going to send daily promotions, your customers will quickly sign out and you will not be able to reach them anymore.
Another interesting feature of bulk SMS, of which not many people are aware, is that the message can be personalized. Let’s say you want to address your customers with their first name to accentuate the fact that the offer is special and tailored for them. You can easily do this with bulk SMS.
Now let’s say that instead of a promotion, you would like your customers to participate in your latest contest. You can either ask them to reply with their answer directly by SMS, or you can create a landing page where they can participate and include a shortened link to it into your SMS campaign.
If you like the idea of interactivity and bulk SMS, you might be interested in knowing that a new technology called RCS will soon be generalized and will allow you to have an even greater interaction with your customers.
2. Find the perfect channel for your product availability alerts
This is a classic message to send out for many B2C businesses. You customer wants to order a product but your supplier hasn’t delivered it to you yet. Do you need to let your customer go to competition? Of course not!
Offer him to subscribe to a product availability alert. Best practice is to offer different channels through which your customer can receive these alerts. Some might prefer to receive them per e-mail, for example if the order is not urgent to them. But if they need the product quickly, they will want to be aware of its availability as soon as possible. Then, SMS is the perfect channel to do so.
3. Get higher response rates on your satisfaction surveys
Customer satisfaction surveys are crucial to your company. They allow you to receive information from your customers and give you a general overview of the quality of your service. So, when you send such a survey out, you want as many people as possible to answer, without having to bother your customer.
Bulk SMS would be perfect to measure metrics such as the NPS score. Let’s say you send an SMS right after a customer contacted your customer service department. Within a few seconds, he can reply with his rating and you can easily evaluate the overall quality of your services.
A loyalty program is all about making your VIP customers feel special and appreciated. Also, a customer that subscribed to your program most likely wants to hear more about your brand. SMS is the perfect channel to maintain a good relationship with your VIPs.
If you have a point collection program, you might want to give extra points away as a gift on special occasions, such as your customer’s birthday. What better way to receive a gift than directly in your pocket?
If your loyalty program rewards the amount of money spent in your shop, you might want to let your customers know that buying a specific item with a very attractive promotion will allow them to pass the threshold to collect their reward.
Using bulk SMS with a personalized text for such communications will allow you to strengthen your relationship with your customers and give that little something more in your loyalty program.
5. Set up efficient transactional SMS
Most B2C companies use e-mail to send out their transactional messages. This is a very efficient channel as customers are expecting to receive such information. So, what would be the added value of bulk SMS here?
Even if transactional e-mails are expected, customers don’t always know when to expect them. For example, when someone passes an order online, they would expect to receive an order confirmation in the next minutes. But they don’t know exactly when they will receive the order shipping notification, as this one is dependent on your logistics. So, why not make your customer’s life easier and offer them to be directly informed about it by SMS?
Using bulk SMS for such messages can really improve your customer service as you give them the information in a more efficient way.
We hope this article gave you some more insight on how to use bulk SMS in an effective way. For any more information on the subject, don’t hesitate to contact us!
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