ROI How to improve your marketing ROI using SMS

How to improve your marketing
ROI using SMS
How to improve your
marketing ROI using SMS
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How to improve your marketing
ROI using SMS
Why use SMS
How does SMS fit in with your industry?
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How to improve your marketing
ROI using SMS
The use of SMS hasn’t been dented by the popularity of
any other mobile media, including mobile web, email,
applications, instant messaging or MMS. For most people,
text is far more widely available and more affordable, plus,
almost all mobile users know how to use SMS – it will be a
long time before that can be said of other mobile media.
If we consider the stats below it’s easy to see why SMS
is a marketing winner:
There are 5.8 billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide
In 2011 SMS traffic exceeded 8 trillion
SMS has the fastest read rate at 90% in 15 minutes
SMS has a 97% open rate
Hopefully those stats have whet your appetite to learn more about the benefits of SMS! In this
guide I’ll cover the reasons marketers will benefit from using SMS, industry examples and case
studies of successful SMS campaigns as well as SMS FAQs.
How to improve your marketing
ROI using SMS
Why use SMS?
SMS doesn’t require both parties to be available at the same time. Your
marketing message can still be sent even when the recipient’s phone is
switched off or there is no network signal. It will be delivered when the
phone becomes available and sits waiting in the inbox to be read when
the recipient can read it – and will stay there until the message is deleted.
Guaranteed deliverability
Put simply, with SMS marketing you are guaranteed deliverability. Whilst you still have to make
sure your content is relevant and useful to the recipient, there is no junk folder or ISP to stand in
your way.
Your marketing message is likely to be read within moments
One of the most unique aspects of SMS marketing is the ability to reach your recipients in
seconds, and in the most personal of spaces.
SMS messages nearly always get read by the recipient, it’s almost a reflex reaction. You hear
the tone; you reach for your phone. It’s that instant turnaround that makes this such an effective
marketing tool. We use event notification in email marketing to be notified as soon as someone
clicks because it’s all about those hot leads – SMS will give you that without the extra work,
or tracking.
It’s the highest form of permission marketing
If you’re using offline shortcode marketing where the interested party has to send a text to
a shortcode seen on a billboard, bar of chocolate, magazine etc – this is the highest form of
permission marketing. Your prospect is ASKING to receive a text from you; they’re WAITING
for a response from you. You have a captive audience.
Simultaneously grow your email database with each SMS campaign
It doesn’t stop at text messages, with each text you can also collect an email address which will
be fed into your email marketing software, so growing your database at the same time.
How to improve your marketing
ROI using SMS
Gain a better understanding of consumer behaviour
You can learn a lot about your audience with SMS, you’ll know where they were and what they
were doing when they texted.
It’s a perfect introducer, promoter and indicator
SMS marketing is an effective method to introduce a new product or service. One click can take
the details of new product along with the website details direct to countless pockets across the
country, the perfect method to promote the sale of a new product. It’s a quick and easy way to
send mass alerts or to indicate to customers/clients about the change of a business meeting or
change of shop location.
What can you expect in terms of ROI?
Recent figures have shown that SMS marketing can be highly
effective and provide significant ROI, here’s what some of the
latest stats can tell us:
81% of recipients browse the internet immediately after receiving offers
32% of consumers respond to SMS promotions
Mobile coupons/codes receive 10x the redemption rate of traditional coupons
Mobile marketing offers, loyalty and couponing searches have grown by 800% in the last year
And the sector specifics...
Finance - 12% of all queries are coming through mobile internet. One million active banking
users on mobile in the UK, and growing rapidly
Retail – In 2011 13% of all queries were through mobile
Travel experienced one of the biggest jumps – from 4% in 2010 to 14% in 2011
In the next section we’ll take a look at how different industries can benefit from SMS marketing in
more detail.
How to improve your marketing
ROI using SMS
How does SMS fit in with your industry?
No matter what business you are in, you might be surprised at the number of SMS marketing
ideas and ways you can integrate text messaging to add value to your business offering, generate
increased sales and save you money from your advertising budget at the same time.
Campaigns that include inter-activity with your target audience can be the most effective. Here are
a few examples of how SMS can be used across different industries.
Mobile messaging is very popular in financial industries like banking and insurance. As well as
keeping customers informed on latest products and industry updates, SMS is also used to alert
people on many other aspects of the finance world.
Banks can benefit from SMS services as a way for them to inform customers about new plans
and policies. This service allows banks to operate certain banking services via SMS messaging.
Mostly SMS can be broken down into two types of messages; push messages and pull messages.
Push messages: These are the messages which are sent out by the bank to customers’ mobile
phones without any prior request from the customer. Generally these messages are to alert
customers of an event. Typical push message by banks includes:
Report of account balance
Credit details to the account
Execution of a standing order
Payment of cheque issued on the bank account
Bulk amount of withdrawals on the account
Large withdrawals via ATM
Large volume of money spent via credit card
Purchasing or payment to another country using credit card
One-time pass word and certification
How to improve your marketing
ROI using SMS
Pull messages: These messages are sent by banks on the request of customers. Typical pull
message examples would be a request for balance, mini statement or any other account
held information.
The use of SMS banking has reduced the amount of times customers have to visit their bank.
Thousands of insurance companies are likely to be targeting the same population around
the world. It has become more important for insurance companies to stay unique and relevant
and provide more hassle free services than their competitors. SMS messaging allow insurance
companies to develop higher quality leads using short code services and allows sales teams to
hold a two way communication channel.
Here are some quick examples of SMS messages the retail industry could send:
Order confirmations
Limited offers
Special offers
Delivery confirmations
Online account validation
Refund updates
Validation of account details
Customer satisfaction surveys
PersonalVoucher codes
Loyalty updates
Inventory management
Stock updates
You can use SMS to drive foot traffic and increase repeat
sale by easily turning a one-time customer into a
repeat customer.
Mobile or SMS coupons are much more effective than
paper or email coupons as you don’t need to print
anything out or access an email inbox.
How to improve your marketing
ROI using SMS
Here’s an example of how easy it is to set up:
Choose a keyword
Embed your mobile call-to-action into any of your existing marketing campaigns (Print Advertising,
Signs, Flyer, Banners, Television, Radio, Web, email, Catalog)
Buyers see your ad and text your keyword to your short code to opt-in. Buyer receives a coupon
or more info.
Buyer redeems coupon at retail location AND you have all their details for further marketing
opportunities and purchase follow ups.
Here are some quick examples of SMS messages the entertainment industry could send:
Notifications of events
Weather cancellations
Confirmations of account set up
Shortcodes on websites or DM
Limited offers
Result updates
Links to PR or photos
How to improve your marketing
ROI using SMS
SMS in action - Hooters
Recently Hooters held a contest where customers who sent the word KENNY to their short
code were entered to win an all expense paid trip to Boston to see a Kenny Chesney concert.
Hooters reported that the response was overwhelming, and the whole promotion was a huge
success. Plus, they now have all those phone numbers to promote to in the future!
SMS in action - McDonalds – Just in time campaign
In Australia, McDonald’s tried an SMS campaign where customers could win vouchers for
lunch by sending their name via SMS to a published number. To get them hooked in further,
when customers received the meal coupon through SMS, they were asked to text back a “Y”
and McDonald’s would text them additional promotional discounts prior to the lunch hour – a
“just-in-time” marketing strategy.
Logistics and travel
Travel companies have a great opportunity to engage with
businesses via SMS. If they’ve just booked a holiday with
you then why not send them a welcome message via text
informing them of the helpline number should they have
any problems or questions leading up to their holiday.
Or send them a weather update a week before they go on holiday so they know what sort of
clothes they might need to pack. There are lots of exciting possibilities for the travel and logistics
industry, here are some other examples:
Confirmation of bookings
Confirmations of account set up
Reminder of bookings
Welcome messages
Weather updates
Notifications of events
Follow up offers
Weather Surveys
CancellationsVoucher codes
How to improve your marketing
ROI using SMS
Using SMS as a B2B marketing tool
SMS might not be the most obvious tool for B2B marketers but check out
the stats below, they certainly are food for thought:
Explosive adoption rates: Business markets have adopted mobile
devices in droves - it really is the one device that never leaves the
consumer’s side
It’s been forecasted that there will be 5.8 billion mobile subscribers worldwide by 2013,
ballooning from the current 4.3 billion mobile subscribers
Business professionals not only use their mobile devices to stay connected but also
rely on them to stay informed and make business decisions when on the move
It’s more and more common to see attendees at a conference to be engaging in
conversations with other people whilst simultaneously texting those who couldn’t
attend to sorting out issues back at the office
Business professionals are constantly connected to their mobile phones, so why not
build a marketing strategy to connect your B2B brand to those devices and, in turn, to
your business?
Mobile tools such as SMS alerts, location-based services, downloadable applications, and
widgets enable B2Bs to provide their audiences with entirely new sources of value. That value
ranges from helping professionals stay informed of industry news and managing the locations of
their sales meetings, to performing tasks more easily from their mobile phones and downloading
apps that improve the experience of their business events.
In exchange for the benefits provided, B2B professionals receive information and attention from
their target audiences that they can then use to increase brand awareness and initiate new brand
dialogues, with some of those relationships yielding new revenues for their organisations.
The anytime/anywhere web demands “more show, less tell.” We now have larger amounts of
information to manage on smaller screens. Business audiences need content in bite-sized
chunks, and to be optimised to mobile environments via text.
How to improve your marketing
ROI using SMS
Even when business professionals are working off-site, they’re still looking for information that
will inform their work, improve their efficiency, and influence their purchasing decisions. Since
blogging sites like Twitter launched, we’ve all got a lot better at creating short succinct messages
to tease the reader into finding out more. The same rules apply here.
Why can my SMS message only contain 160 Characters?
You can thank Friedhelm Hillebrand, father of the text message. Through endless typing and
calculating lengths of sentences, Hillerbrand worked out that the average sentence was around
160 characters, and very few postcards ever exceeded this length, therefore this amount was
deemed the right amount.
When twitter launched they always planned for the possibility of users being able to update their
tweets via text and needed to account for the user name being added and to avoid the possibility
of multiple texts being sent, they limited tweets to 140 characters.
Twitter users will testify that 140 characters is enough to tantalise the reader to click through
to a link, or just attract attention. These days we’re experts in communicating, and receiving
communication in bite size, concise chunks – anything longer and we’re likely to lose interest.
I really want to start marketing via SMS, how can I get a mobile database?
We strongly advise against purchasing lists. There’s been a lot of bad press in the news
lately about people receiving unwanted text messages, most commonly from insurance
companies – we’ve already talked about what a personal channel SMS marketing is, to
ensure you don’t anger your recipients and delight them instead, make sure you have their
explicit permission to send them text messages. Not only will this prevent any chance of you
breaking the law, but will also ensure a much higher ROI.
How to improve your marketing
ROI using SMS
No one wants to receive text messages from someone they don’t know – no matter how great
your offer is. What you need is a list of loyal followers who are genuinely interested in your
product or service, you can start by asking people.
If you own a restaurant, ask your diners.
If you own a shop, ask everyone who comes in.
If you own a hotel, ask everyone who stays over.
You get the idea.
If you ask you’ll be surprised how quick you build a list of people who are genuinely interested in
what you have to offer. Not only is this a free way to get mobile numbers but they are people who
are already interested in what you have, so when you market to them they are more likely
to respond.
If you send SMS to people who are actually interested in your product then a 3% response rate is
easy, it wouldn’t even be a surprise to hear you getting above 50%.
Other ways you can collect mobile numbers are:
Interactive SMS campaigns on bill-boards, magazines, TV etc. Asking people to text a short code
followed by their email address to take part in a promotional offer, to request information. You then
have their mobile number and their email address added to your database too.
Collect mobile numbers on your usual email sign up form, making sure you’re clear on what you
intend to do with their number once they’ve hit submit.
Why not use MMS, surely it’s a far more advanced way to communicate my
marketing messages?
SMS marketing is the most common type of text message consumers receive.
MMS, or Multimedia Messaging Service, refers to the ability to send text
messages that include embedded images, video, or audio content without
being limited to the constraints of the standard 160 character text message.
If you are considering using MMS then you will need to bare the following
in mind:
How to improve your marketing
ROI using SMS
SMS messages have a much higher send rate (100+ messages per second) when
compared to MMS (5-10 messagees per second)
MMS messages are much slower and may take up to a minute to arrive while SMS
typically arrives instantly
MMS messages are a lot more expensive to send and receive compared to SMS
MMS messages will have a size limit which limits the length of a video and constrains
picture quality. Sending an SMS with a link to a video is far more effective as they’ll be
taken to the web page where they can view any length video or media in all it’s glory
MMS campaign content need to be thoroughly tested across multiple devices and carriers
to ensure proper encoding and compression before sending a live campaign
Although MMS messaging is a fun and engaging way for businesses to connect with consumers,
for now it can’t yet compete with SMS in terms of ease of use and ROI.
I hope this guide has provided you with some food for thought regarding how you could use SMS
marketing as an integral part of your marketing mix.
My final top tips are;
Ask for repeat opt-in to kick start future marketing campaigns
Analyse recipient behaviour with unique keywords
Offer incentives based on subscriber behaviour
For the foreseeable future SMS will remain the second most used mobile application after voice
calling, so make sure you are reaping the benefits of it.
How to improve your marketing
ROI using SMS
Author of this guide, Maria Khoury is one of the many talented and
experienced people who make up the team at Pure360.
Pure360 is an email & SMS marketing provider who specialise in
helping businesses get the best results from their campaigns. Pure360
work with over 1000 organisations including brands such as Rightmove,
Virgin and innocent drinks. Our customers stay with us through choice,
not contract, and they tell their friends about us – but never
their competitors!
We’ll work with you to improve your email marketing and SMS results.
You’ll get the best from your campaigns without being tied into a long contract, because your
success is our success. You’ll get full training, support and regular free advice supported by email
marketing and SMS software that’s developed in-line with customer feedback.
Pure360 customers have access to the largest UK-based customer support team of all email
marketing providers because our whole focus is on improving your results by working together.
Members of the DMA, we’ve recorded a 10% higher open rate for our customers than the DMA
average, leading to higher clicks and conversions for your email marketing campaigns.
You can find the team working to improve our customers’ email campaigns, down in Brighton, pop
in or give us a call on 0844 586 0001 to discuss how we can help you get excellent results from
your email & SMS campaigns. Or email us at [email protected]
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