With an open rate of 97% and an extremely fast read rate, you can see why. So why not reach as many customers as possible in the simplest way possible. With this in mind, if you can grow your SMS database, then in turn you will also see growth in your business and have the opportunity to nurture new leads. When dealing with SMS marketing campaigns or transactional text messages, it is vitally important to have the right level of communication with your customers to keep them engaged. The SMS marketing messages you send out to your subscribers offer you the chance to grow relationships with your recipients and build trust in your brand. When you are hitting the right note with your SMS subscribers you will benefit from an increase in customer loyalty, sales, and ultimately your ROI.
Your current database
You may feel that your current database is serving you well, but there is always room for improvement. What is the quality of your database? Is it up to date and are your subscribers really interested in your brand? Are they getting value from being on your SMS subscriber list? Are you getting many new subscribers? If not, how can you achieve an increase in your database? Your current subscribers have all opted in to receive your SMS marketing messages, but they can also opt out if they are not happy with your interaction. Text Anywhere has a wealth of experience in SMS marketing and we have some top-quality hints and tips to help you to grow your SMS database. Not only do we want to show you how to reach new subscribers, but also to be able to enhance your level of engagement with them. Some of our tips will also help you to keep your current subscriber list healthy and keep customers opting in.
How and where are you collecting your customer information? It’s time for a review
There may be multiple ways in which you are collecting opt in data for your customer database. Many businesses capture subscribers for their SMS marketing database through their own websites. If this is you, then did you know that TextAnywhere can help you to streamline this process. We can help you to enhance your current SMS list by offering you the right tools for the job. The Text Anywhere Gateway API enables you to integrate the automated sending of SMS messages from within your own developed applications and websites.
Collecting your customer’s information could be simplified by adding a tick box to the relevant web page, rather than trying to encourage customers to complete lengthy forms or to waste company resources following website visitors up as leads for your SMS subscriber list. All contacts can be automatically added to your customer database, without any manual intervention.
If you are thinking of going beyond database capture then shortcodes could help. Shortcodes are five-digit numbers that can be used for multiple purposes such as advertising or promoting events. Your business can benefit from short codes from TextAnywhere in the following ways:
- Increase leads – Customers are more likely to remember a short number as opposed to a long number. So, you can expect higher engagement rates.
- Huge library – At TextAnywhere we have an extensive library of keywords and short codes to choose from so, you’ll be sure to find a winning combination that will suit your organisation.
- Grow customer lists – An SMS short code will grow your prospecting list. Once a prospect has messaged and opted in to receive marketing SMS you can store their information and contact them again in the future.
- Increase efficiency – when using shortcodes you can use an SMS auto-responder to interact with inbound message requests in the form of links, PDFs, vouchers, or images.
Accessibility – You can advertise your shortcode via all of your current media channels, wherever you are reaching your target customers. Your website, social media, and poster campaigns are all good places to entice your potential subscribers. With the right campaign message and your keyword from TextAnywhere your database can begin to grow substantially.
Simplify your opt-in process
Your opt in process needs to be quick and easy. Your subscribers need to be confident in joining your SMS database. You could consider using a shortcode on your website to simplify the opt-in process for your customers. Shortcode opt-ins are easy and less time-consuming than other methods such as online lead forms. People also won’t feel as though they have had a hard sell. It is important that they don’t feel inconvenienced by signing up.
We all love a freebie and your target customers are far more likely to subscribe when you offer some kind of reward. There are many marketing hacks to pull in new SMS subscribers and they can depend on the products or services you provide. Some good examples of sign-up incentives are:
- Sign-up discounts exclusive to your opt-ins.
- Exclusive access to a VIP club that general customers don’t have access to.
- The chance to win – entry to a competition.
- Friend referral bonus – both the subscriber and the new sign-up receive a voucher.
Break down those barriers and encourage them to act. Do offer incentives, keep it short and sweet, let them know a little about what they can expect, and offer clear instructions to opt out.
Best Practices for maintaining and growing your SMS database
There are several reasons why your customers may not wish to opt in to SMS campaigns:
- No time.
- Can’t see the benefits.
- Worried about being harassed or bombarded with messages.
- Privacy concerns.
- How to end the SMS marketing relationship.
Growing your database does hold some responsibility towards your subscribers. Effectively, they are allowing you 24/7 access to a part of their private life. You will also be holding personal details about them. So, it is vitally important that you handle your SMS marketing list and SMS contacts with great care. When building an SMS marketing list, some best practice tips from us would be:
- Always seek permission from the recipient and ensure that they are genuine opt-in customers.
- Ensure that your terms and conditions are visible and agreed to upfront.
- Use a short code number to keep the process quick and easy for your SMS subscribers.
- Consider the timing of your SMS marketing messages to ensure that you are not bugging your recipients in the early hours of the morning or very late at night (this can be classed as harassment).
- Make the opt out process very clear.
Allow for feedback, and let your subscribers tell you what they want to receive from you. Feedback surveys can even be sent via SMS marketing text messages.
Increase engagement with useful information
You can increase engagement with your target audience in more ways than just one. Discounts and special offers are one way to gain subscribers, but offering useful tips and information will also be one of the most effective ways to get customers interested in your brand. It can provide the perfect opportunity for you to connect with them. Creating helpful content with your subscribers in mind can help to promote your SMS marketing channel in a less obvious way.
How to attract your target audience
To attract text subscribers, a good tactic is to keep an air of mystery surrounding the benefits of being on the SMS subscriber list. Leave them wanting more. It’s ok to keep things vague to begin with and only provide brief details of what might be to come. They will want to stay around and opt in to your SMS marketing list to find out what’s happening next in your SMS campaign.
It’s good to have multiple strategies to build your SMS marketing list and capture SMS contacts from various different channels. You may already have the perfect opportunity under your nose. Some popular avenues for growing your SMS marketing list are:
- Competitions – You can market these in many different ways, including in-store, on social media channels, on business cards and flyers, on products, etc.
- Website data capture – Adding a consent tick box to a form that already needs to be filled in, is a simple solution.
- Events – If you join events outside of your business, this could be the perfect opportunity to canvas new subscribers.
- Social media – Show your followers the additional benefits that they can experience once they join your SMS marketing list.
- In-store – It is quite common to promote your SMS campaigns at sales points in stores. Shortcodes are particularly useful here, rather than lengthy form filling as shoppers are usually short on time.
- Feedback cards – Some restaurants leave cards on tables requesting feedback via a shortcode or QR codes. The waiting staff can also be incentivised to encourage SMS opt-ins by talking to their customers about the benefits of being an SMS subscriber and adding their name to the card. The customer then adds the name of their waiter to their sign-up which in turn helps staff to receive a reward. This can also work in retail.
Continued SMS support
We hope that our helpful hints and tips can enable you to entice subscribers and maximise your customer database. With an enhanced SMS contact list, we are confident that you will be able to generate a more successful SMS campaign. At TextAnywhere we can offer you continued support with your SMS marketing and are committed to helping you to grow your business.