Have you ever thought about adding text messages to your marketing strategy? If not, it may be time you give it a good old think. While email marketing is one of the oldest and most effective ways of starting up your marketing strategy, the reality is very few emails get opened.
According to recent statistics, people read only 20% of all marketing emails, whereas approximately 90% of all text messages.
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However, SMS marketing is something you have to be very careful with, as people are usually way more likely to hand out their email info than they are their phone numbers. So, in the spirit of not messing anything up, here’s what you need to know to get started.
Where Can You Use SMS Lead Generation?
Like any other marketing strategy, you must carefully plan an SMS marketing strategy. But unlike other traditional forms, text messages might not be suitable for every industry.
Most businesses can benefit from a strategy like this if you implement it correctly. One of the primary reasons is that it connects the company to the customer directly and efficiently.
The industries known for using this marketing strategy are real-estate agencies, advertisers, event planners, managers, etc. So, if you happen to be in any of these, there’s not much else to think about. Read on, and learn how to get started.
What Are the Benefits of SMS Lead Generation?
It Helps Reach Your Target Audience
Texts appear to be the most effective lead generation method by far compared to other methods. As we mentioned before, emails only have about a 20% open rate. On the other hand, social media usually ranges in the 4% to 10% range, depending on the platform and the tactics deployed.
Separate Those Who Are Interested and Segment
When you have a potential customer and acquire their phone number, you know they’re genuinely interested, and that’s the most important thing. One of the significant benefits of SMS lead generation is that it’s just so personal.
Furthermore, not all of your leads are at the same stage of your customer journey. And segmenting, while crucial in pretty much every lead generation strategy under the sun, becomes more accessible with text messages.
How to Get Customers via Text
Before we get into the specifics of converting leads into customers, we need to send out a quick warning about compliance.
Since messages are so personal, and people don’t give out their phone numbers to just anyone, you must always give an option to opt out. And if any one of your leads chooses to opt-out, it has to be respected.
If you do not follow strict compliance rules, not only will the entire business appear unprofessional, but your reputation will suffer significantly.
Import and Collection
Subscription forms, CTAs, and similar strategies are excellent ways to generate leads. You can do this through your website, so make sure they’re visible but not over-powering to a point where you might seem pushy.
Aside from that, if you already have a database of leads from other sources, import them and incorporate them into the SMS strategy.
Shortcode and Keywords
Position the SMS shortcode strategically. The shortcode for your SMS is a phone number, and make sure it’s conspicuously placed in as many places as possible on your website without pushing too far.
The same goes for the keyword that will lead to the shortcode. You can place these on many more outlets than just the website. Think social media, a digital business card, online ads, etc.
Nobody expects you to be out and about 24/7. You can’t be working all of the time, nor can your customer service. There will be times when leads will try to contact you or your team when you or your team are unavailable. And if they do not receive a timely response, their interest will wane.
The simplest way to make sure this doesn’t happen and you don’t end up losing a customer to a competitor is to set up a set of auto-replies.
These can range from introductory texts, a new service or product announcement, or sometimes even that they will be contacted by a live agent as soon as work hours are in full swing.
Use a mix of information you’ve gathered through your CTAs and tailor the messages to each lead. Nobody wants to speak to a robot, and leas, like everyone else, are far more likely to respond to personalized messages.
Also, while this may take some time, it will significantly improve your chances in the end.
Just like you would any other campaign, set goals, and monitor how close or far you are from achieving them. By doing this, you’ll be able to find out where you’ve gone wrong much faster or what you’re doing just right.
Essential Steps for Creating an Effective Strategy
The following few tips we’ll share with you are just an addition to what we’ve already listed. However, these are the absolute bare-bones of an SMS lead generation strategy, so make sure not to miss any of them.
A Good Quality SMS Provider
Without a good provider, you won’t get very far. That much is obvious, and while we don’t have the time (or word count) to get into the details, some of the most popular providers include ClickSend, ReplyBuy, and Twilio.
Engagement is Key
The only way you’ll be able to turn leads into long-term customers is through constant communication. After the setup and initial contact, be sure to remain in touch with your leads.
If there is no response to your text, sending a follow-up within a few days is acceptable, but it is also important to note that you should not go too far. Be reasonable, be there when leads want to contact you, try to reach out, but don’t be overbearing.
Offer Special Deals
People would rather give out personal information if offered something in return. The short version is – offer nothing, get nothing. Offer special deals or events to our leads to entice them to share their information with you. Restaurants can offer a discount meal, and relators can offer a consultation.
Once you’ve collected a sufficient number of satisfied customers, ask them to leave a review. Of course, offer something small in return for their review, and your business will be in better standing.
Building trust with your existing customers and having positive reviews makes others believe you more efficiently and more likely to engage.
Over to You
In this short guide, we attempted to cover all of the basics of SMS lead generation and condense them into bite-sized chunks.
If you’re feeling a bit more optimistic about the prospect of deploying this strategy, remember it’s a long road but well worth it in the end.
Have any questions for us? Share your favorite tips and strategies in the comment section below.