Should Text Messages Have a Place in Your Marketing Strategy?

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Mobile phone text messages began in life as an engineering ‘accident’. The SMS (Short Messaging Service) has undeniably become a huge part of our everyday lives.

Naturally, with the uptake of text messaging a few years ago, it began to be used as a relatively inexpensive way of contacting potential customers, in a similar way to old-style e-mail marketing campaigns. However, this was never hugely successful.

The main reason for the lack of success was the type of messages that were used; largely sales-specific and automated, which had a tendency to grate on mobile phone owners and be viewed as intrusive.

Whilst e-mail ‘spam’ is still an unfortunate but regular part of everyone’s life, it is somehow a remote thing. However, people are rarely apart from their mobile phones and seem to consider them more as a personal extension of themselves, especially since the advent of the Smartphone.

Generally speaking, unsolicited text messages are viewed very much as an invasion of privacy and are not well received, but there are ways to use them in a much more subtle way, a way in which the recipient would actually view them in a good light.

One of the essential things to remember is to only ever send text messages to clients, or potential ones, who have already agreed to receive them and immediately forget trying to think of advertising or selling anything. Any texts you send have to be relevant.

One way to do this is to use text messaging as part of your whole customer service strategy. This is naturally easier in some scenarios than others. A good place to begin is with existing ‘active’ clients, as they are the most likely to respond positively to text messages from your business.

As an example, in the right sort of business they could be used to offer existing customers the opportunity to be involved in a loyalty scheme, showing recognition of their brand and/or company loyalty. Always make accepting such a scheme a very simple process or interest will quickly be lost.

Another scenario could be using SMS to follow up after a recently completed purchase or service call of some type. This should be done fairly soon after the transaction, thus offering the opportunity to highlight any issues before they are displayed on social networking sites instead!

There are lots of creative ways to interact with customers who are already loyal to your brand or business and you can afford to be quite inventive with your efforts, but where potential customers are concerned, you must tread a little more carefully.

A typical situation could be someone who has taken the step to download some content from your website; an e-book for example, free of charge. You have the opportunity to follow up and ensure they are happy with what they have received, but the timing here is all important. Make sure that you leave a reasonable time period for them to at least scan through or they may feel as if you are ‘harassing’ them.

Author Bio: This article is written by Mark Barry. I currently work for Integrity SEO Experts; we are always trying to find the perfect SEO strategy for our clients.

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