It’s no secret that SMS marketing is where the world is going. With an estimated 3.5 billion people owning smartphones (and a 9% rise in ownership from 2019 to 2020 alone), marketers have an opportunity to connect with their customers through one of the most direct channels.
SMS marketing is an extremely effective marketing tool, boasting a robust 98% open rate. Because text marketing is so successful, it is paramount for marketers to take steps to prevent unsubscribes. With the right strategy and the right copy, it’s even possible to keep your text message unsubscribe rate at 1% or less!
How SMS Marketing Can Further Your Business Initiatives
Part of successful text message marketing is a thorough understanding of what will benefit your subscribers. SMS marketing is not a one-size-fits-all tool, and can be used for a variety of campaigns in every imaginable industry.
To maintain your subscribers, consider the types of messaging that your customers would consider high-value. Some popular SMS marketing campaigns include:
- Order tracking – one of the most popular uses for SMS marketing (especially for eCommerce businesses) is providing customers with updates about their order. Letting your customers know when their orders have shipped and delivered will help develop positive associations with future text campaigns and your brand overall.
Last minute appointment slots – Sending out a notification letting clients know that you have last-minute spaces available for booking will show that maintaining the subscription will provide them with value while it fills up your calendar!
- Reminders – sending out customer reminders for your customers’ convenience will strengthen your customer relationships while providing exemplary customer service. Try sending out a reminder about their upcoming appointment or an event hosted by your business.
- Exclusive coupons or flash sales – everyone likes exclusivity. By providing special discounts or deals to only the people on your text list, you will boost your sales and keep people engaged with your business.
- Closures or schedule changes – if your location experiences an unexpected closure or your hours are changing during the holidays, sending out a message that notifies your customers shows that you value their time.
If you are experiencing a high rate of unsubscribes, consider what kind of campaigns you are deploying and if they are a good fit for your audience.
What Makes a Good Text Message Marketer?
Knowing what to use your text message list for is only part of the equation for maintaining a healthy number of subscribers. It’s crucial to be strategic with your campaigns, or you risk mass unsubscribe.
Learn the Laws and Regulations
Text message marketing comes with its own set of rules and regulations, and it’s very important that you abide by them, or risk hefty fines. In the United States, the FCC has made it illegal to send text communications for marketing purposes unless the recipient has given written consent. Ensure that every number on your text list has opted in to your list. Not only is this good customer service, it’s the law.
Don’t Overdo it
Once a marketer realizes the potential of text marketing, it can be tempting to use this channel for every company update, special, or announcement. This, however, becomes ‘spammy’ quickly, and leads to customer burnout. Prevent unsubscribes by providing only high-value communications to your subscribers, and as sparingly as possible.
The Biggest Secret for Low Unsubscribe Rates
The most important aspect of your text message marketing is in the messaging itself. How your text copy is written makes an indisputable impact on the performance of your campaigns overall. Or, if you’re really stuck, hire a copywriting agency or take a few copywriting courses to get more comfortable with your writing.
The Formula for an Unstoppable SMS Campaign
Digitized marketing has made it so that every company with internet access has the opportunity to compete. Because of this, many marketers opt for a hard sell, too-urgent language, and put pressure on potentials to act — and act now, but this is actually counterintuitive in the digital space. The hard sell is dead, and urgency is barely breathing. With the internet, there is no real urgency. If a customer doesn’t purchase from you, a quick phrase into a search engine can take them somewhere else.
This is where marketers need to adopt what I call the FACES Method:
Casual call to action
Ease into the sale
The FACES Method uses facts and transparency, appeals to emotion, a casual call to action and eases the customer into the sale, and subtle sales language. The FACE Method establishes industry credibility, confidence, and trust.
Let me explain.
Picture this: you own an independent photography studio and it’s spring. You want to fill up some spaces in your calendar, so you decide to offer family portraits with the backdrop of the mid-May wildflowers. Urgent, hard-sell messaging such as “Springtime family photos! Wildflowers are almost gone. One spot left. Call us to Book TODAY!” is pushy, sounds desperate, and gives the impression that there is not actually a high demand for your services, even though it states that there’s only one spot left. This messaging also seems spammy and will likely result in the recipient opting out.
The FACES Method, by contrast, takes a more confident approach: “Limited spots remain for our Spring Memories wildflower portraits. Must book by 5/17. Call us to book.”
Let’s break it down.
“Limited spots remain (subtle sell) for Spring Memories (appeals to emotion) portraits. The season is almost over(facts). Must book by 5/17. (ease into the sale) Call us to book (casual call to action).”
The FACES Method is written in a way that instills confidence and establishes trust, credibility, and authenticity. The latter version of the copy is one that is more likely to generate immediate sales as well as long-term brand loyalty — and less likely to garner an unsubscribe.
What You Should Take Away From This
SMS marketing is an extremely effective tool, and a near-instant way to generate immediate revenue. Because text messaging is so useful, it can be tempting to overdo it. By understanding the nuances of text marketing, the laws and regulations that govern it, and the FACES technique to establish your brand authority, you can keep your unsubscribe rates low (down to even 1%!) and keep your customers satisfied.
Over the past decade, Liz has worked as a copywriter and digital marketing executive for a multitude of companies from startups to and mid-sized businesses to working as the VP of marketing for award-winning, platinum-selling artists. Leveraging an understanding of the nuance of language in marketing, Liz founded Amplihigher, a content marketing and copywriting agency, designed to connect consumers to companies in a way that results in next-level brand expansion.