How to quickly improve mobile engagement with SMS offers

Tips for mobile marketing

Text messages can be very effective. Source: Sascha Kohlmann (Flickr)

Text messages can be very effective. Source: Sascha Kohlmann (Flickr)

In today’s expanding and evolving digital market, competition to capture the hearts and minds of consumers is a minefield. Your customers are busy, preoccupied and hard to reach. Yet they’re also more connected than ever, constantly using their mobile phones to look for information and communicate with others. Contacting customers via mobile is the best way to let them know about offers you want them to act on. Text messages are not only quick and easy to send, but also convenient for consumers to engage with, no matter where they are or what they’re doing.

It’s well worth trying – research from Responsys shows that two out of three consumers subscribed to mobile marketing have made a purchase as a result of receiving a highly-relevant SMS. Here are three types of offers you can use to harness the power of SMS marketing and trigger engagement:

  • PRICE-BASED

If you’re aiming to increase online purchases, SMS is a valuable tool for communicating with customers. Reach them wherever they are with a price-based offer that triggers an impulsive response. Include a short link for customers to click on and an appealing offer like a discount, voucher code or sale announcement. It’s worth trying different price-based deals to see what resonates with your audience. Research has found customers under the age of 45 favour discounts, while people over that age prefer free shipping. Either way, sending online offers via SMS will generate higher engagement, particularly compared to other channels – our data shows that close to 20 per cent of links are clicked through in SMS, compared to just two per cent of emails.

  • TIME-SENSITIVE

Offers with a time limit help to create a sense of urgency that drives greater customer engagement. Given that 90 per cent of text messages are read within three minutes, according to our research, time-sensitive offers are particularly suited to the immediacy of SMS. Let your customers know about offers coming to an end, a limited-time online deal or the dates of an in-store sale. This will also help reduce the number of customers who would have been interested in the promotion but missed out because they didn’t check their email or visit your site in time. Sending a time-sensitive offer also allows consumers to engage quickly and easily using their phone. Compared to email, this opportunity for immediate engagement is highly valuable for any business wanting to drive action, whether it’s in the form of sales, bookings or sign-ups.

  • LOCATION-BASED

SMS enables you to reach your customers when they’re in the right location and best mindset to engage with your offer. This makes text messages ideal for driving foot traffic to your business. Smartphones provide highly accurate location data for any marketing campaigns focused on in-store visits. For example, sending a discount to people in the area is a great way to attract new customers and build loyalty with existing ones. If you’re a department store having a sale, don’t just email it out to your customers and hope they stop by. Target customers who are already in the area to let them know it’s happening right now. Delivering highly relevant, personalised deals to consumers provides a sense of exclusivity and a convenient way to interact with your business, helping to drive higher engagement.

SUMMARY

No matter who your customers are, there’s a mobile phone nearby. Price-based, time-sensitive and location-based offers are most likely to trigger consumer action, according to Responsys. The type of offer you use will depend on your business goals and audience. If you’re hoping to increase in-store sales, location-based offers are highly valuable, whereas time-sensitive deals make more sense for an online business. Whichever offer type you choose, be sure to provide relevant, personalised SMS messaging that provides real value. This will help to spark initial engagement and build loyalty that generates valuable long-term relationships.

Jonathan Morgan, Vice President – Corporate Development Asia and Pacific, OpenMarket

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