When we started with SMS marketing for our business, it produced the best of results, second to only one other marketing strategy we undertook. Even the government of India is using SMS marketing campaigns to target the right message to the right audience. The problem in SMS marketing in our experience is not around the intent but the inability to create a reliable mobile number database. So, even though we all would love to generate leads for every marketing offer at minimum possible cost, this most important factor, the data is missing! We will show you that you already have this data.
One interesting aspect that makes bulk SMS marketing more effective today is the ability to segment it. So I am saying that it is possible to create a context based SMS database. The idea is,
- Create an opt-in SMS database so that you are reaching the right audience.
- Have some indicators which allow you to segment the SMS database and generate better response rates.
In order to capture inbound leads, it is essential that you think through your entire customer acquisition lifecycle. For instance, when you reach out to customers, you leave a contact number they can dial. Track it!
Importance of opt-in SMS marketing
Who do you think would be the ideal person to react positively to your SMS marketing message? Someone who has searched for a business like you? Someone who got in touch with in the past looking for something similar? Someone who responded to some other campaign you did?
If somebody asked me how many customers I have served till date, that I wish I could pitch back to, the number would be huge. Maybe when I first talked to them, I didn’t have this offer. Maybe when I presented my pitch, I didn’t introduce this angle. Another very simple reason to reach out again might be, that the need of the customer might have changed! Besides these perception based reasons for creating an inbound SMS marketing database, here are some more succinct reasons:
1. They have a reference frame
In our business, when someone calls, he chooses sales, support or HR. While using our database for marketing, we remove the callers who called for HR related queries. They are definitely not the customers of my product. Then again, we use our tollfree number to collect leads for tollfree numbers. This helps us pitch relevant product offers to those who enquired about tollfree numbers. Also, when I mention MyOperator to them, they know what I am talking about. This places us in a reference frame in their minds creating better response and conversions.
2. Brand recall
For the customers on e-commerce websites, SMS campaigns which SMS similar discounts or introduce time bound offers, the response rate is very encouraging.
3. Targeted marketing
When someone visits your product once, you would have some idea of what it is that they are looking for. This provides you with the scope to broaden your perspective and present segmented offers. It has been observed that properly targeted campaigns work much better than ad-hoc ones.
Here is your segmented database
The most significant step is to keep a track of every call your company receives. Virtual numbers are enabling this tracking and creation of database. But this is just one aspect of the data. The real value comes from the context of every call received. So how would you create your next SMS marketing database? Just marry the department in which the caller called with the number entry. Also, I came across this article which has some interesting marketing campaigns you could build to create your SMS database. Share your experience with SMS data segmentation!
The response rate of any marketing campaign depends upon where you source your database from. While many businesses are flourishing on selling segmented databases, I am not sure how good that is. Even if it works, the best way would be to create your own database where you already have the caller’s context.
Keep a call tracking system like MyOperator which captures every incoming call. Irrespective of the origination of the call or its purpose, capture it and market right! Data is indeed the king.