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6 Common Questions from Our First SMS Marketing Boot Camp Webinar

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our first SMS Marketing “Boot Camp” webinar last week.  To those who missed it, don’t worry we’ll be holding another one soon.  Be sure to signup for our newsletters so you get the announcement.

First, 3 common questions we included in our presentation:

Q: Does my audience really want to receive text messages from my organization?

Yes…if they’re worthwhile.  Text messaging is a very powerful and intimate channel.  If the message doesn’t have value you will not only annoy your audience, but you will lose them as they will opt-out of future messages.  When we’re asked this question we usually tell the story of a wine tasting club who asked their late-20s through 30s audience how they wanted to be contacted about special events.  Nearly everyone answered “by text message.”  The organizers of the wine club were shocked because they assumed the answer would be email.  The respondents explained this was because they were passionate about wine events and wanted to get the information as soon as possible, not wait until they were checking their e-mail.

Q: Is SMS marketing just for targeting “young” people?

Of course the idea of “young” varies, but commonly when people ask this question they’re referring to the high school through college age group.  In that case the answer is, “No.”  At this point the majority of mobile phone users up to age 50 are sending and receiving more text messages than phone calls.  If you’re targeting 20s, 30s, and even 40s your SMS marketing campaign will appeal to the majority.  However, the fastest growing age group for mobile technologies is 50+.  If you’re looking to set yourself apart from competitors by catering to the “older” audience, text messaging could be a good fit.

Q: What information do you gather when someone texts-in to an SMS campaign?

Initially you will only know their mobile number and wireless carrier, but you can ask for more.  With the ability to open a two-way session, even on a shared shortcode, you can ask for more information like email, zip code, full name, and more.  We have worked with several clients who have successfully used SMS to segment and target their audience beyond the mobile number.

Our audience on the webinar asked these 3 great questions as well:

Q: How many texts would you suggest we send in a given month?

The answer to this one will vary.  We have clients who send text messages less than once per month, and some they send them out more than once per week.  To determine your correct amount you need to evaluate the content of the messages (is it valuable?) and monitor the opt-out rates.  You will pretty quickly be able to see what your audience thinks is worthwhile.  If you can send more messages with lower opt-out rates, go for it.

Q: How often do organizations try SMS marketing but give up because the results are not what they expected?

From what we’ve seen around 10-20% of companies or non-profits who try text message marketing are unhappy with the results.  The real shame of this is it’s not the technology that lets them down it’s the campaign that fails.  The number one reason an SMS marketing campaign is unsuccessful is because it is not well supported by an attractive incentive, which is promoted through traditional media, on-site signage, or web efforts.  If the audience isn’t given a good reason to text-in, or they’re not aware of the campaign, the database will not grow well.  A great incentive and plenty of visibility will always deliver impressive results.

Q: How is SMS marketing different for B2B companies vs. B2C companies?

When a business wants to target other businesses with their text messaging campaign they usually have fewer options when it comes to traditional media and on-site signage.  Usually the best places for a B2B company to promote their SMS campaign are tradeshows, trade magazines, or other events.  In these cases the business can target their audience when the phone may be the best or the only way for them to opt-in.

We would like to thank all those that participated in the webinar and we look forward to answering more questions at our next SMS marketing webinar.

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