March 18, 2020
In a world where an engaged customer is more valuable than both diamonds and gold, it’s essential that brands know how to not only encourage customers to opt-in for their SMS marketing communications but actually read those messages.
And with new laws surrounding direct marketing, it’s become increasingly difficult – as it should be – for brands to get private phone numbers to communicate with customers. Brands have to consider the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in the United States, Protection of Personal Information Act in South Africa, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into effect early in 2018, and many more such laws and regulations around the world.
This means that if you work with a brand which has customers based around the world, you need to take all of these various laws into account. You really need to ensure every “i” is dotted and that every “t” is crossed. So, why continue to build those direct marketing lists of yours? Well, to put it simply, there is no form of marketing service more effective than SMS messaging.
Email marketing just doesn’t have the same high open rates and positive response rate that SMS does. As for junk mail or offering mail order options, your customers just aren’t interested.
With all of that to think about, it can be difficult to even consider how to encourage customers to sign up to your distribution lists, let alone read the messages and take action. So, here are some tips on how you can do exactly that.
The first and most important rule of SMS marketing is always going to be to offer your customers a benefit to signing up to your list. People have become savvy and are wary of just about any form of marketing. They know that every brand wants to sell them products or services. And the truth is, they really want to know what’s in it for them. Offering discounts to customers who sign up is always a popular option. Another smart idea is to let your customers know that they’ll be invited to exclusive events when they sign up to your list. Everyone loves to feel like they’re receiving special treatment.
You only have 160-characters to work with. Brands that are able to send text messages, containing all the necessary information and sticking to that character count are going to win some customer loyalty. You need to keep your customers interested and encourage them to take action... which brings us to the next point.
Every marketing message must include a CTA (call to action). Whether it’s a link to your website or an encouragement to phone your office, your customers absolutely must know what to do after reading your SMS. SMS marketing without a CTA is pointless. Without one, you’re wasting both your and your customers’ time.
Just as your customers need to give you permission to contact them via SMS, they also need to be given the option to leave. Text message marketing materials must always provide customers with an option to opt out. Because laws are so different in various parts of the world, it’s important that your brand's messaging stays on the correct side of the law at all times.
With the correct know-how and familiarity with direct marketing laws, SMS is a communication option that will give you the best bang for your marketing buck. If your interest in these new laws and regulations has been piqued, read our recent article about why it’s important for businesses to adopt GDPR or learn more about how to ensure your SMS messaging strategy is GDPR compliant.