Jun 03 2021

When contemplating the need for Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging, the decision is straightforward. SMS has a 98% open rate vs. the dismal email open rate of 15%. Additionally, SMS boasts a 40% click-through rate and a 30% conversion rate. It goes straight into the hands of a user via their mobile device. A rational person would have stopped reading already and figured out how to implement an SMS marketing solution ASAP. 

But that’s where the fun begins. You’ve now made your choice – yes, to SMS… so now what? There are various ways to create more value in your promotional messages and increase your customers’ receptiveness to receiving them. This handy guide will tell you everything you need to know about warming your customer up to promotional messaging.

 

Acquiring Consent

 

Many territories across the world require customers to opt-in to receiving text messages. If you have ever texted a business, you are familiar with the phrase “text and data messaging rates may apply, type STOP if you no longer want to receive messages.” Even though you have likely enjoyed unlimited texting on your cell plan since 2002 – this is a form of consent. Other ways for companies to acquire consent are via web portals or email campaigns. 

Although email campaigns typically have dreadful results, such as click-through rates of 3% and conversion rates that hover around 1%, email campaigns that specifically ask users to opt-in to SMS enjoy much higher success. Maybe it’s because the SMS opt-in campaign is the rare piece of outreach that doesn’t ask for 30 minutes on your calendar.

Or perhaps it’s because industry research shows that people enjoy the ability to text and receive notifications from businesses. An email campaign specifically asking for SMS opt-in has a 10.5% click-through rate, nearly 4x the results of your run-of-the-mill email campaign. With opt-out rates lower than 5%, running this type of campaign offers minimal risk.

 

Providing Value in Messaging

 

Once you have acquired consent, now you need to find a way to provide value in your content. An A2P message that says, “Buy shoes from us,” will have a minimal impact – and if you are sending messages along those lines, you may need to fire your copywriter. Conversely, a message that advertises the release date of a coveted product and provides a presale link offers new information for a customer or prospect. 

 

“Limited Edition sneakers drop August 1st; click here for your exclusive presale link.”

 

To take things a step further, you can offer discounts to new or current customers in the form of digital coupons. A message thanking a customer for a previous purchase (or a prospect for opting-in) can go a long way in generating loyalty and action.

 

“Thank you for your continued support; here is an exclusive $20 coupon for your next purchase.”

 

This message tells your customer that you acknowledge the relationship and makes them feel valued. But it’s also a savvy business move as current customers are twice as likely to purchase new products you release and tend to spend about 33% more than new customers. Remember, SMS is highly customizable and can be used to target specific customers; use this as an advantage in your marketing strategy.

 

Finding Innovative Ways to Reach Customers

 

In addition to providing value in promotional content, other use cases are bubbling under the surface that may not immediately come to mind. “Contactless” has become the top buzzword in the world of an ongoing pandemic. Why not advertise to your users some new safety protocols your business is using? You could use A2P messaging to discuss a new contactless return policy or, even better, how you are using A2P messaging to facilitate free samples! Innovation has given savvy businesses a way to turn previously offline processes into fully digital experiences.

There are numerous ways to keep in touch with a customer to build familiarity around A2P messaging. Shipping notifications, abandoned cart notifications, or merely advertising a sale are easy ways to stay in contact with a customer and keep your brand top of mind. 
That’s the best part about A2P messaging; the capabilities are truly limited only by your imagination. As long as you are providing valuable content, you will keep your customers engaged. How valuable is SMS? Well, a third of Americans say texts impacted how they voted in the 2020 presidential election. If a simple SMS can influence world politics, think about what it can do for your business.