3 Ways to Use SMS for Retention Marketing

3 Ways to Use SMS for Retention Marketing

In this blog, we will discuss the top ways to use sms marketing to drive more customers and boost revenues.

It’s common for people in the early stages of their business to focus mainly on acquiring new customers, but this can’t continue forever. All niches have a limit on how many customers will be interested, and you’ll also be battling against the competition for those eyeballs. 

If you don’t pay attention to the customers you already have, you’ll find them abandoning your brand and strengthening your competition instead.

A key point is that the customers who’ve already bought from you in the past already know and are more likely to already feel good about your brand. This means they have already proven that they are willing to spend money on your services and products and are more likely than cold leads to be willing to pay again. 

There are many different ways to keep your customers loyal, but SMS is a particularly strong channel because of how personal it is. Generally, only companies who have previously sold to customers have access to their phone numbers, meaning their SMS inboxes have much less competition when compared to their social media feeds or email inboxes.

While there are some powerful things you can do to leverage email for retention purposes, texting yields far better performance. As MobileMonkey growth lead Vince Magaline points out, recipients will click on about 2% of the links you send them in emails, whereas with SMS, that figure jumps to 19%.

Yet with this greater trust, comes higher standards of responsibility. You need to use your ability to turn up in your customers’ SMS inboxes wisely to continue nurturing them without damaging the bond you currently hold. Here’s how to accomplish that.

Personalize the content

Customers can be understandably skeptical about the legitimacy of the SMS messages they receive. According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2021 alone, Americans lost $131 million to scams that originated from text messages. This makes it critical to demonstrate to your customers that it’s actually you and that the links you send are trustworthy.

A powerful solution to this is using a platform to manage your customer details so you can send personalized messages. Using vcita’s small business management platform allows you to send targeted messages that include the recipient’s name in the body of the message. It’s quick and easy to prepare, as they have pre-built templates with all the relevant tags already inserted, and it’s all pre-integrated with the platform’s native CRM and payment processing tools.

Unsurprisingly, using the customer name can massively increase open and click-through rates. Indeed, vcita says that 98% of the texts sent through the platform are opened, which is remarkable when you consider how skeptical some consumers are. 

Being able to personalize communication opens up further opportunities, such as sending people birthday rewards and customized coupon codes. These small touches can make a customer feel like they’re valued and not just a sales targets. The personalized approach can increase loyalty because you no longer seem like an emotionless corporation.

Make rapid response the standard

An important factor in the power of using SMS marketing is how short and punchy the messages are. It’s an extremely easy form of communication, as it’s often written on a phone, and people consume the information quickly. Receiving a text somehow feels less draining than seeing an email appear in your inbox. In a world where convenience is becoming an expectation rather than a nice-to-have, SMS stands out.

You can use a service like Botsify or Emotive to allow your customers the convenience of instant text-based answers without needing to invest your earnings in large teams which need training. Botsify allows you to create a chatbot that can easily deal with any issues or queries a customer might have. All you need to do is invest a little bit of time upfront to code for the most common queries, and then the long-term time savings are significant.

You can even have a member of your team update answers as necessary or set up time-sensitive responses. For example, if there is a website outage, you can reply to people who ask about it with an estimate of when it will be back up again.

By removing friction from the process of gaining the information customers want to know about your business, you make it easier for them to turn to you and stay loyal.

Get the most out of geofencing

If your business has physical locations, you can make use of a criminally underused feature called geofencing. What this allows you to do is to send people SMS information based on their current location, which can ensure the information is highly relevant to them.

To start with, you need to ask customers when they give you their phone numbers if they are willing to opt in to sharing their locations when they are within a specified radius of your premises for exclusive offers. When they enter the area, they can get an instant SMS that lets them know of any deals currently available. 

Additionally, you can integrate an SMS API solution with your existing communication system. SMS APIs are used to programmatically send text messages by adding native bulk text capability to existing software and applications, making this the simplest option when it comes to connecting with all of your clients.

Imagine you are a clothing store in a busy mall. Using geofencing you can ping an SMS to customers whenever they enter the mall and offer them an exclusive discount if they spend a certain amount in your store in the next hour. Now the customer is incentivized to visit your store for the items they are looking for first rather than walking around the mall looking at your competitors.

A great aspect of geofencing is how the people receiving the messages are likely to already be out shopping, so the messages are timed right when they have the highest purchase intent. You can even use it to announce that you have something new in stock, so if someone is in the area frequently, they know there is something new for them to visit your store for.

Upgrade your retention marketing

It’s surprising how few companies are effectively using SMS marketing when the potential increase in retention could be so impactful. Email marketing has significantly lower open rates despite how much marketers focus on the medium.

These three tricks can help you drive increases in revenue without needing to pay for expensive customer acquisition. You might find you attract more customers, because the word-of-mouth from existing customers becomes more compelling too. 

Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

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