Using Personalization to Improve Your SMS Marketing

Reach your customers where they are, with the content they want to receive.

SMS marketing, if you’re not already doing it, it’s probably something you’re thinking about adding to your digital marketing strategy. When you consider that 5 billion people can send and receive text messages, it’s a number you can’t ignore.

Mobile messaging doesn’t only reach one age group either. From 18-55+ people are using text messaging every single day. While the numbers decline in the older age groups, as new generations continue to move through life we will see these numbers continue to increase over time. Texting and smartphones are where people want to receive information. Image courtesy of Business Insider.

Using mobile messaging to reach your customers will allow you to communicate with them anywhere, at any time. Think about the last time you left your phone at home when leaving the house. There’s a chance you can’t even remember the last time you did this — and that’s why mobile messaging is so important in today’s marketing.

A Quick SMS Messaging 101

So let’s start with the basics first: what is SMS marketing?

SMS marketing stands for short message service marketing. Essentially, it’s the process of using text messages to reach your customers. The reason this form of marketing works well is that the open rates for SMS messages are 98%, while nearly all messages are read within 3 minutes.

When you compare those numbers to any other marketing tactic you are employing, SMS marketing blows the rest of out of the water.

Compared to email marketing, SMS outperforms with engagement rates of 6-8 times higher. We often look at email as one of the best outlets to reach our customers, but these stats give us a reason to reconsider how we continue to market to customers in the digital age. Image courtesy of Learning Hub.

So if you’re ready to increase your engagement by 25% or more, it’s time to start jumping into the SMS marketing world. But just simply drafting up a quick text message won’t cut it when you want to see higher engagement rates.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how personalization can take an SMS marketing from a simple, thrown together plan to a high performing mobile messaging marketing strategy.

Here’s a quick look at what we’ll cover:

  • The trend of personalization in marketing
  • How personalization and SMS marketing work together
  • Knowing when to send SMS messages
  • The importance of list segmentation
  • How the use of transactional messages improves personalization
  • The power of the right promotional content

Personalized Marketing is Trending

In today’s marketing world, you can’t get away with sending generic mailers to your entire customer base. We’re even in the process of moving away from generic emails that provide a basic overview of your company’s products and services.

But why are we seeing a shift from these known tactics? Because people expect personalization. They want content that is relevant to their interests and shopping history to make the process easier.

Using personalization in your marketing will pay off for you in the long run. From increased sales on websites to an increased number of repeat customers, personalization will help you grow your business and provide a better customer experience in the process. Image courtesy of Neil Patel.

So what does this mean for your marketing efforts? You need to start serving customers with individualized content and predictive product recommendations. It’s a daunting task when you first consider moving to a personalized marketing strategy, but it will pay off in the long run.

Here are a few stats to help you understand why personalization in marketing is so important in our overwhelmingly dense digital world:

  • 80% of frequent shoppers choose to shop with brands that personalize the experience
  • Predictive product recommendations are 40% more likely to be viewed
  • 36% of consumers want brands to offer more personalized content
  • 70% of millennials are frustrated when they receive irrelevant marketing content

This idea of personalization in marketing translates directly to SMS marketing. If you consider that people want to receive text messages from the brands they love and that they want to receive personalized content — personalized SMS marketing is the perfect combination.

Personalization in SMS Marketing

When you think of texting someone, it’s generally a personal conversation. While in some cases you may respond to a text with a general, “okay” or “thanks”, texting is usually a fluid two-way conversation.

This is why when you’re developing an SMS marketing strategy, you need to make sure it’s personalized and doesn’t come off to the receiver as a generic, spammy message. Just because that message will be read within 3 minutes doesn’t mean that the user will react or interact with it.

Just as personalization increases email metrics, the same is true for SMS marketing. Sending your subscribers’ irrelevant information to their phones won’t work any better than sending it to their email inboxes. Let’s look at a few different ways that you can work to create a more personalized SMS marketing strategy.

Know When to Send Messages

Although send times may not seem like a very personal aspect of SMS marketing, it’s still important to discuss. You want to make sure to find the times that work best for your customers. Now, this may take some time to learn but with predictive analytics and learning, it’s possible to know exactly what time is best to reach every single customer.

Once you’ve gathered enough customer data, you can start implementing this process and start sending texts out at different times based on what resonates best with your customers.

As a general rule of thumb when getting started, here are a few sending time tips:

  • Don’t send text messages in the middle of the night or early hours of the morning
  • Sending texts during rush hour or when people are likely driving will result in less visibility
  • Provide updates on product shipping and delivery details in real-time to keep customers informed
  •  Use SMS marketing to bring customers into your store during off-times or when you know they are nearby

Segment Your Customer Base

Understanding your customers will allow you to segment them into different groups and provide them with the content they really want to receive. Segmentation can be based on buying or browsing history, interests, or any other specific target groups you may have.

By segmenting your lists, you don’t have to actually start from scratch for every single customer. You have the ability to group like-minded customers and send them information that pertains to their interests.

Segmentation is one of the biggest parts of personalization and will allow you to know exactly what content to send, when, and how.

This example of an SMS message is a good example of how you can work to develop a more segmented list. By asking your subscribers more about their likes and interests, you can start to develop more content based on their responses. This will allow you to provide more relevant content in your communications. Image courtesy of Learning Hub.

Transactional and Reminder Messages

When a customer purchases and item from your store, they want to know that the transaction has gone through and when their items will arrive. SMS messaging is the perfect solution for this need.

Customers can agree to receive messages on their order and will then be sent messages as the order processes. This could include a confirmation message once the order is completed, an update on when the order is shipped, and another once the item has finally been delivered.

On the other hand, this type of communication can also be used for events or appointment reminders. How often do you make a doctor’s appointment months in advance and then forget about it until three days before? Well, with the help of SMS messages, you can receive reminders about the appointment so you don’t forget to go.

SMS messages actually help decrease the number of no-shows for doctor’s offices as well. Meaning that more people are seeing the reminder communication via text message than any other communication method from offices. That makes SMS messaging a win-win for both parties in this equation. Image courtesy of Athena Health.

Send Relevant Promotions

The last tactic we’ll discuss in this article should be one of the top priorities for your SMS marketing stra
tegy. Sending relevant promotions to your customers. We see this as a top priority because this is one of the main reasons people sign up for mobile, and often even email, messaging.

By knowing your customers through list segmentation and their previous shopping behavior, you can send them discounts and deals that appeal to the products they are looking for. If you know what they would be interested in buying and provide a discount on those items, it will entice them to look further and potentially make a purchase from your store.

Never underestimate the lure of a good deal and a perfectly timed SMS message.

If you send the right products and promotions to your customers through SMS marketing, it’s much more likely they will, in turn, make a purchase. Sending them relevant products is the first step, but enticing them with a discount will only help seal the deal. Image courtesy of Recruiting Daily.

Improve Your SMS Marketing with Personalization

Personalized SMS marketing is possible for any company to achieve. Keeping these tips in mind will help you get started on your way to improving customer experience and increasing mobile messaging conversations.

But always keep in mind that list segmentation and customer data are two very important parts of the process of personalizing your SMS marketing. Without spending the time to truly know and understand your customers, you’ll be wasting your time with personalized marketing. Break down the data and that’s when you’ll hit the jackpot. The better the content you serve to your customers, the more sales you’ll earn in return.

3 thoughts on “Using Personalization to Improve Your SMS Marketing”

  1. Many companies improve their marketing buy us spam email. I think it is not effective because the object the focus is not right, may be the custom can make angry with them.

  2. Wow this is an amazing article. I have always seen email as a means of not just communicating but also marketing. But never really know how it works. Thanks to your article i have gotten some enlightenment about how it works. It does not only works but also very beneficial to your business. This article is really very helpful.


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