How Webmasters Can Use SMS for Success – Part II

In the previous post, I outlined one way that SMS text messages can help you succeed. Today, I’m going to talk about how you can use SMS for success by integrating SMS functionality for your customers.

Amazon Simple Notification Service Command Lines

Build your customer database

People are very attached to their mobiles. Literally taking them to bed with them and taking them camping and surfing. What other marketing medium allows you to communicate with your customers at all times?

Just like you do with an email database of customer names and addresses, you can add to (or build a separate) database of mobile numbers. This allows you to market to your customers and potential customers on a more ‘personal’ level.

There are all kinds of ways you can build your SMS list. Creating specific programmes and offers are one way to get sign ups to an SMS list. Offering an option to receive updates and marketing via SMS on web sign up forms is another.

One particular way you can create trust and gain mobile numbers is to give your customers a beneficial reason to exchange their mobile number with you. By offering a truly service-oriented SMS program such as reminder notices, you’ll be creating something of value to your target audience and perhaps helping your own conversions for your on-going services, such as renewals.

SMS renewal reminders

Service-oriented messages are the most successful types of SMS marketing messages because they have an immediate and useful purpose; they aren’t seen as ‘marketing.’

If you provide a service or product that requires a monthly or annual payment, then you probably already know how easily renewal emails are ignored by customers. And reminders by post are even less effective in getting subscribers to hand over the next payment.

In research from Frost & Sullivan, we see that SMS open rates are an incredible 98% – in other words, people see SMS messages as important and read them. This kind of open rate is there for you if your customers know that what you send them is timely and relevant (useful) to them.

Thus, sending out renewal reminders via SMS practically ensures your customer will know its time to renew. Optimise your renewal landing page for mobile to help increase conversions, making it easy for mobile web-enabled customers to click a link in your text message to fill in their details right there on a mobile site. Include a phone number so they can call right then and secure their renewal.

For auto-renewing customers, a text message notification of the renewal is a great customer service message that makes your customers feel looked after.

Join an SMS affiliate programme

Another way you can use SMS for success is to join an SMS affiliate programme. Your endorsement of a particular service will help with conversion. But not only is this a good revenue stream, you’ll be helping your customers find new features they can use in their own businesses, making your reputation grow.

As with other affiliate programmes, make sure you choose a reputable provider that offers good customer service. This will benefit you and your customers in the long run.

How are you using SMS for success in your business? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.