In a post GDPR world where personal data is closely monitored, can SMS be used efficiently, effectively and compliantly?
The short answer is YES ✅ Indeed, most online guides speak positively about the potential impact of a targeted SMS Campaign. They will reel you in with statistics about the fantastic open rates of an SMS Campaign versus an Email Campaign (approximately 98%!). They will tell you how simple it is to send out mass SMS messages and they will say what a great tool it is for driving profit with minimal effort.
Whilst there is supporting evidence for these arguments, these stats can be twisted to sell you a software function. At Databowl we offer complete marketing automation which includes the ability to run SMS Marketing Campaigns as part of overall strategy. But, we also have the knowledge and expertise to know the best ways to run such campaigns and how to optimise the performance of your SMS Marketing.
A Spray and Pray strategy - when it comes to most marketing, actually - can contain dangers and pitfalls you must successfully navigate to make the most of SMS Marketing Solutions and to avoid the dangers of breaching GDPR or damaging your brand.
In this blog we will quickly lay down some tips for optimising the performance of your SMS Marketing, constantly referring back to the overarching idea that you must always treat a prospect’s most personal contact method with respect - for the benefit of both the prospect AND your brand!
Is Your SMS Compliant?
This is the very first question you must ask when it comes to any marketing material you send out, whether by SMS or any other form. GDPR has brought about momentous changes within the way personal data is processed and sending SMS campaigns is considered “processing personal data” for which you must have a lawful basis to do so!
If in doubt as to whether your message falls short of the legal requirements, this consent checklist is a useful tool:
If you are promoting a service do you have a legitimate interest to do so?
Is the message itself being used to create the interest or do you have any other means to communicate with the data which may seem less intrusive?
Did you originally set the users expectations and are they expecting communication from you and will it be well received?
The Benefits Of SMS Marketing
There are certainly some incredible benefits to SMS marketing that cannot be ignored. If used as part of an overall strategy - and if used within a set of guidelines designed to maximise impact - SMS Marketing can have an amazing impact.
An incredible 98% of SMS messages will be opened and read by your users, but a more staggering fact is that is typically done within 3 seconds of receiving them which - compared in terms of numbers alone - vastly outperforms email marketing performance, where the average open rates is just 20%. (Check Source Here):
If used correctly, SMS Marketing can be used as an incredibly effective tool to optimise performance. But, in addition to ensuring compliance, the following rules can be applied to getting the most of SMS marketing:
SEND AN IMMEDIATE SMS RESPONSE TO HIGHLY QUALIFIED LEADS
The first 5 minutes after generating a lead is the most engaged they will ever be. Sending an SMS at this point is an incredibly effective way of igniting their interest and also setting the precedent for future SMS messages as part of a longer term nurturing funnel.
BE OPEN ABOUT COMMUNICATING VIA SMS
Be sure to let your leads know you will be communicating via SMS at the point they sign up (and don’t just hide it in the small print). A failure to do this can be surefire way of limiting the impact of your campaign and harming your brand. A transparent approach will filter out prospects for whom SMS Marketing won’t convert, save you time and money sending out pointless messages and ensure you only end up contacting highly engaged leads. Win-Win!
UNDERSTAND HOW INTRUSIVE AN SMS MESSAGE CAN BE
We'd all love to spam millions of people endlessly. It might be great for short term profit, but we assume you're in this for the long term...just don't do it. It needs no further explanation but is a helpful reminder!
PERSONALISE YOUR SMS
And no, we don't just mean Dear First Name - Send them a message on their birthday! Send them offer updates in the weeks leading up to their insurance renewal dates. At Databowl we have an automated anniversary responders function for this very purpose. It’s another great way to nurture a prospect over time to eventual conversion… and at very little cost!
SHORTER IS BETTER
A limit of 160 characters will create the need for precise messages. In a world with social media limits and attention spans being at an all-time low your users will need to understand the offer instantly. It’s all well and good getting a 98% open rate, but the real key is making sure you’re giving these people short, punchy and persuasive content to truly get the most from your campaigns!
ENSURE AN SMS MEETS THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA BEFORE SENDING
At Databowl, we firmly believe SMS Marketing should only be used in certain situations, for both the protection of your brand and for the respectful handling of data. We believe this strategy will also optimise the performance of SMS Marketing and ultimately your performance as a whole.
We therefore recommend you ask yourself the following questions before sending an SMS Message.
- Is the User Opted-In and Will They Be Expecting to Receive This from You?
- Have You Got an Offer Worth Sending?
- Is Your SMS Strategically Planned? (And Not Ad-Hoc!)
- Does It Create a Positive Impact?
- Could It in Anyway Be Construed as Spam by a Reasonable % of Your Receivership?
Ask yourself these questions (with a degree of objectivity and common sense) before using SMS as part of your marketing. If done correctly, the results can be incredible!
Let’s be honest, we could keep going all day with this. There are loads of ways to optimise performance and at Databowl we know them all! If you fancy speaking to one of our experts we can run through our SMS Marketing functions and offer you some bespoke tips to really make your marketing explode!