Although the digital era is in the courtyard, the old old-fashioned SMS messaging tool is experiencing a rebirth. They become more useful, literate and relevant. When such messages come infrequently and contain interesting suggestions to the user, they are almost not annoying. Talk about how to use this tool for the benefit of business.
How do SMS mailings
SMS mailing has something in common with email marketing - the sender delivers the information directly to his recipient in his personal space. This is the main difference between these communication channels from blogs and contextual advertising. The difference between SMS and email is that the smartphone is even more personal than the email box.
"SMS mailings are more personalized than email. We can have several mailboxes - personal, work, special for advertising mailings and confirmation of orders in online stores. A mobile number is often one. We use it for everyday operational communications on personal and work issues. In addition, mobile information is received more quickly, which is why SMS messaging allows us to quickly deliver personalized messages to customers.
On the other hand, I would not share these communication channels, because they support each other - information by email and SMS is duplicated, and there are more chances to reach the client. "
Director of Corporate Marketing Rostelecom
Even if the number is not one, we still keep both phones on hand or use a smartphone with 2 SIM cards - we will know about the new message instantly.
Modern smartphones notify about new letters in the email box. However, not all use this feature.
Highlight the features of SMS mailing:
- Personification Sending messages on our client base, we know the portrait of recipients for sure.
- Instant delivery. The exception is that the recipient is out of the access zone, but he will receive a message when he appears on the network.
- High Open Rate. According to different studies, 70-90% of recipients open all incoming SMS messages. Here is a fresh experiment of 2018.
- Wide coverage. Targeted SMS mailings cover a large circle of potential customers, which is limited by the capabilities of the mailing list service and your finances.
- Feedback. With the help of chat bots, the sender quickly receives feedback from recipients.
- Saving. SMS distribution is cheaper than calls and email. With contextual and targeted advertising you need to compare and look at the cost of sale. But it should be borne in mind that for expensive niches, for which a click in "Direct" costs several thousand, one SMS will cost all the same 1.5-3 rubles.
- Simple implementation. To start the SMS distribution, you do not need to master complex software.
- No advertising noise. Unlike most advertising channels, here we practically do not compete for the attention of the client with other brands - SMS mailings do not come as much as email.
However, in order for the tool to work efficiently, it is built into the general system of communication with customers and the marketing strategy of the company, which means knowledge of marketing is required.
Types of mailings
Depending on the efficiency and the goals pursued by the sender, SMS distribution is divided into:
Informational. This type includes messages that advertise nothing and do not sell - they simply convey information. Mobile operators send messages about tariffs and package balances, shops and services - about the changed work schedule.
Promotional. This category includes all messages about promotions, new products, discounts, special offers, invitations to open a new store, etc.
Service. Such mailings are usually sent automatically and inform the client about any event - there are not enough funds in the account, the goods arrived at the point of issue, etc. So dentists are reminded of making an appointment, educational companies report that classes are being transferred, that car can pick up.
Transactional. A special case of service mailings, which are used by banks and financial organizations - send codes to confirm operations, information about the movement of funds and other events.
Sometimes there are other types of mailings - reminder, thematic, welcome, but they all somehow belong to one of the 4 main types.
What tasks solve SMS-mailing
Any marketing channel can be used in different ways, depending on what goals we want to achieve. SMS distribution is no exception. With their help, companies solve dozens of business and marketing tasks.
Increase the percentage of completed transactions. Infobusiness sends in the message a link to pay for products, online services remind you that the trial is over and it’s time to choose a tariff, and online stores are struggling with abandoned baskets.
However, the latter is possible only if the company systematized work with the client base - end-to-end analytics, CRM and special services allow you to track that the current client has left the basket, and its number is in the database.
Stimulate sales among current customers. There are dozens of ways to sell to the same customers over and over again via SMS. Shops send messages about new arrivals, promotions and sales, bars and restaurants - about changes in the menu, special offers and events.
Increase customer loyalty. Stocks and sales are good, but you shouldn’t part with them - you’ll start to annoy. But there are ways to remind about yourself, and it is pleasant for the client to do it.
To increase loyalty, companies send SMS greetings on their birthday, new year and gender holidays, as well as newsletters that do not sell anything. Messages about the status of the order, arrival at the point of issue, reminders about the appointment to the doctor or hairdresser - all this increases customer loyalty, because they feel care.
Reminders from "Elba" about paying taxes and contributions greatly increased my loyalty - a free year that online accounting gives a new IP, ended, and I'm not going to give it up.
Lead traffic to the site. Yes, this task can also be solved using SMS mailings. So Facebook regularly writes me an SMS that someone has a birthday, someone left me a comment or knocked on the PM. I click on the link to check.
They are protected from bots and spam registrations. Such an application of SMS-mailing found in the field of cloud services and applications. When registering a user is asked to specify a phone number, and then enter the code from the message.
Attract new customers. With the help of targeting, companies send messages to those who are not yet in their customer base. As in social networks, the distribution parameters are configured here - the recipient region, their gender, age and the average monthly bill for communication services.
A beauty salon makes newsletters to residents of nearby areas who spend 500-1000 rubles. on the link. So he attracts clients with an income level that matches the target audience.
Collect feedback. Chat bots allow you to make distribution with the ability to answer - the recipient selects the appropriate option and sends the appropriate number. So companies collect opinions on products, offers, quality of service. You can also receive full feedback on products or services via SMS.
The response will be greater if you make the messages free for customers and report it in the mailing list.
Form the basis for retargeting and remarketing. At first glance, for these purposes it is easier to use contextual or targeted advertising, but SMS sending is sometimes cheaper - you need to test and compare the cost of one attracted visitor.
To form a base for retargeting using SMS, you need to launch a targeted campaign with a link to the site.
SMS sending is not a universal tool that every business should use, regardless of niche, region and turnover. In order to decide whether you need them or not, think about what tasks can be solved with their help in your company and whether it is impossible to do it more effectively in another way. For the time being, we will talk about the tools with which to launch mailing lists.
What SMS do: choose the tool
There are two fundamentally different options - telecom operator tools and aggregators. Let's compare and see what the difference is.
All major telecom operators and telecommunication campaigns have SMS-sending services: Tele2, Rostelecom, Megafon, MTS, Beeline.
Operator offers are slightly different from each other, but most of them allow:
- Work with the database stored on your computer or operator's servers - add and delete numbers, segment, form black lists.
- Send messages on behalf of the company - it is displayed on the recipients screen instead of the sender's number.
- Schedule mailings in advance, specifying the date and time of dispatch.
- Create personalized templates - the name, date of birth and other recipients data are automatically substituted into the messages.
- Receive feedback in the form of responses to polls or full-fledged messages.
- Target newsletters to certain categories of operator's subscribers.
- Get answers to the newsletter by email.
- Manage newsletters in an intuitive web-based interface.
- Track results - how many messages are delivered and read.
- Integrate the mailing service with CRM and other company systems.
Targeted mailings are available only within one operator. If you use the Tele2 service, you will not be able to send messages to Beeline or Megaphone subscribers.
Operators do not disclose subscriber data to customers or to each other. They do not sell the database and do not give out numbers of people who are suitable for targeting conditions. It works differently - the client sets the targeting conditions in the operator interface, selects the number of messages, other conditions, and starts the distribution. The system automatically selects the relevant numbers in the operator database and sends messages.
The SMS mailing service is usually provided in packages from 500 to 100 thousand messages. The price of one SMS in Russia is about 1.5 rubles. Targeted mailings will cost more - 2-3 rubles. for the message. Most operators take about 1,000 rubles. for the unique name of the sender, so that your customers see the name of the company instead of the number.
Some operators charge a separate service connection fee and make different prices for service and advertising mailings, for messages to “their” and “foreign” numbers.
Other SMS Mailing Services
In addition to telecom operators, the network is full of offers from various web services - aggregators. They do not have their mobile traffic, they buy it from the same operators.
These tools have their own characteristics:
- Companies store and process client base on aggregator servers.
- Some services provide the ability to collect numbers for the database directly from the site using widgets.
- The sender works with the database and configures mailings in an intuitive web interface.
- Some aggregators are developing mobile applications to launch SMS mailings from the phone.
- Date and time of sending messages can be configured in advance.
- Mailings are personalized by substituting the name, age and other customer data.
- Large aggregators are developing integration with CRM and other systems.
Typically, the price of aggregators is higher than that of telecom operators - 2-3 rubles. for promotional mailings. Too low prices - a reason to think about the reliability and safety of the service.
Such services often have complex and intricate pricing systems, because the aggregators buy traffic from different operators and each has its own terms of cooperation.
"When choosing between operator services and aggregators, it’s worth thinking first of all about two things:
- Data security You upload your contact database to a website somewhere on the Internet. Where it is all stored is incomprehensible.
- Billing system In aggregators, this is most often a prepayment. Tariffing is opaque and confusing. "
Director of Corporate Marketing "Rostelecom"
- check licenses and registration in Roskomnadzor;
- find out where the servers are and how they are protected;
- check if data is backed up;
- make sure the company cares about protection against hackers and DDos attacks.
Reliable companies publish this information on the site, lay out scans of licenses, provide links to information about themselves on the Roskomnadzor website. If all this is not, check the aggregator is worth more attention.
Instructions: how to run a newsletter
I will not speak here about the technical side of the question. The interfaces of the services are different, but most of them are intuitive, so downloading and segmenting the base, setting up and running a newsletter is easy.
Consider the process of preparing and launching newsletters in terms of marketing and effectiveness of SMS campaigns.
Define the goal
Running SMS broadcasts without a specific goal is a bad idea. So we risk not getting any profit and wasting money.
"SMS marketing should be built into the general system of communication with customers. For this you need:
- Determine the goal - to understand why the company SMS-mailing.
- Deciding what effect we want to achieve is whether a return on investment is needed or whether brand awareness will be enough. "
Director of Corporate Marketing "Rostelecom"
Therefore, the first thing you need to understand what goal you want to achieve with the help of mailing. It may be:
- attract customers to a new product;
- stimulate repeat sales;
- increase the number of participants in the action;
- increase customer loyalty or brand awareness.
Based on the goal, a base is selected, a text is written, KPIs are formulated, and if they are achieved, the distribution will be considered successful.
Beauty Salon launches newsletter with a discount on a new service. The key indicator will be the number of mailing recipients who have used the offer.
We form the basis for mailing
The basis for a specific SMS campaign can be:
- the entire list of clients who left numbers and agreed to the newsletter;
- a separate segment - those who performed an action on the site, was born in January or bought an aquarium for a goldfish last month;
- all operator subscribers that meet your targeting conditions.
The choice depends on the goals. If the goal is to increase the number of regular customers, you can make a newsletter with a promotion for those who recently bought something for the first time.
There are still purchase bases, but before deciding on such an adventure it is worth a thousand times to think.
"The keystone is, in my opinion, that if you don’t work with your base and buy, there is no guarantee that you don’t pay for the void. I believe that building and studying your base is more efficient than it seems at first glance.
When you know your base and work with it, you make fewer mistakes and get more response. In the end, it is more profitable than to go and buy some kind of base. In addition, there is the question of the legality of working with this database. "
Director of Corporate Marketing "Rostelecom"
We write the text
When we formulated a goal and chose a base for distribution, it's time to write the text. Much has been written about the general principles and individual techniques for writing advertising and informational texts on our blog. We collected the best materials in the selection of "95+ articles for copywriting training." I will not duplicate the principles here about brevity, clarity and focus on the target audience. Therefore, simply select the features of the texts for SMS-mailings.
When writing a text that the recipient will read in SMS, keep in mind that:
- You are limited by the number of characters. Yes, unlike contextual advertising, here you can combine several messages into one and write a long message. But this approach will increase your costs as many times as the text will take text messages.
- SMS format assumes short messages - to catch the essence in a few seconds. The recipient is often not configured to read long footwraps from brands by SMS. Exception - long lines or long trips in transport without access to the Internet.
- You only have text. SMS mailing will not be able to be diluted with illustrations, videos and even the simplest elements of typesetting - headlines and lists. This is another reason to pay more attention to the wording.
- Grammar, punctuation and other errors in SMS from brands are also unacceptable, as on the corporate website. Keep track of literacy and do not skimp on the characters: incorrect abbreviations and the absence of spaces after punctuation marks are also errors.
- Caps still need to be used carefully. It is better to avoid it at all, or at least not to type the entire message in capital letters.
Если мне нужны джинсы или курьер, я и так воспользуюсь предложением. На меня не надо кричать.
Standard functionality of most services allows you to track how many messages reached the recipients and what percentage of recipients opened. In order to draw conclusions based on real business indicators, this is clearly not enough.
To solve this problem, you need to use other tools. Let's see what the options are.
- Promotional codes. Each message contains a unique promotional code. By the number of utilized, we can calculate how many customers were sent by the mailing, how much they brought to the business and whether the campaign paid off.
- Call Tracking The principle of operation is the same as in other advertising channels - we single out a separate virtual number for a specific newsletter and see in the service how many people called it. In order to track the statistics before the sale, we look at which of the callers reached the purchase.
- Links from UTM. This option is suitable if we take a customer to the site from a message and bring it to a purchase already there. Conversion to a visitor is monitored by standard analytics.
- Integration with CRM. If the service has an API, you can communicate with your CRM system. This option allows you to set up detailed analytics - in the system you will see exactly which of the customers took advantage of the offer from the mailing list, and what profit it eventually brought.
What to consider so as not to annoy the recipients?
Finally, let me remind you a few rules that need to be considered in order not to get the opposite effect from SMS sending.
- Do not part. For SMS from brands, even once a day is too often and annoying.
- Consider the recipient's time zone. Promotional messages that wake a person at 3 o'clock in the morning, are incredibly besyat.
- Be relevant. Try to send people only interesting offers. To do this, you should carefully segment and study your base, as well as carefully choose the conditions for targeting.
- Leave the right to choose. As in email marketing, you should be able to unsubscribe from SMS mailings.
Here, perhaps, that's all. What do you think about SMS mailing? Do you use them in your business? Let's discuss in the comments.