Written by Lee Hawksley, Managing Director, ExactTarget
We’ve all be there. It’s that moment you’re out to dinner and you realize that you left your phone at home. How many calls will I miss? Text messages? Emails? How am I going to check-in on Facebook? The thought of missing out makes many consider getting up and leaving the restaurant immediately.
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As hyper-connected consumers we rely heavily on mobile phones. SMS is the most used means of consumer communication ever created, according to the Mobile Marketing Association.
Marketers should be thinking about what they are doing to connect with consumers’ through SMS. But with a limit of 160 characters, how do you go about this?
There are three key rules to make the most of SMS communications >>>
#1. Know your audience
Get to know your consumers. After the initial opt-in, find out their preferences. What types of messages do they want to receive? Would they like to receive alerts for offers and product updates?
Subscribers aren’t interested in recycled content or ‘batch and blast’ messages. Use the information collected to personalize and send relevant messages. While five percent of consumers prefer to receive permission-based promotions via text, 35 percent prefer to receive personal communications via text. It’s important that marketers respect these preferences and make the most of out their messages. If you have the data to segment and deliver personalized communication – you should apply it to your SMS campaigns.
#3. Connect mobile with email and social
You have their attention. Now maintain it. When a consumer opts in to receive mobile messages and provides their email address for future communications, marketers must capitalize on the opportunity by continuing to build the relationship across email, Facebook and Twitter.
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Start by using triggered email sends to consumers who have opted in to emails. Triggered emails build on the initial engagement by delivering fast, timely messaging delivered instantly to someone’s inbox. This type of program is perfect if you’re sending product information, event registration forms and transactional emails.
Looking to build your fans and followers? Add a Facebook and Twitter icon to your emails to encourage subscribers to become a fan or follower of your brand. It’s also a great opportunity to find out about consumer preferences. Marketers must ensure that they are delivering the correct messages across the channels the customer prefers.
Consumers are no longer looking at one channel to receive information. They are constantly on-the-go, sending and receiving communications of all types. They’ve come to expect that information be (literally) in-hand at all times. In 2011, mobile device sales outnumbered PCs for the first time in history, (according to BI Intelligence). Consumers expect information to be available all around them. The shift in expectations makes it vital for brands of all sizes to start interacting with customers at all times.
ExactTarget is a leading global provider of cross-channel digital marketing software-as-a-service solutions that empower organizations of all sizes to communicate with their customers through email, mobile, social media, Web and marketing automation.
ExactTarget’s suite of integrated applications enable marketers to plan, automate, deliver and optimize data-driven digital marketing and real-time communications to drive customer engagement, increase sales and improve return on marketing investment.
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana with offices in North America, Europe, South America and Australia, ExactTarget trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “ET.” For more information, visit www.ExactTarget.com.