Chances are, if you have a smartphone, you’ve experienced short message service (SMS) marketing. This is when you receive an ad, marketing promotion, or loyalty perk directly as a text message to your phone.
Love them or hate them, text messages can be very effective as part of a marketing strategy for your moving company. This article will outline the benefits of SMS marketing and how it can be part of your overall digital marketing strategy.
According to Business.com, an SMS campaign operates on a permission-based model, meaning customers opt-in to receive marketing offers from your moving company via SMS message or text message marketing.
For instance, according to Thrive Agency, 42 percent of millennials between the ages of 25 and 35 are single and more likely to relocate for their career. This is a great opportunity to use SMS marketing to target this demographic. According to research conducted by Brick Road Media, SMS marketing has the highest number of open rates than any other single marketing channel. With most people checking their phones 150 to 200 times a day, this is an effective way to create a personal connection with your customer, while giving them compelling calls-to-action to take on behalf of your moving company.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of using SMS marketing or mobile marketing for your moving company is instant communication. Most people going through the moving process want to be updated every step of the way. Using text messaging instead of emailing will allow you more direct, two-way access to your customers. You can send timely reminders, notifications, delivery days/times, or follow up with any last-minute updates or changes. Sending text messages is also great for engaging your customers to take certain actions on their mobile phones, such as booking additional services or providing a review.
Building a Subscriber List
Similar to an email list, an SMS subscriber list is a group of contacts who’ve opted in to text message updates from your company, according to Text Request. Social media, your website, digital pop-up ads, physical and digital checkout, and your email newsletter are all ways to collect phone numbers to add to your SMS marketing list.
How It Works
Always give your customers a way to opt-in and let them know what they’ll be getting once they do. Know how you will provide value. Will you send move updates? Discounts on moving services if they give a recommendation? Truck tracking details? Be clear about what they will be receiving and keep your word.
By creating a subscriber list for your SMS marketing, you’ll know which customers are highly engaged with your company. Aside from having a higher open rate than email (according to Falkon SMS, the average open rate for text messages is 98% while the open rate for email is 20%), companies tend to get high engagement with SMS marketing. This method allows for fast and direct communication with customers.
Crafting Effective SMS Messages
When it comes to crafting your promotional messages via text, keep it short and sweet. The word count should be under 200 characters and your point should be clear and concise. People read text messages quickly, and they should be able to understand your message with ease. This can increase your response rate.
When crafting your SMS messages consider the following best practices:
- Use a call-to-action (CTA) in your SMS marketing campaigns. What do you want your customers to do? This is your chance to direct them. Do you want them to leave a review? Sign up for additional services? Be clear about what action you want your customers to take.
- Choose action-oriented words to keep the message short and direct and always double-check your link works before sending.
- Be personable. Use the recipient’s name when possible.
- Conduct test campaigns to see what days/times work best for engagement. Be aware of unsubscribe rates and any feedback you receive from your campaigns, especially from a target audience.
- Allow for an easy opt-out method. This is required and demonstrates respect.
Timing and Frequency of SMS Campaigns
SMS marketing is perfect for time-sensitive information. According to Sprout Social, 90% of text messages are opened within three minutes of receipt, which demonstrates a high level of engagement from recipients. That said, you don’t want to inundate your customers with so many text messages they get overwhelmed and unsubscribe – or worse yet, be turned off from your moving company or small business.
Timing and frequency of SMS campaigns are important. Moving company business owners must be transparent about how often they plan to send text messages to their customers and what type of content their customers can expect. If they have just booked a move and opted into text message updates, the frequency of the texts may increase leading up to and during the move and then decrease once the move is completed.
How It Works
Pay attention to when and how often you are sending text messages to your customers. Take into consideration time zones and the time-sensitive nature of your message. Research when people are more available to receive your messages such as early evenings and daytime hours during the weekdays. According to Attentive, texts sent between 1-5 p.m. EST or after 8 p.m. EST tend to show higher click-through rates and revenue. However, Omnisend found that Saturdays have the best conversion rates at 2.17%, and Tuesday is the second-best day for SMS marketing, with a conversion rate of 2%.
Test campaigns will help your moving company understand its SMS text engagement rates and what marketing tools work best.
Whatever you decide, remember, be intentional. Don’t overwhelm your customers with excessive SMS marketing messages. Take the time to find a balance so you stay top-of-mind without being intrusive. Opt for building relationships with your customers instead of focusing on transactional engagement.
Personalization and Segmentation
While crafting the SMS marketing strategy for your moving company, think about your audience – who will receive these messages? This is where your data and metrics come into play.
As you drill down into your SMS marketing subscriber list, it will be important to determine where your subscribers are in their customer journey. Are they warm leads? Are they repeat customers? Are they new customers with a long-distance move? Did they even consent to text marketing? Segmenting your subscribers based on certain characteristics will allow you to personalize your messages to that specific group and be more persuasive in your SMS marketing efforts. By understanding their needs, interests, and demographics, you can craft a more compelling message that will make your engagement feel more relevant and valuable.
Why This Is Important
You want your text messages to resonate with the recipient. By targeting specific segments with specific messages, you can also be more effective with your marketing efforts, saving money, and increasing your return on investment. The more you can personalize your subscriber list and segment subscribers when relevant, the more you show how you understand their needs. This enhances the customer experience and can strengthen the relationship you have with your customers and their loyalty.
It’s critical to be clear and specific regarding the action you want your subscribers to take. Be concise and use language like, “book now” or “schedule today.” Create a sense of urgency so your subscribers know they need to act quickly. Use terms like “limited time offer” or “subscriber exclusive pricing” to drive more engagement.
If you are offering a discount on moving services, for example, include in your text message the percentage or dollar amount your customer will save. Make the call to action easy and spell it out for them, whether that’s clicking on a link, replying, or calling a number.
Compliance with SMS Marketing Regulations
Just like email marketing, SMS marketing is subject to various legal requirements and regulations. While these may differ by country or region, Business.com outlines the following laws to take into consideration:
- The Telephone Consumer Protection Act emphasizes the rights of privacy. This law states that commercial entities must identify themselves and clearly state their reason for contact. Text messages must include opt-out functions, and prior express written consent is required to send a text message to someone.
- While not a governing body, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association provides a Messaging Principles and Best Practices document.
Why This Is Important
Express written consent validates the contract between a business and its customers to communicate via text messaging, according to Business.com. To be transparent, your first text to a new subscriber should include:
- Business name
- Reason for messaging
- Message frequency
- Rates disclaimer
- Opt-out instructions
Be aware of the Do-Not-Call Lists and avoid sending text messages to individuals who have opted out of telemarketing. In addition, make sure you are protecting the information of your subscribers and implement security measures to safeguard their privacy. Document this information in your marketing platforms and CRM and update it as necessary.
Staying in compliance with these rules and regulations will be important to avoid any fines or penalties. If you hire a third-party company to handle your SMS marketing, make sure they are complying, as well. Businesses are always responsible for the content of their messages.
Measuring the Success of SMS Marketing
Before you start any marketing campaign, it’s important to know your target. According to Smart Bug Media, your SMS marketing strategy should be aligned with your business goals. While SMS marketing can be very cost-effective when it comes to promoting your moving company, it’s important to be strategic. Do you want to increase your bookings via SMS marketing? Boost traffic to your website? Improve customer engagement and loyalty? Showcase the stellar reputation of your movers? Knowing your goals beforehand will help you craft a more successful SMS marketing campaign.
In addition, use trackable links or short codes in your CTAs to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. This will allow you to analyze click-through rates, conversions, and campaign performance. Once you know how a specific campaign is performing, you can then make tweaks and improvements as necessary.
We’ve mentioned this before, but test, test, test! Test different CTAs to determine which resonates best with your audience. Using an A/B test allows you to try different wording, CTA, or timing that are the most effective for your subscribers. Take these insights and make your campaign even stronger next time.
SMS marketing can be a powerful strategy for your moving company as it allows you to reach a wide audience of potential customers directly on their mobile devices. When done properly, sending text messages can increase brand awareness and visibility for your moving company, which can lead to more recognition and build trust.
Because of high open rates, SMS marketing can increase your customer engagement and ultimately, your sales. By segmenting your subscribers and personalizing your messages, you can create a stronger connection with your customers. SMS marketing can also be invaluable during the moving process and provide updates in real-time, so your customers feel well-informed from start to completion.
To learn more about how Oncue can improve your marketing strategy and drive growth for your moving company, contact us for a free demo.