Mobile marketing offers an instant, highly effective tool, allowing you to target large numbers of people in a short time in a way that drives engagement and visibility.
While a good mobile marketing strategy incorporates an omnichannel approach, integrating social media, app development, text, and other types of mobile strategy, messaging in the form of SMS, MMS, and USSD is often overlooked. Why is mobile such a powerful channel and why is text-based messaging such a valuable tool? To understand just how much value mobile messaging offers, it always helps to look at recent statistics. A number of studies have been done on the reach of mobile.
Research done by Pew Research Centre states that a staggering 98% of people in the US alone own a mobile device capable of receiving an SMS message. In South Africa, meanwhile, over 75% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices, according to a 2017 Qwerty Digital report.
With one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world, mobile phones are often the primary device used in many households. Mobile accounts for the majority of web traffic in South Africa.
According to an Open Market infographic published by Mobile Marketing Watch, 77% of consumers have a positive perception of companies using text messaging as part of their mobile messaging campaigns. The same infographic shows that 64% of consumers choose texting over voice calls when it comes to customer service concerns and needs.
These findings also show that SMS marketing lists have a value that is 10x higher than email marketing lists while driving an excellent conversion. It goes without saying that mobile messaging should play a key part in your overall marketing strategy. How do you go about ensuring that you get the full value from your mobile marketing messaging, though?
Let's take a look at some of the most effective ways to use mobile messaging to grow your reach.
Getting More From Your Mobile Marketing Messaging
The messaging channels that offer particular value in terms of text-based messaging include SMS, MMS and USSD. Although USSD is not quite the same as the other two channels, it also enables far-reaching potential along with widespread compatibility with any mobile phone that is able to receive text messages. This accessibility is also what makes SMS and MMS both greatly under-used strategies when used as part of a larger mobile marketing strategy.
Quick, versatile and surprisingly good for customer acquisition, customer retention and customer loyalty, there are a few ways to get more from your SMS campaigns. Some of the most engaging message types that can be sent via SMS include the following:
Weekly tips are a great way to stay in front of your audience in a way that adds genuine value. This, in turn, helps to open up communication for additional campaigns. Depending on your industry and focus, you may send relevant tips that relate to products or services or to topics that are relevant to your audience. For example, a catering company could send tips on how to set a table for a dinner party, how to plan a rugby party, how to choose a menu or even how to organise a healthy but fun kids party. Tips do not have to be long or complicated – even a quick line or two can make a huge impact.
SMS is also a good channel to keep customers informed of flash sales. When early notice of upcoming sales is given only via SMS, it helps to make customers feel valued. It also helps to drive excitement and interest around your text message campaigns, which then help to grow your SMS mailing lists significantly as well.
Service-based businesses such as lawyers, consultants, dentists, doctors, hairdressers, and even restaurants can make use of reminder messages that keep customers updated on upcoming appointments. These offer a good way to increase appointment conversion rates.
Order confirmation or updates
Order confirmations are a great tool for retail and ecommerce businesses, with simple text messages that confirm the order. Order update messages can also be sent to keep customers updated on the status of their order. This can work well for courier companies and other similar businesses.
SMS works well because a large number of people have their phones on them at any given time. Unlike emails, which are not always read instantly, text messages are usually read as soon as they arrive. Teaser messages are ideal for this channel, helping to bridge the gap between mobile and email by letting people know that a big email is arriving soon.
Offering numerous benefits, USSD shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. These codes can be used for many different purposes, from customer service all the way to competitions, update emails, quick account checks and many others, too. This type of message works on any device, whether it is a smartphone or an older cellphone model. Some of the ways that you can use USSD for your messaging campaigns include the following:
If you are running a competition or a special to promote a new product or service, USSD codes can be a simple and fast way for your audience to enter without the need to get online and fill out entry forms. Instead, codes can be generated for people to send with a single SMS.
Surveys and feedback
Another way to use USSD is for surveys and feedback. This can be done to get feedback on overall service and also as a way to gauge interest. A code could be generated for a large-scale survey or for specific focus groups. You could ask customers to rate your service by entering numerical values or you could ask a simple question, such as whether customers would be likely to recommend your service to friends and family.
Vouchers and coupons
You could also offer exclusive vouchers or coupons. For example, if you are a restaurant, you could offer free WiFi vouchers that are redeemed using a USSD code that offers a pin that is valid for a set time. If you are a retail outlet, you could offer a limited coupon for shoppers if they send a specific pin without a specific timeframe.
MMS has the advantage of being a visual medium that utilises text messaging. These messages have the benefit of being highly visual, instant, engaging, and relatively simple. MMS takes your basic SMS and adds another layer, catching your audience's attention and helping to drive conversion. Some of the messages that you could send to MMS audiences include the following:
Competitions or giveaways
Competitions and giveaways can both be planned around new product or service launches to generate interest and encourage participation and feedback. You could send your audience a teaser image of the new product and encourage them to respond in a limited time to win the product shown, for example.
Restaurant and service-based businesses can take reservation messages up a notch with visual messages that remind them of reservations or promote reservations. For example, a message could be sent to customers that features menu highlights and a call to action that prompts people to book their table.
Another way to drive engagement with MMS is a voting message. You could send a photo of two new products in your online store, asking your audience to vote on which they prefer. You could send an image of two hairstyles and ask your audience to pick their favourite. Using fast yes/no or like/leave type answers, your audience can easily get involved without any effort. Responses can be used as part of future competitions or giveaways or to drive personalised messages on mobile or even email and social media.
Finally, MMS can even be used as a way to connect with subscribers on a more personal level to drive loyalty and increase customer retention. You could send images of your new office space, your sales team, your wait staff, your cashiers, your office mascot or anything else that helps to improve relationships and show your human side.