9 Tips for Successful SMS Marketing
Text-message marketing can be a great way for pet specialty retailers to reach their target customers—if you take the right approach.
Retailers of all stripes have focused their marketing resources on mobile advertising, with investment in this area projected to reach $200 billion by 2019—a tenfold increase from 2013. SMS (short message service) marketing and loyalty clubs are an important part of any mobile strategy which pet store owners can use to increase sales and enhance customer retention.
From competitions to coupons to appointment reminders for groomings, SMS is an effective platform to reach out to your customers. SMS has a 98 percent open rate with 91 percent of messages being opened within three minutes, making this a valuable asset to your pet store’s promotional campaigns.
Here are nine tips for using SMS to market to your pet store clients:
1. Increase Your SMS Customer List with Contests
If you’re going to use text messaging for marketing, it’s important to have a good customer base. Get more customers to opt-in to your SMS loyalty club by advertising a contest such as a year’s worth of pet food or a sizable store credit. Be sure to advertise these contests across your other media platforms such as email, website, social media and in-store signage.
2. Promote New Products
If you just got a new product that you want your customers to know about, send them a text. But be careful not to focus your texting campaign only on this type of messages. Combining promotional messages with other marketing texts can lead to conversions, but focusing strictly on product promotions can lead to high opt-out rates.
3. Send Mobile Coupons
Customers love coupons and discounts on products they use. Sending mobile coupons to SMS loyalty club members can help you increase sales and achieve better customer retention.
Actually, 60 percent of mobile coupon users say they are likely to switch brands in order to use a coupon. Keep the coupons coming to ensure your clients keep shopping at your pet store.
4. Offer SMS Loyalty Club Rewards
Rewards and points are popular, with 26 percent of consumers saying they make more purchases at stores where they earn rewards. And 62 percent of consumers say that the brands they’re loyal to don’t do enough to reward them. Offering purchase rewards helps increase revenues and makes your loyal customers feel valued.
5. Do A/B Testing
You can do A/B testing on pretty much every aspect of your text messaging campaign. Which promotions are most popular? Which clients are the most active in your SMS loyalty club? Which days of the week are good for sending texts to get a response?
Pay careful attention to how many messages you’re sending out. You don’t want to overwhelm customers with too many texts while too few can also produce lackluster results. Find the happy medium for your SMS schedule.
Show your customers that their business is important to you by using their name and the name of their pet in your message. Personalized messages let them know that you care.
Clients are more likely to respond to a message with a personalized greeting than a message with a general first line. Most business SMS services offer templates where you can easily include a customer (and pet) name in your message to them.
Today’s retail marketing is highly data-driven with a greater emphasis on targeting. Customers expect retailers to know their preferences and needs. Make use of the customer data you have to offer relevant promotions that give value to your clients.
Being pushy with general promotions can result in opt-outs. However, offers that reflect the specific needs and purchase history of your clients will bring sales. Forty percent of customers spend more with retailers who personalize their shopping experience across channels.
8. Offer Tips and Advice
Give pet owners advice on pet care or how to make the most out of a certain product they just bought. Tips on how to maintain a clean aquarium or get rid of fleas or a list of recommended vaccines for pets can all be helpful to your clients.
9. Send Appointment Reminders
This is very useful if you provide pet grooming services. People are busy and sometimes it can be difficult to remember appointments. Sending a quick text the day before their pet grooming appointment gives them enough time to be able to rearrange things so they can make it.
It also prevents them the frustration of missing it and having to reschedule. Not to mention saving your business from taking the financial hit of a no-show. Informative texts can contribute to your brand’s credibility and enhance customer loyalty.
A well-executed SMS marketing program can help increase revenue at your pet store and retain your customers. Remember: Personalized messages, targeted promotions, coupons and rewards programs are great ways to market your pet store business with SMS.
Alexa Lemzy is the customer service expert and blog author at TextMagic. Her favorite topics include mobile marketing, customer engagement, and small business development. You can connect with Alexa on Twitter.