SMS marketing has been around a while, and holds lots of appeal due to its higher engagement and relatively low cost. But adding text to your repertoire requires strategic thinking and careful timing.
In a world where emails can be easily ignored and snail mail can get costly to send, it’s easy to see the appeal of the text message as a form of member engagement.
But whether you’re putting on an event or trying to push forth an advocacy campaign, the old standby SMS (Simple Messaging Service) has a lot of tricks you can throw at it, even all these years in.
Here are just a few you can bring to your next advocacy campaign:
Combining practices. Moosend, a company known for its email-marketing tools, says that there’s a lot of potential for SMS marketing, but many firms don’t take advantage of it. The company says you can improve the effectiveness of both email and SMS by combining the strategies. It also notes that SMS works well with web-based interactive. “SMS can be made interactive easily,” Moosend says in a blog post. “Even if the message itself is just text and links, the link can lead directly to highly interactive mobile web pages or web apps.”
Writing like a human. In a recent interview with Inc., Aaron Christopher “A.C.” Evans of the SMS marketing platform Drips.com noted that when the company was first launching the platform, it updated the language being used in the system to have a less serious and more conversational tone. That led to higher response rates—even when the messages were automated. And if you have a “call center” set up for texts, give workers the freedom to respond in their own voice—it could help create a more positive experience for users.
Geofencing. At the annual meeting and want to reach your members onsite? The concept of geofencing, which targets marketing to certain locations, could be a potentially innovative way of keeping in contact during an event. A post from the firm TextMagic notes that the approach requires explicit permission from the end user and bears a certain cost for every use, but it allows for texting inside a specific zone. While the approach is generally associated with retail (perhaps a deal might pop up if you’re near a store), there are a number of potential use cases for associations and nonprofits. Holding a fundraiser nearby? It might be able to flag some potential donors.