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I’ve never been one of those women on a hair styling and maintenance schedule. My trims were sporadic and sometimes self-inflicted. My color would shift seasonally by the barrel of a box dye. Being a bit of a thrift diva, I had a hard time justifying forking over the cash for something I was quite certain I could do myself… even after doing it myself for years almost destroyed my hair.
On a whim one day, I decided to splurge and have someone else try their hand at taming my mane. Though the stylist was terrified by the state of my split ends, he was able to work some impossible magic and make my hair behave. It was quite impressive, honestly.
And though I liked him and his work, I probably wouldn’t have gone back. I’ve liked other stylists and the results they provided in the past. I just tend to forget about upkeep, and by the time I realize my roots are sticking out like a sore thumb, I’m too impatient to wait for an appointment and the cycle begins again.
But not this time. Why? SMS marketing.
Mario Tricoci is not the only salon or business that encourages their clients to sign up for their text messaging service, but they are an excellent example of why it can be an excellent strategy. Intermittent texts reminding me about the need for maintenance and offering special discounts have kept me going back to a stylist who otherwise might have lost me as a client by no fault of his own.
And I am no anomaly here.
Text messages boast a 98% open rate, while email, on average, gets a mere 20% open rate… if you’re lucky. But the difference isn’t just pronounced in terms of opens. SMS marketing receives a response rate of 45%, while email only elicits a 6% response rate. Moreover, it’s a form of communication your customers want; approximately 70% of customers in recent studies indicated a desire for SMS communication with businesses.
But despite this and the relatively low cost of SMS marketing, it’s still a largely untapped marketing resource. As Justin Mastrangelo explains at Duct Tape Marketing:
SMS is used by some of the biggest brands in the US, but remains relatively “untapped” by small and mid-sized businesses.
Many small to mid-sized businesses we talk to are amazed to hear how many large, well-known brands are using SMS marketing today. They’re also amazed when they realize not many, if any, of their competitors are using it. Quickly, the conversation turns to “why haven’t we considered this sooner” and “when can we start?” As with any form of marketing, whenever you can reach the audience where your competition isn’t, the more effective it can be.
How can your business effectively leverage SMS marketing? There are four steps you can take to get started.
1. Find the service provider that’s right for you. There are a good number of options available. Some offer free trials, others offer monthly subscriptions, and others offer pay-per-text options. Examples include Textedly, Mozeo, SimpleTexting, and Betwext.
2. Start by focusing on existing customer engagement. This gives you the opportunity to prove the value of the strategy with an already friendly crowd. Moreover, these will be the folks most likely to demonstrate conversion and ROI. If they like you enough to have given you business in the past AND sign up for your SMS services, they’re probably going to be pretty receptive to any offers you provide.
2. Once you have proof of concept, begin encouraging signup with new customers. The sooner you can get them engaged in the service, the sooner you can begin expanding the ROI on your efforts.
3. Invest in good copy. If you really want to get the most bang for your SMS marketing buck, make sure your texts are expertly crafted and engaging. This makes it way more likely that your customers will read, respond, and engage.
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