If it works, it works.

There’s a reason why direct mail and telemarketers still exist. They drive conversions. You might think, “I would never buy from someone who called my home in the middle of dinner,” but remarkably… people do. Maybe not a ton – but enough.

All to say, we can talk about the latest in Instagram marketing… how YouTube is tweaking their ad platform… or the ways consumer perception of video is changing, but at the end of the day, sometimes it’s the most basic channel that drives home the message. In this case, of course, I’m talking about SMS.

It’s instant. It’s intimate. And it works.

I want to teach you how to do SMS marketing well… because there can be a fine line between a well-timed and well-targeted message and… the telemarketer. Let’s use Trumpia’s new SMS marketing guide (full infographic below) to walk through the process. Also, in case you’re not convinced:

How to Do SMS Marketing WELL.

  1. Get permission first. While the law requires this, it’s also just a best practice in general when it comes to direct outreach. “Relationship” is at the core of good marketing. (This is something I discuss extensively in my latest book, Finally Human.) Or as Gary V would say, you gotta throw a few jabs before the right hook.
  2. Secondly, it’s most likely that you’re asking users to opt-in by texting you. You’re probably not collecting phone numbers with a pen and clipboard. So, choose an easy keyword people can text to opt-in. This isn’t the time (necessarily) to be clever. Just go for the lowest common denominator.
  3. Now it’s time to start building your database. There are a few ways you can do this: website, promotion via email list, on social media (platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, which are going to have a 100% mobile audience, are the low-hanging fruit here), via printed materials, in your retail store, and in outdoor spaces.
  4. Next, start your campaign.
    1. Set the desired frequency
    2. Pick the best opt-in incentives
    3. Provide value in your first message
    4. Create a sense of urgency
    5. Include a clear call to action
    6. Decide on effective list promotion
  5. Once you’re underway, begin measuring. Test extensively: time of day, phone number acquisition, character count, perceived value, etc. As you learn, you may decide to follow the data and regroup your audience into different lists.

Bottom line: be sure you’re providing value. Don’t send too many messages and never waste the recipients’ time. The unsubscribe option is never more than a four-letter reply text away (“STOP”)! SMS marketing has incredible potential. We’ve used it successfully for many of our clients. Have you tried it before? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.