Although all businesses understand the importance of mobile marketing, SMS marketing is a relatively untapped market. Many companies may underestimate the possibilities of SMS marketing, but using text messaging can be a crucial way to engage your most loyal customers. Opting into an SMS marketing campaign shows trust and commitment, something not true of most other forms of connection. It’s a relationship that needs careful handling.

Since less than one percent of SMS messages are spam, people are less likely to ignore messages than phone calls or emails. This virtually guarantees contact with customers: 90% of SMS users open texts as soon as they are delivered while 95% of SMS users see a text in the first fifteen minutes. Additionally, for companies looking to bring in new clients with SMS marketing, SMS subscribers are 18 to 30 times more likely to use a new service or switch to a service than non-SMS subscribers.

Here are some tips to make your SMS marketing campaign as successful as possible.

1. Be Relevant and Targeted

When setting up an SMS messaging system, be sure to establish different categories of information and preferences for message frequency. Not all subscribers will want the same information and customers who want limited communications may choose to opt out rather than receive texts with information they don’t want.

2. Easy, Compelling Opt-In

Additionally, provide multiple ways to sign up. By giving customers the option to opt-in at the checkout, when logging-in online or simply to scan a QR code with their smartphones, they have easy ways to get involved. An effective way to recruit subscribers is to offer a purchase discount with a successful SMS subscription. For example, give a customer a choice to purchase an item at full price or receive a 15% discount with the completed SMS registration.

3. Instantly Actionable Offers

Your SMS messages should be timely, compelling, relevant and to-the-point. Offer coupons, sales or deals that expire soon, such as in twenty-four hours. SMS readers rarely refer back to old messages so make sure they are incentivised to take action right away. Link them directly to the product or category that you’re promoting.

4. Drive In-Store and Site Visits with SMS Exclusives

Run promotions that are exclusive only to your SMS followers. These are likely your most loyal customers — treat them like royalty!  Send SMS subscribers advance information about new catalogs, upcoming events or coupons that can scanned directly from a phone display. To make this approach more effective, use mobile GPS locations to send information relevant to the customer’s location rather than generic messages to everyone.

5. Survey your SMS subscribers

Once you get your subscriptions to around 500-1000 survey your customers for topics they want to hear from you on.  Don’t forget to include a coupon code as a thank you for taking the survey.

6.  An Awesome Mobile Experience

If your SMS marketing is not integrated with a top-notch mobile shopping experience it is unlikely to succeed. Shoppers on smart phones want a mobile site that is designed just for them where they can search, browse and buy with ease.

7.  Be Respectful

Your SMS customers have invited you to be with them wherever they are and they’ll quickly revoke that privilege if it’s abused, used too frequently or communications are not relevant to them.

SMS marketing has not yet spread to the mainstream so now is the time to get involved. SMS channels can drive both new and repeat sales and convert already happy customers into your most loyal and dedicated customers.  Do SMS marketing right and your mobile shoppers will BRB.  (be right back)