- 1 When is SMS marketing the most effective?
- 2 How do businesses use SMS to build relationships and grow sales?
- 3 How to find people to SMS about your products and services
- 4 If you are planning on launching an SMS marketing campaign, what kind of freelancers can you hire online (and for what jobs)?
- 5 How can you send SMS messages effectively to your contacts list?
- 6 What is next: How do I outsource some of the work I have to make my SMS marketing campaign a success?
You have probably gotten hundreds of SMS (short messages) from various businesses in Kenya over the years – all trying to sell you on something (some new product or service).
It is one of the most effective attention-getting and marketing avenue that doesn’t cost a lot of money. And some businesses swear by it. SMS marketing isn’t like TV commercials or radio ads. It is not cost prohibitive. A campaign can be launched now
When is SMS marketing the most effective?
When connecting with people who are already your customers. When you don’t have to warm them up to your correspondence… because they already know who you are – and haven’t blocked your number or tapped the Spam button to report your messages – which means they are reading your texts.
So, do your best to use texts only when reaching out to prospects or customers who have already shown some interest in:
How do businesses use SMS to build relationships and grow sales?
Most businesses usually rely on text messages to get in touch with their customers:
- to ask them to click a link back to their website for an even extensive catalogue.
- to send confirmation messages. So, for example a thank you note after a successful purchase.
- to build trust e.g. by offering an extra layer of security over customer details by enabling 2FA (two-factor authentification for account registrations and logins) and OTP (one time passwords).
- to keep them on the loop about new offers and discounts
- to let them know of service interruptions
- to remind them to renew their subscription with them. You have seen this with web hosting companies telling their clients to log into their accounts and renew their domains or hosting plans.
How to find people to SMS about your products and services
- capture phone numbers when people sign up for something on your website.
- place ads on various platforms and then just connect with people who show an interest in what you are selling. You can usually do this with Facebook Ads, Google Ads and classified ads (on newspapers, websites & magazines).
- get numbers from people you interact with on social media platforms such as Facebook (in the many groups and marketplaces people use to market their products and services), Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc.
- get numbers from your live chat software – if you have one installed on your website.
- people who come to your shop / office / business premise. It doesn’t take a lot of energy to ask shoppers for their contact details right before they leave. It is just a habit you have to cultivate if you wan to grow your contacts list with phone numbers of people already receptive to your messaging.
- get phone numbers from receipt duplicates.
- if you offer some form of lead magnet on you website / blog where someone has to sign up with their email address and phone number, you can just extract the numbers from your email marketing service software / provider / plugin.
- your phonebook. So, people who call you or SMS concerning your products or services.
- attend business events, networking events, seminars or conferences.
If you are planning on launching an SMS marketing campaign, what kind of freelancers can you hire online (and for what jobs)?
Freelancers that can help you with writing copy. So, the actual text that goes into an SMS (and a list of possible responses to replies you foresee getting in your inbox from people who receive and read your SMS). The freelancers can also help you with the actual copy of a landing page on your site.
If you include a link in your texts back to your site, make sure to get somebody to create professionally written sales pages, product description pages and blog posts for your site.
Freelancers that can fire up the campaign. So, someone that can take the list of people / phone numbers you want to send SMSs to and reach out to them. If there is a tool you are using for this, you want someone who can be able to use it to:
- upload phone numbers (one by one or by using CSV file / Microsoft Excel sheet).
- do some sort of personalization. So, for example by including a recipient’s first name in the first sentence of the SMS.
- create a new text (add the copy – actual content to send) and send it in batches or to your entire list all at once.
Freelancers that can help you to do analysis. To help you determine which messages are bringing in the best returns. And to help you craft similar messages for your future marketing campaigns.
Freelancers that can help you with conversions. So, someone that knows what to do to turn someone into a paying customer once that initial contact has been made.
You want someone that can help you determine which incentives you can use to get more people buying / responding to your messages positively.
The freelancer should ideally be someone who can help you win and close sales offline (in-person in your store, via phone or via mail / courier) and online (via live chat, email, your website or social media accounts).
Freelancers with a knowledge of retargeting / remarketing. So, getting in front of people you have reached before again and again without being annoying while spending less money on your subsequent messages (online or offline).
You can also ask the freelancer you eventually hire to help you get a unique SMS shortcode just for your business – if you want one.
How can you send SMS messages effectively to your contacts list?
Just search for bulk SMS services in Kenya. There are so many of them. And you can use most of them to send SMS to all networks in Kenya at a rate of Kenya Shillings 1 per SMS.
These providers have dashboards where you can:
- create new SMS campaigns
- easily upload contacts from a CSV list
- manually add phone numbers one by one
- schedule texts to only be sent at a given time
And they accept payments from Lipa na M-PESA, Airtel Money, debit cards and credit cards (from VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express). So, getting started with your campaign isn’t that hard.
If you don’t want to go down that route, you can just buy SMS bundles on your phone. Daily, weekly or monthly SMS bundles. Safaricom has them. And so does Airtel Kenya, Twlkom Kenya and Equitel.
What is next: How do I outsource some of the work I have to make my SMS marketing campaign a success?
Use the information I have provided above to prepare the following:
- a list of people you want to message and why
- a budget that will be used to successfully execute on your idea
- the value you will offer recipients
- the results you expect
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to do, check the various categories on Entity.co.ke.
Check the ad listings on the site to find contractors you can hire to help you with your SMS marketing campaign.
Reply to some of the listings.
Then take things a little further by going into detail about what you need help with. This is the point where you can gauge if someone can deliver on your expectations or not.
Once you find the right person, agree on remuneration and a turnaround time.
Then let them get to work. If you are going to use a bulk SMS service provider, give them your logins (or have them create an account for you with your business contact information.
Give them the list of people you want to message and the actual text you want to send (you can work on this together at the onset).
Then let them get to work.
Once they deliver on the task you outsource to them, pay them well.