There has been a growing trend around creating omnichannel marketing campaigns to level up customer experience and build brand awareness. Some marketers have interchanged omnichannel and multichannel at times, but they are different practices.
Omnichannel goes beyond just using multiple channels to relay marketing messages. It’s also about fully integrating it into a smooth and seamless experience so that customers feel they’re only listening to one cohesive message.
The secret to an effective omnichannel strategy is to use the right channels. One channel that many companies overlook is SMS. There’s a misconception that consumer insight has outgrown SMS messaging, but the numbers say otherwise. SMS messages have a 98% open rate--way higher than email open rates.
The importance of SMS in an omnichannel marketing strategy is undeniable. If your business is looking to tap into the power of SMS marketing, follow these seven simple tips that can help you integrate the channel into your omnichannel campaign.
While it’s highly possible to get work done on a smartphone, it can sometimes be strenuous. Having to send SMS from one phone manually, for instance, is not just time-consuming. It’s also not smart. Thankfully, technology has gotten much better today. Marketers and company staff can now send SMS from a customer messaging platform that’s accessible via desktop.
Today, various apps allow you to send a text from a computer instead of doing it on the phone. Some great examples include AirDroid, Join, Pulse SMS, Text Free, TextNow, and many others. Another great example is Dexatel, a service that provides seamless communication on various channels, including SMS and Viber.
When utilizing omnichannel marketing strategies, the key to better conversions is to get permission to send messages. That’s why it helps to get subscriber buy-in by having them sign up for a service or getting their approval through an opt-in form before sending them anything. Seventy-five percent of consumers say that they are comfortable receiving SMS messages from brands as long as they voluntarily register into a messaging list.
When brands fail to get permission, their messages can often be perceived by recipients and artificial intelligence as spam and can hurt open rates and brand image. As marketing expert Seth Godin once said, “Permission Marketing is the tool that unlocks the power of the Internet.”
One growing tech trend as of late is messaging automation. Nowadays, marketers and entrepreneurs can automate message sending on virtually any platform- email, social media, direct messaging, and even text messaging. It can be quite easy today to find an omnichannel messaging platform that can help automate mobile marketing.
Marketers have, for some time now, used SMS marketing tools to create notifications and alerts for sales and aftersales. Most common is mobile messaging automation to remind customers of recurring payment dues, new offers, sign-ups, loyalty points earned, and many others.
Automations often have the disadvantage of sounding canned and impersonal. But because most people perceive SMS as highly personal and engaging, the strategy works to any company’s advantage as long as marketers formulate the messaging well enough to pass off as personalized.
Speaking of personalization, one effective way to keep SMS blasts personal is to load them up with emojis. There are over 3,000 emojis available to users and brands today. It has become a staple in the way people communicate, most especially through SMS communications. It helps to know which emojis connect with your brand the most and frequently using that defined set when sending messages to customers and potential leads.
Emojis provide visual spaces that help break up long chunks of text. So when sending relatively long SMS messages, it helps to use symbols and signs to relax the reader’s eyes. There are also many other helpful emojis like checkmarks, thumbtacks, and so on to help create bullet points and break up enumerations in your messages.
Selling items in bundles and discounts are marketing strategies that are as old as the marketplace itself. Price is an underlying factor that affects all marketing, selling, and buying decisions. So when running an omnichannel marketing campaign, business owners, marketers, and executives must remain creative in the way they market their products.
Discounts and coupons are highly effective ways to draw in a purchase. Almost every player in any industry makes use of some form of voucher or discount, whether it’s a sticker program to pick up your Starbucks Planner or a one-off coupon at your local H&M or Zara branch. In recent times, many large corporations have switched over to online coupons in the form of codes to drive purchases.
And what’s great about technology today is that smaller businesses can now run loyalty programs and coupons of their own. Online selling platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce have built-in coupon generators that can be used to promote products. And what better way to get the word out than by SMS marketing? Informing repeat clients or leads who have been back and forth on buying decisions could be the key to helping them create that upcoming buying decision.
Another new development that innovators have integrated into the omnichannel marketing game is the use of cell broadcasting. This marketing method sends text messages simultaneously or instantaneously to a group of people based on their proximity and location.
Let’s say someone with a Spotify account on his or her smartphone walks within five hundred meters of an event venue. Marketers of local events can set cell broadcasting messages to send a list of the upcoming concerts in that venue to that person. Imagine this going on for a certain time. The strategy brings an intuitive experience with the proper context, making it highly permissive and relatable.
Brands can use SMS broadcasts to send limited time offers, coupons, event schedules, reminders, trivia, invitations to like or follow social accounts, and so on. The possibilities are endless.
When a company or business holds an event, the challenge is getting attendees to register or sign up. Most would rely on social media posts and even some advertising. As wonderful as those channels are, business owners end up leaving money on the table by delimiting their reach to social alone.
By now, it’s been established that SMS marketing can provide people with a highly effective and affordable way to market to a specific target audience. This form of marketing need not be limited to products and services alone. It can also be used to market specials and events. During holidays, like Christmas, Valentines, Thanksgiving, or St. Patrick’s Day, businesses often create specials and events. Still, they struggle with all the noise that competing brands bombard audiences with at the same time.
One powerful way to stand out is to utilize SMS marketing to get more people in an omnichannel marketing effort. With higher open rates and the opportunity to link to a call to action, website, or landing page, businesses are sure to get some registrants through SMS.
When creating omnichannel e-commerce or marketing campaigns, it’s always important to keep options open when selecting channels. Dissecting your communications software to determine what fits your business helps a lot.
As marketing technology and innovations change and evolve regularly, marketers and entrepreneurs need to keep an ear to the ground at all times, looking out for the next big marketing channel. But there is also power in remaining open to un-sexy and tested and proven channels like SMS to boost your brand awareness and business sales.