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Mobile text messages remain a widely-used means of communication. They are also outstandingly effective; about 98% of text messages are opened by their recipients. That’s a much higher open rate than any other medium. Add the fact that mobile phones have an 85% penetration rate in Nigeria, and it becomes easy to see why SMS should be a tool in your business’s marketing arsenal.

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If you are looking to grow your sales with SMS marketing, here are seven things you can do to take advantage of it.

Be Succinct

Text messaging is designed for communication in a limited number of words. If you’re going to use this means to reach your customers, you’ll have to be brief about it. Go straight to the point, and capture the essentials of the information you want to send out as succinctly as you can. Doing so will increase the chance that the recipients will understand your message quickly enough, and hopefully take the action that you intend them to.

Personalize Your SMS

This involves addressing the recipients of your text by their name. It gives them the positive impression that comes with being recognized as unique individuals. Personalized messages are often used in email marketing, and to good effect. They can achieve similar results when employed in SMS. And just as it’s done with email, you can personalize the texts you send out with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools.

Include A Call To Action

An effective SMS campaign should be aimed at achieving a particular goal (or set of goals). You can encourage your customers to take the action you require of them—in this case, making a purchase –with a strong Call To Action (CTA) that’s designed to convert. The CTA should come at (or close to) the end of the message, and be a natural closing point to the preceding text.

Here’s an example of an SMS with a Call To Action, sent by a hypothetical food delivery business called Great Treat (the CTA is in bold text):

Hello Olusola! Would you like a sumptuous lunch delivered to you wherever you are? Let Great Treat do this for you at a slim price. Get your rice and stew, fried rice and chicken, beans and dodo, and more from us. Click HERE to see our complete menu now!

Offer Rewards For Engagement

You could offer a reward to people who receive your text for responding to it as you have asked them to.

A good incentive will improve your chances of successfully persuading them to take action. This works for marketing done over other channels. You can expect it to get the job done on SMS as well. Here’s a sample message from a fashion store (Grey Lapel) that includes a reward for customers who act as requested by the text:

Grey Lapel is offering you our new handmade royal suits, styled for formal occasions. If you reply to this message with the words YES PLEASE, you’ll secure a bespoke suit AND two ties and two pairs of cufflinks, all for the price of one suit. Reply YES PLEASE now!

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Remind Recipients Of Upcoming Promotions

If you’re about to run a sales promotion, you can remind your customers about it via a text message. Emphasize the limited time for which the offer will be available so that they’ll get a sense of urgency about it. The high open rates guaranteed by SMS will mean that a vast majority of those customers will see your reminder, and prepare to take advantage of the sale.

Let’s say that Grey Lapel (mentioned previously) is organizing a sale slated for a few days from now. They could send out a text to prospective buyers with a prompt that reads like this:

Hello Frank! Just a reminder: we’re offering you our classic fit suits at 20% off the regular price. But this deal only lasts until [INSERT DATE]. Take advantage of this offer now. Click HERE to find out more.

Run Contests

You can deploy SMS marketing to get recipients involved in contests that are designed to encourage more interaction with your brand. The ability of mobile text to reach most individuals should ensure that almost every possible participant in the contest will join in.

Find Out What Customers Want

Text messaging is a great tool for collecting feedback from customers. You may organize a short poll that captures their opinion on your existing products or services. The information you gather from this could enable you to create products and services that customers would love to purchase.

A sample SMS poll question is given below:

Great Treat would like to know what you think about the promptness of our delivery service. Reply with any of the letters below:

A. For very prompt.

B. For moderately prompt.

C. For average.

D. For slow.

E. For very slow.

Final Words

There’s a lot you can achieve with SMS marketing. Work with the tips we have shared here, and you’ll be on your way to recording much higher patronage.

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This article was first published on 11th April 2022


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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