How businesses can personalise their marketing with SMS
The concept of personalisation gets tossed around a lot. It isn’t anything new, but that doesn’t mean that it’s anywhere near where it needs to be.
What is personalised marketing?
You may immediately think about adding first names to your SMS marketing campaigns.
While that’s a great start, there’s much more to it. Think back to all the data and behavioural insights you collected about your prospects and customers. How can you use that information to help you create relevant advertisements, product recommendations, and text message campaigns? Timing is a crucial part too, so keep that in mind.
What are the benefits?
Last year, Accenture surveyed 8,000 consumers around the globe and published a report about personalisation.
Many respondents feel dissatisfied with the lack of proper personalisation from businesses. So much so, just under half (48%) of respondents left a website and made a purchase elsewhere.
Personalising your marketing campaigns can help improve your customer experience and as a result, your bottom line. According to Accenture, 91% of survey participants are more likely to do business with a brand that recognises, remembers, and provides relevant offers and recommendations.
The benefit is two-fold—83% of them are also willing to share their data to get personalised experiences, but they expect transparency about how businesses collect, use, and protect it.
If personalisation is not currently a part of your marketing strategy, then now may be the time to start. It doesn’t take much to start with SMS—we’ll show you some examples later.
What do consumers want?
With consumer demands changing as quickly as technology evolves, businesses may struggle with putting a system in place before it becomes obsolete.
So what do consumers want, and what can businesses do?
Accenture discovered two things. First, consumers want businesses to create environments that enable them to create their own personalised experiences.
Coca-Cola’s Share A Coke campaign is a great example of an environment where consumers can personalise their own experiences:
Second, they want personalised 1-on-1 conversations.
According to Accenture, “businesses need to humanise the digital experience by moving from marketing and communications to digital conversations”. Consumers want more than just one-way email or SMS marketing campaigns.
So how do you create digital conversations with your customers using SMS? Let’s have a look.
Five simple ways to personalise your marketing with SMS
As mentioned above, it doesn’t take much to start with SMS, so let’s get started.
1. Use custom fields (also known as variables)
With our online SMS service, you can start using custom fields, like your customers’ first names, in your SMS campaigns. If you have their birthday information, use that your advantage.
Happy Birthday! Come in a get a free drink on us at Toast Table this week. If you want to make a reservation, reply to this text.
Opt out reply STOP
You can also create monthly or annual activity or usage reports. For example, take a look at this email from Lyft. They provide an annual summary of this specific customer’s activity. Not only is this very tailored, it’s interesting to the customer and may encourage them to continue using Lyft.
You may also see this form of personalisation in the donations industry:
Hi Sara, your donation of [amount] on [date] helped supply 50 students with books. So far you donated [total amount]! Full summary: TapTh.is/link
Opt out reply STOP
2. Gather customer feedback
Use SMS keywords to create automated and personalised SMS campaigns that help you gather feedback:
How was your experience dining with us at Toast Table on a scale of 1 to 5? (1=Bad;5=Great).
Opt out reply STOP
If they reply with ‘1’:
According to Accenture, 45% of respondents find an apology email after a poor in-store or online experience a cool tactic. You can do the same with a text message if things go south.
If they reply with ‘5’:
3. Let your customers personalise their own experience
Some of us at Burst visited a restaurant recently. We gave them our number and they put us on a wait list. This is an example of what followed:
Welcome to Toast Table! There are 5 parties ahead of you. Your approximate wait time is 20 mins. Reply with ‘no’ to remove your party from the queue.
Your table is almost ready! Please reply ‘yes’ to claim your spot or ‘no’ remove your party from the queue.
Your table is ready! You have 10 minutes to arrive before your spot is cancelled. We’ll see you soon! Reply ‘no’ to cancel.
There are many other ways to use SMS keywords to allow your customers to personalise their own experiences. Check this out article about how to create multi-level auto-response campaigns with SMS keywords for more ideas.
4. Provide customer service
Your customers expect quick responses, and not all of them want to call or write lengthy emails. Texting can be more convenient for your customers as there’s no need to spend time opening a browser or app or waiting on hold.
Plus, you may also use our popular Email to SMS service, so you can answer their enquiries via email and keep records of the conversations.
5. Send SMS confirmations and reminders
Missed appointments can result in a loss in productivity and revenue. Help ensure that your clients make it to their scheduled appointments with an SMS reminder and confirmation. A reminder is expected and appreciated by your customers, so take advantage of the opportunity to connect and improve the customer experience.
Personalisation is the future of marketing. Consumers demand it, and it doesn’t take a lot to get started with SMS—you can easily create a personalised experience with just 160 characters. Need or want to bounce ideas off us? Feel free to let us know. We’re happy to help.