Are you thinking of adopting SMS lead generation as your marketing strategy, but aren’t sure of what it entails and what to expect? Then, this post is specially written for you to offer you in-depth knowledge and guide you on your SMS marketing journey.
SMS means Short Message Service which also means a text message. Today, a great number of internet users do so via mobile phones and other mobile devices, and about 60% of Google searches are done via mobile.
This gives you plenty of reasons to incorporate text messaging into your marketing endeavor most especially when the most used data service in the world today is a text message.
Text messaging as a marketing strategy makes a lot of sense because it gives your business a competitive advantage and doesn’t require people to be connected to the internet to receive texts.
Also, the delivery is very fast and guaranteed because SMS doesn’t end up in the wrong folders or lost in transit like email that can get discarded in spam filters. And it is also one of the most affordable forms of communication.
Where SMS Lead Generation is Mostly Used
Sms lead generation is a marketing strategy that is used by any serious business that needs paying customers. They benefit from SMS lead generation because it connects them more effectively with prospects.
So many companies, agencies, and industries utilize SMS lead generation, and this strategy is very efficient in the following business areas:
1. Talent Acquisition Agencies
Employment agencies make use of SMS to contact job seekers. They also use it to send invitations to qualified applicants or to ask them to apply via texts. Sms is also further used to keep the candidates abreast with information during the entire hiring process.
2. Real Estate Agencies
Most real estate agencies use SMS integration on their websites to make it much easier for interested buyers to find out more information about a property.
They also use SMS to collect prospects’ contact information. Once the contact information is collected, the agents then send open house reminders and other vital information to prospects via SMS..
3. Event Management
Event managers use text messages to increase event attendance, promote ticket sales, and even collect more information from attendees at trade shows.
4. Advertising Agencies
Agencies that deal in advertising also utilize SMS to help their clients’ campaigns more effectively and to generate more leads. They normally add a shortcode to text messages to collect useful customer details which can then be used for re-marketing.
SMS lead generation helps you find people who are interested in your business and by sending appropriate text messages you can then turn them into paying customers.
3 Advantages of Using SMS for Lead Generation
1. It helps you to actually reach your target audience.
The first and most important reason to adopt the use of SMS for lead generation is that it makes it easier and quicker to reach your actual audience compared with email.
The chances of prospects opening and reading SMS once delivered to their phones is much higher than that of emails. According to MailChimp, an email open rate is an average of around 21% overall. And for other marketing and advertising, it is around 17%.
Even though relative to social media, other traditional advertising techniques, email actually the strongest. On the Facebook platform, social media reach zero while Twitter does not drive traffic in any kind of significant way.
SMS-based marketing is a significantly successful channel with open rates that average 95% or even higher when compared to all of the other failing channels.
If a business actually wants its marketing communications to reach prospects and customers more efficiently, then investing in SMS lead generation is the best approach.
2. It helps you to Separate your audience and reach them with the appropriate messages.
Your prospects have different interests and are also at different phases in their purchasing journey.
And therefore, they must be segmented differently to avoid mix-ups and to reach out to them with only messages that are relevant to their interests
After painstakingly observing their behavior and categorizing them on separate lists, you can send target text messages and offers to specific groups.
Make sure the SMS is short, objective, and summarises your entire purpose. You don’t want to send misleading messages that are off point, difficult to interpret and don’t make any sense.
Sending SMS is an immediate way of communication, which means that your prospects won’t have time for long readings.
Although categorization of prospects can also be done on email, text messaging’s higher open rate makes categorization with SMS marketing far more effective.
3. It Improves marketing messaging.
A common marketing problem is that most marketing tactics that actually seem like a good idea often fail in practice. But, to now figure out which of the tactics is actually fine can be unfortunately expensive and all you can do is to just try each one.
When you run a campaign, you will have to monitor the results and learn something, then you make appropriate changes.
But when it comes sot SMS marketing, you can learn things very quickly because prospects’ engagement level with SMS messages is very high.
For instance, you decide to try out a new discount to see if it increases sales. You will want to see how about 50 people respond to your offer before you finally decide whether you will continue to use that discount or not.
Based on the above illustration, with an email having an open rate of 20%, you would need to send the email to 250 people in order to get 50 opens. This means that you will need to send out 250 email messages just to find out if the discount is effective.
While if you use SMS which has been proven to have an open rate of about 95%, you would only need to send text messages to just 53 people to get the same 50 opens.
Therefore, because text messaging is much more efficient than email you can easily gather data to assess your marketing performance much faster because you will gather the data very quickly using SMS.
And with this data, you can easily improve your marketing much more quickly and also identify the best possible ways to generate leads. This will ultimately help you drive more revenue.
Ultimate SMS Lead Generation Guide to Getting Customer via Text
It is very important to adopt a strong lead generation strategy because it guarantees success for your sales team and it also drives revenue.
Therefore, before you start actually sending out text messages you should understand the basics of lead generation and SMS marketing.
The following steps in this detailed SMS lead generation guide will be of immense benefit.
1. Collect and import existing leads
You need to collect your leads first through subscription forms, CTAs, and other means of lead data collection.
And if you already have a list of qualified leads and you have also got explicit permission to send them text messages, you should import these leads to the desired SMS sending platform of your choosing.
2. Capture leads using a short code and keyword
Place your SMS shortcode which could either be a five or six-digit long phone number on conspicuous places on your website.
Also place your keyword which is a word or phrase that a potential lead can text to your short-code to opt-in for messages, in as many places as possible. Make sure they appear on your website homepage, landing pages, digital ads, social posts, Business card, and Google listings
3. Add web forms to your homepage
Web forms are very vital in your lead generation process, and you don’t have to be a developer to add a web sign-up form to your website.
There are lots of platforms online that allow you to import custom sign-up form codes and embed them to your website. Others develop plugins or third-party add-on tools to implement sign-up forms on your website.
These web forms are a means of collecting your website visitor’s contact information. Which you will then use to connect with them and keep them updated via text messages.
4. Set up an auto-reply
It is not possible for you to be active online at all times. Your customer service might be attending to a lot of prospects at a time while more might have to be on hold.
Sometimes, leads try to contact you while you are away, busy or asleep. If they are unsuccessful they might be discouraged and seek alternatives. This can make you lose such potential customers to your competition.
Do not let a single lead slip through your fingers. Rather, set up an auto-response message that sends as soon as someone texts in your keyword.
You could even use this auto-reply as an opportunity to introduce yourself, new products, services or even send useful information.
5. Nurture leads with SMS autoresponders
Nurturing your leads requires more than just using auto-reply. You need to set up autoresponders which are pre-scheduled text messages, that send automatically based on the scheduled date which might be after a few days, weeks, or months.
SMS auto-responders can be used to send out additional resources to your lead or to further educate users on your services. They can also be used to offer free trials on your products.
6. Qualify leads with data collection
Text messages are more than just a tool for sending information, they can also be used for collecting information.
In the process of establishing a communication with prospective leads make use of the data collection feature to ask for more information such as their first name, last name, email, and more.
7. Segment your customers
You should make your text messages highly targeted by grouping your audience based on the details you receive from your leads.
To achieve this successfully, you should create segments based on default fields, such as date, opt-in or custom fields such as employment status, location, and more.
Your customers will only pay attention to what covers their special needs, so you should use segmentation to target only those that could find value in your offer. Create different lists of customers to send them the information that they will value the most.
8. Personalize your messages
Leads will most likely engage with personalized text messages.
Therefore, make use of the information you’ve collected using data collection to automatically customize your texts. To easily do this, include your contact’s first name at the beginning of the text.
9. Include relevant links to forms
Make sure to include relevant links in your SMS by using a link shortener to shorten web links. After the links have been shortened, they can now be inserted into the.
10. Create a strong CTA
Make sure that every message you send has a concise Call-To-All. And make sure that your leads understand the value you’re offering. Thereafter, you should be willing to give them a clear next step.
You should tell your prospects what to do by using a clear call to action. Before you send your text message, take a moment to think about what the ultimate goal for your communication is and include a call-to-action that will guide your prospects towards achieving that goal
11. Use analytics to measure your performance
Most SMS hosting platforms are equipped with an analytics tool that lets you dig into your campaigns so you can learn more about what works for you and what doe not. Find out which text messages have higher click-through rates and use those insights to adjust your texts in the future.
12. Integrate texting with your existing CRM
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a tool that helps manage customer data. It also delivers actionable insights, integrates with social media, and facilitates team communication.
A CRM system helps businesses to keep customers’ contact details up to date, it tracks every customer interaction, and manages customers’ accounts. This tool is specially designed to help businesses improve customer relationships.
Here are two effective ways you can hook up the chosen SMS platform into your existing sales tools.
- Zapier: You can connect your chosen SMS platform account to the CRM apps you already use for lead generation which includes, Facebook Lead Ads, Google Sheets Salesforce, and lots more. By integrating Zapier it becomes easy to automate your SMS texting and sales entire workflow process.
- API: Build custom solutions with our easy-to-use SMS API. We built our platform to be developer-friendly so you can make your CRM interact with our SMS gateway.
5 Steps For Effective SMS Lead Generation
In addition to the above-listed SMS lead generation strategies, to start sending messages that will successfully drive more leads, you should also do the following:
Step 1. Opt For Reliable SMS Service Provider
This is actually the first and the most important step to take if you are ever considering SMS lead Generation.
You must choose from the list of top SMS service providers that offer services and offer tools and features that perfectly suit all your SMS needs.
We have a list of some of these SMS providers below that you can choose from.
Step 2. Promote Your Number
You need to promote your number so that people can easily access it and reach out to you. This can be achieved by including your number in your website, your Facebook page, and also on paid ads. You should encourage people to send you an SMS whenever they want and be sure to respond right promptly
Step 3. Constantly Engage your Prospects
Since the ultimate goal of SMS Marketing is to create a fast and reliable way of communicating with your customers. You should create complex conversation flows which enable your mobile number to send messages and to also receive messages from your prospects anywhere in the world.
After the setup, make sure to keep sending your customers periodical SMS informing them of new products, promotions, and special offers. This will keep them glued to you and keep them abreast with the latest developments in your business.
Also, use this technology to show them that you not only care about your business but care a lot about their well-being as well. Send them birthday greetings and season greetings during different festive periods.
By doing this, you will stand out among your competition and earn the respect, love, and loyalty of your customers.
Step 4. Encourage People To Sign Up For Your SMS To Receive Special Deals Or Events.
This method works great as you can text specials of the day and other special promotions to your subscribers.
It is most ideal for bars, restaurants, and for service-based businesses. You can invite prospects to text you to receive a custom quote. Once they do that, you collect their data and send the information along and at the same time put them into a lead nurturing sequence.
Step 5. Ask Your Satisfied Customers For Reviews.
A positive review is a very powerful tool in building trust for yourself, your business, and your brand. It goes a long way to building confidence and boosting your business.
Make sure to encourage your satisfied customers to share their positive reviews on online reviews platforms like Google, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Facebook, and on your website.
Send a text to your customers and invite them to leave a review of your business on these platforms.
Top 5 Business SMS Providing Companies
Business SMS service providers make it possible for companies and businesses of any size to engage in personal, two-way communication with target audiences, which could be customers, employees, or stakeholders.
SMS providers differ based on the range of SMS features, services, and protocols they offer.
Below are the best 5 SMS business service providers as of 2021
Clickatell is one of the largest online bulk SMS gateway systems in the world with about 819 networks spanning 221 countries.
They offer amazing services such as low prices for business texting solutions, coverage across all leading mobile network providers.
With Clickatell, you get the ability to integrate their SMS campaigns with channels like social media. You will also benefit from their two-way SMS messaging through a mobile app, Tablet, and computer.
They offer tools that can be used to integrate mobile apps with other workflow systems like Zapier to help large businesses automate messages.
This company offer the following services: Bulk SMS, Transactional SMS, SMS marketing, WhatsApp messaging, Email to SMS, Voice, Facebook Messenger, Fax and Post– Best SMS Gateway Service
ReplyBuy offers the following services: Two-Way Text Messaging, Business Texting, P2P Texting, Landline Texting, Conversational Commerce, Toll-Free Texting, Longcode Texting, Short Code CTA.
They leverage a short code phone number as a call-to-action which enables you to drive inbound leads and grow your mobile list faster. S
SlickText is mainly an SMS marketing and mass texting service provider that supports businesses and organizations with software rich with features for engaging their audience.
They offer services like Bulk SMS and SMS Marketing
Twilio has robust and accessible APIs for communications channels such as voice, text, chat, and video.
Twilio enables innovators, businesses across every industry and even the world’s largest organizations to reinvent how they engage with their customers.
Their services include Bulk SMS, SMS marketing, and Transactional SMS.
Some businesses are beginning to use SMS marketing as a lead generation channel. SMS marketing gives you the confidence and assurance of quickly reaching your audience.
It makes it easy to send targeted and relevant messages to specific groups.
Text messaging provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to communicate directly with customers, but it requires a great deal of caution so as not to infringe on your customers’ privacy.
It is of utmost importance that a business understands the rules and regulations around mobile marketing, such as privacy policies, and carefully getting audiences to opt-in, before they begin to send SMS to the customers.
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