It’s been weeks you’ve been trying to get the prospects to buy from you, and even after passing through every stage of the sales funnel, the prospect ghosted you. We know the pain of just missing a sale. After all the pitches and demos, the potential customer drops out of the sales funnel without giving your product a try.
It happens to the best of us, but reducing the chances of this happening again is the art and science of perfecting the sales funnel. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are there holes in your sales funnel?
- Are there missed follow-ups?
- Do you have different marketing strategies in your sales funnel?
- Are you taking advantage of every platform, and have you prioritized each one?
- Where are your text marketing services landing in the sales funnel?
Only 44% of the marketers use SMS marketing in their sales funnel compared to email marketing being used by 73% of marketers. SMS marketing isn’t a crowded field, but it will get competitive by the end of this year.
What marketers fail to realize is that SMS marketing is a highly effective tool at any funnel stage. The reason behind this is they don’t know where to start. So we decided to share some of the steps you can take to incorporate SMS marketing and include it in your sales funnel. Let’s get started.
What is SMS marketing?
SMS (short messaging service) marketing uses the text messaging medium to convey the desired message to the customer step by step. There are endless ways you can use SMS marketing to your advantage that includes:
- 98% open rate
- 45% response rate
- Low cost
- High ROI
- Targeted communication
- Fast and easy access
- More personal and friendly
- Direct responses
- Lower spam risk
The simplicity and utility of SMS marketing are what make it more fruitful.
SMS and sales funnel
Many businesses around you will be using text messaging in their sales funnel. SMS from food restaurants, clothing brands, doctor’s offices, travel service companies, and many more are relying on it, but they are not opening the doors to two-way communication mostly. Giving a robotic feeling, one-way communication can make the prospect feel disconnected.
The sales funnel will show you the ideal path that a prospect will take to become a customer. You have to incorporate your SMS strategy throughout that journey to get the ideal results. This reduces the friction and can make you more available to answer the prospect’s questions at every stage. Let’s take a look at the steps you can take to get more leads and then convert them to customers.
Building a successful SMS marketing starts with the awareness of the prospect. At this stage, the prospect is not aware of his problems. He’s looking for answers and researching a lot. This is where you come. Using tools like social media, you can tell your prospects to come to you if they have any queries. Drive them to text you with every little problem. This way, you’re connecting with the prospects and building a database of their numbers. This database can be utilized later in your funnel.
A potential customer isn’t ready to buy at this stage. Be creative in developing an irresistible offer that compels them to reach you and be available to build a relationship that moves them to the next stage of the buyer journey.
Once you have built a relationship, it’s time you move them through the funnel. Research indicates that prospects do not like to hear about a brand more than 3 times a month. So send them a text every 10 days with something of value and stay connected.
These interactions should be strategized carefully. Delivering an 8-page newsletter that isn’t mobile frequently is probably not a good idea. Create content that is easily consumable on mobile devices like simple few-lined text messages or a video link. Yes, links to ebooks and whitepapers are a good idea but only if they are not written in a small 12-point font.
SMS marketing involves strict limits to the length of a message to be more readable. We recommend being precise in that message and choosing every word carefully. Do not sacrifice the quality of a message due to the length limitation. Here’s what you should include in a text message to sound more clear and straightforward.
1. Use your business name to send the text message.
2. Include a strong, clear, and precise call to action.
3. Make the content simple and easy to read. Avoid using acronyms, abbreviations, and other content that can decrease the readability of your text message.
4. Write important parts of the message in caps to emphasize them. However, do not overdo this as it can also impact the readability.
5. Limitation of the character limit in a text message does not allow long links to your ebooks, newsletters, videos, or podcasts. Use branded links that are shorter and are more trustable. It will increase your brand’s visibility as well as the click-rate.
Sending messages based on the prospect’s interaction with your brand is the best way to target them. For example, if they have asked a question about some of your products, send them a text message with relevant offers and relevant products. You can also use the information they provided to you, like their gender or age, to target them better. These messages build a personalized experience for prospects and take them to the next step in the buyer’s journey.
We can not stress the importance of this step enough. Researchers studied that 25% of the business revenue is generated through personalized recommendations and offers. Personalized messages are much more engaging and the prospects getting personalized messages are more likely to convert.
Sending a personalized message takes a little research. Your messages should be subjected to the demands of the prospect. With enough information, you can group your audience according to their demographics and psychographic. It keeps your prospects happy and according to a survey, 49% of the customers make a purchase after receiving a personalized text message.
Choosing the right time
Choose the right time to reach your prospects. The most common time to send a marketing SMS is 12 pm and the least popular day is a Sunday. But then again, it all depends on your product.
For example, clothing brands send their messages around the weekend, so more people respond to them during their off time. If you’re a food company, the timing of your message should be around lunch or dinner time. Just avoid sending the message when the office hours are either starting or ending as these are the rush hours. We still recommend finding times that suit your business the best.
Incorporating SMS into each stage of the funnel
Text messages open broad doors to reach the audience and increase sales. It can be really effective once you have captured the attention. In the previous section, we mentioned how you could use SMS marketing. Let’s discuss the ways you can incorporate those ways on every step of the funnel.
Top of the funnel
Top of the funnel is the gathering of subscribers. You can use different strategies to do it.
- Use a specific keyword that the prospect can send to a ten-digit number to sign up for future updates. For example, ask the user to send “sub” or “subscribe” to a number to get any updates or promotions in the future. This way they’re showing consent.
- Use web forms to let users subscribe to your text messages. Create a web form that lets you enter their information including their phone number, and submit it.
- Mobile sign-up widgets are another way you can ask your prospects to subscribe to the text messages. An embeddable sign-up widget can popup that populates the text message and has your keyword pre-filled. All the prospect has to do is press send. For example, the invitation messages use these widgets where the whole text message is pre-filled.
Middle of the funnel
This is the stage where you start marketing your brand. Running different campaigns through text messages can build stronger leads at this point. You can introduce your brand, promotions, and services here.
- Run campaigns to drive action and increase sales. You can send mass texts to all your subscribers and engage them in a certain message. For example, notifying subscribers of upcoming promotions, product launches, different brand events, and time-sensitive flash sales.
- This is also the stage where segmentation is necessary. Segmentation makes it easier to group the subscribers based on certain traits and then sending personalized messages. Once you have segmented the list, just select a group and send the message. For example, segment the subscribers on the basis of gender and send them offers that are relatable to them.
- Start drip campaigns. You don’t have to send out the text messages for drip campaigns manually. They are used as welcome messages, thank you messages, educating the subscribers, and nurturing the leads.
Throughout this stage of the funnel, you’re learning more about the subscribers and can polish your strategies according to the response you get.
Bottom of the funnel
The bottom of the funnel is when you are closest to your subscribers. The prospects are most likely to convert from here. Here you will get a direct dialogue with the prospect and customers.
- Providing customer support to your subscribers through text messages is the easiest option for the subscribers. You are telling your subscribers that you’re one text away. This method is the fastest, most efficient, and most preferred way to troubleshoot with customers.
- Use SMS to get reviews and recommendations. You’re providing a more intimate yet non-invasive way to get feedback from your customers.
Wrapping-up with an additional tip
The best advice we can give you for SMS marketing is: be real. Send text messages that are casual in nature, the texts you would like to read. Be authentic but make sure you’re still working with the essence of text marketing-concise, clean, and simple messaging.
This is a guest post by Eman-e-Zahra.
Eman-e-Zahra is a Content Strategist and Marketer at Mailmunch. She's an IT graduate and has helped many businesses especially software development companies with their content marketing. Eman has managed to achieve a global clientele with her work by lending them a hand in the marketing strategy department.