Proven Strategies for More SMS Marketing Conversions

Proven Strategies for More SMS Marketing Conversions

Over the years, text or SMS marketing has remained as an effective channel for ensuring your customers receive and read your communications directly. As a matter of fact, research shows that customers who receive text marketing campaigns are 40% more likely to convert than those who don’t. 

When you deliver the right marketing campaign and trigger the right actions, SMS can be an excellent strategy to boost your conversions and win more customers through your SMS-specific conversion tactics. Roughly 96% of marketers using this channel say it increased their revenue, with nearly 60% saying it also drove revenue generation. With this, it’s a no-brainer to include SMS in your marketing efforts. 

It can be challenging to nurture and generate returns from your SMS marketing efforts if your conversion rates aren’t looking good. This article details some of the most effective ways to increase your conversion rates and get better returns from your campaigns. Read on to learn more about how you can make the most out of marketing with SMS. 

Conversion Rate Benchmarks

It’s always a good idea to look at data and see where your SMS campaign efforts stand—are they performing better than expected or below the industry average? Below are a few key statistics from Postscript to help you understand and build SMS marketing strategies to drive better conversions. 

  • Shops that offer inexpensive goods, consumables, and other regularly purchased necessities earn a 1%-3% conversion rate for SMS campaigns and 12%-23% for abandoned cart messages focused on repeat buyers, with $0.45-$1.62 and $6.89 – $15.27 earnings per message, respectively. In addition, data shows customers repurchase over 25% of the time.
  • For occasional orders of affordable items such as clothing and beauty or skincare products, the conversion rate for abandoned cart messages and welcome series messages is 12%-20% and 3%-8%, respectively.
  • For frequent splurges, such as luxury footwear and clothes, expensive cosmetics products, and other goods, abandoned cart messages get a 9%-21% conversion rate while post-purchase promotions receive 2%-6%. The average order value for these products is $100. 

As you can see, in a mobile-driven society, text messaging is convenient for both businesses and consumers.

 

How to Improve Your SMS Conversion Rate

 

  • Make it easy to interact with your SMS messages

The chances of conversion per message rise or fall depending on the content and delivery of the message. If it requires a lot of complex steps for the receiver to take action, the inconvenience can drive them away instead of encouraging them to convert. That’s why making it easy to interact is crucial to your strategy. 

Use simple codes, shorten links, keep details short and straightforward, and use mobile-optimized landing pages to provide your customers with easy, seamless navigation when they act on your campaign. 

 

  • Add urgency to your message

Text messaging is direct, personal, and immediate, so ensure that your SMS marketing tactics provide that sense of urgency and real value to your customers. 

For instance, if you have limited-time offers, you can send out a message a few days leading up to the event, a day before the event, and another one on the last day of the promotion. You can also send event marketing messages with a text code they can send if they want to be reminded on the day of the event. 

 

  • Include a clear CTA

Call-to-actions (CTAs) are crucial to any marketing campaign, including SMS marketing. Without a clear and effective CTA, your recipients wouldn’t know what action to take next. With a compelling CTA, you can successfully increase your SMS conversions. In fact, around 33% of SMS subscribers respond to CTAs in text campaigns, with 47% of them purchasing as a result. 

From abandoned cart reminders, promotions, exclusive event sign-ups, and appointment reminders, your desired call-to-action should be clear. Some examples of good CTAs in text marketing include “click to learn more,” “text-to-win,” or “present this message for a discount.” 

 

  • Speak your audience’s language

Be careful and choose words that reach your target audience. In addition, make sure to craft an engaging intro for your message, as the first few words of your message will appear on the notification box and chat screen. This means your audience gets a glimpse of your marketing message right away, and if it’s not something that interests them, it won’t motivate them to click. 

With SMS marketing, you have a character limit. Make drafting campaigns easier by using the language they use that fits the nature of texting. Avoid using evident branded messages. Instead, create clear and cohesive campaigns that are also fun. Much like email subject lines, the first ten words of your SMS conversion campaigns should bait and drive your audience to click through the text message. 

 

  • Keep your SMS database clean and up to date

Sending SMS marketing messages to invalid and inactive numbers mean the messages will never be read and reach your intended recipients. Therefore, it’s a waste of resources. This is where home location register (HLR) lookups come in handy for cleaning up your database. 

Using HLR lookups enables you to gain data about your opt-in numbers, allowing you to check if the numbers in your database are reachable. This means you get to enhance your database quality and ensure that your time, efforts, and resources aren’t wasted. It can also help you measure your metrics and conversion rates more accurately. 

 

  • Send SMS messages more often

If you aim to increase your conversions, consider raising the number of your text marketing campaigns from your usual one or two to three or more. Be careful not to send too much—sending 20 messages per month can boost unsubscribe rates to 60%. Start with 4-5 campaigns per month or 1-2 messages weekly to see your customers’ response and campaign performance. 

You might want to increase your campaigns during the holiday seasons, especially when you offer coupon codes and other exciting promos. Data shows that SMS databases experience the most growth during the holiday season at about 41% on average. 

 

  • Consider the time of day

The best time to send SMS campaigns differ for industries and businesses. Based on your campaign insights, success rates, and probability of conversion, schedule your text marketing campaigns at the ideal time. 

It wouldn’t be optimal to send campaigns at midnight. There’s no default time for this, so make sure to check the performance of your previous campaigns. A smart tactic you can consider is sending messages at atypical times, e.g., 11:23 am instead of 12:00 noon on the dot, to avoid the flood of text campaigns from your competitors. 

 

  • Use triggered messages to trigger conversions

Triggered messages are a response to an action by your message recipient. These can help you nurture a better relationship with your customers and drive them to convert. For example, if a customer opts into your subscriber list, you can send them a welcome message that can trigger an action. 

An example of this would be win-back messages like “It’s been a while since we last saw you. Here’s a special promo code [code] for a [percentage] discount. Click here: [URL]

Welcome messages are also great opportunities to trigger action. For example, “Thanks for joining us! As a token of our appreciation, here’s a promo code [code] to get [percentage] off your first/next order! To unsubscribe, text STOP.” 

 

  • Utilize branded links

URL shorteners are lifesavers for marketers. However, look into replacing your generic URL shorteners with branded link shorteners to increase trust. Using branded links in SMS marketing campaigns can boost conversions by up to 34%.

Think about it. Recipients would trust links that contain businessname.com/holiday-promo instead of bit.ly/12345678. Apart from the fact that it looks nicer and more trustworthy, it also gives recipients an idea of what to expect when they click through. 

 

  • Deliver personalized messages

Your customers feel more valued when they receive messages tailored to them—their last interaction with your brand or when you last visited their store. You can do this by segmenting your subscribers based on, as mentioned, their previous interaction with your brand, such as their last purchase. This way, you can trigger the right response. Of course, make sure to create relevant message content per segment. 

Convert Prospects into Customers with SMS 

SMS marketing is an instant marketing channel for a fast-paced digital world. While it may sound restrictive, the 160 character limit for one text message with links and alerts gives you enough opportunity to market your latest offerings, increase brand awareness, build customer relationships, and drive SMS conversions. With the right approach, you can prompt the desired actions that help grow and streamline your brand.

Make sure to A/B test as well as track and monitor your campaigns and conversions to further improve your strategies. If you need a hand maximizing ROI from your SMS marketing campaigns in the, our SMS experts at Semaphore can help you out!

Head over to Semaphore to start refining your strategy and create customizable messages using reliable SMS marketing solutions!

10 Business SMS Campaigns to Generate Revenue in 2021

Business SMS Campaigns to Generate Revenue in 2021

SMS marketing has come a long way since its original debut back in 1992. As technology continues to evolve each day, so do the marketing methods and trends aimed around these platforms.

Today, several brands are continuously improving their strategies by using SMS to become more approachable with their customers. This has opened new lines of communication for businesses-to-consumer (B2C) brands by introducing customer support and transactional messaging. Additionally, it is another convenient way for consumers to reach out to a brand regarding their concerns and feedback.

SMS marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage with consumers and other important clients. This is because it offers a personalized touch towards interactions that can make consumers feel more cared for and prioritized over others. As a result, this can gradually boost the loyalty and revenue of a business over time.

Many known key trends in today’s modern age offer numerous possibilities and opportunities for businesses to reach their target market. These include the use of tech messaging, chatbots, personalized messaging, and many more. However, using these methods to start an SMS campaign can also come with many challenges when businesses do not know how to maintain them properly.

For many, this can cause losses and give businesses a bad reputation. This is why it is essential to know what kind of SMS campaigns work best for a business’s target market to generate revenue throughout the following years.

Business SMS Campaigns to Generate Revenue in 2021 - Infographic

Revenue-Generating SMS Campaigns

Nowadays, it is pretty challenging to find a person who doesn’t own a mobile phone. Many people prefer an innovative and speedy solution for all their needs, whenever they may need it. Business owners and marketers can take advantage of this fact by developing SMS campaign strategies that will help them generate more sales.

 

  • Exclusive SMS offers and discounts

Statistically, around 92% of shoppers use discount codes and coupons at least once each year. Others may also be actively hunting for new bargains and exclusive deals.

Offering exclusive deals to subscribed members gives customers more incentive to sign up for SMS updates. This can help businesses grow both their revenue and the number of customers they serve.

 

  • Contest promotions

Creating promos for competitions is more than likely to attract several customers for a chance to win grand prizes. These programs can run for any duration the company sees fit. Additionally, a business can partner with another company to make exclusive goods as prizes that customers want to compete for.

This kind of SMS campaign can create a sense of urgency among customers, making them more likely to participate for a chance to win.

 

  • Sale notifications

Business owners can take the initiative and notify their list of customers for upcoming sales in select areas. Showing a glimpse of what products go on sale can also help their consumers get a better idea of where they can get significant discounts.

 

  • New and featured product listings

Notifying customers regarding new products and services can help businesses sell new items faster and create awareness. These listings can include a quick brief of the items and how they can use them to generate interest and demand.

 

  • Holiday greetings

Not all SMS campaigns need to relay messages regarding product information and sales. Companies can take advantage of memorable holidays and occasions to send greetings to their customers. This will allow brands to appear more friendly while engaging with their target market.

 

  • Loyalty programs

Loyalty programs can offer several incentives for customers to continue shopping with a brand. Once a customer signs up, they can be welcomed by a text message which confirms their contact details. Once a company saves this information, they can add the customer to the contacts that will receive exclusive offers and discounts through SMS messages.

 

  • Surveys

Running surveys is one of the best ways to find out how customers feel about a particular brand or company. Businesses can use the information they gather and find their brand’s strong and weak points to improve their marketing strategies and approaches.

When it comes to SMS campaigns, creating short and simple questions will make more people want to answer surveys. Additionally, businesses may also reward points and small discounts for answering these surveys to give customers more incentive to reply.

 

  • Personalized greetings

Sending personalized greetings, birthdays, special holidays, and other similar occasions can help companies better engage with their customers on a personal level. Additionally, business owners can also start SMS campaigns that notify customers of items they might enjoy based on their purchasing history.

 

  • Newsletters

Keeping audiences aware of a brand’s milestones and achievements is an excellent way to boost its public image. Businesses prove that they are trustworthy and reliable through this content, but they may also gain new customers, leading to more sales down the road.

 

  • Encourage social media engagement

SMS campaigns can push customers to engage more with a brand’s social media pages by offering new followers exclusive perks. For example, these messages can encourage many customers to share a post online and tag a brand to enter a contest in exchange for points or prizes. This can also be tied to loyalty reward programs and other similar strategies to boost engagement and revenue effectively.

Keeping up with the latest trends

With a simple click of a button, it is now possible to connect with thousands of people through SMS methods and social media platforms. This paves several new opportunities for marketers and business owners to reach new audiences and target markets.

Using SMS campaigns, businesses can further improve their marketing strategies and make better connections with their customers. It is also a considerably popular way for many brands to improve their reputation in the market. As a result, this leads to a significant increase in their engagement rates, sales, and overall revenue at the time.

There are several strategies companies can use today to entice their customers to remain loyal to their brand. Contact the experts at Semaphore today for further information and assistance for your SMS marketing campaigns!

19 Free Text Message Templates for Business SMS Campaigns

SMS Templates for Businesses

Despite the exponential increase of communication channels in the digital age, short messaging service (SMS) remains widely popular all over the world. Currently, there are 4.2 billion people around the world who continue to send and receive text messages. This means that SMS campaigns can help you reach both new customers and existing ones.

Knowing that SMS can be a good channel for your business to reach its target audience, thinking of the right message is essential for any campaign to succeed. This article will provide you with a compilation of text message templates you can use to inspire and jumpstart your SMS campaigns.

SMS Templates for Businesses

 

  • Discount Messages

Your customers are always looking for good deals and discounts to help get their money’s worth. Starting an SMS campaign for discount offers makes it easier for them to find these offers and act on them. Make sure to grab their attention with urgent language and a direct call to action. 

flash discount

Today only! Get XX% off on all (TYPE) ITEMS! Shop now at: WEBSITE LINK

exclusive discount offer

BRAND is giving an exclusive discount offer to our loyal customers! Just enter CODE at checkout to get XX% off on your purchase!

seasonal discount

Be ready for the (TYPE) season and get all our seasonal ITEMS at XX% off for TIME PERIOD. Stocks are limited! Shop now at BRAND

 

  • Sales Promotions

SMS campaigns are useful for reaching out to promote new and existing products to both customers and prospects. These can be used for creating opportunities for sales pitches, having prospects upgrade from trials, or even make purchases directly from your store. Whenever possible, highlight key features of the product to make them more enticing for customers.

sales pitch

Hi, [First Name]. This is [Name] from BRAND, checking if you’re available for a short call to discuss PRODUCT/SERVICE. Please reply to this message if you are interested. Looking forward to speaking with you. Thank you!

free trial

Hi, [First Name]. This is [Name] from BRAND. Thank you for availing our demo for PRODUCT/SERVICE. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to answer them for you.

restock

Our best-selling ITEMS have been restocked! Get yours today before they’re gone! Shop now at: WEBSITE LINK

new product release

New at BRAND: Releasing ITEM today! Check out this and other new arrivals here: WEBSITE LINK

 

  • Contests and Giveaways

Contests and giveaways are staples for many businesses to drum up interest and attract more prospects. Starting an SMS campaign for your ongoing giveaway or contest can inform your customer base and get them to participate and even spread the word.

contest

Hello, [First Name]! You are invited to enter our contest for a chance to win ITEM! Learn more and enter at: WEBSITE LINK. Good luck!

giveaway

For loyal BRAND customers, we’re giving away a limited-edition ITEM to X lucky winners! To join and learn more, visit: WEBSITE LINK

 

  • General Advertising

One of the advantages of SMS is that your message is more likely to be seen by your audience. An SMS campaign to advertise your store, any events, or even other communication channels your business uses is a great way to get the word out. Just be mindful of the details that should be included in your message.

event

BRAND is hosting an EVENT on [DATE AND TIME] with ACTIVITIES. Learn more and RSVP now at our page: WEBSITE LINK 

store location and hours

See what we have to offer at our BRAND branches! We’re open from TIME to TIME on DAY to DAY, and TIME to TIME on OTHER DAY. Find a branch near you at: WEBSITE LINK

website and socmed

See all the latest updates from BRAND on our new page: WEBSITE LINK Don’t forget to follow us on SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS at @BRANDNAME for more exciting content!

 

  • Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are a great way to reward your core customer base for their patronage. If your business runs a loyalty program for its customers, you can use an SMS campaign to invite customers to join this program and avail of the available benefits. 

For existing program members, texts are a great way to remind them of relevant details like redeeming points for rewards or renewing their membership. 

invitation to join

Get the most out of your experience with BRAND! Join our loyalty program and get exclusive discounts, earn points with every purchase to redeem rewards, and many more perks! Sign up today at: WEBSITE LINK

membership renewal

Hello, [First Name]. Your membership with BRAND loyalty program will end by DATE. To continue receiving exclusive perks and redeem rewards, make sure to renew before the given date. For more information on how to renew, visit: WEBSITE LINK

points expiry

Hello, [First Name]. Your total of XX reward points will expire on DATE. Redeem your points for rewards and other perks before the given date. To view the list of available rewards and perks, visit: WEBSITE LINK

 

  • Confirmation Texts

In the age of online shopping, transactions happen on a screen rather than in person. Sending out confirmation texts lets your customer know that each step of the process has successfully pushed through. 

This level of transparency helps increase the trustworthiness and reliability of your business. Use an order or transaction number alongside relevant details to keep your text short and don’t forget to thank your customer for their business.

shipping confirmation

Hello, [First Name]. Your BRAND Order #XXXXXX has been shipped out today. ETA is in X-X business days. If you have any questions, please let us know. Thank you!

payment confirmation

Hello, [First Name]. This is to confirm your payment for BRAND Order #XXXXXX via PAYMENT METHOD for a total of AMOUNT. Your order is currently being processed for delivery. Thank you!

 

  • Action Requests

Sometimes, customers need a friendly reminder or push to take action on certain things. Sending an SMS is a quick and convenient way to deliver this reminder to them. The action they need to take should be clear, as well as the reason why they need to take it. Make it clear if this action is time-sensitive or can be done at their convenience.

review request

Hi, [First Name]. Thank you for being a valued BRAND customer. We would appreciate it if you could leave a review about your experience with us. Click here to leave us a review on REVIEW PAGE: WEBSITE NAME

confirm reservation

Hi, [First Name]. Your reservation with BRAND for ITEM/APPOINTMENT on DATE has been noted in our system. Please reply to this text to confirm your reservation by TIME otherwise, your slot will be forfeited. Let us know if you have any questions. Thank you!

 

Tips for SMS Success

SMS campaigns rely on two factors–your message and how you deliver it. Below are some best practices when planning and executing your SMS campaigns:

 

  • Get consent

Nothing pushes a potential customer away like sending unsolicited texts. In some cases, this can even be in violation of certain privacy policies. Before starting your SMS campaigns, make sure that your recipients have opted in to receive your message.

 

  • Know your audience

Knowing your target audience means understanding what kinds of messages they want to receive from you. Other things to factor in when considering your audience is the tone of the text, the call to action, and even when to send your SMS.

 

  • Keep texts short and simple

In an SMS, you only have a limited amount of characters to say what you mean. Messages that are short, simple, and direct are often the most effective. Don’t add details that aren’t relevant to your core message.

 

  • Always have a call to action

SMS campaigns should always have a purpose and should always get your customers to act on your message. Adding a call to action can make this purpose clearer to your customer. Depending on the wording, it can even be used to drive more urgent, time-sensitive actions.

 

  • Make texts personal

Unlike other communication channels, text messages can seem personal as it is a one-to-one conversation. The key to making SMS campaigns effective is to make them feel even more personal, like using their first name or preferred name. 

 

  • Let customers know who you are

SMS campaigns serve to both add value to your customer’s experience with your brand and help promote it. Ensure that your brand name is in every text as customers may not have your number saved. The best way to do this is to mention it in your message or create a custom sign-off for every text.

 

Text Your Customers Like a Pro

In this ever-connected world, texting remains one of the most popular and accessible communication forms across the globe. Most people–including your customer base and future prospects–own a mobile phone, making SMS an effective and direct way to reach them.

These text message templates can help jumpstart SMS campaigns that address all areas of your business needs. Try them out and see which texts work and which ones need tweaking. With the right message and best practices, you’re sure to deliver a text message that says everything your customers need to take action at the right moment. 

 

Sometimes, optimizing the returns on your SMS marketing campaigns takes the help of experts. Contact Semaphore today to learn more about our secure SMS marketing solutions!

8 of the Most Effective Marketing Channels for Businesses

Effective Marketing Channels for Businesses

The age of information has brought about a host of new ways and channels for you to reach your audience and grow your brand, not to mention the overwhelming feeling you get as you try to figure out where or how to allocate your marketing resources. 

“Will SEO generate more ROI than PPC? Should I pull the plug on email marketing and shift to SMS marketing instead?” 

Understandably, you want to go for whichever mix has the potential to give the biggest bang for your buck (ROI). But if you try to be active on every channel, you may well be spreading your efforts too thinly and not optimizing your marketing budget.

In this post, we take our pick on the most effective marketing channels for your B2B or B2C business, so you know which baskets to put your eggs in.

Effective Marketing Channels for Businesses - Infographic

Effective B2B Channels

Email

Email will probably never be dislodged from its position as a go-to B2B marketing channel. With email, you can do a myriad of things and get positive results in terms of high open rates, audience reach, and revenue attribution

And because users don’t become your subscribers until they opt in, you can take it as a signal that they would like to hear from you to learn more about your products or services. By delivering personalized content to targeted accounts, you get to demonstrate what or how much value you can deliver to your prospects’ businesses, leading to a relationship based on trust.

Social Media

Undeniably, B2C and B2B social media marketing don’t operate in the same way. B2C focuses on using social platforms to drive brand awareness, traffic, and sales, while B2B brands are more likely to use social media channels for engagement purposes.

For one, B2B marketers tend to leverage social media by engaging in activities that lead to new partnerships. B2B social media marketing is about helping potential customers solve their problems as you provide them with informative content that they in turn feel compelled to share across their networks.

Search Engines

If Google receives over 5 billion searches per day, that’s the number of chances that your brand has for its name to show up on the search engine results pages (SERPs). To put it more realistically, search users will almost always click through the links that appear at the top of the SERPs—which is, of course, where you want to be found.

Your position on SERPs depends on a combination of marketing strategies, which may include search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing. You need to be creating content that not only highlights your authority and expertise but also allows you to rank for your SEO keywords. Alternatively, you can utilize search engine marketing (SEM) or pay-per-click (PPC) ads to be more visible on search engines.

Referrals

Customer referrals have the potential to give quality leads for your business. When satisfied customers spread word about their positive experience with your company, product, or service, their contacts are likely to respond more positively simply because referrals are synonymous to credibility.

Since customers who have been referred to you are already willing to buy, it won’t take so much of your marketing efforts or budget to get them onboard, allowing you to grow your profit more quickly and easily.

SMS

SMS marketing works in the same way as email marketing, where people are supposed to opt in to hear from you. However, the advantage of SMS lies in how attached—literally and figuratively—mobile phone users are to their devices. In fact, statistics say that at any given time, 97% of business professionals in the United States are about 3 feet away from their mobile phone and look at it 150 times on average in a day.

SMS marketing applications for your B2B brand are as varied as can be, including delivery of your web content via URL, status notification, and poll invitations, among others. Needless to mention, you’ll need to communicate your message to B2B customers using a more formal and professional language than what you would use for B2C customers.

Effective B2C Channels

Social Media

Social media makes it on the list again as a powerful marketing channel—this time for B2C audiences— because it’s where highly engaged customers are. Social media users are actively searching for brands that their friends like and which they might take an interest, too.

One of the best practices in B2C social media marketing include paid ads, which is how 27% of internet users find brands and products. However, it also pays to simply be active on social for community building if your goal is to allow customers to get to know you on a more relationship-focused rather than a sales-focused level.

Podcasts

In marketing, storytelling is the strategy for appealing to consumers’ emotions, influencing their purchase decisions, and ultimately, cultivating customer loyalty. Among various content formats, podcasts are arguably the most compelling medium that you can use to incorporate brand messages into your marketing campaigns.

Podcasts allow you to create engaging narratives about your company’s milestones, values, and culture with a lot of creativity as you decide on the theme and topics that will best capture the story that you want to share. Whatever size or type your business is, podcasts provide a venue for you to share your thought leadership in your niche market.

Point-of-Purchase

Some years back, the New York Post delved into a research about retail therapy, which is when people shop to improve their mood or emotional state. The article also mentioned that retail therapy makes up more than a fifth of all shopping purchases among Americans. 

If you’re in the retail business, you can utilize point-of-purchase (POP) displays to sell to in-store shoppers whether they’re part of the impulse buyer or practical spender demographic. The rationale here is that POP marketing materials help in highlighting the product that you want to promote, helping shoppers narrow down their choices and make a final decision as to which they should buy.  

Websites

Having a business website is a must because this is where users go for information about your company, including your contact details, company profile, customer testimonials, and branded content. These things can help you build credibility, make a positive impression with your visitors, and give them a reason to explore your brand. In the same manner, your e-commerce website should include ratings, reviews, or any other type of endorsement that can help boost your business’ social proof.

SMS

SMS connects brands and consumers in more ways than one. As a built-in tool or feature found in virtually every mobile phone, SMS lets you communicate with your target audience, which includes 47% of consumers who prefer to reach or be reached by brands through native text messaging. Perhaps this preference has something to do with the idea that when there’s an alternative to face-to-face interactions with businesses, consumers will still choose to communicate via a messaging system.

On the marketing side, SMS is the fastest way to reach customers and get a response at the same time. This can be extremely useful for time-sensitive promotions where a single text lets you direct consumers immediately to your website or app to make a purchase. In case they’re not ready to buy, you can always send reminder texts the next time around for them to come back and finish shopping.

Need Help with SMS Marketing?

Your B2B organization can benefit from marketing channels that have the ability to generate leads, build relationships, improve ROI, and boost revenue for your business. If you’re a B2C brand, you need to choose marketing channels that allow you to facilitate transactional purchases by motivating customers to buy and simplifying the buying process for them.

Although SMS marketing ticks all of these boxes, not too many businesses recognize its potential as a valuable marketing and communication channel. Often, the problem lies not so much on the technology but rather on the way that it’s used.

 

If you need assistance optimizing returns on your SMS marketing campaigns, contact the bulk SMS experts at Semaphore!  Get the best results with Semaphore’s secure SMS marketing solutions.

5 Success Stories That Will Make You Reconsider SMS Marketing

5 Success Stories That Will Make You Reconsider SMS Marketing

These days, modern marketing involves looking into a range of communication channels, such as social media, search ads, email, websites, and more. However, many brands and businesses miss out on one of the most important channels they can consider for growth—SMS marketing.   

Think about it. Communicating through text messages is far easier, feels more personalized, and is more accessible to mobile consumers—both smartphone and non-smartphone users—since it’s a passively active channel. In comparison with social media ads, search ads, email, and website, your audience would need to be actively using these channels to get your message. 

SMS marketing has been around for some time now, so there’s the inclination to think it’s outdated. But people carry their phones in their pockets every day. One buzz and most mobile users immediately take it out of their pockets to check the message. Whether or not a person’s phone is internet-enabled, these devices are capable of receiving SMS messages. So, why not capitalize on it? 

Mobile marketing is an excellent way to break through the noise and draws in your target audience’s attention quickly. Thought email brought it good ROI? Think again. Statistics show that SMS marketing campaigns perform up to 7x better than email marketing campaigns. 

Still on the fence about it? Don’t fret.

We’ve gathered a few SMS marketing success stories that will inspire you to reconsider the benefits this channel can bring for your business. Hopefully, this infographic will open your eyes to how text message marketing can drive your target audience to engage and convert.

5 Success Stories That Will Make You Reconsider SMS Marketing-Infographic

The Proof is in the Pudding with SMS Marketing 

Seattle Sun Tan 

Seattle Sun Tan used SMS marketing to notify customers of offers and discounts. The amazing thing about their success is the fact that they didn’t have a database of customers’ mobile numbers before trying out a text marketing service. This means they built their database from zero to thousands.

They promoted their text campaign in-store, to their pre-existing email database, on their website, and other online and traditional channels. Not long after, they were able to grow their SMS subscribers to exactly 4,774 in 30 days. Their initial SMS campaign offered new text subscribers $20 off their next purchase, and it saw a redemption rate of 57% and generated about $196,100 in sales. What’s more impressive is customers who claimed the SMS offer also spent $500 more than those who didn’t receive the text offers. 

Offers, discounts, coupons, and other gift campaigns that attract impressive redemption rates are some of the best uses of text marketing. The direct and immediate channel assures that even your time-sensitive messages will reach your customers and most get read as soon as they receive it. 

Eu Natural 

Eu Natural, a herbal supplement brand, text-enabled their business to draw in additional sales, retain customers after their initial purchase, and offer exclusive promos. Their initial campaign involved encouraging customers to text in an exclusive customer keyword to redeem a free bottle with their purchase. This free bottle promotion that ran for months increased their customer base, as a large portion of them came back for more. 

They also used SMS marketing for time-sensitive alerts, such as their Black Friday campaign, which registered a 563% ROI. SMS marketing has also helped Eu Natural to create their exclusive inner circle community, where VIP and loyal customers get to access special messages, be the first to find out about new products, and get special discounts and freebies. 

Text marketing is a quick and easy way to make sure that your time-sensitive promos and messages get read immediately, which is great for time-sensitive announcements that you’d like your audience to act on fast, such as product launches, limited-time promos, sales offers, coupons, and more. 

4theCultr

4theCultr is a relatively new superstore that helps bridge the gap between consumers and black-owned businesses. They used text marketing to connect with customers and provide the best experience possible, as it’s one of the brand’s primary missions. 

They aim to make a positive impression from the first point of contact, which is when someone opt-ins to their SMS marketing. One of the ways to generate subscribers is through checkout, and it proves effective since 86% of their customers that have subscribed to their text marketing did so at checkout. 

Moreover, they send abandoned cart notifications within 30 minutes of leaving their cart along with an acknowledgement of their current situation (i.e., difficult times brought by the pandemic). This first automation step pulls in an 18% CTR with a conversion rate of 100%. Using a psychological touch-point and abandonment reminders through SMS, customers end up pushing through with their order. 

SMS marketing helps you realize the importance of communication from the moment they opt-in to post-purchase care. Being understanding of their situation and keeping them in the loop at every stage of their customer journey builds trust, which can be better achieved with a personal channel like SMS. 

Dreamland Baby 

Dreamland Baby was founded by a mother of four, who aimed to help other parents (and babies) out there get a more restful sleep with a weighted blanket. They used social media to drive traffic, but not a lot of visitors made it to checkout, so they used text marketing to encourage customers to check out their cart. 

When Dreamland Baby started using text marketing and sent out its first SMS marketing campaign, their ROI was an astonishing 2000%, with their first month’s sales climbing up to 300%. Tara Williams, their founder, said the boost in numbers was possible due to customers being exposed to promotions from different channels, with text messaging as the final call-to-action personal approach that helps seal the deal. 

Since 94% of Dreamland Baby’s audience is on mobile, SMS marketing made it easier and convenient to reach them instantly compared to email campaigns. With text messaging, customers get to see a personalized message along with a discount code immediately. 

Through the support of SMS campaigns, you can re-engage customers when they stop opening emails or visiting your website. A simple follow up on text reminding your text subscribers to check your email for an exclusive offer can increase your email open rates. 

Yesterday’s Books 

Yesterday’s Books is the largest independent bookshop in California and has been around for decades. Instead of setting up an e-commerce store, they opted to have their landline number text-enabled to manage customer orders. 

The bookstore started using SMS marketing to continue its operations during the pandemic in 2020. Initially, the store owner set up an online form where customers could place their book request. However, problems like customers missing the response and lags between the follow-up and customer’s response with the approach kept happening. Since their customers had known their landline for 40 years, they had it text-enabled. 

This allowed the owner to follow up with book requests by SMS. The primary upside to shifting to text was the speed of response. Around 90% of their customers appreciated their text messaging. The convenience and speed of text make it easy to manage orders and minimizes the back-and-forth with customers. 

The fast and direct nature of text messaging makes it a fantastic channel for delivering excellent customer service. You can even use SMS bots to address basic questions while directing complex and sensitive inquiries to your trained support team. 

Ready to Reconsider SMS Marketing? 

SMS marketing success stories, especially during recent times, prove that this channel is here to stay and it remains just as effective and efficient for boosting sales, improving the customer experience, and driving growth in support with other marketing channels. This indispensable medium’s targeted communication lets you have a 1-on-1 conversation with your customers like no other.

If you’re considering incorporating SMS into your marketing strategy, Semaphore can help you extend your reach without the complicated setup. For smart SMS marketing solutions, contact the SMS experts at Semaphore.

Unlocking the Power of SMS Marketing

Unlocking the Power of SMS Marketing (Banner)

Messaging apps have become so popular that it’s not uncommon for people to have more than one of them on their phone. Given the ubiquity of these apps, you may think that SMS (short message service), more commonly known as text messages, is a thing of the past. But don’t jump to conclusions too soon.

The truth is, SMS is still very much alive. Unlike online messaging apps, there is no need to download anything to be able to send or receive text messages on the phone. Even without an internet connection, it’s possible to use regular text messaging service to reach out to people.

It’s no wonder that SMS has been gaining traction in the marketing world, with more and more companies using it to generate sales and grow their business. Just take a look at how the adoption rates of SMS marketing are growing:

  • In 2018, the market size of SMS marketing in the United States was valued at $3.5 billion (the compound annual growth rate of SMS marketing is estimated at 20.3% from 2019 to 2025).
  • Forecasts for 2023 estimate that there will be 3.5 trillion SMS business messages sent during this period, compared with 2.5 trillion business SMSs sent in 2019.

From these figures alone, it’s quite easy to see that people are recognizing the power of SMS marketing to rise alongside, or even outperform, other marketing channels. In line with this trend, here’s an infographic to help you realize the value of SMS marketing and learn how to effectively incorporate it into your growth strategies.

Unlocking the Power of SMS Marketing (Infographic)

Getting to Know SMS Marketing 

How long ago did you last check your phone? Probably just a few minutes earlier, and chances are, as soon as you’re done reading this, the next thing you’ll do is to reach out for your phone and see if a new message has come in.

Similarly, your prospects and customers are in the habit of checking their phone often. In fact, a study that surveyed Americans found that, on average, 10% check their phones more than 20 times an hour.

With phones becoming more and more indispensable for a lot of people, text messaging can open a line of communication with customers. And when it comes to sending business messages to consumers, SMS marketing has the potential to be one of the most effective communication channels. 

What Makes SMS Marketing Good for Your Business?

1. SMS marketing yields positive results for your campaigns.

We cannot overemphasize how people are becoming more and more attached to their phone, which makes SMS marketing ideal not only for driving engagement, but also for increasing sales.

Text messages get opened and read almost immediately after they’re sent, which is incredible compared to their email counterparts. People read 98% of all SMS messages, but only 20% of emails. Likewise, people may choose not to answer your sales calls, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

On the contrary, mobile messaging lets you get instant feedback from customers as they reply to your message with a given keyword or click the link to a landing page on your website.

And if your offers are attractive enough for customers, they’re also highly likely to drive purchases. Altogether, these things make SMS marketing a profitable investment for your business.

2. SMS marketing answers consumers’ want for personalization.

At some point, consumers may feel overwhelmed with all the information, content, or marketing messages that they receive, especially those that aren’t relevant to them.

Since SMS marketing enables you to reach customers directly on their mobile device, it feels like there’s a more personal touch to it. Of course, it’s also a must to customize your message based on what you know about them, including the links they’ve clicked, where they’re located, their past purchases, and any other preferences they’ve made clear.

3. SMS marketing ensures fast delivery of messages.

SMS marketing campaigns are pretty straightforward. After creating your message and choosing your contacts, your message gets pushed through an SMS gateway and delivered to customers straight on their mobile device. What this means is that in a matter of minutes, you’ll have spread the word about your brand, product, or service to your target audience.

You can send any of the following messages to people in your contact list:

  • Campaign messages—These are text messages that you send in bulk to as many people as possible. They are promotional in nature, so anything under sales, events, or marketing news will fall under this category.
  • Transactional messages—These are one-to-one messages that you send to subscribers when they complete a specific action. For example, when users place an order through your app, you can send them an order confirmation or status on their phone.

Tips for Effective SMS Marketing

Grow your database of contacts

There are multiple ways to do this: have your recipients text-in to a dedicated virtual number, sign up on your website or online store, or provide their contact number when they visit you in-store. Whichever strategy you use, make sure to always give customers a way to opt-in to or opt-out of your SMS campaigns.

Always include your company’s name in text messages

The messages you send out will typically show a number code or short code assigned to your business. Unless you specify your company name within your text, there could be no way for your recipients to know who the sender is. This may prevent your campaigns from getting the mileage you want.

Track your campaigns

The platform that SMS marketing service providers use allows you to track how many of your messages have been received, who’s clicking your links, what links they clicked, response rates, and so on. You can use these insights to determine if your messages are effective or if your campaigns are performing up to par, so you can plan for further improvements.

Take Advantage of SMS Marketing Today!

SMS marketing may be an underrated strategy, but it works great for many businesses that want to communicate with customers in a fast, easy, convenient, and personal manner. If you haven’t done so, don’t you think it’s time that you take advantage of SMS marketing?

 

Learn more about SMS marketing from Semaphore. We offer the most effective solutions in SMS marketing to help your overall business goals!

New Features From Semaphore!

Just Released! OTP Endpoint

We’re happy to let our users know that we have a new endpoint available in our API. This endpoint automates the creation of OTP and messages via our API. Now generating an OTP is as simple as making an API call. The endpoint takes the same parameters as our regular message endpoints.

The only modification is that you need to do is place the string “{otp}” in your message as a placeholder wherever you want the code to show up in your message. For instance using the following message:

“Thanks for registering. Your passcode for login is {otp}. Please use this code within 5 minutes”

would return the message

“Thanks for registering. Your passcode for login is 123456. Please use this code within 5 minutes”

If you don’t add the placeholder, no problem! We’ll insert it for you at the bottom of the message. For instance the message:

“Thanks for registering”

would return the message

“Thanks for registering. Your One Time Password is 123456”

Once you make the API call, the OTP code is returned as the “code” parameter in the response. Temporarily store this code in your system to verify your user is using the correct code.

Now SMS OTP couldn’t be easier! Give it a try today! 

For more information, check out our API docs at https://semaphore.co/docs

 

 

 

How to Identify and Avoid SMS Scams [Infographic]

How to Avoid SMS Scams (Banner)

Unwanted messages, calls, emails, and solicitations bombard people on a regular basis. Those who know better simply hit delete or ignore them, quickly identifying that these are scams. However, not everyone is as well-informed when it comes to identifying such schemes, especially in times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many scammers take advantage of crises or times of fear to prey on the vulnerable for monetary purposes. Their tactics include phishing emails and sending attachments (claiming to provide more information about the virus) to deliver malware. Data shows that in the UK, there have been reports of more than 500 COVID-19-related scams and over 2,000 phishing attempts to exploit fears, with a total loss of £1.6 million.

Email and social media networks are known channels where users should keep watch of fraudsters, but there’s another important channel that people should look out for scams: SMS.

Roughly 5 billion people around the world can send and receive SMS messages, which makes them a great channel for potential scammers. Let’s have a look at more interesting facts about SMS messaging:

  • Text messages have a 98% open rate.
  • 10% of SMS marketing messages are spam as opposed to roughly 50% of email messages.
  • 31% of mobile users have received an SMS message from unknown senders asking them to click on a suspicious link. 
  • Around 92% of text spam messages fall under the scam/fraud category. 

As online shopping and mobile banking become more prevalent, smartphones are making it more convenient to connect and perform transactions online. That said, the more connected we are, the easier it is for us to become targets for fraudsters.  

Below is a quick infographic to help you spot common SMS scams and avoid falling into their traps.

How to Avoid SMS Scams

An Overview of SMS Scams 

Spam SMS

In India alone, a survey shows that about 96% of Indians receive unsolicited text messages daily, and 70% of them still receive spam messages despite registering on the “do not disturb” (DND) list. Spam messages are usually harmless promotional material, but some are more malicious and aim to acquire the target recipient’s name, address, and even bank details.

Spam SMS is glaringly obvious sometimes, yet many people still fall for it. The best you can do is not show any interest in what the suspicious message requests for or promotes. 

Phishing SMS

Data shows that there has been a significant spike in SMS phishing in 2018, mainly targeting the financial sector. Mobile-specific phishing tools imitate login screens of legitimate mobile apps, making it more difficult to track and respond to compared to traditional phishing attacks. 

Phishing for personal details over SMS is common via hyperlinks. Watch out for the domain URL as it can look similar to the company’s actual domain but with subtle differences. For instance, a phishing domain might use something like “supportatapple.com,” whereas the official Apple support domain is “support.apple.com.”

SMS Originator Spoofing

SMS originator is also known in the industry as SMS Sender ID or sender. The spoofing happens when the malicious hacker alters their sender ID and uses the display name or number of the identity they’re trying to imitate. This tricks the recipient into trusting the sender and into providing the information they’re asking for. 

Spoofing scams aren’t easy to spot right away since they pose as a reputable brand or company. One way to avoid them is to confirm the message’s validity through the brand directly on another channel, whether via social media networks or email. If you suspect anything fishy, always double check by verifying.

SMS Malware Attack

In 2018, there was a jump in activity of a backdoor malware app targeting Android devices. It tricked mobile users into installing the app by sending SMS messages redirecting to a third-party download site, exposing the devices to attacks. 

Malware attacks give cybercriminals access to just about anything on your phone. You can’t vaccinate your smartphone, but you can steer clear of malware attacks by being wary of what not to click. You can also install an antivirus app on your smartphone to protect it against viruses or various types of malware. 

Common SMS Scam Tactics

SMS scams are on the rise as more people become knowledgeable enough to spot traditional email phishing schemes and other fraudulent messages. These messages are often sent from an automated dialing system aiming at a specific area code or region. Meanwhile, the mobile numbers are obtained by stealing customer information from banks, companies, or elsewhere on the internet

SMS/text message fraud is inevitable in a mobile-first world. But the growing threat of text messaging fraud brings greater opportunity for online criminal activity. The most common fraud schemes used are family emergency texts to shake up the victims, refund scams, account reactivation text, random prize or giveaway scams with a catch, and delivery scams.

Many scammers masquerade as a business or as a familiar brand to provide a sense of legitimacy and they usually use persuasion techniques to drive their targets to bite. 

Tactics like these work because they attack a user’s pain points and vulnerabilities, motivating them to act against their better judgement. Furthermore, text messaging doesn’t have a stringent filter software like emails do, making it harder to detect fraud. 

More Tips to Avoid SMS Scams

  • Don’t click on any unknown messages with suspicious links.
  • Do report SMS scam messages or file a complaint with your carrier or raise the issue to the brand or company being imitated so they can alert their customers.
  • Don’t respond or engage with suspicious messages, especially those that sound too good to be true.
  • Do update the passwords you use online, specifically your online banking passwords. This is important if you think you may have already fallen victim to a scam. Resetting your passwords will make it difficult for the hacker to continue accessing your account.
  • Don’t give away your personal information willy-nilly. Reputable brands generally don’t ask for your personal information out of nowhere. You won’t fall victim to SMS scams if you ignore the message or click on a link.
  • Do conduct a quick search to check if the number appears on spam-check or phone number lookup sites. Always verify the domain of legitimate websites.
  • Don’t indulge in messages that urge a quick response. Contact the bank or business associated with them to check if it is a legitimate request.
  • Do install a trusted anti-virus app on your phone to protect it against Trojans, spyware, or viruses, and download only from the official app store. 

Don’t Fall Victim to SMS Scams

There can be a lot of anxiety about receiving malware, spams, and getting scammed through SMS messages. Scammers only have one goal in mind: to steal your data for their own benefit. It’s important to be more dubious of any SMS messages you receive that aren’t from the people or brands that you trust. There’s no harm in being diligent and careful to keep yourself from doing something you’ll regret. 

Scams won’t ever stop coming. You can get rid of a few, but more schemes will pop up again in the future as motivated hackers become more sophisticated in their methods. 

 

Are you a business or brand looking for a trustworthy SMS marketing tool? Semaphore offers reputable SMS solutions that help businesses provide a better customer experience for their audience.

An Exciting Update About Semaphore

Dear Semaphore Customers

We are thrilled to announce that Semaphore has been acquired and is now being operated by Sombra Inc, a leading provider of internet services and software development for small businesses. While this may seem like a big change, you are still in great hands! The same people who originally developed Semaphore are part of the new organization!

What does this mean for you?

On a day-to-day basis, it’s business as usual. Your SMS messages will continue to be delivered uninterrupted. Going forward there are many new features planned for next year including support for multiple users and accounts, one-stop OTP solutions, scheduled blasts and much more.

Will there be any downtime?

The Semaphore service should remain operational as most of the transition has already taken place. There may be a brief outage for email as we transfer the semaphore.co mail domain to another service but this will be scheduled during a low period and we will provide advance notice and alternative emails to use

What about OR requests?

All OR requests from December 16, 2019 onwards will come from Sombra, Inc.
Any outstanding requests will be completed this week. ORs for transactions before December 16, 2019 will still come from Kickstart.

What does this mean for us?

Semaphore now has new resources and capabilities to continue driving value for you and your customers. We are committed to providing the same high quality service you’re used to as well as providing a fresh approach to new features, support and development going forward.

Our story continues…

Semaphore started out 6 years ago as a quick and easy way for businesses in the Philippines to connect with their customers via SMS. It was then that helping small businesses thrive in today’s digital economy became our mission. As we move forward in our next chapter our mission is the same and we now have more resources, tools and staff to support you as we continue to grow together.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one customer for putting your trust in us over the last 6 years and bringing us to where we are today. We come to work everyday for you. This commitment is stronger than ever during this exciting time!

Please feel free to reach out if you have any comments, questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Rex and the Semaphore team!

Happy New Year and a big thank you from Semaphore!

Thanks to you, our customers, 2017 was a record breaking year for Semaphore and 2018 is shaping up to be even bigger! As you might recall, we successfully launched our new and improved platform early last year.

As a result of our growth, late last year we experienced a few growing pains involving messages being delayed by minutes and sometimes even hours. To start off the year we’ve been working hard to make the platform as fast and reliable as possible. To achieve those goals we’ve made a few key changes to the way messages are handled as follows:

Single Messages 
Single messages are now processed before bulk messages, meaning that if you send a message to one recipient, that message is prioritized over a message being sent to multiple recipients in a single API request. This should solve the issue where bulk marketing messages end up clogging the queues and delaying messages.

Priority Messages
We’ve also implemented priority messages and corresponding API endpoint which allows your message to skip to the front of the line on both the “bulk” and “single” message queues. To prevent abuse, this “priority messages” cost 2 credits (instead of 1 credit) per 160 character message.

To use this method just change the API endpoint from /api/v4/messages to /api/v4/priority. Priority messages have a guaranteed SLA of 10 minutes. The priority endpoint is not rate limited. This is good for time sensitive messages like one-time passwords or two factor authentication.

API Connection Limits
Starting April 1, 2018 all non-priority API requests will be limited to 30 requests per minute. If your system is sending the same message to multiple numbers, please make a single request to /api/v4/messages and specify multiple numbers (comma separated) in the ‘recipient’ field.

These features are currently in beta so let us know if you have any problems–we appreciate your feedback! Our documentation has been updated and can be found at https://semaphore.co/docs. Thanks again for helping us to be the best way to send SMS in the Philippines and please do let us know if there’s anything else we can do to help either through the chat widget on our websites, by emailing support@semaphore.co or through our Facebook page.

As always, thanks for choosing Semaphore!
Your Semaphore Team