6 Simple steps to drive a response from
SMS marketing for small business

So you’re probably thinking: “My business is too small for SMS marketing. I don’t have enough customers for it to be worthwhile.”  What if we told you it’s easy to use techniques big businesses use. Would you give it a go?

With the right messaging and offer, SMS marketing can be an extremely cost effective, fast and direct means of winning more business, no matter how big or small your business.

Here’s how you can drive dollars by hitting your customers with relevant and worthwhile SMS marketing.

Let’s use ‘Lucy’s High Street Hair Salon’ as an example.

Step 1. Start with your goal.

Is it to get more customers…? Sell more products…?  Drive return business? What are you hoping to achieve from your SMS campaign? Writing this down, believe it or not, will help you achieve your desired outcome. Be as specific as you like, even put a revenue target in there.

Lucy would like to bring in $1000 worth of extra revenue by then end of the month.

Step 2. Offer Something Unique and Tangible:

The basics of savvy marketing need to be applied.

“20% off at Lucys Salon”..

YAWN.  This is vague and unenticing, a number is not an offer.  You may only have 161 characters, but you can still be specific and interesting. Paint a picture for what the customer is getting.

 How about:

“Get a free cut with your next colour”

Making the offer tangible encourages thought engagement and a likely response.  Essentially this is still a 20% discount, but it’s presented in a more evocative way. Make sure you demonstrate the value, e.g. it may be for free, but no harm telling them it’s worth $60.

Step 3.  Exclusivity

People are funny creatures, we want to be part of the group, gang, club etc.  We want to have access to things others may not have access to- It sounds cheesy, but exclusivity triggers action. Enter existing customer special offers, and member’s only discounts.

How about:

 “Only available to existing friends of Lucy’s Salon.”

Step 4. Deadline

Without this, apathy will kill your message. eg. “That Sounds great, but I will do it later..” and later never comes and you have yourself an SMS Marketing fail.  You need to create urgency- Urgency gives the customer less time to think and drives impulse response. Tell them to take it or they will miss out!

Something like:

 “Only valid for bookings made before Friday.”

Step 5. Call to action
Essential to convert your offer into dollars. Without this, you are branding rather than acquiring. Small businesses don’t have time or money to brand, everything you do needs to bring in dollars!

Let’s try: 

Call now to book or reply ‘Free Cut’ to this message!”

Step 6. The Fun Part…SMS Messaging.

So using the above 5 steps, you might find you’ve got yourself a couple of sentences to use, and various messages. So how are we going to get that down to 160 or so characters?

First of all… no GEN Y speak!  Full words only here, remember you are communicating to your clients, not your teenage daughter. Secondly, shorten words and numbers, cut out non-essential parts of the communication. Don’t forget an opt out for the recipient… don’t burn those ever important clients by annoying them!

Here are the non-condensed messages:

Exclusive offer for friends of Lucy’s Hair Salon High Street, get a free cut with your next hair colour (normally valued at $50). Simply call 0355550000 or reply ‘Free Cut’ to this message to redeem. This offer ends Friday August 31st, 2013. To opt out please reply ‘stop’ to this number.


I invite anyone to critique or asks questions about the above, I’m always happy to help out where I can, happy messaging!

This is a guest blog from Andrew Steven, Online Marketing Manager at http://www.smscentral.com.au

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