One-off text messages do not create a meaningful conversation between consumer and brand. And it’s customer engagement, more than anything else, that increases store and site visits, purchases and loyalty.
Creating a conversation takes practice. SMS marketing campaigns needs to be planned so they bring the consumer back repeatedly, not just offer a one-time promotion which can be accepted or rejected.
Some companies are offering information to keep their customers engaged, as with financial institutions that provide real-time market data or ski resorts that have up-to-the-minute forecasts. One gas station case study talked about customers who were given a very different kind of information: opt-in customers to a full-service station would receive text message alerts as to the date of the next gas price hike. This would bring a rush of business to the station, where other products and promotions were offered as well.
One nightclub started a successful mobile marketing campaign by holding invitation-only events. What made this succeed is that the invitations were sent only to opt-in mobile marketing customers — who would then have to hold up their cell phones to show their invites at the door! Bands and music groups and solo artists have regularly been posting concert appearances on their websites and via social media sites, but now use SMS marketing techniques as well, even within shows. For example, one band sent lucky ticket-holders text messages during their performance, telling them where to pick up the free concert souvenirs they had won.
Community-based organizations, schools and churches use text marketing programs to remind members of upcoming events, activities and meetings. While these SMS messages aren’t necessarily to get people to buy a product, there’s an incalculable spin-off benefit. The widespread use of SMS marketing services in so many segments of society and for reasons other than selling makes opting-in easier for many people who might not otherwise even consider doing so.