We’re simultaneously still reeling from the excitement of the last Activate Summit North America while also gearing up for the next one. Each session shared at Activate in September gave attendees invaluable marketing insights for a variety of industries and channels.
In this limited series we’re covering a handful of the most loved sessions in-depth, providing skimmable, sharable tidbits. How is our memory that good, you ask? It’s not! All of the session recordings are available on-demand right now. We know not everyone has 30 minutes to watch a recording, so we’re providing a written breakdown of some of these sessions (but we do strongly recommend listening to the speakers tell it themselves. They do much better than we ever could).
How to Confidently Leverage SMS as a Marketing Channel
How to Confidently Leverage SMS as a Marketing Channel was presented by Brad Blanken, VP of Strategic Alliances at Telnyx. Telnyx, an Iterable partner, is a global connectivity platform that provides carrier-grade services on a private, cloud-agnostic IP network. Its Voice, Messaging, Numbering, Video, Wireless, Fax, and Security solutions are accessible through RESTful APIs and its award-winning Mission Control Portal.
At Telnyx, Brad’s role, as he put it, is to “help carriers, vendors, and industry players make texting work better.” But Brad has been working in the messaging space since its inception in the mid-’90s. He played a strong role in short-code messaging (he uses American Idol voting or texting to donate as an example), amber alerts, and more. He’s the go-to guy for SMS.
If you’re looking for a go-to guide for SMS marketing, check out The Savvy Marketer’s Guide to Building a Stellar SMS Strategy.
Speaking of SMS, Brad began by talking about SMS relevancy. Does it even matter anymore? Is it a dying form of communication, or is it thriving? Turns out, it’s thriving. As Brad said, “people don’t answer the phone anymore, so texting becomes even more important.”
He went on to talk about the trends, metrics, and challenges of SMS marketing.
- Owned channel for direct customer communication
- Consumer consent
- Creating intimate relationships
- Sense of immediacy
- Often used for basic interactions (password resets, two-factor authentication, etc.)
- Metrics include delivery rate, opt-in rate, unsubscribe rate, click-through rate, conversion, acquisitions, list growth, and more
- Time of day, CTAs, and campaign types can determine efficacy
- Perceived as expensive
- Reliant on performance
- Organizations need to be metrics-driven
- ROI, acquisition costs, and long-term value need to be able to support an SMS program
Once he covered why SMS marketing is appealing to brands—and addressed some challenges—he talked about how brands can leverage SMS.
How to Leverage SMS
When considering an SMS marketing program for your brand, you should consider the regulations and carrier compliance. Phone calls are highly and consistently regulated. No matter where or how you get a phone call, they need to feel the same. With SMS messaging, there are an array of regulations brands need to follow that can differ depending on a variety of different variables. For example, there are federal, international, and private (carrier) SMS regulations.
The fun twist is that if you follow federal regulations you may still not be compliant with carrier regulations and if you’re only following carrier regulations, your messaging may not be legal. It can be complicated so Brad advises brands to 1) pick a messaging partner that can guarantee both legal and carrier compliance and 2) consult with internal counsel.
Once brands have set themselves up for success from a regulatory standpoint, they can move onto some of the following use cases—the five “I”s.
The Five “I”s of SMS Marketing
These messages are sent with urgency and are often received as an opportunity. Examples include flash sales or two-factor authentication.
These messages have valuable and needed information. Examples include news alerts, sports scores, delivery notifications, etc.
These messages show customers that your brand really knows and understands them. Examples include political messages, milestone messages, or targeted messages.
These messages encourage personalized and customized engagements that grow loyalty. Examples include appointment reminders, requests for feedback, the customers’ name in text, abandoned carts, and behavior-based coupons.
While not a type of message, interoperability speaks to how messaging can work globally to connect your brand to your customers. Working with a partner can help you navigate these complexities to ensure you’re delivering the most bang for your buck.
How Iterable + Telnyx Can Help
To round-out the presentation, Iterable’s Senior Solutions Consultant, Alyssa Roe, walked through a quick demo of some of the features within Iterable that enable brands to create captivating SMS marketing campaigns.
Through Iterable’s Studio, you can easily design a drag-and-drop journey that incorporates SMS. By pulling in specific lists, Alyssa demonstrates how the example brand “Choco Drop” can automatically send a text message to subscribers who have made a purchase in the last six months.
Not only is the journey personalized to send only to those customers who have made a purchase recently, but the messaging itself can be tailored to each individual customer. With dynamic content, the SMS message featured in the demo pulled each users’ favorite chocolate into the text.
Link Shortener and Click Tracking
Because SMS ROI can sometimes be difficult to measure, we introduced the link shortener and click tracking. The link shortener lets you include your domain’s links with tracking parameters without going over the character limit per message.
The click tracking adds a click event to a user’s profile once they’ve clicked a link. From there, you can look at sophisticated attribution models, incorporate deep linking, or include dynamic URLs for each user.
But That’s Not All
Brad and Alyssa showed both the importance of SMS messaging as part of an overall strategy and how Iterable can help brands create an effective SMS strategy. With our latest product release, which includes Iterable SMS, brands can take their mobile messaging to the next level. Be sure to join us for our Product Showcase to learn more.
If you’re interested in coming to the next Activate North America, registration is open! What are you waiting for? Get your tickets today.