Cellphones are practically a requirement to participate in the modern world. Research shows that 97% of Americans have a cellphone of some kind, with 85% owning a smartphone. Brands can take advantage of these statistics by employing SMS marketing strategies.
SMS stands for short message service, although most people just call it text messaging. SMS marketing allows you to send short texts to your subscribers with promotional offers, updates, and more.
Below, we’ll unravel the strategies and benefits that make SMS marketing a powerful tool for developing your community and elevating your brand.
Understanding Community SMS Marketing
Before we can dive into understanding community SMS marketing, we need to understand what community marketing is.
Community marketing is a strategy with the overall goal of uniting your audience through topics that relate to your brand and doing so in a way that puts that audience at the center of your efforts.
Community SMS marketing uses text messaging to foster this community. It can be used alongside other types of community marketing strategies, like articles and blog posts, events, newsletters, and social media. By choosing an end-to-end customer relationship management (CRM) system like Norby, you’ll be able to seamlessly integrate SMS messaging into the rest of your marketing strategy.
As mentioned above, almost everyone owns a cellphone, meaning SMS messages are accessible to billions of people. But there are other benefits to utilizing SMS marketing to build your community, like:
- Higher engagement: People are more likely to open and click through SMS messages than other methods of communication, like emails.
- Trackable: Systems like Norby allow you to track and view your analytics so you can see how different messages are performing and tailor your marketing strategy accordingly.
- Control: SMS marketing allows you to send messages directly to your recipients without relying on third-party services.
With SMS marketing, you can send a range of messages to connect with your audience and build a community, including:
- Promotional messages: SMS marketing is a great platform for promoting your products, services, or events. By including a call to action, you can persuade recipients to sign up for your service or purchase your product in one click.
- Transactional messages: Transactional messages are sent after a customer completes some sort of transaction with your brand, like a purchase or reservation. This is an excellent way to send things like payment confirmations or shipping updates.
- Relationship-building messages: These are the most important messages for community building. These messages foster a connection with your subscribers by offering exclusive, exciting content.
By developing a targeted community SMS marketing strategy, you’ll be able to connect with your community and foster community engagement. Platforms like Norby allow you to send and manage SMS messages through the platform, so you aren't using your own phone number to reach your subscribers.
Building Your SMS Marketing Strategy
To develop an effective community SMS marketing strategy, there are several things you’ll need to consider.
One of the most important steps is determining what you want to accomplish with your SMS marketing, and focusing on those goals and objectives. If your primary goal is to build a community, you’ll want to come up with ideas for SMS messages that bring your community together, like motivational messages, daily mantras, or polls.
A great way to build your community through SMS marketing is by segmenting your subscriber list. Segmenting allows you to divide your list by certain demographics and send specific SMS messages to specific groups of subscribers. For example, a text with Fourth of July style tips is great for American subscribers but doesn’t have the same impact for subscribers in other countries.
Above everything else, as you develop your SMS marketing strategy, you need to get permission from your subscribers to send them messages. The best way to do so is to have a checkbox on your sign-up page so your audience can opt in. Without consent, you can end up with fines of up to $1,500 per text!
Crafting Compelling SMS Content
Crafting engaging SMS messages isn’t the same as crafting engaging emails. Most of the time, you’re limited to just 160 characters in an SMS message, meaning your texts need to be short but immediately compelling.
When trying to build a community through SMS marketing, you want these messages to offer value that fosters a connection with your audience. For example, you can include content such as:
- Behind-the-scenes content
- Daily mantras or affirmations
- Links to blog posts or podcast episodes
- Motivational messages
- Polls or surveys
- Styling tips
Due to their short length, SMS messages provide the perfect format to put a quick note and a call to action. This can be a link to a sign-up, pre-order, or product page. You can also add links to your landing page, social media posts, blog, and more.
SMS marketing is also great for promoting exclusive content, offers, and promotions. A short text is all that’s needed, and it can create a sense of urgency that gets your audience to take action.
Integrating SMS Marketing With Other Community Engagement Tools
When you choose an end-to-end CRM system like Norby, you’ll be able to integrate SMS messaging alongside other digital marketing channels like social media and email. This allows you to manage all of your marketing campaigns from one central platform.
But don’t take our word for it; check out these brands that successfully integrated SMS marketing into their broader community engagement strategy.
Sad Girls Club
Sad Girls Club, a mental health and wellness nonprofit that provides access, education, and support to women of color, was looking for a way to organize its growing community, and it found Norby.
Through Norby, Sad Girls Club was able to use email, SMS messaging, events, and sign-ups to communicate with members across the world. The group gained 600 sign-ups in less than four weeks, saw increased event attendance, and now manages more than 2,800 members with SMS messaging.
For Others is a responsibly sourced clothing brand that takes a portion of its sales and reinvests those funds back into the local communities where its items are sold. The brand had previously been using Linktree but wanted a more comprehensive CRM solution.
Upon joining Norby, For Others took advantage of tools like email marketing, analytics, and landing pages that could be customized to the brand. These new tools had the biggest impact on its pre- and post-event emails, which saw increased open and click-through rates.
CADO Market is an experiential art fair and makers market that focuses specifically on showcasing Philadelphia's Black artists, small businesses, and makers. Cado Market ran into issues when promoting its Juneteenth event, as it needed a platform that highlighted each vendor and made it easy for guests to purchase tickets.
CADO Market found the perfect platform in Norby, which not only provided it with an SMS messaging platform, link tools, and landing pages but also served as a community sponsor. With Norby's help, the event brought in 30 vendors and 150 attendees. It also saw a 500% increase in customer interactions and dozens of newsletter sign-ups.
Cubicle to CEO
Cubicle to CEO, a weekly podcast hosted by Ellen Yin, features interviews with leading entrepreneurs and CEOs. Its team was looking to drive podcast downloads as well as find meaningful ways to engage with the podcast’s audience.
With Norby’s SMS tools, Cubicle to CEO subscribers get new episodes sent directly to their phones each week, as well as information about upcoming events, webinars, and resources. The podcast has doubled its monthly podcast download rate and found that its show-up rates for live digital or in-person events increased by at least 20% when it used Norby’s SMS Text Sends.
Measuring and Analyzing SMS Campaign Success
You can use the analytics your platform gathers to get to know your audience better and plan out the next steps in your marketing strategy.
Norby allows you to track several key metrics for your SMS messaging campaigns, including:
- How many people received your SMS messages
- How many messages failed to be sent or could not be delivered
- The date and time that your messages were sent
- If anyone unsubscribed from your messages
- How many people opened links from your SMS messages, if you included any
These analytics can help you tailor your messages to your specific audience. For example, you might find that using individual names rather than a generic greeting leads to more clicks. You may also find that you have greater success when you send messages after working hours rather than right away in the morning.
With this information, you can adjust your marketing strategy to yield the best results, whether your goal is just to say hello or to get your subscribers to take action.
The Future of Community SMS Marketing
With technology trends the way they are, smartphones are set to only increase in popularity. This means that SMS marketing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The technology landscape is constantly changing, and as a result, new tools are on the horizon for SMS marketing. For example, personalized AI-driven messages allow you to easily create and customize messages for your subscribers. You’ll be able to streamline your marketing process and focus more on your overall marketing strategy.
Another change coming is the switch from SMS marketing to Rich Communication Services (RCS) marketing. This type of messaging uses Wi-Fi and LTE/5G to send and receive messages. As a result, these messages offer features like read receipts, location sharing, high-resolution media, and group chats.
Currently, not all phones and carriers support RCS messaging, but when they do, you’ll be able to elevate your text messages to catch your subscribers’ attention, elevate your brand, and build your community.
Leverage the Potential of Community SMS Marketing With Norby
Community SMS marketing offers a simple, convenient, and effective way to build and connect with your community. Incorporating SMS messaging into your community marketing strategy will help you foster meaningful connections and develop a more engaged audience.
Norby provides a full-scale CRM platform to help you manage and engage your customer base. Schedule a call with Norby to learn more about community SMS marketing.