Did you know that more than 90% of local businesses in UAE are using SMS marketing as an “easy” channel to reach customers? While few are getting results, 97% of the businesses we surveyed are complaining about not getting the desired results from their bulk SMS campaigns.
Here are the top 3 reasons why bulk SMS marketing may not be working for you:
Marketing companies claim to have hundreds or thousands of mobile numbers categorized by nationality, age, status, etc. Anyone can believe this anymore these days?? Based on the survey we conducted among companies using bulk SMS providers, we found those claims to be unsubstantiated. These companies simply purchase SMS databases from one another. Which mostly obtained by scanning the internet.
Only a few digital marketing companies in the world have reached this level of commercial intelligence without access to government or telecom customer databases, examples are Google and Facebook. We know that their data is real as we volunteer it to them. Apparently, all of us know that they will never sell it so cheap. Also, few locally reputable internet platforms (ex: Bayt.com, souq.com, etc.) have managed to reach similar level of commercial intelligence at the local level. This is the reason why these companies will never sell their data or offer to send bulk SMS marketing at 1 fils revenue!! So, this data is like gold to them that they earned over many years and they won't sell it that cheap.
2. SMS Marketing is very expensive.
You are paying too much for every SMS you send- minimum AED 5 ($1.2) for every 100 SMS! Did you know that you can upload those mobile numbers to Facebook or Instagram Ad Managers and get more than 1000 impressions at that price? Sometimes much higher! Similarly, you can get similar results with Google Adwords.
3. SMS marketing damages your image if the customer doesn’t know you
When you send bulk SMS’s to users who don’t know you, they happen to hate you!! They are receiving tens of promotional SMS's every day! It is one of the most disturbing spam tools in UAE, of course after email.
However, in lead generation, there are few best practices that can work along with SMS marketing to give you the results you expect. That is if it absolutely necessary to bulk SMS!!
A. Send only to your existing customers
Your customers know you! They will surely appreciate special promotions, offers and updates from you. However, limit SMS marketing to 1 or 2 max per month. Remember you can reach them also on Instagram and Facebook at a cheaper price. Consult with an experienced Facebook Digital Marketing provider if you don't know how to run optimized paid campaigns on those platforms.
B. Personalize the message
C. Include a trackable link, not only a phone number
A trackable link will help you measure visits and interactions. You can use a service like Google URL shortener. The link should lead to a landing page with more information and images about your promotion.
D. Include a call to action button on the landing page.
Make sure there is an easy call to action for the customer such as call back request, fill contact form or claim a discount voucher. You can consider the following example of a landing page that drives a call to action: stor.at/action
E. DON’T be a Spammer- Opt-out is a Must
Including an option out in every SMS you send is necessary to stay compliant. If you don’t follow the opt-in/opt-out regulations of SMS marketing, you could be hit with a fine or your SMS account could be blocked.
In Conclusion, SMS is an old school technique from traditional phone days when there was no internet. It’s time to try newer marketing platforms and tools which are lower in cost while driving more leads to your business.