In 2005 Virgin Mobile got a lot of attention with a faux viral campaign which pretended to leak Jason Donovan’s personal mobile number.
People were urged to call or text 0403 JASOND. Callers heard Jason’s cranky sounding voicemail saying he was fed up with all the prank calls. Texts received back “U don’t give up do u! You’re not even with Virgin either? Ha enjoy your next bill! If you’re capable I suggest u visit www.responsiblemobileuse.com.au (a Virgin marketing site).
However, you don’t need to go to such extremes to use SMS as a low-cost way of communicating with your customers.
The main thing about SMS is that it’s short and sweet (obviously!) – you have a maximum of 160 characters to work with so make them count. So SMS isn’t the time to introduce your company, or give an in-depth account of your product offerings.
So when is it worth using?
- Reminding customers about an appointment
- Confirming a booking
- Reminding customers their contract is about to expire
- Wishing customers Happy Birthday
- Telling customers about a simple offer
- Directing customers to your website for further information
- Telling customers their order is available for pick up
- Letting customers know you’re running late for an appointment
SMS is useful to a wide variety of industries but especially hospitality, beauty, hair salons, telecommunications, health and retail.
How do you make it work?
Be relevant and personalised. Given that legally every SMS needs to have an opt-out, only contact customers if they’ll be pleased to hear from you.
Ensure that all responses are logged, and any sales enquiries followed up.
Who can I contact?
Under the Spam Act 2003 you can contact existing customers who have opted-in to receive marketing materials and have provided you with their mobile number.
What not to do?
Be careful when you send it! Nobody is going to be pleased to hear from you at 3am in the morning.