How to Implement B2B SMS Marketing
Mobile marketing is a huge market – and it’s projected to grow over three times its 2023 value to reach $57.85 billion in 2030. Many businesses are recognizing this and jumping on the text message advertising train before their competitors do. But, few companies have invested in the niche of B2B SMS marketing.
Would you know where to start with this type of marketing campaign? Don’t worry if not – this page will cover the process in a step-by-step guide. We’ll offer tips for each stage and help you formulate a strategy to drive client conversions and foster positive long-term business relationships. Let’s dive in!
Crafting Your B2B SMS Campaign Plan
Let’s start with the basics – a roadmap for what B2B SMS campaigns generally look like. This stuff is marketing 101, so it shouldn’t be too out of the ordinary for you experienced marketers:
Step 1: Defining the campaign
Your first step is to outline your goals and what you want to achieve with your campaign. Are you aiming for lead generation, increasing brand awareness, promoting a new product, or something else?
Next, identify who your target audience is. What sector do they work in? What pain points do they regularly face? Seeking to address these will help you craft tailored messages.
Step 2: Message creation and execution
Now, it’s time for you to start writing your text messages’ content. They need to be concise and feature a call-to-action (CTA), but more on this later.
Step 3: Monitoring and analysis
Once the messages are sent, it’s time to watch those replies come flooding in (hopefully).
If your campaign isn’t generating client interactions, you probably need to rethink the whole strategy and content.
Building Your Subscriber List
Obviously, you need a list of phone numbers to send your messages out to.
Luckily, this process is generally easier with B2B prospecting – as many clients hand out business cards with their contact details. Try attending in-person events or webinars to get your name out, and then follow up with a text message later. Alternatively, you can collect numbers through a contact form on your website’s landing page.
Crucially, you need to be collecting mobile numbers since landlines typically can’t display SMS info in the same way. The genius of text message marketing is that your sales pitch is right there in a push notification. It’s instantaneous and much more personal than an email or a voicemail message.
Picking an SMS Marketing Platform
One issue with SMS marketing is that the process can be tedious. When you’re working from a fiddly touchscreen, pasting the same message to different clients over and over can get repetitive. To save yourself time and avoid making a mistake, it’s best just to use a dedicated SMS marketing platform.
When deciding which platform to pick, there are several things to consider: that it has an easy set-up and launch, that it can integrate with your other tech stack, its different tools, and, of course, the cost.
It’s important not to be too impressed by all its benefits and let it affect your budget negatively. So make sure you are able to monitor cash flow with an accounts payable automation to avoid overspending.
Using tools like this in conjunction with your marketing platform will mean that you’ll be better equipped to keep track of all your marketing costs and, thus, ROI and you’ll also save time and reduce errors by automating your payments.
Creating Compelling SMS Content
Crafting Engaging Messages
Text messages are short – with a limit of 160 characters.
That’s not a lot of space to captivate your audience, deliver a message, and drive a conversion. It’s a tough game, but you can make your text messages more engaging with some simple tricks:
Get to the point quickly: The most important information or offer should be right at the beginning of your message. In a push notification, only the first 40-75 characters of a message are shown to the reader.
Offer genuine value proposition: In our smartphone era of short attention spans, people don’t have time for low-quality junk notifications. Your clients need to feel that they’d be stupid not to interact with your text message!
Make it seem exclusive: It’s human nature to enjoy something more when we know it’s just for us. Your texts should be loaded with incentives such as personalized deals.
Use urgent language: Action verbs like “get”, “reserve”, and “unlock” should be coupled with short timeframes. Make your readers act on that initial impulse.
Try following these basic rules for B2B SMS marketing, and your campaign conversion rates should improve in no time. Just try to switch up your style periodically so your text messages always stay fresh, exciting, and enjoyable to read.
Incorporating a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)
A call-to-action is a short instruction that prompts the reader to do something. They’re written in the imperative case – which makes the text attention-grabbing and personal. You’ve probably seen a lot of these before, but here are some effective examples that you may want to use in an SMS campaign:
- Don’t miss out! Reply “YES” to join
- Want to learn more? Reply “INFO” for details
- Limited-time offer: Click to claim your coupon
To level up your game in this area, it’s even possible to integrate payment options into your conversation. This feature is called “text-to-buy”, and according to Text Request’s 2023 State of Business Texting Report, 69% of people would want to receive texts related to making payments.
See if you can implement this functionality, and your conversion rates could be amplified on the back of an already far-reaching marketing campaign. It sounds like a recipe for success.
Personalizing and Segmenting
Personalization is one of the most important concepts in B2B communication. In essence, you need to convince your clients that you genuinely care about their needs. In terms of SMS marketing, this means writing tailored copy for the individual.
For starters, you should offer your clients the option of which messaging app they prefer. Don’t just stick to regular SMS texting when apps like WhatsApp or Signal are free alternatives that actually come with more features out of the box. Concerned about security? End-to-end encryption has you sorted. Need to send large files? It’s no problem on these apps.
Then, you can think about personalizing your text campaigns – and this comes through client segmentation based on demographic or sales data.
Your content delivery system should greet clients by name, offer custom deals, and direct them to only the most relevant pages on your site. Consider that HubSpot found companies enjoyed a 55% increase in leads when they increased their number of landing pages from 10 to 15. Try to think of every type of business partner you have and create a sales pitch exclusively for them.
Monitoring and Analytics
Your SMS campaigns are meaningless if you have no way of measuring if they work or not.
It’s clear that you need a data analytics solution, so the first step is to actually go about collecting the relevant data. Again, using a dedicated SMS marketing platform or CRM system is an obvious solution here. They make it much easier to monitor your customer relations and track metrics such as messages sent, delivery rates, click-through rates, conversions, etc.
If possible, you should seek access to tools that incorporate your financial data to get a holistic view of your ROI. Tracking your customer’s invoices online is simpler than sifting through everything manually, and by integrating this with ERP software, you should be able to view your sales, keep track of cash flow and monitor your campaign’s success in relation to other costs.
As you’re analyzing all this data, what you need to think about is how each ‘segment’ of your client pool is reacting to your campaigns. Which text messages are driving the most engagement? Which customers are purchasing from you? To craft the perfect campaign, you need to be asking yourself self-critical questions like this.
Ensuring Compliance and Privacy
Text message marketing faces a similar regulatory sphere to most marketing activities, and it’s easy to see why. Without regulation, your business would be bombarded with much more spam and fraudulent messages from unknown senders than it is currently. That would undermine genuine marketing activities, so the regulation is clearly a good thing.
But it does mean you need to stay on the right side of the law. As a rule of thumb, you’re only allowed to contact clients who have opted-in to messages, such as when they share their number with you. You also need to offer them an opt-out at any time and to encrypt all communications data.
Integration with Overall B2B Strategy
Text messaging campaigns are great for lead generation and client relationship building, but implementing them in the wrong way could harm your brand image.
It’s important to adopt an omni-channel strategy to keep your SMS messaging consistent with other communication channels. For instance, if your text message doesn’t get a reply, you can always follow up by email with a friendly reminder tagline such as “Did you see the offer we sent earlier?”.
The theme of your text message marketing campaign should be all about content synergy. Yes, you’re speaking with your clients through a new medium, but the messaging should be largely the same – that your company is great to do business with.
To wrap up, B2B SMS marketing is a powerful tool for small companies to stand out from the crowd and develop long-lasting relationships with business partners.
As for whether it’s the right pick for your business – the only way you’ll know this is to give it a shot. If you’re unsure, you can always start out with a manual approach, and if the signs are positive, then scale up your operations with automation tools. No matter your style, just try to enjoy the process, and your clients will hopefully too. Good luck!