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BulkSMS Offers Businesses the Top 5 Tips to SMS Success
With mobile phone penetration now around 85% worldwide, the strategic use of
SMS offers significant benefits for companies and organisations that can get it
right. Dr Pieter Streicher, managing director of BulkSMS.com, a provider of
two-way SMS communications services, believes that SMS helps to build
relationships and create customer loyalty by offering timely and worthwhile
The well-targeted SMS can fulfil a wide range of functions, from reminding
patients of imminent doctor’s appointments, to alerting a company’s suppliers
of the need for stock replenishment, through to fulfilling a valuable function
in the logistics chain.
To reap the benefits, organisations intending to use, or already using, SMS
should pay attention to five top tips designed to ensure that they derive
maximum benefit and minimal negative reactions when engaging with clients,
customers or consumers.
Clean your database, regularly.
This is a process that may appear obvious but which is often overlooked. A
company database has to be maintained for relevance, and segmented in line
with commercial goals or communication needs. Unwanted communications
invariably results in complaints. Positive planning is the best way to drive
positive SMS messaging outcomes.
Allow for opt-ins and opt-outs.
Target message recipients must be given the choice. Do they want to be kept
‘in’ or ‘out’ of the database? Ensure that the opt-in process is simple and
straightforward. But if they want out - make it is as easy as possible for
them to decline the service.
Web-based messaging systems allow pre-scheduling of messages and also
creates an SMS trail. In the logistics field this can be a critical
function. If SMS is to be incorporated as a communication option then it
needs to be integrated with other relevant management and information
systems. Ensure that any response mechanisms built into the SMS are catered
for in the main system. So, if a delivery notification is sent and requires
the recipient to acknowledge receipt of the delivery, ensure that the
acknowledgement is captured.
Test your campaign.
Make sure that the SMS campaign is set up correctly; ascertain the best
times to send a message, and the best response mechanisms to incorporate.
When it is ready to go, don’t send it to everyone; rather send it to a small
sample and fine tune if the sample results indicate the need to do so.
SMS is personal. It’s intimate. But it’s only effective if it comes across
in the right way. Craft your message and build empathy with your audience
and SMS will then serve you well in getting your message across.
Streicher adds: “The SMS is an adaptable communication tool; cost-effective and
swift to deploy. For marketers, it can enhance customer relationships, build
loyalty and drive traffic and responses at a cost per message which is
attractive to any size of budget. For logistics operators, it’s a robust medium
for ensuring the timely undertaking of tasks, deliveries, orders and the many
elements in the value chain which are time-dependent and require human
intervention to confirm their completion or to trigger the next stage. For
service providers of any description - but particularly within the
patient-surgery relationship - it’s an easy way to ensure that appointments are
kept and no time wasted in handling appointment schedules. For all users it
also offers its own audit trail - an automated filing system keeping a precise
record of what message was sent to who, when, and what the response was.”