Making SMS marketing work for your industry Published August 8, 2012 SMS marketing remains one of the most effective ways to keep in touch with your audience. Most people have their mobile phone with them at all times, allowing brands to reach them directly throughout the day. In fact, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) claims SMS has a stronger direct response rate than email, direct mail or telemarketing. However, it’s sometimes hard to understand how best to utilise SMS marketing software for your specific industry. Below are some examples of how to tweak the medium for different markets. Recruitment: Marketing your candidates Listen up recruiters – your candidates are your business. You can have the best processes in the world, but if your candidates aren’t high quality (and available), your chance of success is limited. Your clients want the best candidates – and they want them fast. With that in mind, why not consider setting up a SMS alerts service that lets each client know when an exceptional candidate that fits their criteria joins your books? Of course, this will have to be a targeted, regulated service, but it’s a great way to let your clients grab the best candidates quickly – something they will rave about. It will also show that you are continuously thinking of their needs and puts them one step ahead of their competition. That’s not to say your candidates can’t benefit too. Dropping them a SMS each time a relevant job opens up is a great way not only to stay in touch, but to give them the best shot at finding work. They’ll thank you for this – particularly in times of economic instability – and it will endear them to your brand. Travel: Keeping in touch There are a range of options when it comes to SMS marketing within travel – including sending confirmation texts after a booking is made and a ‘thank you’ message for using your business. However, keeping travellers up to date on their flights, transfers etc. is where SMS really comes into its own here. Consider how frustrating it is when you get to the airport two hours early to find your flight has been delayed by three hours. Travellers can usually check ahead on the airport’s website, but this takes time and not everyone has access to a computer. Why not send your customers an update on the day of travel, letting them know that their flight is/is not on time? Even if it’s bad news, it’s better they know ahead of time and the fact you let them know will do wonders for your brand reputation. Yes, it’s not direct marketing in the traditional sense, but it could encourage repeat custom and even new business (as word spreads). Isn’t that the aim of marketing? Retail: Make customers feel special With retail, the temptation is always there to circulate endless texts promoting the next big sale or your latest discounts. Admittedly, some customers want that – but the beauty of SMS marketing within retail is that it helps brands target those high-quality, loyal customers. You know, the men and women that you can guarantee will spend big… as long as you can keep them coming back for more. Here, it’s worth thinking about offering VIP events, fittings and discounts for this loyal following. Send them a SMS containing a special code that affords them 20 per cent off their next purchase, or send them a link to a dedicated section on your website for return customers. Giving them instant access to special treats like this will make them feel special and encourage repeat buys; everyone’s a winner!