Suggestions for Effective SMS Marketing

Not too long ago, I was the demand generation leader for a mid-sized solar company. The company was basing most of its lead generation off outbound phone calls, and it was seeing about a 1% response rate. I modified the marketing channel to follow up with SMS messaging after a non-responsive phone call, and the response rate increased 5-10 times over!!

Text MessagingIn this blog, I want to share a few details about how we implemented this much more effective approach. First, all leads had clicked a checkbox that granted us permission to contact them via SMS (as well as phone calls). Clearly this is very important, from both a legal and customer relationship perspective. All leads had come in via our Website and 3rd party lead aggregators.

Second, this marketing was fully automated through Marketo, SugarCRM, and Twilio. A prospective customer would receive an automated phone call after expressing an interest in our solar products. If the call went to voicemail and there was no response (as in the vast majority of cases), that triggered a text message. We had data on the prospect’s phone number and first name, so the text message could be sent accurately. And in the text we included a sales representative’s name and phone number too for follow-up.

Technically the text message was triggered through the Marketo trigger logic and the Twilio REST API. We would repeat both the phone call and the text message a couple of times if the prospect did not respond within 30 days.

Again, by supplementing the phone calls with text messaging, we increased the response rate from around 1% to 5-10%! Text messaging can be a very powerful marketing channel, but use it with caution (and make sure it’s permission-based) to ensure a positive experience for all parties.

Mark Harnett is a Principal Consultant at MarTech Review. James Riseman also contributed to this post.