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5 Steps to Setting Up Powerful SMS Drip Campaigns

SMS marketing has quickly gained ground in the last few years as an effective alternative — or enhancement — to email and paid search tactics.

While the phrase “drip campaign” is generally associated with email marketing, a drip (automated, series-structured) approach also lends itself well to SMS marketing. 

Compared to average email open rates of 20% and paid search ad click-through rates of 2%, SMS’ 98% open rate makes it an increasingly popular choice for businesses of all sizes and industries.

Automated text marketing allows you to schedule SMS messages at a specific cadence for a certain amount of time. Better yet, you can tailor text messages to apply to customer triggers or actions, providing a high-touch, personalized experience. 

If you customize content to your audience, you can capture their attention when and where they’re ready to engage with your business.

Let’s discuss what a successful drip SMS campaign should look like and the goals your business should aim to achieve. 

  1. Ensure You Meet Compliance Requirements
  2. Define Your Objective
  3. Determine the Workflow
  4. Formulate a Strategy
  5. Launch Your Campaign

Step 1: Ensure You Meet Compliance Requirements

The first rule of SMS text messaging is to ensure you receive express written consent

In some cases, you may still be able to text a customer to ask them to opt in (be sure to talk to your legal team before doing so). In others, you may have to get their written consent to contact them. If you forget this step, you could be subject to litigation, so you must take it seriously.

Step 2: Define Your Objective 

One of the best things about automated SMS drip campaigns is that you can do practically anything you dream up. 

  • Do you have a creative offer to give customers who have become disengaged? 
  • Are you looking for ways to inject more personality and fun into your brand? 
  • Are you trying to improve your product or service offerings?
  • Do you want to get signups for a demo/sample of your product? 
  • Are you attempting to increase visits to your website or social media platforms?

Drip SMS marketing can accomplish those goals, but you must do it strategically. These outcomes require drastically different approaches, so make sure you know your end goal before you begin. 

For example, when messaging a prospect to convince them to demo your product, your tone will be more call-to-action oriented and sales-heavy than a fun, entertainment-focused text campaign that engages and builds awareness.

Read The Difference Between Promotional and Transactional SMS

Step 3: Determine the Workflow

The next step in optimizing your text message drip campaign is determining each follow-up message after the initial contact. 

  • How frequently will your contacts get messages? 
  • Will you be asking for responses that might change the flow of the message series?
  • What should you do if you don’t get any engagement? 

Do some message mapping on paper, in diagramming applications like LucidChart, or any other visual way to help lay out your communications flow. Be sure to keep messages short and apply the proper sense of urgency for the goal you are trying to accomplish. 

Step 4: Formulate a Strategy

Consider whether you will offer coupons or other incentives. Again, this should relate to your ideal message map. 

For example, if you’re trying to drive a product demo, you’ll likely want to share a few educational texts before closing your prospect with a solid call to action (CTA). If you ask too soon without providing value through educational content or free resources, your customer may think you’re too pushy and get turned off.

That said, if you can demonstrate value to your customer, they are much more likely to treat your texts as a valuable resource rather than an annoyance. For example, maybe you share your social media profile with customers, alert them of sales, or even wish them a happy birthday. Those types of helpful and personal messages build rapport and trust. 

For example: 

Hey [Customer Name], we want to make your birthday extra special this year! Enjoy 25% off your next purchase with code BDAY25. Have a great one! 

[Company Name]

Step 5: Launch Your Campaign

Setting up a drip campaign takes significant time and resources. Make sure you’re getting a return for your hard work by measuring your outcomes — and then using those insights to inform your ongoing strategy and continue to pivot as needed. 

Start with the basics: click rate, opt-in and opt-out rates, and conversions. Then, compare your metrics month-over-month, and dig into customer behavior to analyze trends and changes.

For example, when presenting a “% off” offer vs. casual engagement messaging, did you get more click-throughs? How can you use that insight to create more compelling offers in the future?

Read Text Message Analytics for Beginners

Create Your Next Text Message Drip Campaign With Texting Base

A good drip SMS campaign is thoughtful, goal-focused, and intentional in how it speaks to your audience. It can be as simple or as complex as you like, as long as it is genuine and comes across authentically. 

If you’re ready to unlock the power of a drip SMS campaign, reach out to Texting Base. Texting Base is an SMS marketing platform that provides businesses with simple SMS and MMS solutions.

Our user-friendly, affordable platform is ideal for any business size and industry, including in-store and online retail, radio stations, schools, restaurants, real estate, enterprises, nonprofits and many more.

Create an account to start your 14-day free trial with Texting Base!