With brands looking to target customers on the move, SMS marketing has become a significantly essential part of an efficient multi-channel marketing strategy.

Businesses, especially the smaller ones and startups, fail to gain momentum because there is a misconception among them about requiring heavy investments in applications. Therefore, they heavily focus on expensive apps and do not allow for personalized, targeted communication. On the other hand, they also lack strong reporting and analytics to support ROI. In reality, access to a mobile communication is easier than perceived. Approaching mobile customers – both smartphones and cell phones – can be as simple as sending a targeted, yet personalized message.

SMS marketing has come a long way. It has helped companies build a brand in households across the globe, given that consumer privacy remains protected via legal requirements for opt-in.

Nevertheless, sending a business SMS is a great way to interact with customers, given that 95% of the adults in the United States own a mobile phone. And, a report says that 95% of the text messages from businesses are opened and read within three minutes of being sent. Surprisingly, the average response rate for an SMS is 60-times faster than email. No wonder why the use of SMS marketing has only surged in the last few years.

When planning an SMS marketing campaign, the enterprise’s primary decision revolves around the election of an inbound number. Inbound numbers come in the form of long code and short code. They are used to receive text messages from potential customers and leads directly into an SMS application.

Today, we’ll discuss long code SMS marketing tactics and how to make it interactive. Let’s jump right into it!

What is a Long Code SMS Marketing?

People often get confused between long code and short code SMS. These are virtual inbound numbers that act as a business’ SENDER ID, forming the backbone of any SMS marketing strategy.

Long code SMS are 10-digit numbers, tied to an area code. They look something like this: 555-855-1055 or (555) 855 – 1055. The format may vary. Nevertheless, long codes can be used for marketing purposes, including urgent information dissemination. For example, in terms of digital marketing efforts, you can use long codes to send sales alerts, coupons, ads and other promotional information.

The reason why you should prefer long code over short code is that short code SMS are completely automated. Texting from short code numbers, especially if you want to engage with your consumers through conversations or questions, is not recommended. This is because customers cannot reply directly to your messages.

On the other hand, if you use short code numbers, you will probably have to share the number with another company. Therefore, managing workflows and automated keywords will become a lot tricky.

Since long code SMS are not automated, it gives the customer an impression of being catered to and looked after. Therefore, these numbers are less likely to be marked as spam. Another important benefit of using long code SMS is that you can include multimedia, like images and GIFs, which can help in driving engagement.

Still, marketers find it difficult to make long code SMS marketing interactive. This may be because they are not meant for bulk messaging. Nevertheless, you can still make your long code SMS marketing interactive. There are some tried and tested methods to engage your customers with quality SMS marketing, and this is exactly what we are going to discuss in the next section.

Long Code SMS Marketing Ideas to Generate Sales

Once you get your prospective customers’ contact number, it is important to take things slowly and don’t spam their inbox with irrelevant texts and messages. You will have to strategically plan a long code SMS marketing strategy that will prove your customers right with their choice of opting-in to hear from you.

A pro tip would be not to jump into their notifications just for the sake of it. The goal is to deliver value and provide your customers with reasons to constantly engage with you. Here are some long code SMS marketing ideas to help you generate more sales.

1. Give customers exclusive SMS-only offers

Since you cannot send bulk SMS with long code numbers, you can make the SMS exclusive to particular customers. You can perform marketing reporting using Whatagraph to determine those customers who are most loyal to your brand. Then you can create a customized SMS marketing plan to send them exclusive offers.

Put yourself in the shoes of a customer. When you find out that this particular deal is limited to loyal customers, it is easy to feel frustrated. So, create exclusive SMS-only offers for different sets of customers from the target base. This will help you in retaining existing customers and attracting new ones.

Some great examples of SMS-only offers are as follows:

  • “Get 25% off when you show this message at your nearest brand showroom”
  • “SMS Exclusive: Buy 2 Get 1 Free! Shop using this link!”
  • “Use the code ‘101SAVE’ at the time of checkout to get an additional 5% off”

Even if the customer isn’t in a mood of buying something, a discount code can stimulate their brains into making a purchase because all they can think about is discounted purchase.

When you are sending these types of long code SMS, make sure that your customers cannot find them elsewhere so that they will have to come to you. It can be achieved with proper competitor analysis and reporting through Whatagraph.

2. Notify customer about upcoming sales

People are always on the lookout for sales and promotional deals from brands, and factors like holidays, festivals and special occasions make them viable. If you are looking to clear out your inventory or planning a flash sale, you should notify your customers before it happens. Starting an SMS campaign a week or two before the start of sale is a good idea. It gives your customers some time to review the deal and make a decision. That way, your customers can ensure that they are around when the sale starts.

Some quality examples of this type of SMS marketing are:

  • “Christmas Sale starts Saturday at 12pm GMT. Don’t Miss Out!”
  • “End of Season Sale Alert! 50% Off on All Products. Sale starts at 8pm tonight and ends at 12 noon tomorrow. Shop using this link to avail special benefits”

These are some catchy long code SMS notifications. However, if you feel like everybody’s doing the same and you want to take it a bit further, you can attach a flyer or an image in your message to give your customers a glimpse of the products or services that will be on discount.

On the other hand, you can also send a reminder SMS to your customers about the beginning of the sale.

For example:

  • “FLAT 50% + 10% Additional discount on Woolens. SALE starts Monday. Click here to be reminded!”

This type of SMS marketing is a great way to interact with customers and increase traffic.

3. Share exciting company news

You can also use long code SMS marketing to interact with your target audience to share any exciting company news.

Are you opening a new store? Introducing a new product? Celebrating a major milestone? Whatever the case, sharing it with your SMS audience will make them feel like a part of the group. It doesn’t matter whether the news is big or small; sending an SMS will keep your customers in the loop, and they will be privileged to know that you are sharing such news with them.

Let’s just say that you are opening a new brand store in a particular locality, for example. A simple SMS notifying about the same will do the trick.

  • “New Showroom Alert! We are glad to announce the opening of our new brand showroom at {Address} on {Date}. Everything will be on sale @ 50%. Visit the showroom to grab the best deals!”

Keeping your customer notified has its benefits. For starters, loyal customers will be happy to hear about the company news. Secondly, it is a great way to retain existing customers and attract new ones. That is, you will be able to build relations with both prospective and current customers.

4. Learn more about your customers with surveys

Surveys are a great way to learn about your prospective customers from what they like, what they dislike, where they live, their age, gender, etc. Many marketers use long code SMS marketing to survey their customer base. This helps them in building accurate buyer personas, improve their service or product and find people similar to them.

Usually, these text surveys ask questions. For example:

  • “How would you rate our service from scale 1-10?”
  • “Would you buy from us again?”
  • “Are you enjoying the product?”
  • “How likely are you to recommend our service to your friends? Just reply with the number.”
  • “What could we improve on?”

These are some of the examples of survey messaging that you could try in your next SMS marketing campaign. The goal is not to overwhelm the customers with a series of questions. If you put in a list of questions, they will likely ignore your message and never open it again. You would not want this. The smaller the tasks and simpler the questions, the more likely they will be to do it.

So, make sure that the questions you create for the survey are to the point and short.

5. Send order confirmations

As discussed earlier, long code SMS is significantly used in courier and e-commerce services to notify the customers about the order confirmations, dispatches, delays, and deliveries.

While such operations are done via email, SMS will ensure that the customer has received the message and read it. Email inboxes are crowded with emails and messages that a person may likely skip. Moreover, email validation might take a decent amount of time from your day.

Order confirmations are necessary if you run an ecommerce business. It is your duty to notify your customers about their products at every step until it is delivered at their doorsteps. Sending them SMS alerts will allow them to keep track of their order. You are advised to send long code SMS at the following stages:

  • Confirmed
  • Dispatched
  • Out for Delivery
  • Delivered

For example:

  • “Your order has been successfully placed! Your order ID is 1957385737. We will further notify you when it is dispatched. Track your shipment here {Link}”
  • “Your order has been dispatched. It is expected to reach you by 2nd August before 9pm”
  • “Your order is out for delivery. Our agent will deliver it to you before 6pm”
  • “Successful delivery! We have successfully delivered your order. In case of returns, contact customer service”

On top of all this, you can also send an SMS asking to rate your service or review the product delivered.

  • “Rate our delivery on scale 1-10”
  • “Do you like the product? We will love it if you rate it! {Link}”

Final Words

These are the top five ways how you can use long code SMS marketing to interact with your target audience. You are advised to change your tactics and approach when creating the messages. The messages should encourage customers to take action.

To discuss SendHub’s SMS marketing plans or learn more about us and how we can help improve your text messaging strategy, you can schedule a quick demo here! Feel free to also contact us by email at sales@sendhub.com or by phone at 844-736-3482 and press 1 for Sales.