Grow your database
In order to even begin an SMS marketing campaign it is essential that you have access to vital information about the customers who use your products or services. Mobile numbers are essential so you have somewhere to send your content to, but also other things, such as gender, spending power, how they heard about the brand and previous transactions are vital in determining how you are going to start your SMS marketing campaign. There are many ways to achieve this, whilst also avoiding the many legal pitfalls involved in the process. Below are six ways in which this personal data can be obtained fairly and with the full required consent of your customers.
6 Ways to obtain customer data
1. Face to face interaction with customer service
A very good place to start! This is a good method for retail businesses as customers will readily interact with your staff when buying products and services from your store(s). Train your till staff to take information verbally after the customer pays for their products, with the option to opt in or out of further marketing. Information can be stored on a database and used for future SMS marketing campaigns. This method has the advantage of ensuring that the customer interacts directly face-to face with representatives of the company who ensure they are a willing participant in the process.
2. Joining a mailing list through websites
Mailing lists or joining online websites for your company is a perfect way of obtaining customer data, including their age, gender, location and occupation. Simple check boxes at the end of the joining form enable the customer to opt in or out of further marketing content. Note: It is not a good idea to pre-check the boxes in the hope that the customer will not notice, as it will only serve to reduce their trust in your company. This method has been one of the most popular ways of obtaining customer data and finding out who is interested in your products and why.
3. Loyalty Cards
A loyalty card, which gives benefits to the customer, such as discounts, special offers and free gifts are a perfect way of obtaining and analysing a customer’s spending habits. Large supermarkets have especially adopted this policy in order to directly target marketing campaigns to individual customers needs so they remain loyal to the store and maximise spending on their favourite products. Some loyalty cards, popular with restaurants and food outlets, involve a customer’s card being stamped, a bit like a passport, each time they visit. After a certain amount of visits a discount or free gift is given. However by this time the personal data they have given you, regarding age, gender location and spending habits are already worth far more.
4. Social Media
This method, if used to full effect, can build up a complete picture of your customer’s daily lives, who they interact with, what they like doing, their favourite type of music etc, without them ever filling in a form. Much of this information is already available on Facebook profiles, where users will openly display this. However there are laws protecting the rights of personal data and so you should tread carefully when using this method. Social media can be a vital tool to gain an insight into whether people are talking about your brand, how they are using it and their general thoughts on it. Are there Instagram or Twitter pictures of customers using your products? What comments are they receiving from their friends? The image of your brand can be just as important as obtaining numeric data and can influence your marketing strategies moving forward.
5. Online/ face-to face Surveys
Surveys are a fantastic way of collecting and analysing which demographics are most likely to buy your products and services, their spending power and future needs. They should include the opt-in/out boxes so the customer can receive further information if they wish. The data analysis from the information given will form the basis of your SMS marketing campaign. Surveys can also be used in a retrospective way, asking your customers what they liked about a certain product and how they could improve on them. Similarly new products can be tested on surveyors to gauge their reaction and feedback before their launch into the market.
A fun and easy competition can generate interest in a brand, while also giving customers the opportunity to win a prize, often one of your products or services. In order to do so they must text or attach files, thus giving out their phone numbers in the process along with consent for future marketing activities. A STOP code can be used for those who wish to opt out. Used in the context of social media, competitions can also be a useful way of gaining “likes” or fans to your page and traffic through to your website. A competition could be something visual, like, depending on your core audience (and type of business), see who can post the best picture of them using your product or service for example. People can judge and leave comments, keeping them constantly connected with the brand and less likely to opt out.