Effective marketing is founded on effective communication, and reaching people through their preferred medium. Traditionally, Financial Institutions have utilized channels such as email, direct mail or in person events for their marketing efforts. But consumers consume and prefer to consume most of their marketing via their mobile devices, and are checking their texts more than any other channel of communication. According to the Financial Brand, 74% of consumers check their phone within 30 minutes of waking up every morning. Consumers are the most active on their phones, and the best way to reach them on that device is through Text Messaging. With SMS emerging as a marketing method, there are certain elements to keep in mind when it comes to what to market, and how to do so effectively.
What Can You Market?
If your FI doesn’t have a VIP Member Program or a Member Loyalty program, this is a great place to start. 90% of consumers found value in an SMS loyalty program, according to Finances Online. Having a dedicated line where members can access special promotions or new products is a great way to increase account utilization and build stronger member portfolios. Natco Credit Union saw great success in setting up a VIP opt-in number for their members, with 100 opt-ins within 5 minutes(link to case study).
SMS marketing isn’t just for loyalty programs, and can be used alongside almost all other marketing channels. Email newsletters with relevant links can be shortened and customized to a more concise SMS message with auto response keywords represents a more effective method of communication. Members like concise messaging, and the 160 character limitations to SMS messaging allow for just that. Promoting new products with next steps to sign up can move away from mailers & emails to automated texts sent out on a cadence of your choice. With an ability to include secure links, and with proper TCPA compliance, an effective digital communication platform allows your team to use SMS across multiple funnels of your marketing efforts.
There are three key elements to keep in mind when ensuring success in whatever marketing SMS efforts your FI decides to implement: Getting Opt-In’s, Time Sensitivity & Personalization
Keep It Compliant
Getting Opt-Ins for your marketing communications makes the conversation you’re establishing with the member a two way street. Text Messages have a 98% open rate, compared to 20% for emails, so trying to hide an unsubscribe button or spamming them with messages will lead to Opt-Outs or worse. Members want to text and don’t need to be nudged along in the same ways with email or direct mail. Additionally, and more importantly, Opt-Ins are required by law to ensure TCPA compliance, and communication is only as effective as it is complaint.
Keep It Time Sensitive
Whether it’s a welcome message for a new joinee or the marketing of a debt consolidation program around the holiday times, keeping your messages time sensitive is highly important. With members checking their phones and texts frequently, more timely messaging & marketing becomes even more critical.
Keep it Personal
Members prefer texting as their method of communication more frequently, as it represents a more casual way to communicate. Keep this in mind when utilizing SMS for marketing purposes, and be sure to not go overboard with formalities. Keeping your messaging complaint and avoiding hotlisted words is critical, but that doesn’t mean your messaging can’t feel like a text from a friend. In fact, to ensure the best success of your messaging, the text should feel personal to that level.
With Texting becoming a more critical part of your digital communication, make sure to include it within your marketing efforts as well, to reap the full benefits of complaint SMS communications with your members. To find out more about how Eltropy is enabling our partners to better communicate with their members through a digital omnichannel platform, request a demo today.