5 Essential Tips for Successful SMS Lead Generation
Successful SMS lead generation can mark the difference between a business that excels, and a business that struggles as consumers shift to mobile.
But that’s why you’re here, right?
You understand that focusing on mobile engagement, marketing, and conversions will play a vital role for your business, and that it’s better to start sooner rather than later.
So how can you capture more people through their smartphones? Specifically, how can you generate leads through SMS (which is currently the most used form of communication)?
The following 5 tips will help you and your business create a successful SMS lead generation strategy. Whatever your niche, these tips can accelerate your business in a mobile-first world.
What’s different about SMS lead generation?
SMS lead generation is different from other ways of generating leads, and there's a few things in particular that you should know.
Texting your business easier than filling out forms.
This often lowers the barrier to entry for viewers to become leads.
With texting, people tend to want conversations more than promotions.
You can still send out offers and promotions, but texting is a very personal form of communication, and should be treated as such.
People interact with SMS differently than with calls, emails, and other forms of marketing.
To create a successful SMS lead generation strategy, you’ll need to adapt accordingly.
Keep these 3 differences in mind as we work through the following tips, and they’ll be sure to help your business create sustainable growth in a mobile-first world!
Now let’s dive in.
1. Put it somewhere.
Like other lead generators, you have to put SMS in front of people to convert them into leads. Luckily, you have several options.
This might be the most basic (and most successful) way to generate leads through SMS.
People are coming to your website, and the majority probably get there through their phones. Most - if not all - of those people would rather text you than call you, or fill out a long form.
So place a simple call-to-action on your homepage, like “Text us for a free quote!” with a Click-to-Text button.
Mobile viewers can click the button, which opens up a text to your business.
As soon you get their message, you know how warm of a lead they are, and the quickest way to reach them.
You can also display your call-to-action and text number on the desktop version of your website, so desktop viewers will know they can text you as well.
Advertised Landing Pages
On a normal landing page, you’ll have a bit of copy, a call-to-action, and a form for the viewer to fill out.
To generate leads through SMS, simply swap the form for a Click-to-Text button.
Here’s where it gets really good. Any advertising platform worth its salt (e.g. Facebook, Google) will let you target people by device.
If you specifically target mobile viewers, you can increase your conversion rates by ensuring 2 things:
- Your SMS lead generation page is reaching the right audience
- You minimize the barrier to entry for that audience
You’re probably familiar with table toppers at restaurants that say something like “Text ‘PIZZA’ to 555-55 for coupons & discounts!”
Well, you don’t have to use an automated (and expensive) short code number for this same approach to work. You can also use long code (e.g. 423-218-0111) and real conversations.
Maybe you keep a sign at your front desk that reads:
The world is your oyster.
All you need to focus on for SMS lead generation is putting your text number in front of people and giving them a good reason to text you.
2. Focus on the call-to-action.
The key to successful SMS lead generation is your call-to-action.
That includes your copy (the call), your button (the action), and everything else on the page surrounding your call-to-action.
Over time you’ll want to test for colors, phrasing, and such. But to start, let's keep it simple.
Your call-to-action always needs to be simple! It needs to be crystal clear.
If your page is filled with a ton of call-to-actions for a bunch of different things, viewers are going to get indecisive (possibly confused) and leave.
Focus on just one action that you want viewers to take on that page. Do you want them to text you? Be clear!
It’s also a good idea to have your copy (call) and your button (action) mimic each other.
For instance, your call might be “Text us to schedule your demo!” and your button might read “Text [Business Name].”
Or, your call might be “Text us to get your free estimate!” and your button might read “Get free estimate.”
What your call-to-action should be depends on what you do, but in all cases you need to make it clear and obvious.
3. Use SMS to qualify leads
Leads usually don’t appear out of thin air and beg you to take their money (sadly). More often, leads go through stages.
They view your website, and then, say, become email subscribers, or fill out a form to download a free ebook.
Then they take interest in your primary product or service (becoming a marketing qualified lead).
And then the lead is eventually ready to buy, either from you or a competitor (becoming a sales qualified lead).
Dollar for dollar, taking someone from a base lead to a marketing qualified lead is worth more than taking someone from a viewer to a base lead.
And taking someone from marketing qualified to sales qualified is worth even more!
Did you know SMS could help you qualify more of your basic leads, and help you gain more customers?
Too often, you get a leads’ contact information, but then you can never reach them!
They don’t answer your calls. They don’t reply to your emails. What gives?
On average, 99% or more of texts are read, and 45% of texts get responses.
And those responses come in just 90 seconds on average!
Here’s where it gets even better.
Studies have shown that texting leads can yield an almost 300% higher conversion rate than calling them.
That means texting your leads to move them from one stage of your sales funnel to the next is highly effective. With results like this, why wouldn't you text your leads?!
Is it technically SMS lead generation? No, but it’s even more successful.
SMS will help you turn your basic leads into sales qualified leads, which will drastically boost your bottom line.
4. Have a process for handling SMS leads.
It’s not enough to just get leads. That’s only half the battle!
Follow-up is just as important, if not more so. What will fit best depends on your business, but here are several processes you should consider.
Be blazing fast.
People care more about solving their problems quickly than they do about getting the absolute best product or service. That’s why ⅓ to ½ of all sales go to the first person to follow up!
For your SMS lead generation strategy to be successful, you need to respond to leads quickly, if not immediately.
Maybe you do this by having an autoresponder, or maybe you have someone monitor incoming messages so that all texts quickly get an appropriate response.
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s fast.
Otherwise, it won’t matter that you got the lead! Someone else will get their business.
Should SMS leads be treated equally?
Should SMS leads go through the same funnel and all the same methods as other leads? Or should you create a custom process specifically for SMS leads?
Generally, we see a fairly simple process with SMS leads.
- A person becomes a lead by texting you
- You set up a call or product demo to iron out questions and details
- That lead either buys or goes on your follow-up list
It's really that simple. (You can also follow up with all of your other leads via text to speed up the sales cycle.)
SMS leads tend to slide through a sales funnel more quickly than other leads, and you’ll need to accommodate accordingly for your SMS lead generation strategy to be successful.
Be clear and personable.
Texting is a very personal form of communication. (How many people do you text with every day?)
Most people don’t want to be dumped into an automated SMS campaign or blasted with marketing messages.
So when someone texts you and becomes a lead, be personal. Text with them like you would text with a friend.
Let the prospect know if a call or email is needed, and when might be a good time to talk. Give them a heads up if something changes, or if you need them to check out an email you just sent.
You’d be happy and straight forward with your friends, right? Be the same way with your leads.
5. Don’t wait to start your SMS lead generation strategy.
Mobile marketing and mobile messaging have both been trending upwards for the last few years.
Businesses are getting on board left and right, for reasons like:
- Needing to attract and capture mobile viewers
- Targeting Millennials (20-35y.o.)
- Staying ahead of the competition
- And being able to convert more leads faster
SMS lead generation has become an important part of marketing and sales, and the key to your business finding success in SMS is to make sure you’re actually doing it!
Don’t wait for your competition to beat you. Click the link below to start generating leads through SMS.