You can’t deny it, the digital age has created extraordinary convenience when it comes to getting a reminder, asking a question, or simply getting a message or offer across. With instant messaging comes instant results. Using SMS or MMS messaging to spruik your next campaign or even send your patients an appointment reminder is quick, simple, reaches a wide audience and is super cost effective. With that in mind, we thought we should share some of our hot tips for creating a successful messaging campaign!
Grab your audience’s attention
We all know the ‘oh another spammy text message’ feeling. But an easy way to avoid this is to start your message with an eye catching or appealing message. An MMS is a very quick way to overcome this issue, as right from the moment the message is opened the recipient is greeted with a visually appealing GIF or image. However, if you opt to use SMS, a really simple way to engage your recipients is with a question to spark their engagement. For example, “When was your last eye test?”, “Have you spent your optical extras this year?” or even a “Did you know?”. Still unsure of which to messaging format to use? We find that MMS messages are best utilised for marketing a sale or campaign, whilst SMS messages are perfect for simple recalls or reminder texts.
Point them in the right direction
The end goal is obvious to you, but is it obvious to your audience. What exactly do you want them to do? If it is for them to book an appointment with your optometrist, include something like “book now” and then attach a link to your online booking portal or add your phone number. If it is that you would like them to spend their optical extras, say something along the lines of “come and browse our range in store”. Giving clear direction is important to ensure your audience knows what they need to do next.
Short & Sweet
No one likes receiving an essay as a text message. This is important to keep in mind when crafting your SMS/MMS messages. The last thing you want is for your key message to get lost in a sea of pointless adjectives and verbs. We like to work on the principle of less said, better understood. A good way to achieve this, is to send the message to yourself that way you will see exactly how it will appear on the screen when it is received. Remember your character limits to stick to your budget. Messages are charged per character, 160 characters = 1 SMS message in terms of cost, with MMS messages giving you a little more wiggle room at 1000 characters = 1 MMS message in terms of cost.
Timing is often an area overlooked when sending out marketing messages. You may be wondering why it is important, but it becomes clear when we say that it is important for your customers to be reached in business hours when they can get in contact with you. It is a good idea to send out messages during weekdays so that your patients can call you to book in, or visit in store right away. It is also important if you are sending out bulk messages to stagger the message delivery, this ensures you don’t get hundreds of customers wanting to book in all at once clogging your phone lines and over running your online booking portal. We recommend sending no more than 100 messages out per day to avoid this issue.
Know your audience
Your patient cohort is likely to range from 18-year-olds to 88-year-olds who come from all kinds of backgrounds. This is another factor to consider when wording your messages. A ‘did you know yearly eye examinations are recommended for over 60’s, it’s been too long since we’ve seen you’ reminder message may be perfect for your patients in that age group, but it misses the mark completely when reaching out to those who are a little more youthful, varying your message content to target specific demographics is an easy way to overcome this. It is important also to consider splitting your marketing approach for your more elderly patients as MMS/SMS marketing is likely to be ineffective for this patient population. Tailor your marketing approach and utilise direct mail marketing instead for this group of patients.
We know that is a lot to think about it. Our best advice is not to over complicate it, write a message that you would like to receive yourself. By putting yourself in your customers shoes you will quickly notice what works and what doesn’t. Of course, when in doubt, give us a shout!
If you find you just don’t know where to start, visit our Support Hub for some inspiration, you’ll find a huge range of message templates for all occasions there. Still struggling, don’t stress. Simply engage our team, we’ll take the guess work out of the whole process for you! We can craft you the perfect message/s paired with an eye-catching image or GIF if that is what you are going for, we will even handle the delivery of your texts for you! Could it get any easier? We don’t think so! To learn more about SMS/MMS marketing simply enquire below!