10 Best SMS Tips For Luxury Marketers

Mobile Marketer asked me about best practices when marketing to the affluent. Here's the story that appears today. http://www.luxurydaily.com/ten-best-practice-sms-tips-for-luxury-marketers/

Rather than developing a costly mobile application or optimized site, some luxury brands are opting for SMS or MMS messaging that delivers relevant and real-time information to opted-in consumers.

Luxury brands such as Kiehl’s, Jaguar Land Rover, Cartier, BMW and Hennessy have begun to realize the affect that SMS messaging has on their customers. It is likely that this sort of messaging is one of the most personal ways to communicate with consumers via mobile.

“SMS is the means to an opted-in database where individual preferences can be learned and mobile messages can be personal and relevant,” said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer of Hipcricket, Kirkland, WA.

“Those benefits are especially important when your customer is affluent and accustomed to high-touch service,” he said.

As an expert in the SMS field, Mr. Hasen has compiled a list of 10 tips for luxury brands considering SMS messaging. Here they are:

1. Use SMS as a customer relationship marketing tool, not just a means to provide one-time offers.

2. Use past experiences with the customer to offer luxury customers what they actually want.

3. Do not assume all luxury customers have smartphones – SMS needs to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

4. Use SMS for time-sensitive offers and information. Ninety-seven percent of text messages are read within four minutes of delivery.

5. Consider location to boost relevance.

6. Make sure SMS campaigns fit into the brand’s overall marketing strategy.

7. Use SMS as a means to connect to richer brand experiences. For example, link back to the brand’s mobile Web site or app.

8. For this audience, over-deliver on customer service – it is more of an expectation.

9. Use SMS to drive customers to the store.

10. Exclusivity is important as it makes customers feel like VIPs, so reward the brand’s best customers with something special.

Depending on what the brand wants to accomplish, SMS can be used for many different purposes.

Some brands use SMS to call attention to new products.

For instance, LVMH’s Hennessy is promoting its collaboration with the artist Kaws for a limited-edition bottle that can be previewed by scanning 2D bar codes and SMS calls-to-action.

Meanwhile, other brands such as Kiehl’s skincare are implementing location-based SMS messaging to offer news and sales at local store locations to drive in-store purchase.

Automakers are also making use of the real-time messaging service.

German automaker BMW personalized MMS messages to alert customers to buy snow tires during winter months, while Jaguar integrated SMS calls-to-action with its television ads.

Since SMS messaging is opt-in, it is a fool-proof system to deliver information to a brand’s most loyal customers.

“A permission-based SMS program creates a dialogue with consumers, giving mobile subscribers the ability to ask for and receive exactly what they want,” Mr. Hasen said.