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Take your SMS marketing campaigns to a whole new place with geotargeting

Resources & Blog

Take your SMS marketing campaigns to a whole new place with geotargeting

Introduction

A common theme that is regularly discussed by Team Reach is the importance of collecting customer data. Collecting the right data can create an abundance of opportunities for your business. Data gives you the ability to encourage your customers to make repeat purchases by using factors such as their age, sex, purchase history and more. One variable that should not be overlooked is location data, which can be collected relatively easily. Location data allows you to identify which country, city, town or suburb each customer resides in. Acquiring location data means that you can send targeted offers and incentives to different customer groups based upon the place that they live, making their purchase experience much more personal. This type of marketing is known as geotargeting and it can be a very rewarding strategy, particularly when you combine it with SMS marketing.

An advantage of using geotargeting to encourage purchases is that there is an ever-growing demand from consumers to receive unique and personalised offers. Recent findings show that 60% of consumers would like to receive offers that are targeted to where they are and what they are doing, highlighting a clear demand for businesses to adapt a geotargeting strategy. Some good news for consumers is that the demand is expected to be matched by businesses, with $38.7 billion forecasted to be spent on location-based advertising in 2022 by U.S. businesses alone. This figure should emphasise the value is being placed on consumer location and also alert any companies that currently do not have a strategy in place that includes geotargeting.

Before you start thinking about the different ways to use geotargeting, you must first collect enough customer location data to make it worthwhile. There are several ways in which this can be achieved. Firstly, any customer that makes a purchase online will already be providing you with a delivery address. All you need to do in order to send geotargeted SMS marketing updates to these customers is to ask for their mobile number when they make a purchase. Just make sure that you gain permission via a checkbox! Alternatively, you can encourage website visitors to provide their location and mobile number via a subscribe button on your landing page. This will provide you with the opportunity to collect data from all of your website visitors – not just the ones that go on to make an immediate purchase. You can increase signups is by offering an incentive, such as a promotional code or cashback. Recent findings show that 99.6% of consumers are willing to share location data with a company in return for cash rewards.

Geotargeting & SMS

Now that you have enough data, you can combine geotargeting with SMS marketing to offer localised discounts and incentives to your customers. The advantage of using SMS is that it puts your company into the minds of your customers before they get a chance to consider any other alternatives. This is particularly important, considering that some of the most popular search terms on Google often include the phrases “near me” and “nearby”. Therefore, by using SMS marketing to provide your customers with local store news and promotional incentives, you are ensuring that you are regularly thought about by your customers. Regarding suitability, geotargeting via SMS can be used by companies that operate either online, on the high street, or both - there are no restrictions. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that geotargeting can help you when using SMS marketing.

Increase in-store sales

The first big advantage of using geotargeting when sending out SMS campaigns is that it can be used to help you increase your in-store sales. Firstly, you would need to identify which store(s) to focus on. You could select stores that are performing poorly, those not meeting targets or simply select a store at random. Once you have selected which stores to focus on, then you can send out promotional text messages to all of your customers that fall into an appropriate radius around each specific store. Nearby customers will then see the offer and then hopefully visit the store as a result, depending on the quality of your promotional offer and the interest that it generates.

Alongside this, you can also use geotargeting to inform customers of any upcoming clearance sales that are taking place. SMS marketing provides you with the perfect tool to inform customers of clearance sales because it has extremely high open rates, meaning that almost all of the customers that you send the message to will see it. Using geotargeting also adds much more of a personal feel. Rather than customers hearing about your clearance sale online or via a newsletter, you can text customers with the exact location of their local store whilst also including opening hours and even the number of minutes that it would take to get there from their address! Not only does this strategy allow your customers to remain up to date with local offers, but it will also help you to sell old items whilst reducing wastage stock.

Finally, in contrast to a clearance sale, you can use geotargeting to inform your customers of new product launches that are happening in a store nearby. Sending a text message provides your customers with a sense of inclusivity compared with other strategies (email, social media, billboards etc.) because your customers do not know how many other people have received the message. Therefore, increasing their desire to visit their local store once the product has launched. Additionally, you could exclusively launch products in different stores on a rotational basis, so that customers in different locations get an opportunity to be the first to purchase.

Engage with local/national events

Another benefit of using geotargeting is that you can engage with customers about events that are happening, which can lead to an increase in purchases. There are many events that occur locally, nationally and internationally throughout the year and they should be utilised in order to generate sales and increase customer interest. For example, on a local level, if you are a retailer and there is a local music festival then you could encourage residents to visit your store in that area to receive a discount. On a national level, you could text your customers in Ireland, for example, wishing them a happy St. Patrick’s Day, whilst including a discount code to use on your website. Finally, on an international level you could text all of your customers during events such as Christmas or the FIFA World Cup.

You can also use geotargeting to jump on the bandwagon and celebrate success at a local level. For example, since Manchester City have just won the Premier League, you could text all of your customers in the local area stating that you are celebrating their win and want to give local residents 20% off their next purchase. Another example could be to promote a city that has just won an award such as the European Capital of Culture by offering local residents a discount. Regardless of the occasion, using SMS marketing to message your customers on a local level sets a very personal tone that cannot be matched by other marketing channels.

Additional variables

Geotargeting doesn’t just have to be about events. There are also other factors that you can consider when sending out an SMS campaign based on geotargeting. One great example, particularly for retailers, is the weather. The weather is a perfect variable when marketing your products because it is typically never the same in two different cities or countries. Whilst customers in Australia will be shopping for winter attire, customers in Europe will be preparing for the summer. Whereas in the U.S., it has recently snowed in some areas (in May!), whilst other states such as Arizona are seeing temperatures well above 30c already. Therefore, sending text marketing offers to customers offering discounted products that are relevant to the weather in their town or city is likely to have much more of an impact than sending generic texts to all of your customers. Whatever the variable, next time you send out an SMS campaign, try to think about how you can use geotargeting to provide your customers with a personalised experience that will increase their likelihood of making a purchase or taking action.

Cutomer Account manager
by Liam Quinn | Marketing Executive

Hi, I'm Liam, Marketing Executive at Reach Interactive. I have a background in international marketing and love branding, social media and seeing how companies communicate with their customers.

Cutomer Account manager
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