How to Use Location-Based SMS Advertising

Editors note: location targeting is a great way to segment your audience and send relevant, personalised material to your leads and customers. Sending an offer to your entire contact list that is only relevant to a segment of it is inefficient marketing. So how can your business use location-based SMS advertising? We’re glad you asked.

Here to help answer that question is Rithesh from Acowebs, with this informative and actionable guide on location-based text messaging.

If you have a physical location that you’re selling a product or service from then location-based marketing and advertising are essential. You wouldn’t do a flyer drop advertising your Dental practice 500kms away from its location?!? The geography of your customers and how you contact them influences their buying decisions. SMS is a perfect cost-effective channel to reach people where they are. Therefore, you need to find a savvy way of running location-based SMS advertising.

This method of advertising is one of the most accomplished marketing strategies. What is more impressive is that you do not have to worry about complex processes if you want to set up this tactic. This article offers five methods of using location-based advertising using text messages.

What is Location-Based SMS Advertising?

Location Based Advertising
Location Based Advertising

Assuming you have ABC Retail Stores in New York, Nairobi, and Tokyo. Suppose you want to run a promotional message for these locations. You can choose from the three options available below:

  1. Send the same texts to all your customers in all three locations, risking frustration and elevated unsubscribe rates in the process.
  2. You can run the same promotion across the three showrooms, limiting the ability to take care of location-specific ebbs and flows.
  3. You can run location-based SMS promotions, sending text messages to customers based on where they are.

The three methods above show that the third option is the most flexible and best for your customers. Location-based advertising using SMS simply works; let’s set it up!

Setting Up Location-Based Advertising Using SMS

SMS Advertising on Handset
SMS Advertising on Handset

Location-based text advertising may sound like a giant leap forward, but the chances are you have used it at some point. Have you ever bought anything online or subscribed to targeted pick-up? If that is the case, then you allowed the company to know your location. That is how the stores know when you arrive at their premises for pick-up and get your order ready. The same applies to when you open the Starbucks app, and they already know a location closest to you.

The technology used on these occasions may not be as complex as you may think. As much as they may not be similar to location-based advertising using SMS, the principles used are the same.

There are many ways of setting up this method. This article will show some of the most popular methods, however, what works for your business depends on different factors (which are also highlighted).

1. Request Customer Location Information Via Your Web Form

Web Form Example by Dominos
Web Form Example by Dominos

Use your web form to collect customer locations, especially with new mobile subscribers. This option will depend on how you promote your marketing campaigns. For instance, the form may have spaces for new clients to provide their state, city, and zip code. Sending text messages to your subscribers based on specific zip codes offers a high level of accuracy. If you are running offline branding campaigns to acquire new customers, you can create QR codes to collect customer information including location data, which can be used for your texting campaigns.

Once you have collected location data, you can always use the segment feature to generate location-specific targets and messages. This method is perfect if you have many outlets in the same city and would like to target specific places within the larger city.

2. Use Location-Specific Keywords

SMS keywords are a combination of phrases or letters that allow people to receive specific marketing text messages. For instance, you can set up three keywords for every retail store. In this case, you would ask your clients from New York to text NY to your business number to receive promotional messages for that location. Your Tokyo and Nairobi clients can use TKY and NRB, respectively, for their promotions.

Keywords are easy to set up. Accordingly, you can use them to advertise or promote your business in different locations. For the best results, you can display the location-specific keyword on receipts.

3. Use Specific Area Codes

The best-case scenario for this method will be if the area code is extensive, such as an entire state or region. This way, you can easily segment the entire location since interstate movements are not very common. Again, it would be best to use data to segment locations instead of using phone number area codes. However, it can also be a good starting point if you are just getting started.

4. Create Workflow Conversions

Marketing Workflows
Marketing Workflows

Many workflow features help you monitor the performance of your location-based marketing strategies. You can easily use these features to connect with your customers. For instance, you can ask about their locations directly and monitor the kinds of posts they engage with most. This way, you can automatically channel potential clients into additional steams you use to segment your audiences.

For instance, think about segmenting potential clients by where they work and live. As much as zip codes provide more comprehensive information about customers’ locations at all times, you can use questions to get the same info. For instance, if you find out that clients work downtown, you can use this data to send them targeted promotion messages during working hours and days because you’d know they are in their workplaces.

5. Use Marketing Automation Platforms

Using the display dashboard, identify the posts that customers are more engaged with. Use these posts to determine locations and create targeted promotional text messages. For instance, you can ask your sales team to follow up whenever a client clicks on a link and requests for location and permission if they would like to receive related information and content to the post that they liked, commented on, or shared.

Why You Should Use Location-Based Advertising with SMS

Location-based advertising is on the rise. According to stats, 90% of marketers believe text message advertising improves sales. Additionally, 86% of marketers believe it also fuels customer growth. Many people prefer a more personalised experience to cut through the noise and only receive promotional messages relevant to their demands and interests. This is what it is all about.

Ready to start with your location-based advertising campaigns? Check out how the pros outweigh the cons; here are the advantages and disadvantages of location-based SMS advertising.

Pros of SMS Location Advertising

  • Relevant ads
    Targeted ads add value to clients by only showing what is of interest to them. This adds relevance to marketing, enhancing customer experience.
  • Develops Customer Engagement
    You are more likely to keep your customers engaged if you send them information about what they may need at the moment.
  • Maximum Reach
    Some forms of mobile ads can only reach a specific section. For instance, social media campaigns may only reach users with smartphones and not get seen due to not being served or users scrolling straight past your post. On the other hand, SMS reaches anyone with a mobile phone. This expands your reach.
  • Improved Sales
    Double whammy: maximum reach and better customer engagement will help you turbocharge your leads, sales, and revenue.
  • Easy To Set Up
    Using text messages to launch your location-based ad campaigns is quick and easy using an online SMS gateway. Create your text message campaigns in minutes.

Cons of Location-Based Advertising

  • Ineffective Data
    Changes in data may make your campaign irrelevant quickly. For instance, if the information you have is outdated, this method may not be impactful. One way to maintain data quality is to actively encourage users to update their contact information whenever it changes.

Final Thoughts on Location-Based Ads

About the author

Rithesh Raghavan is the Director at Acodez, a Digital Agency in India, and the co-founder of Acowebs, an online store for eCommerce plugins. Having a rich experience of 15+ years in Digital Marketing, Rithesh loves to write up his thoughts on the latest trends and developments in the world of IT and software development.

Business Communications. Solved. Otherwise a massive lover of all things tech and marketing.