The benefits of SMS marketing for businesses are many: high deliverability, increased customer engagement and more revenue, just to name a few. SMS is one of the most convenient channels for communicating with your customers, and one of the most preferred mediums by customers themselves.
SMS marketing works seamlessly with other channels you’re likely already using to talk to customers, like email and social media platforms. Plus, it’s a great tool for marketing automation. If you’re not already using text messaging to reach your audience, launching this channel should be a key priority.
We’ll go into more detail about the benefits of SMS marketing and share some tips to incorporate it into your marketing strategy.
What is SMS marketing?
If you’ve watched those three gray dots as you eagerly awaited a response in the messaging app window, then you’re already familiar with SMS.
SMS stands for short message service. Technically, it’s a text-only message of up to 160 characters (rather than longer or media-rich messages), but today most people use the term ‘SMS’ to describe any type of text message.
In business, SMS marketing is a strategy for engaging customers and generating sales via text messaging. Companies can use SMS marketing to share promotions, communicate time-sensitive information, send reminders, promote new products, ask for feedback and more.
As a marketing channel, SMS is easy to deploy and offers the potential for high ROI. What’s more important, though, is that customers love it. Eighty-three percent of consumers say they’d like to receive text message appointment reminders, for example, while 66% want to receive service notifications via text (but less than a quarter of businesses send notifications this way).
With its convenient nature and simple setup, SMS messaging is hard to beat as a low-cost, low-risk marketing channel.
The benefits of SMS marketing
As the old saying goes, big things come in small packages. SMS marketing offers infinite possibilities in a compact, 160-character container. Here are just a few of the ways businesses can use it:
- Welcome new customers
- Remind customers of upcoming bills and offer an easy way to pay
- Confirm, cancel and reschedule appointments
- Run flash sales
- Offer exclusive discounts to VIP customers
- Send order confirmations and shipping updates
- Provide tech support
- Distribute customer feedback surveys
Once you start brainstorming ideas, the opportunities to engage customers through text message app marketing are endless.
SMS marketing allows you to engage with customers based on their known data points and preferences, like how they prefer to be contacted, what types of communications they want to receive, and even how often you contact them. The more you tailor your communications to customers’ wishes, the more positive their experience with your brand will be.
Privacy is a top concern for consumers, and brands have struggled to adapt to new limitations on data sharing between applications. SMS marketing offers a valuable opportunity to gather zero-party data–that’s data that the customer has directly and intentionally shared with a brand–which you can then use to further personalize their experience.
Despite the near-universal usage of text messaging, the majority of brands still don’t take advantage of SMS as a marketing medium. The space is much less crowded than platforms like email, which makes it easier for you to stand out and means you face less competition for customers’ attention than you do in a place like their inbox.
SMS campaigns are more inexpensive than traditional forms of marketing and advertising. Yet because they’re so versatile and customizable, they have the potential to produce much higher ROI. And because of the data, you can draw from SMS marketing, you’ll have a much more nuanced understanding of each campaign’s performance than something like a TV or streaming ad where there’s no way to know exactly what actions customers took after viewing the ad.
In addition to customer data like communication preferences, SMS marketing allows you to gather a wealth of behavioral data like what types of messages subscribers read and click on. This helps you refine future messaging and continually optimize your performance.
Customers find marketing messages delivered through SMS appealing, especially when those messages are customized to the recipient. It’s a big display of trust when a customer gives you their cell phone number, so using SMS marketing appropriately is a major opportunity to strengthen customer satisfaction and cement their brand loyalty.
SMS marketing tips
Integrate With Other Channels
Use SMS marketing as part of a unified communications strategy by considering how it fits in with your other channels. For example, a transaction that happens on your website might then trigger text message shipping alerts, or a support request that begins on text might move to a call with a live agent. The beauty of SMS is that it accommodates these seamless transitions with ease.
Segment Your Audience
It’s important to customize your SMS messages to best fit the person or people receiving them. For this example we’re going to look at search engine optimization. Let’s imagine that you are a New York SEO company, you would want to send your marketing messages to customers in the New York region only. Segmentation allows you to split your total contact database into smaller groups based on targetable attributes such as location, age, job position, or even the type of car they drive.
Ensure you’re staying on the right side of the law with your SMS marketing by following all consent and compliance best practices. A few big ones: get customers’ explicit permission before texting them, clearly communicate your terms and conditions, and make it quick and easy to opt-out at any time.
Be Mindful Of Branding
In addition to the promotional message or piece of information you’re delivering via text, don’t neglect the opportunity to use SMS for brand building. Include your company name in your text to keep your brand top of mind and avoid pushy, sales-heavy messaging.
Offer Two-Way Communication
Customers don’t just want to receive texts from brands; they want to be able to text back, too. Yet many brands don’t monitor or respond to incoming text messages. This is a major missed opportunity. Use SMS messaging as a two-way communication platform rather than just acting as the sender.
Advantages of SMS marketing over calling
When it comes to marketing, there are many different strategies that businesses can use to reach their target audience. One popular method is using short message service, or SMS, to send marketing messages directly to consumers’ phones. But why SMS marketing? It has a number of advantages over other methods of marketing, specifically phone calls or emails.
Are typically less expensive to send than making phone calls.
On average, SMS marketing is cheaper to utilize than making phone calls. On top of this, nearly all marketers using text messages for business said it helped them drive revenue, with almost 60% reporting overwhelmingly increased revenue generation.
Can be sent quickly and easily to a large number of people at once.
One of the biggest benefits of SMS marketing is the ability to reach a large audience. And your customers are actually interested in receiving SMS messages. A survey found that 91% of consumers are interested in signing up for texts from a business.
Are more likely to be read and responded to than email messages.
Given that 1 in 3 consumers check their text notifications within one minute of receiving a text, it’s no wonder that SMS has a higher read and response rate than email. Even further, 61% of consumers say they want the ability to text a business back.
Allows businesses to track responses and measure results in real time.
When it comes to marketing, being able to track your results is essential. SMS marketing allows businesses to do just that. With SMS tracking, businesses can see how many people received the message, how many people opened it, and how many people responded.
Overall, SMS marketing has a lot of advantages over other marketing strategies, like phone calls or emails. There are seemingly endless benefits of texting in business: It’s cheaper, easier to reach a larger audience, and more likely to get a response. Plus, businesses can track responses in real-time to see what’s working and what’s not. If you’re looking for a new marketing strategy, SMS marketing is a great option to consider.
Frequently Asked Questions
SMS is marketing that takes place over text message. It can be used to spread the word about promotions, inform customers of company news, share important or time-sensitive information, provide support and more.
SMS marketing is not illegal when conducted properly. This means getting express written consent to contact customers via text message for marketing purposes. Your initial message should include clear and simple instructions to opt-out.
Because of its convenient and highly personal nature, SMS marketing is incredibly effective at engaging customers. Most customers respond positively to text message communications from brands once they’ve opted in to receive them.
There are many types of SMS that brands can use for marketing purposes, including:
– Coupon codes
– Transactional messages
– Status updates
– Service alerts
– Geo-triggered messages