Texting has become the number one mode of communication for those between the ages of 18 and 64. In the age of the smartphone, people prefer to text more than any other mode of communication. This is why texting is considered the best way to reach customers, and this is the reason businesses use SMS marketing to get their messages out to customers.
We have all gotten these SMS text messages. Our phone number is in the databases of marketing companies because we sign into online platforms, register with retailers, and enter our data into all manner of online systems. Once that information is online, marketing companies can use it for things like SMS marketing.
It would be easy to dismiss SMS marketing if you have found these messages to be a nuisance, but the fact is, they work. Nearly 100 percent of people actually read all their text messages. Yet, fewer than half of all businesses online use SMS marketing. Even though SMS texting may be perceived as unwanted, people are still reading them, and the messages are getting through to them.
What is SMS marketing? What are the different types of SMS marketing? And how can you begin using SMS marketing to optimize your brand and increase conversions? This guide is all about SMS marketing and how to effectively use SMS marketing.
What is SMS marketing?
SMS stands for short message service. It is a text messaging service designed to directly engage customers via text message. SMS can be sent through an intermediary to send text-to-voice conversions for landlines. SMS is the most widely used data application of its kind. It reaches more the 3 billion active users.
SMS marketing is a direct marketing technique whereby you use this technology to send short messages to create interest in a specific product or service. Considering that text messaging is the most widely used mode of digital communication, SMS marketing has been shown to be an extremely effective marketing tool.
Types of SMS marketing techniques
Going with SMS marketing can work for your brand. It is important to understand at the outset that there are two types of SMS marketing.
Text campaigns are also called promotional SMS marketing campaigns. These are messages sent to promote something like a sale, to promote a new product or service, or simply to build brand awareness. Text campaigns can be simple, one-time messages or they can be more far-ranging campaigns that build off workflow via automated SMS messages.
Text campaigns can be sued to send messages that inform customers that you are launching a new product. These work especially well when you are working with customer lists generated from existing customers, but text campaigns can also build a customer base. These kinds of SMS campaigns can also be sued to promote events or to offer tips on how best to use your product.
In the case of a customer base assembled from customers who signed up to receive email and text messages, text campaigns are useful to send welcome messages and to encourage people to explore your website for more items.
Event-triggered promotional SMS messages are communications you can send to your customers based on the actions they take on your website.
Transactional text campaigns
Transactional SMS text campaigns are messages that contain information your customers should have such as order confirmation, shipping details, and other information pertinent to a specific transaction. These types of SMS text campaigns also provide updates on things like the status of an order.
Transactional SMS campaigns are fairly straightforward and do not leave a lot of room for creativity. They do, however, keep customers informed and they remind customers of your business and brand.
You should be aware of the fact that if a customer or visitor to your website signs up to receive transactional text messages, you cannot use this information to market directly to them without their consent. However, you can save their phone numbers in a database for future possibilities should they agree to receive promotional SMS text messages. Transactional SMS campaigns are a great way to build brand loyalty. These kinds of SMS messages create the sense that your company cares about its business.
SMS Marketing Benefits
Successful businesses use SMS marketing for the simple reason that it works. SMS marketing is a proven way of building your customer base and increasing your repeat customers. Some of the benefits of SMS marketing include:
Higher open rates than emails
One of the main reasons businesses rely on SMS marketing is that people are far more likely to open a text message than an email. Once the message is open, there is an even better chance it will get read. Emails can easily be directed to spam folders, and people deliberately ignore these emails. The prevalence of smartphones means people are likely to open a text message and read it.
SMS messages are inexpensive to send. Even if you send a lot of SMS messages, the cost is still relatively low. When compared to things like social media ads, SMS marketing is extremely inexpensive. This is one reason SMS marketing is beneficial to small businesses that do not have huge marketing budgets.
Marketing strategies that are mobile-friendly are essential these days. It simply is not possible to make a marketing plan that is successful without also making it mobile-friendly. SMS marketing is one of the most mobile-friendly marketing strategies. With SMS, you are sending your marketing materials directly to smartphones.
Wider demographic reach
Simply because so many people have cell phones, particularly smartphones, it is easy to reach an extremely wide demographic with SMS marketing. Rather than focusing on a narrow demographic that you arrive at through market research, SMS marketing reaches everyone. This expands your customer base to include people you may not have anticipated showing an interest in your brand.
Complements are other marketing strategies
You can use SMS marketing as part of a much wider marketing campaign. There is no reason why your SMS marketing campaign needs to be deployed on its own. When setting up ads on social media and traditional media, you can include an SMS campaign as part of wide promotion to launch a new product or to build brand awareness.
SMS marketing is effectively instant. There is no delay between launching your message and those who receive it. This means promotions and other time-sensitive messages are instantly sent and received. Emails, even when people open them, can sit for hours or even days before anyone sees them. Since people open text messages nearly woo percent of the time, your marketing campaign can be generated and sent in no time.
Increases customer engagement
SMS marketing allows you to directly engage your customers, but it also allows customers to feel engaged with your business. SMS marketing is a way to directly contact customers on a level that creates the idea of being directly involved. This builds customer loyalty.
SMS vs. Email
As a way of comparing the benefits of SMS marketing with email marketing, we can take a look at the pros and cons of each:
Pros and Cons of Email Marketing
The pros of email marketing are:
- Builds customer relationships
- Helps create brand recognition
- Can be tracked by data analytics
The cons of email marketing are:
- Most people will not open emails
- Too much competition for time
- Emails often feel impersonal
- Easy for people to unsubscribe
Pros and Cons of SMS marketing
The pros of SMS marketing are:
- People open texts
- Customers want SMS
- SMS is an opt-in channel
- Customers tend to find value in SMS messages
The cons of SMS marketing are:
- Message length limit
- Smaller customer lists
- Less frequency
- Extra channel to manage
SMS marketing best practices
Before taking on an SMS marketing campaign, it is essential that you understand SMS marketing best practices. Things you will need to inform yourself about include
Understanding SMS Laws
SMS falls under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association. Both of these rigorously regulate how SMS marketing can work and the limits of what you can do with SMS marketing.
Neglecting your copy
It is absolutely essential that your copy be flawless, succinct, and packed with the information you need to convey. You are limited in the length of your message, so your message must simultaneously grab attention and convey the correct information.
Use of images
The use of images also falls under several legal jurisdictions. Copyright is just one thing to consider when using images in your SMS marketing.
Take care to avoid spamming your customers. There are laws that regulate what can be considered spamming, and this type of messaging will drive customers away.
Integration with other platforms
SMS marketing is an affordable and effective strategy to market your brand. SMS marketing always works best when integrated into other marketing strategies like social media ads and website design.
It is important to perform things like metrics and analytics to track your SMS marketing. Analytics allows you to see how many new subscribers you’ve gained, the number of users clicking links in your texts, and the number of messages sent per list. With metrics and data, you can adjust and optimize your SMS marketing campaigns.
SMS marketing ideas
There are many ways to use SMS marketing. Some ways SMS marketing has been sued to great success include
Exclusive deals to TEXT VIP Club
Customers enjoy being part of an exclusive club. For customers who have signed up for these kinds of premiums, you can send special discounts and early access through SMS marketing campaigns. This boosts sales and helps create customer loyalty.
Content or Blog Promotion
Any time you are promoting new content on your website or something you announce on your blog, SMS marketing campaigns is a great way to alert customers this is happening. This is a perfect way to make your customers feel like they are a part of something unique, and it invites them to take a new look at what you have to offer.
Surveys or Polls
Many businesses use surveys and polls to gauge customer interests and to find new ways of presenting their product or service. SMS messages are perfect for alerting customers to these polls and surveys and inviting them to participate.
Sweepstakes or Contests
Of course, sweepstakes and contests are always a great way to grab peoples’ attention. Customers, new and old, will likely sign up for a chance at something for free, and SMS messaging was all but made for this kind of announcement.
Thank you Messages
Many businesses use SMS marketing as a method of first contact through thank you messages. Letting your customers know their business is appreciated makes for repeat customers and it increases respect for your brand.
Inviting customers to review your business, product, or service is an ideal marketing technique since it involves reaching out to customers to boost customer loyalty, and reviews are a great way to generate online attention. Roughly 90 percent of consumers read reviews before buying a product or service. By inviting your loyal customers to write reviews, you boost your online visibility.
As you can see from this guide, SMS marketing is both easy and complex. To get the most out of SMS marketing, you can leave things to professionals who are knowledgeable and will invest themselves in the success of your company. HeyDay Marketing Services provides SMS marketing services that will help your business grow.
HeyDay Marketing Services can build an SMS marketing campaign that can increase your brand awareness, create loyal customers, and generate conversions. We can help you build an SMS marketing campaign that works for your product or service.
HeyDay Marketing Services offers several packages for you that will create an SMS marketing campaign that works for your company. We understand that one size does not fit all. For sound SMS marketing campaigns strategies that work, allow HeyDay Marketing Services to create an integrated marketing strategy that includes SMS marketing.