SMS Marketing Explained- The Whys, Whats, And Hows
SMS marketing is relevant again. The average person checks their phone 160 times a day. 46% of people even do it before they get out of bed in the morning. Plus, SMS marketing has some crazy open rates of 98% today.
Sounds very promising, right?
Well, SMS marketing is a strategy that is starting to regain brands’ attention for all the reasons above and plenty of others. It is efficient for all kinds of businesses, no matter the industry or size. Plus, it can help companies transmit all sorts of messages to their consumers.
If you want to become a master at something, it takes some time and work to learn the tricks of the trade. The same is true for creating successful SMS marketing campaigns. Keep reading below to learn more about what SMS marketing is, why use it to promote your products/ services, what to use it for, and how to do it efficiently!
SMS Marketing Explained
First things first, let’s dig deeper into what SMS marketing is.
In essence, SMS marketing is a strategy that involves sending SMS to a broad audience. Businesses use SMS marketing for all sorts of marketing purposes, from sending out specials, coupons, promotions, alerts, and many others. SMS texts used for promotional purposes typically involve short messages of up to 160 characters, and they are sent through a phone’s native messaging app. In other words, SMS marketing is a channel that uses text messaging to get your brand’s messages to customers.
Why Use SMS Marketing?
Now you know what SMS marketing is. Yet, you may be wondering whether or not it is indeed a good choice for your business. Well, find out that SMS marketing is a promotional strategy suitable for all sorts of businesses of all sizes and from all industries. It is genuinely acceptable to reach out to customers and prospects through SMS no matter what you’re selling, as long as users have opted in to receive them.
SMS marketing has plenty of benefits lurking in the background, waiting for you to capitalize on them, including:
It may sound really obvious, but many marketers seem to forget just how smartphone-friendly SMS texts are. As mentioned above, SMS texts are sent through smartphones’ native messaging app. So, there’s really no need to worry that there might be an issue with the user experience by using this channel.
SMS texts have been with phones since forever, and that’s what consumers best associate them with. So, it simply makes sense to use a smartphone-friendly communication channel that is integrated into the small devices customers carry with them all the time.
Truth be told, all businesses are looking for the best ways to save money. After all, a penny saved is a penny earned. Well, that’s precisely what SMS marketing allows your business to do: save money on marketing. SMS is the cheapest and most accessible channel of communication, costing significantly less than other marketing channels like email or social media.
Unlike other marketing channels, SMS has one more benefit: it feels more personal to consumers.
People have used SMS texts to communicate with their loved ones since phones have been around. What’s more, smartphones are also very personal devices that consumers keep close to them all the time. So, when you use SMS to reach out to your audience, you help customers and prospects feel closer to your brand.
You know what they say, “Time is money.” And, you know just how true this saying is in the business world. The quicker things happen, the more money your company makes. Well, SMS can also help you with saving time since it is instant. For example, the quicker your customers and prospects receive your message about your latest deals, the faster they visit your physical or online store to take advantage of it.
With SMS, you don’t have to wait for your audience to check their emails or enter social media to see your message. Your texts get on their screens instantly.
Works with other types of marketing
Another great benefit of SMS marketing is that it works efficiently with other types of marketing. SMS can easily be anchored to your different digital or offline strategies. For example, you can use SMS to invite your customers and prospects to your physical or virtual store. Or, you can use SMS to ask your audience to follow you on social media.
It has fantastic open rates
One great reason to use SMS marketing instead of other communication channels is the fact that SMS texts have excellent open rates as high as 98%. Compared to just 20%, which represents the open rates of emails, SMS seems to really have the potential to get your message in front of the right pair of eyes.
It has incredible read rates
With SMS marketing, you’re not only sure that your audience opens your texts, but you can also rest assured that your messages get read. Data shows that text messages used for marketing purposes have a read rate of 97% within 15 minutes of delivery.
What to Use SMS Marketing for?
It’s clear that SMS marketing has plenty of benefits worth capitalizing on. But, what can your brand use SMS marketing for? Short answer: all sorts of marketing purposes. Here’s what you can use SMS marketing for:
Announce new promotions
Whenever you have new promotions on your products or services, you can send SMS texts to your customers to inform them about your latest deals. This will help maintain your relationship with customers and attract them to buy from your business.
Announce new product releases
If your brand releases a new product, you can instantly announce it to your audience. Your SMS texts can raise interest in your prospects and attract them to find out more about your new product.
Attract customers to your website
One great thing about SMS marketing is that it can support and integrate with other channels efficiently, including online channels like your website. And, a growing number of consumers prefer the ease of access from a simple link received in a text message. It’s simple, straightforward, and saves them a great deal of time to go online and look for your website themselves.
Carry on loyalty programs
Today’s customers love to see that their loyalty to specific brands is appreciated and rewarded. They have plenty of other choices in terms of products and services. And, yet, they stick to your brand. This is something that you need to reward in a way or another. You can use SMS to carry out loyalty programs such as sending personalized deals or insights about your business to loyal customers.
Send important reminders
You can also use SMS to send information and updates during the customer journey. For example, you can remind your customers when it is time to make a new appointment with you or when their subscription is about to expire.
Send order updates
SMS is a perfect channel for sending order updates to customers who have just bought from your company. You can use SMS to let them know that their order has been received, delivered, returned, or any other update on the orders they place on your website.
Ask for feedback
Feedback is crucial for business improvement. Knowing what your customers think and want is a great way to look for strategies to please them better. You can use SMS to ask for feedback from your customers and prospects. For example, you can send short questionnaires after a purchase or a customer service call.
How to Use SMS Marketing?
Last but not least, you also need to know how to create an effective SMS marketing strategy in order to achieve the marketing and sales goals you’ve set for your business.
Whether you want to increase brand awareness, build loyalty among customers, attract new customers, or increase your sales, the right SMS marketing strategy can help you achieve that. Here are all the tips you need to build a successful SMS marketing campaign:
Understand your goals
First things first, you need to understand what you want to achieve through your SMS marketing campaign. Only by having a clear idea of your goals, you can determine the proper steps to follow to reach them and whether or not your campaign was effective.
You may want to increase traffic on your website. Or maybe you want to invite more customers to your physical location. Or, you may wish to raise awareness about your new product. Either way, make sure that you know what you want to achieve through your SMS marketing efforts.
Know your audience
The next step to creating a successful SMS marketing campaign is to get to know your audience. Understanding your audience is essential to crafting the right message that will engage and attract people to take the right action for your business to achieve its goals. For example, if you want to increase sales, you’ll have to craft a message that convinces people to buy from you. But, for that, you need to know your audience inside out.
So, research your audience thoroughly and find out as many insights as possible, from demographics like age to gender, location, preferences, buying patterns, income, values, and needs.
Write short and clear messages
Once you know who you’re writing for, it is time to craft your message.
When crafting your SMS text message, make sure to consider your campaign’s goals and audience’s particularities. With these in mind, create a short, 160 characters short, and clear message that will attract and engage your recipients. Also, make sure that you avoid being too “sales” or too formal. Try to craft a message that has a friendly tone that suits your brand.
A pro tip to remember after crafting your SMS text message is to check it for typos and grammar mistakes. Reread your message to make sure that no error slipped through editing to avoid looking unprofessional and offering a poor user experience to your recipients.
Personalize your texts
It is also a good idea to spend some time personalizing your text messages. Today’s customers appreciate personalization because they feel like they are essential to the brand they are receiving a message from. What’s more, consumers are more eager to respond to materials addressed directly to them. So, make sure to insert your customers’ names when you can and personalize your texts based on your audience’s preferences.
For example, if you’re reaching out to a group of recipients that mainly prefer one of your products, make sure that your message mentions that product or even offers a deal to it.
Today’s customers want to feel that their time and effort to read your message and engage with your business is appreciated and rewarded. You can offer that to your audience by providing incentives like coupons or deals. This will make your customers feel like they are part of an “elite” club or community.
What’s more, incentives also make consumers more willing to take the action you’re asking them to take in your message. For example, if you’re sending a questionnaire and want your audience to take the time to answer your questions or want them to subscribe to your social media, promise a reward like a deal to one of your most popular products/ services.
Use call-to-action phrases
Call-to-action phrases are also crucial for the success of your SMS marketing campaign. Make sure to include clear and engaging CTAs to guide your recipients to take the specific actions you want them to take after reading your texts, whether that is visiting your website, following you on social media, or visiting your physical store.
Get your timing right
Timing is also crucial and can impact how successful your SMS marketing campaign will be. In short, make sure that you send your text messages at the right time to improve your chances to get a reply or to convince the recipients to act after reading your message. So, avoid sending your texts too early or too late and also avoid peak hours because at these times of the day, consumers are too busy with their own tasks to have the time to engage with your brand. Don’t send your texts during weekends.
With the number of global smartphone users on the rise by the day and all the benefits that SMS holds, it is the right time to consider creating your own SMS marketing campaign.