As the name suggests, SMS marketing is the use of text messages to promote products and services. The majority of businesses use SMS marketing to inform their customers of time-sensitive promos. It’s pretty much the same concept as email marketing, except this time, the short messages are delivered to the customer’s phone from a shortcode.
How Does SMS Marketing Work?
First, you need to give your customers the option to opt into your campaign. This can be done from a website, a physical paper form, or through an opt-in keyword.
For a website, you’ll need to create an online form where visitors can fill in their details, including the phone number. They must also agree that you can send promotional messages to their phones.
Paper forms work well with brick-and-mortar stores. Here, the customers will fill a physical piece of paper providing personal details like names and contact numbers. They’ll then tick a box consenting to promotional text messages.
Keyword opt-in is where the customers text a given keyword to a specified number. This option is especially popular with contests. A business would advertise the competition on different channels. They’ll also provide a keyword and number where interested individuals can text the keyword. Anyone who sends the message will automatically be enrolled in the campaign.
Once the customers have signed up, you’ll partner with another company to create and send the messages.
The text blasts are usually done from special shortcodes. The codes are much shorter than the typical telephone numbers. To make the number and message easier to understand, marketers are encouraged to mention the company’s name in the message. Besides shortcodes, companies can also use auto-response and toll-free numbers. Auto-response is especially popular in welcoming new subscribers.
Is SMS Marketing Effective?
Yes, it is. Multiple studies support the effectiveness of SMS marketing. For instance, recent statistics show that text messages have a whopping 98% open rate. That’s almost five times the open rate of emails.
Does that mean that SMS marketing is more effective than email marketing? Well, that’s a long topic for another day. But you should know that smart businesses use SMS marketing alongside email marketing. Text messages can be used to communicate short and time-sensitive promotions. On the other hand, emails provide the perfect platform for long-form content marketing.
That being said, you must monitor your database to retain the effectiveness of your text message campaigns. This is mostly done through the validation of phone numbers using an SMS number lookup service. The process cleans up the database hence boosting your ROI.
Benefits Of SMS Marketing
Your businesses will benefit hugely from SMS marketing in the following ways:
– Messages Are Delivered Immediately
SMS marketing works almost instantly. The text messages are typically delivered within seconds. Customers also read texts much faster than emails. That means that you can see the results of your campaign almost instantly.
Whether you want clients to click on a link or reply to the message, you’ll start seeing the impact of your text message campaign within minutes.
– It Can Be Personalized
SMS campaigns can be personalized to increase engagement and conversions.
Use the data provided on the sign-up form to curate messages that address the customer’s needs.
– It Encourages Customer Engagements
SMS marketing campaigns have the highest engagement rate of any marketing channel. The medium allows you to keep your clients in the loop of what’s happening with your business.
– It’s Fairly Easy To Track Performance
SMS marketing service providers offer useful metrics showing the performance of campaigns. This makes it easier to monitor performance and readjusts strategies when necessary.
– It Can Be Integrated With Other Marketing Channels
Text message marketing can be used to support other marketing strategies. For instance, a business could send a short message telling customers to watch out for a discount or article that will be emailed to them in a day or two.
Text Message Marketing Best practices
Phone numbers are very personal. In fact, many customers would rather they shared their email addresses than give you their phone numbers. Therefore, spamming customers with text messages does more harm than good. Spamming is unprofessional, plus it can also leave you exposed to costly GDPR fines.
Below is a list of some of the other best practices in SMS marketing:
– Don’t send text messages at odd hours.
– Ensure the customers consented to the text messages.
– Let the recipients know which company is behind the text message.
SMS marketing is beneficial to virtually all companies. Whether you’re running a retail outlet, eCommerce store, or a service business, you’ll find this channel very effective for generating leads.