Mobile devices are no longer a growing influence in the digital marketing space. Mobile is the influence. By association, SMS marketing also has the potential to make a major impact on your marketing efforts.
SMS marketing is not a niche tool or reserved for corporations. Small businesses have the opportunity to capitalize on the power of SMS too. Text message marketing is not a standalone strategy, but can be used to great effect to extend your digital reach and increase sales.
With an estimated 270 million mobile users in the US alone, there is little doubt that smartphones are integrated into our everyday lives. Furthermore, the advancements in mobile technology will only mean that people can do more with their handsets.
Given mobile is so integrated into modern life, it stands to reason that SMS marketing has an integral role in the modern marketplace. Text is becoming the most popular way of reaching customers. Consumers prefer to be contacted by text too!
SMS is quicker than SEO and PPC
The digital space has given marketers more platforms to reach out and connect with your audience. SMS is amongst the elite and is proving to be the most powerful and fastest route to customers.
Not only is SMS instant, over 90% of messages are typically opened within three minutes and up to 98% within 15 minutes. In a nutshell, SMS texting gets your message in front of your audience. Most emails on the other hand get deleted without being read.
SMS marketing also take less time to achieve results. SEO is notoriously slow albeit very powerful once your website begins to rank, and PPC can be hit and miss and very expensive.
The only delay with SMS for small businesses is a lack of customers to send messages to. If you have not already been accumulating mobile phone numbers, your first task is to build a list of customers that give you permission to send SMS messages.
But with a well-oiled SMS campaign, building a list is achievable in a short space of time. All you have to do is market an enticing promotion instructing customers to text in a shortcode in order for them to redeem the offer.
SMS marketing is measurable
Marketing analysis is crucial. If you do not have statistics to hand that enable you to refine your marketing campaigns and update your website, it is impossible to know which marketing methods are working and which are failing.
SMS marketing messages are assigned a shortcode and keyword that customers text in to take advantage of your offer. The shortcode and keyword can then be used to track the number of responses you receive for the offer. A shortcode and keyword will look something like this:
15% OFF WOMEN’S SHOES: TXT 55099
SMS metric can be tracked in real time, so you can even assess what time of day you receive the most responses. Are you getting more replies during lunch hours or the commute times to and from work?
The time of day you send SMS marketing messages could impact on your sales. If your promotion is time sensitive for example “10% off breakfast rolls” choosing the right time of day to send out the promotion may work in your favor.
SMS metrics also enable you to measure leads and conversions thus calculate your ROI. Some SMS marketing services even have targeted metrics that offer deeper insights into your mobile database.
SMS hits the target
There is something in the human psyche that compels us to read text messages. The statistics for opened SMS marketing messages is incredible, over 90% of text marketing is read.
Consumers are fully aware the texts they receive from brands is marketing, yet we still open them. Emails only have a success rate of 30% – substantially lower than text messages.
So what is it about text messages that makes mobile users want to open their messages. Scientists believe it has something to do with the pleasure seeking part of our brain. Because most text messages from friends are fun, our mind is automatically programmed to be curious about any text.
Mobile phones are also a personal channel and brands can play into the hands of customers by engaging in personal marketing. Understanding the individual needs and tastes of your customers will enable you to send messages that are relevant to them.
Consumers are also more open to receiving texts for customer care and notifications about when products become available than any other channel of communication. And if your customers are open to SMS marketing, your SMS marketing is more likely to be opened.
Note: This post was originally published in March 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.