Are you wondering how you can grow your business? Can we let you in on a secret? We are talking about SMS message marketing or text marketing.
The proof is in the data: 89 per cent of people say they would rather text with a business than speak with them on the phone. Listening to what your customers want and communicating with them through their preferred channel can be a game-changer for customer engagement and, ultimately, business growth.
Here’s the kicker: Roughly 60 per cent of marketers aren’t currently taking advantage of text message marketing, so there’s a largely untapped potential here.
Keep reading to find out how adding SMS text messages to your marketing strategy can help your business.
What is SMS message marketing?
SMS marketing is when a business sends marketing materials and communicates with customers through text messages. You can share things like sales promotions, business news, product rollouts, and shipping information straight to your customers’ cell phones.
Benefits of SMS text message marketing
With 7.4 billion SMS subscribers in the world, there are many reasons to take advantage of SMS text message marketing. Let’s take a look at some of the specific benefits below.
1. Cost-effective and scalable
Other marketing strategies can use up a big chunk of your budget, but SMS marketing is an affordable way to reach more people. And unlike pay-per-click ads or expensive media buys, you aren’t competing with anyone else when you send a text.
Plus, you can scale your text message marketing efforts as your subscribers’ list (and your business) grows.
2. Build trust
SMS message marketing can help you build trust with your audience because it is permission-based, meaning customers have to opt in before you can send them messages. When people opt-in, it means they want to hear from you and likely already believe in what you’re offering.
3. Powerful segmentation
In the same vein, SMS marketing means customers are asking to learn more about your products. You get to know what their needs are and help them meet those needs with your solution.
SMS text messages can direct customers to personalized pages and offers based on who they are and how they’ve interacted with your brand in the past.
4. Instant customer engagement
5. More flexibility
Aside from sales and marketing announcements, you can also integrate SMS into other parts of your business, like informing customers about order statuses and tracking information.
Customer service can benefit from SMS as well. You can send customers a message with a link to their support ticket so they can access it wherever they are, or set up a chatbot to respond to the texts customers send to your support number.
6. Strong KPIs
Finally, SMS marketing offers excellent KPIs. In fact, SMS campaigns boast an open rate of 98 per cent compared to 20 per cent for emails. Text message marketing also has an average click-through rate of 19 per cent!
Ways to use SMS text marketing
Convinced by those benefits? Let’s look at how you can incorporate SMS text marketing into your business.
1. Discounts and specials
SMS messages are one of the fastest and easiest ways to tell customers about special offers and discounts. Remember that 98% open rate we mentioned earlier? This means you’re likely to see high engagement with your special offers, even if they’re last minute.
Offering incentives — like a one-time discount or early access to new products — can encourage people to opt-in for texts.
2. Loyalty programs and rewards
Show loyal customers how much you appreciate them by making texts part of your loyalty or rewards program. You can send discounts, reminders about special events, or other loyalty program information.
3. Sending secure information
Text messaging allows you to send secure information instantly and safely. Use SMS as part of a two-factor authentication process or to help customers get back into their accounts. Send security alerts, PINs, and even appointment reminders.
4. Personalized promotions
Who doesn’t love a good deal, especially for something they were already interested in? Use SMS as part of your omnichannel customer engagement strategy to send promotions based on each customer’s unique history with your brand.
Remarketing can be difficult, but it is one of the most important components of digital marketing — and nothing is as immediate as SMS remarketing messages. Examples include:
- Abandoned cart reminders: Make your product top of mind again, and maybe even include a special discount code.
- Purchase follow-ups: Send order and shipping status updates while they wait for their delivery.
- Review requests: Ask customers to leave a review to help others find the right products.
6. Customer surveys and reviews
To expand on that last bullet, text messages can help you gather valuable feedback from customers — which is vital for business growth and continuous improvement.
Send personalized surveys via SMS so it gets to them quickly, and so you are blasting customers with questions that may not apply to them.
Use their responses to make decisions based on real customer data, build new campaigns, enhance customer experience, or otherwise improve your products and services.
How to start a successful SMS message marketing campaign
Wondering how to actually get started with SMS message marketing? We’ll go over the steps below.
1. Sign up subscribers
As we mentioned earlier, customers have to opt-in for business text messages sent for marketing purposes. TCPA and CAN-SPAM laws outline how businesses need to request and get permission before messaging customers.
Use multi-step forms to stay compliant. Be sure to explain to customers what they’re signing up for (and how to opt-out) clearly.
Don’t forget to encourage people to sign up with special incentives.
2. Automate essentials
Automate some of your communication with customers to save time and ensure they get the right messages at the right time.
- Browse abandonment messages
- Win-back campaigns or inventory alerts
You may also be able to automate other campaigns based on unique criteria like purchase history.
3. Build out marketing campaigns
SMS marketing is meant to complement other marketing efforts. Follow these tips as you get started:
- Limit the number of texts you send. You don’t want to overwhelm your customers with constant texts. Two or three messages per week are usually enough to keep subscribers in touch with your brand.
- Announce sales and specials. Most subscribers sign up to get access to special offers, so deliver on that promise! Consider sending birthday, holiday, and other special occasion reminders as well.
Do’s and don’ts of SMS message marketing
Like with any marketing strategy, there are mistakes you want to avoid with SMS marketing. Here are some best practices to follow to ensure success.
- Personalize messages: Use each customer’s unique relationship with your brand to personalize their messages, like demographics, previous interactions, purchasing habits, etc.
- Use rich media: Add images, videos, and links that encourage subscribers to interact with your texts right away.
- Continue conversations across channels: An omnichannel marketing strategy allows for texts to pick up where other methods left off, and vice versa. If a customer has a support ticket, for example, a text follow-up lets them know you’re working on it.
- Send messages to unwilling recipients: The laws around SMS messaging for businesses are tightly controlled, so make sure you only send messages to customers who’ve opted in. And be sure to give them an easy way to opt-out.
- Send too many texts: Again, you don’t want to overload your customers with texts and encourage them to opt-out. One to three messages per week is generally safe.
- Forget to include a CTA:<span style=”font-weight: 400;”> Make it clear to customers why you are sending every text. Each message should drive action, like buying something or entering a giveaway.
Using SMS Message Marketing to Grow Your Business
Building and maintaining a brand is all about communication, and text messages are a great way to communicate with customers via their preferred channel.
And now that you know how powerful SMS message marketing can be for your business, it is time to add texting to your marketing strategy.
Samantha is a San Diego-based editor and writer. Her background in journalism and public relations has led her to cover unique topics ranging from timeshares to pet lifestyle to local news to SMS marketing. When she’s not writing, you can find her walking her dog, baking cookies, or travelling.