With an average 90% open rate within three minutes of receipt, SMS marketing is definitely not to be sniffed at. Yet, many digital marketers are missing a trick when it comes to incorporating SMS into their marketing strategy -labelling it as old school, outdated and just not Instagram. If you’re not using text messages to reach your audience, then follow us as we uncover why SMS marketing is vital to the success of your business.
What is SMS marketing?
Before we jump straight into why you should use SMS marketing, let’s take a quick look at what SMS marketing actually is.
SMS marketing is the process of sending promotional text messages to a customer (or potential customer’s) mobile phone. You might choose to send a specific message to an individual customer or a generic message to a wider audience. Either way, the recipient will have opted into receiving ongoing mobile marketing communications from you.
Why use SMS marketing?
In our digital world, where everything is about Facebook, Google Ads and Instagram, you will be questioning the relevance of SMS marketing today - especially when everyone’s using Whatsapp. So why use SMS marketing?
1. It’s where your audience is
Regardless of whether your audience is using WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or WeChat - they are on their mobile phone. We are on our phones for an average of four hours per day; that’s one-quarter of our waking hours. SMS messaging creates an opportunity for you to capture some of this time, with an instant message and notification that brings your audience's attention to you.
2. It’s personal
Text messaging is personal. It’s where we have one-to-one conversations, where we connect with old family members and where we go to talk to someone away from the eyes of our 258 followers. SMS marketing allows you to create a personal connection with your audience, sending regular news and offers that help build a relationship of trust, familiarity and, hopefully, profitability.
3. It captures attention
We all know that today’s attention is limited. We’re distracted constantly by overflowing inboxes, trending tweets and holiday snaps - capturing someone’s attention on Twitter, Google or Instagram is not only tricky, but it’s also expensive. With SMS, you can communicate with your audience away from the hustle and bustle of the internet - ensuring that their sole attention is on your news, offer or call to action. This increases the chances of your message being seen, read and remembered.
4. It generates outstanding open rates
It’s what got you to read this blog in the first place, and it’s what gets your customers to buy your products and services. SMS open rates are at a staggering 90% average - when you compare that to email’s measly 20% open rate, things get a little interesting. A better open rate means that more people read your message, resulting in more people likely to take action.
5. It’s simple
160 characters ensures that your content is clear, to the point and actionable. No complicated graphics, lengthy text or long videos - just clear words that spell out the message and leave your audience to get on with it - whether that’s visiting your store, completing your survey or clicking the link to find out more.
6. It builds loyalty
Regular engagement builds customer loyalty, but with Facebook posts easily scrolled past, email campaigns caught by the spam police and Google Ads a lottery, regularly communicating with your customers is tough. SMS marketing overcomes this by ensuring that your message is delivered, your audience notified and your content seen - allowing you to butter your audience up and increase your CLV.
7. It’s cost effective
SMS marketing campaigns are also really cost effective. You don’t need a design team, content writer, ad expert or oodles of time to create a single post. You just need to get creative with your 160 characters, find an affordable SMS messaging service and away you go generating fantastic ROI.
8. It’s easy to perfect
The low costs, immediacy and traceability of text message marketing also make it easy to perfect. You can tweak campaigns, monitor results and run split testing until you get it right - without worrying about dwindling budgets or limited time.
9. Customers love it
It’s also important to mention that SMS marketing is enjoyed by customers. 91% of consumers like shopping with a brand that sends them personalised offers and 83% are willing to share their data to enable this - meaning that offers sent via SMS are not only welcomed, but they’re likely to result in increased sales. Plus, with texting being one of the top phone activities - you’re catering to your customer’s preferred way of communicating.
10. It’s easy to do
And last, but by no means least, SMS marketing campaigns are easy to run and integrate into your existing marketing strategy. SMS marketing platforms provide a reliable and affordable way for you to create and schedule messages and surveys and then track the results.
Why use SMS marketing - final thoughts
And that’s just a selection of the benefit of using SMS marketing for your business. In a nutshell, SMS marketing opens up a new channel for communication with your customers - one that is direct, attention-grabbing, affordable and, most importantly, effective. What are you waiting for?