We’re all glued to our mobile devices these days, whether scrolling through Instagram for new posts from friends or celebs or clicking through the depths of Wikipedia. But you may be surprised to find just how much we’re all doing this – according to the BBC, we spend a third of our waking lives on our smartphones. Our smartphone obsession why be why SMS marketing (which stands for short message service a.k.a. text message marketing) is exceptionally effective.
SMS marketing involves sending promotional messages to your customers via the same text message channels you’ve used for decades to chat with your friends. With a 98% open rate, it is one of the most effective ways to reach customers. However, getting SMS marketing wrong is surprisingly easy, costing your business money, customers, and potentially even fines. To reap the benefits of SMS marketing, it’s essential that you follow some fundamental guidelines.
In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of SMS marketing and provide tips on how to use it effectively for your business.
The Benefits of SMS Marketing
High Open Rates: As mentioned earlier, SMS marketing has an incredibly high open rate. 98% of text messages are opened within 3 minutes of being received. This means that your brand messaging is almost guaranteed to be seen by your target audience.
Instant Communication: SMS marketing is an instant form of communication. Unlike email marketing, where it can take hours or even days for a recipient to check their email, text messages are usually read within minutes of being received. This means that you can quickly communicate with your customers about time-sensitive offers and promotions.
High Conversion Rates: SMS marketing has proven to have high conversion rates. In fact, according to Mobile Marketing Watch, SMS marketing has a conversion rate of 45%, which is significantly higher than email marketing’s 6%. Text messages can be highly effective in driving sales and increasing revenue. This is doubly true for initiatives like an abandoned cart flow, which can help capture lost revenue.
Cost-Effective: SMS marketing is an efficient way to reach your customers. SMS marketing is comparatively inexpensive, unlike traditional advertising channels such as TV or radio ads. It can cost as little as a few cents per message, making it a cost-effective way to reach a large audience.
Highly Targeted: With SMS marketing, you can target specific groups of customers based on their interests, location, and other factors. This ability to micro-target means you can tailor your messages to your target audience, increasing their chances of engaging with your brand.
How to Use SMS Marketing Effectively
Get Permission: Before you send text messages to your customers, you need their permission. Sending unsolicited text messages is not just bad business, it may also be illegal, depending on where you and your customer live. In the United States, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is the primary federal law requiring businesses to get written consent from consumers before sending them marketing text messages. Violating TCPA regulations can result in crippling fines for your business. These rules mean that they must voluntarily give you their phone number, and you must explicitly ask them if they want to receive text messages from your business. You can do this through various methods, such as online sign-up forms, in-store sign-up sheets, or social media.
Provide Value: When sending text messages to your customers, it’s essential to provide value. Communications should offer something they want, such as a special offer, discount, or exclusive content. By providing value, you can increase your customers’ chances of engaging with your message and taking action.
Keep it Short and Sweet: It’s essential to keep your text messages short and to the point. Most mobile carriers limit the length of text messages to 160 characters, so getting your message across in as few words as possible is vital. These length constraints also mean it’s best to avoid industry jargon or complex language, as it can confuse your customers.
Personalize Your Messages: Personalization is paramount in SMS marketing messages. Personalizing your messages with your customers’ names, locations, or interests can increase their chances of engaging with your brand. You can customize with many different tools, such as merge tags, which allow you to insert customer information into your messages automatically.
Timing is Everything: When it comes to SMS marketing, timing is everything. It’s vital to send your messages at the right time when your customers are most likely to engage with them. When scheduling your messages, you should consider factors such as time zones, work schedules, and customer behavior. For example, if you’re promoting a lunchtime deal, you should send your message around mid-morning to give your customers time to plan their lunch.
Test and Iterate: As with any marketing strategy, testing and iterating your SMS marketing campaigns is essential to ensure they are effective. You should try different messaging tactics, such as various offers or calls to action, and track the results to see what works best for your business. By doing this, you can improve the effectiveness of your campaigns and drive better results.
Don’t Overdo It: While SMS marketing can be highly effective, it’s important not to overdo it. Sending too many messages can annoy your customers and lead to opt-outs, hurting your campaign. It’s essential to balance sending enough messages to be effective but not so many that you annoy your customers.
SMS marketing is an increasingly efficient way to reach customers and drive sales. With high open rates, instant communication, and high conversion rates, it’s no surprise that more and more businesses are turning to it to promote their products and services. However, it’s critical to use SMS marketing effectively to reap its benefits. By getting permission, providing value, personalizing your messages, and testing your campaigns, you can create highly effective text message campaigns that drive results for your business. If you still need to start SMS marketing, it’s time to try it and see how it can help your business grow.
So what’s next? Klaviyo, Attentive, and YotPo are three of the more well-known SMS marketing platforms and are a great place to begin.
Need help getting started? We at Sandhill Digital can help! Fill out the form below and someone from our team will contact you for a free SMS marketing strategy consultation.