Text messaging isn’t only a convenient way to chat with your family and friends. If you are a small business owner, it can be a powerful marketing tool, especially in the coming year.
Since people worldwide now utilize mobile technology devices, there’s a prevailing tendency to actively engage via text messaging than competing online media avenues such as social media or email. Many smartphone users have programmed their devices to alert them when a new text message arrives, and most messages are read within just several minutes of delivery. Thus, it has become a viable option to engage consumers.
Some small business owners are hesitant about taking advantage of SMS marketing as a promotional because they think it’s ineffective. However, it’s actually a good option since it’s easy to use and affordable.
An Overview of SMS Marketing
SMS marketing revolves around sending messages to your customers and prospects via text messaging. As the number of people who use mobile devices increases, it just makes sense to use SMS marketing as your strategy.
However, SMS has limitations and important rules you must know about before using it or considering it for your small business. One of the crucial things to know is the character limit. Like Twitter, you are often limited to 160 characters. However, some telco providers may have different limitations on their SMS word count.
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Reasons to Use SMS Marketing for Your Small Business
If you don’t know where to get started with this marketing strategy, you may consider consulting with an SMS marketing solution provider. Consulting professionals will help you make the most of SMS marketing without spending too much money. They’ll enumerate good reasons for you, such as the following:
1. It’s Interactive
The best way to make your messages more engaging and fun is to plan an interactive SMS promotion, and there are countless ways to do it. Posting your messages as part of a poll or questionnaire encourages your target audience to be active participants and read more closely.
Offering toll-free SMS reply options can be a good incentive for users to interact or engage more with your business. But make sure to include a link to images or an entertaining video with more details regarding your promotions to encourage users to investigate further. Not all mobile devices can connect to the internet. But since most people use smartphones these days, it would be great to consider integrating interactive and visual elements in your SMS marketing efforts.
2. It’s Affordable
Small business owners often have small budgets. The good thing with SMS marketing is that it’s low-cost, whereas advertising agencies can be expensive. But the majority of bulk texting services can be availed at affordable flat rates, which can let you send thousands or hundreds of messages without breaking the bank.
To get the most out of your small budget, you should grow or improve your SMS database list. You can do this by promoting your SMS campaigns over your existing advertising channels. Just include some instructions on how to opt in to get email newsletters and include in-store leaflets, signage, website, social media pages, and more.
“If your list is extensive, the more benefits you can enjoy from SMS marketing. A good way to get free advertising with SMS is to run a promotion that rewards customers for sharing text messages with family and friends.” – in a recent interview as elaborately explained by Derek Johnson, the CEO of Tatango.
3. High Open Rates
It isn’t rare to have several unread messages in your email inbox. However, most people would read text messages within a few minutes of their arrival. It’s a huge difference from the average open rate of email marketing. So, if you want to improve your marketing, don’t forget to include SMS marketing for the success of your enterprise.
4. Good for Customer Service
A small company has a natural lead over huge corporations regarding customer service, and most people agree that small companies emphasize customer service efforts more compared to big businesses. It’s essential since many people would prefer patronizing those with excellent customer service.
Below are the reasons why SMS marketing can be a viable business communications strategy and may play an essential role in enhancing the customer service of your company:
- Targeted and Personalized Text Messages: Addressing your customers by name in text messages may help you personalize your SMS. In addition, sending customers targeted messages with promos and deals based on their purchase history improves customer loyalty. For instance, if customers dine at your restaurant for lunch twice weekly and order a particular meal, you may send a text message with their names while offering discounts for their next order.
- Lessen Missed Appointments: If you are a small-scale entrepreneur who provides services like a spa or beauty salon, texting may help lessen missed appointments. Sending simple reminders via text messages about upcoming appointments are helpful for your business and your clients.
- Polling: SMS is useful for polling. Texting may reach your clients right away and has a high open-rate, which means you are more likely to get responses from your clients once you send them customer service surveys. Such surveys are crucial for you to get feedback from your clients and determine customer dissatisfaction so you may address the weaknesses or failures of your shop that may affect the customer experience of your clients.
5. Quick and Concise
SMS marketing is appealing for both consumers and small business owners because it’s concise and quick. Compared to lengthy emails, SMS texts can carry a single line or two-line message, sometimes including links to website landing pages that detail the promo extensively.
Consumers are also more likely to read your entire message because it’s short. SMS texts may be read at the convenience of the consumers, so they’re not as intrusive as telephone calls and online pop-ups.
The conciseness of SMS texts also benefits small business entrepreneurs who don’t have much extra time for marketing. With SMS marketing, it’s quick and easy to deploy or plan a promotion. Plus, it requires lesser upfront planning compared to the traditional way of advertising.
6. Ideal for Wider Automated Campaigns
SMS marketing may be used as part of your automated campaigns or can be a standalone campaign. For instance, if your prospects click a link to the products in your email, you may send them a text with offers relating to those items. Doing this may keep them engaged with your campaigns and ensures that your offers are received.
The traditional ways of advertising rely on the law of big numbers to be successful. By blasting your marketing message to as wide an audience as possible, you stand a good chance to reach prospective customers. This advertising strategy requires you to spend more on marketing messages that most consumers would simply ignore or quickly forget.
On the contrary, SMS marketing relies on potential and existing customers to opt-in. It means your target audience should sign up to get messages about promotions and deals before receiving them.
Opt-in marketing has many benefits for small business owners. One is that consumers who receive your messages are heavily invested in your product or brand, or else they wouldn’t consider signing up. Another worthwhile aspect of opt-in marketing is how it becomes unobtrusive to the lives of existing customers who appear disinterested in your offerings. At present, many SMS marketing tools make it easy for users to opt-out.
8. Time Efficient
Although email marketing is a worthwhile tool because it’s easy, free, and effective, writing emails may take time—and that’s one thing most solo entrepreneurs don’t have.
When it comes to SMS marketing, it’s very time efficient. All you have to do is to use a tool when sending automated SMS. It’s perfect for messages that contain lots of important information.
9. Easy to Use
More often than not, pricing is a huge factor when business owners assess marketing options. But you could also look at its usability factor. For example, almost all small businesses want to do online marketing, but others don’t. This is because of the complexity and required time to run a successful marketing campaign.
It’s true that online campaigns can be successful, but it’s complicated. Set-up, bidding, tracking, and so much more should be done right. When one factor falters, you might not be able to achieve the results you desire.
SMS marketing is more manageable compared to online marketing. The key is to put a short message, add a compelling call to action, and send the SMS. Depending on the app or platform you are using, you may set it up and send it in a few minutes. In fact, most business owners do SMS marketing in less than an hour every month. This is why it’s a reliable option for solo entrepreneurs out there.
10. Helps with Brand Positioning
All activities of your business help establish your brand identity. With SMS marketing, you are even putting your business another step ahead of your competitors. You are showing customers that you are tech-savvy and updated with the latest trends. Moreover, you are showing them that you are willing to try new and more convenient ways to communicate with them.
You may also like: The Do’s and Don’ts of SMS Marketing in Retail Business Sector.
All in all, SMS marketing provides an opportunity to schedule, create, and automate your marketing campaigns by using less money and time. It’s especially advantageous for small business owners who want to make their business grow, get their brand noticed, increase their revenue, and build trust among their customers.
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