SMS has largely been neglected in the era of social media, with many people considering it an outdated marketing strategy. However, have you thought about how many times you’ve checked your phone today, or what you do when you receive an SMS notification on your phone? According to research, 90% of people open an SMS within three minutes of receiving it. This means your audience is more likely to read an SMS compared to any other communication channel. When done right, short message marketing does change a customer’s perception of a brand.
You’re missing out on a lot if you’re not already using mass text messaging in your strategy. Today you’ll learn about how SMS marketing works, its benefits, best practices, and how you can measure its results. Let’s dive in.
Understanding SMS Marketing
An SMS service uses text messages to send promotional materials and advertisements to your audience. It is a permission-based service that gives users the freedom to opt-in and out. For this reason, businesses communicate only to interested people, making it more effective.
Businesses all over the world are finding SMS a trusted engagement technique. The average consumer has changed over the last couple of decades. Customers now prefer speed and convenience more than anything else, especially for communication.
More than ever before, it’s time you considered short message marketing in your strategy. It is inexpensive and significantly easy to implement compared to any other channel. With a more direct approach and the ability to customize your message to every customer, this strategy is worth your attention.
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Does SMS Marketing Work?
You’re probably still undecided about this option, as you’re not sure whether it works, but research has indicated that people read 98% of all the messages they receive. Therefore, there’s only a small chance that your message won’t reach home.
To run an efficient SMS campaign, you need messaging software. There are various platforms you can use, and a web-based choice will meet your needs best if having a vast database is a priority for you. Web-based messaging software makes bulk messaging on a budget quick and efficient.
After installing messaging software, create your message and select the contacts you’d like to reach. With one click, the software instantly sends an SMS to each recipient. You can also choose how the messages get delivered, use schedule messaging, and other smart features.
Besides helping you to build your brand, SMS marketing can have a significant impact on your sales. They carry an inherent urgency that makes audiences take quick actions such as purchasing a product or signing up for a service. The guarantee that a customer will open an SMS almost instantly makes it a worthy investment.
Why Invest in the SMS Marketing Strategy?
According to research, businesses that have tried short message marketing have seen impressive results. 60% of such companies plan to invest more in this strategy in their subsequent budgets. SMS marketing boasts faster deliveries compared to other communication channels. Your audience receives the test in real-time, making it suitable for urgent communication. Here are other benefits of SMS marketing:
- It is cost-effective, and thus an excellent pick for small businesses or anyone working on a budget.
- It is permission-based, so you can reach people who are genuinely interested in your advertisement.
- Texting helps to foster customer relations, as it is more intimate and personally addresses the recipient.
- You can reach a wider audience with SMS compared to any other channel.
- It allows you the flexibility of customizing your text to specific customers.
- Your customers are more likely to open messages compared to emails.
- Mobile-friendly – A lot of people are using mobile phones and it’s prudent for business owners to present their businesses as mobile-friendly.
- It works well with other marketing methods.
Building your Contact Database
An SMS campaign is impossible to run if you have no audience. One of the initial steps you should take as you get started is collecting phone numbers of people you’d like to reach. There are various ways to drive sign-ups and have a massive database of contacts within a short time.
The strategy you choose depends on you, but you should always provide value. Internet users will willingly share their phone numbers with you if you’ve something to offer in return. Adding value not only gets you their contacts but also positively impacts their trust. Use either of these strategies to build an SMS list for your business.
1. Texting to your Business Code
Create a short or long code number for your business and encourage customers to send keywords like ‘yes’ to opt into your SMS campaign. You can then save the details of the customers who opt-in and send them promotional materials regularly.
Email sounds unrealistic, but it is an efficient way to collect contacts. You can send emails to users in your database telling them why opting to receive SMS notifications will be of use to them. With a proper call to action, you will have a long list of contacts within a short time.
3. Facebook Ads
Businesses have underutilized Facebook ads for SMS database creation. You can target your Facebook ads to a demographic group that would prefer SMS to any other channel. Leave a call to action asking them to share their phone numbers and receive regular SMS notifications.
4. Contact Forms
Almost every website on the internet now has a contact form used for email collection. You can use this form to grow your SMS list by adding an optional phone number field to it. Internet users are slowly preferring SMS to email campaigns and will gladly provide their numbers.
There’re many more strategies you can use to grow your SMS list and reach a wider audience. Text-to-win contests, account sign-ups, and online purchases are other noteworthy strategies you may consider. Disclose to your audience that you’ll be sending them promotional materials.
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The Benefits of Using SMS Marketing Strategy
This strategy is one of the best techniques you can use to market your business. Ensure you do the following as you look forward to growing your business.
Comply with the Law
The law is clear on promotional messaging – invite your audience and inform them of your plans. However, some businesses purchase customer contacts, and their messages eventually get marked as spam. You are not allowed to bombard people with promotional texts without seeking their consent.
It would help if you minded your timing and frequency of sending texts to your audience. People are likely to opt-out of your SMS list if you take too long to communicate or send too many irritating messages. Additionally, be aware of time zones and how they affect communication.
Be Concise and Creative
Ensure you’re not sending overly long texts that people won’t read to the end. They should be concise and customized to the recipient. Furthermore, you’ll get better results if you become creative with your texts. Share a new offer, discount, or coupon every time you send a short message.
Choose Affordable SMS Software
As mentioned earlier, SMS software makes sending bulk messages stress-free. When picking a service to use, be careful not to spend more than your business can afford. Choose the SMS marketing package carefully by comparing two or more with your marketing budget in mind.
Know if you’re on Track with your SMS Marketing Strategy
Like any other investment, you need to be sure your SMS marketing efforts are bearing fruit. Thankfully, there are various ways that you can measure the results of your campaign. Below are some ways to know if you’re getting a good return on investment from your efforts.
There are various free tools you can use to determine your conversion rate. Your SMS conversion rate should be higher compared to other channels as texts reach a wider audience. For instance, emails could end up in spam folders, making it difficult for the message to get to the intended recipient.
Growing your contact list is essential if you’re thinking about marketing through SMS. If your list grows every day, you should know that your marketing efforts are paying off. A long list of contacts means a better CTR and conversion rate.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
A high click-through rate implies that more people are taking action after reading your CTA. For text marketing, it means you’re on track and should keep harnessing your skills. Additionally, it shows that you can sell more if you improve your strategy with valuable ideas.
This metric means you need to change your marketing approach. If people opt-in and out, you should do background checks to determine their reasons for unsubscribing. It helps to measure the success of your SMS strategy.
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Thousands of businesses are enjoying the efficiency of SMS marketing. With many of them willing to invest more in it, it’s time you gave it a try. Follow the insights shared in this article to get the best out of your efforts by building your brand and having a personal touch with your customers.
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