SMS Marketing: How Being Text Savvy Benefits Your Brand
Ever since the boom of text messaging, it has become a convenient way to exchange messages with friends and family. However, it is not the only way to take advantage of such service. Competition is cutthroat in the business world, which calls for drastic measures to help you stand out amongst your rivals. This is where you can turn to SMS marketing.
Let us say that you own a sport and leisure club or a gym. You can use SMS to maintain customer engagement throughout the whole year. Doing so can give sports club fans or your customers a feeling of inclusion. Here are some ways you can achieve this goal through texting
- You can send your gym club members regular text updates regarding schedules or class information.
- You can text them about competitions, and other activities that you know would interest them, which can help prevent patchy attendance.
- If there are class cancellations, you can contact your leisure club members by sending them an SMS.
- You can entice the club members to fill last minute spaces through text where you give them information about how to grab the open slots.
- If there are changes in the venue of a class or activity, you can inform them right away with text messaging.
- You can also connect with your followers or club members if there are upcoming social events.
With the vast majority of your clients owning a cellphone, which they most definitely use to send and receive texts, SMS should be a part of your marketing campaign.
Why It is Time to Start SMS Marketing for Your Business
SMS marketing engages your target audience directly. Statistics show that text messages have an open rate of 99%, which means there is an incredibly high chance that your message will be opened and read. The open rate is much higher than any forms of communications, including email and even social media.
Americans spend almost 15% of their time texting, and the messages you send will not disappear after they read them – unless they choose to.
Even better, 90% of SMS messages are opened and read within three minutes, making it an instant way to deliver what you want to convey.
Despite all these numbers, some business owners are quite hesitant when it comes to adopting SMS messaging as a means to market their brand. Most of them believe that the platform is ineffective, but the reality is it is highly valuable, not to mention cheap and easy to implement.
Here are more reasons why your business should use SMS messaging as a marketing tool
Customers should choose to join or opt-in first.
With other traditional advertising methods, they compel you to blast your marketing message to as many people as possible. Therefore, they rely on large numbers to be successful. Quite often, you need to spend money to reach prospective customers who will either ignore or forget about your marketing efforts.
Meanwhile, SMS marketing banks on consumers opting in first, meaning they should sign up to get your messages. Opt-ins are quite beneficial to businesses because people who join are genuinely interested. Therefore, you do not have to waste money or time bothering those who are not.
It enhances customer engagement.
SMS is mostly reserved for willing participants, and because of their interest in your business or product, they will read your text when they notice it. Consumers are used to email inboxes flooding, which is why many do not check theirs right away – unlike SMS.
When you deliver messages to engaged consumers, you know your message has a high open and read rates.
Texting is quick.
SMS is in fast for both the consumer and the business owner. You do not have to create lengthy promotions. In fact, one or two sentences, along with a link would suffice. Because they are short, consumers will most likely read the whole message. It is quick and convenient and is not as intrusive as phone calls or pop-ups.
It is super affordable.
SMS marketing is cheap, which makes it an excellent option for startups. You do not need to spend a lot to reach out to your potential buyers. Prices vary, but some platforms allow businesses to send messages for just a few cents. With the power of marketing through texting engaged consumers, SMS gives an excellent value proposition for owners on a budget.
Texting can be interactive.
There are ways to create interactive SMS marketing, such as
- Sending a text with one or two questions
- Asking to participate in a poll
- Offering a toll-free reply option
You can also include a link to videos or images about your promotion to encourage the recipients to investigate further. While not all phones can connect to the Internet, smartphones have become ubiquitous nowadays. A considerable part of your contact list probably owns Internet-ready smartphones.
SMS marketing generates results.
The most important thing about SMS marketing is that it works. Just like with big corporations, you can use texting to help you with your business. Considering all the benefits above and the fact that it is usable for improving customer service, you should seriously give SMS a try.
Pointers for a Successful SMS Marketing Campaign
Before you get started, there are simple rules to play and win this game. Here is how you can beat the competition with SMS promotion:
As much as possible, don’t go over 160 characters since mobile networks would typically break the message into smaller chunks.
Timing is key. If you own a pizzeria, you should schedule your messages during lunch hour.
Include a call to action (CTA), which can be a URL or a phone number.
The success of SMS, or any marketing campaign for that matter, depends largely on CTAs. You can put CTAs when consumers sign up for your services, such as your newsletter and text alerts. Most people do not want to give their numbers to people, even businesses. Therefore, you should show them that they will gain value from your texts.
Some Businesses that Have Experienced the Benefits of SMS Marketing
While some brands have chosen to focus more on other marketing tools, such as email and social media, there are also others that used SMS to promote their business. Here are some successful campaigns that allowed them to see how effective text marketing is in grabbing customers.
Who would have thought that this giant company in the food industry used SMS marketing? Dunkin’ Donuts promoted their campaign using a radio DJ nearby. Through this method, their goal was to motivate more people to opt into their discount promotion, which they sent through text. There were more than 7,500 people who joined the campaign and about 17% if the recipients of the text shared the message to their family and friends.
Through the word of mouth strategy, they made sure they grew their campaign first through another advertising platform. As a result, Dunkin’ Donuts enjoyed 21% increase in traffic and sales and 35% growth in returning customers.
There is no need to use huge marketing efforts since there are several options for bulk texting services with affordable flat rates. Sending hundreds or even thousands of text messages will not break a small business’ budget.
You can do the same where you multiply your contacts list by asking people to opt into your SMS updates. If you already have a website, you can use it to give instructions to interested participants. Other platforms are your social media pages, leaflets, and in-store signage.
IXICA Communications Inc.
IXICA Communications is a telecommunications service provider. For them, email marketing was not working. They used email to promote their business as well as a system for notifications and billings. When they figured out it was not sufficient for them, they used SMS marketing instead. For their strategy, they focused on sending invoices through texts.
The result of their marketing campaign was a success as their customer numbers soared 30 to 40%. At the same time, they also saw a 20% increase in the number of paid invoices before or on the due date.
Napa Valley Wine Train
The company started a marketing campaign using SMS where they aimed at increasing their total sales, along with their customer database. During the first stage of the text marketing, they offered a promo where the participants would text to win two tickets to experience their Gourmet Express. These tickets were worth $114 each.
During the marketing phase of their campaign, they made sure that interested customers would see the instructions for joining the text promotions on their websites. They also ran small ads in magazines, including OC Weekly, and SF Examiner. Napa Valley Wine Train also offered other incentives to their customers who were already on the train to participate in the wine tasting session.
The SMS marketing campaign was a big success to the business. At the beginning of the campaign, there were more than 9,000 opt-ins, and it had a 55% response rate. The high response rate showed that the text campaign made the customers felt the messages they received added value to their experience.
The Herb Lady
Owner of The Herb Lady, Dr. Eshe Faizah used email marketing at first where she had an extensive customer database that she grew for over ten years. However, the open and read rates for the email campaign were dismal, which drove the herbalist and nutritional adviser to find another way to reach out to her potential and existing customers. She then turned to using texting to market her services.
Dr. Faizah ran her SMS campaign during Mother’s Day. It resulted in $1,400 worth of new orders. What she did on her campaign was to send weekly messages to her prospective clients. She would also send them messages for appointment reminders.
Like IXICA and Napa Valley Wine Train, The Herb Lady discovered that texting is an inexpensive marketing method that not only brought extra revenue but also helped cultivate a responsive number of clients. In other words, SMS marketing does work.
Seattle Sun Tan
The company ended up with $196,000 in profits with the help of an efficient SMS marketing campaign. Seattle Sun Tan is a sun tanning salon in Washington, and at the time before the campaign, they were searching for a lucrative method that would allow them to market their business without going over their small budget. They decided they would jump directly to mobile marketing because of what they learned about its conversion rates.
The company used SMS to convert consumers into paying customers by sending them messages about a sun tanning package. The packages were costlier than the regular ones, but they wanted to gain high paying customers to try their business. They sent coupons through texts, which could only be used within a limited period to urge the customers to grab the deal quickly.
Searle Sun Tan had a large customer database, and they sent the messages to more than 80,000 recipients. They were able to collect such massive number of people’s contacts through their website and social media pages. They also ran an ad on a few sites with high traffic, which helped them achieve over 37,000 opt-ins.
The first month of the campaign allowed the company to deliver their SMS messages to 5,000 people. The text message offer generated an astounding 57% response rate where the participants immediately redeemed the promotion. It allowed the company to gain a total of $196,101.87 within just 30 days of running the campaign.
The results that the five companies above are indeed quite impressive. They also demonstrate just how effective and beneficial SMS marketing is when advertising a business, product, or a service. Whether or not you are a fan of text messaging services, you cannot deny that this method should be a part of your marketing efforts. It is easy, affordable, and best of all, it works in connecting your brand to potential customers.
- SMS marketing allows your business to engage directly with your target audience in a timely, interactive way.
- SMS marketing adds value to your customers’ experiences by providing useful information like status alerts and ways for people to engage with your brand.
- Collect phone numbers by selling the value of SMS messages to your customers and including CTAs in your various marketing channels.