What is your reaction when you hear the SMS from your mobile phone?
You probably pick up the phone to check who texted you, right?
If the message you received is not from a family member or friend, it is most likely a marketing or promotional message from a commercial company.
Does reading that text make you happy or not?
It is natural that your reaction to these types of messages will depend on the SMS marketing method of that company. If this message is sent by wrong marketing methods, you will delete the message without reading it. But if correct and principled methods are used, your attention will be drawn to this advertising message.
In this article, we will examine SMS marketing and tell what its basic methods are.
Before we get into the tips, let’s talk briefly about SMS marketing.
Table of Contents
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is a strategy that allows businesses to use SMS messages to increase brand awareness, increase engagement, and even generate sales.
SMS marketing is different from email marketing. One of the most important differences between sending text messages and email is that the length of text messages is very short (about 160 characters). Also, the SMS appears on the customer’s mobile phone just a few seconds after sending, and it is faster in this sense.
As we said, SMS marketing is used for the following three things:
- Increase brand awareness
- Increasing customer engagement
- Sales increase
Using SMS marketing as a marketing channel gives digital marketers a unique opportunity to connect with customers or subscribers.
What is Bulk SMS Marketing?
Mass SMS marketing is different from SMS marketing.
SMS marketing messages include order confirmations, shipping confirmations, cart notifications, and more. In fact, these messages are dependent on the user’s behavior and are not sent in bulk.
But bulk SMS marketing is mainly used for advertising campaigns. Advertising campaign messages can include general sales or seasonal and special messages such as winter sales or Mother’s Day.
In addition, you can use bulk SMS to send important brand or company information so that you are always on the mind of your customers.
The benefits of SMS marketing
SMS is one of the most useful marketing channels. Here we have mentioned some of the most important benefits of SMS marketing:
1. High visibility rate
Gartner data shows an average SMS open rate of 98%, which shows the power of this marketing channel. More opens mean higher conversion rates, and this increases your ROI or rate of return on investment.
The total cost of SMS marketing depends on how many messages you want to send and what provider you use. Since about 98% of these messages are opened, this is very cost-effective.
3. Access to a large number of customers
As of 2019, mobile devices account for half or more of all internet usage, so it’s important for businesses to invest in proper mobile marketing. SMS messages make this easy because they are designed to be read on a mobile phone screen.
4. The popularity of SMS channels compared to other marketing channels
According to Pew Research, texting is the most common activity people do on their mobile phones. While texting may be relevant to younger generations, it is an intergenerational communication channel. In fact, people aged 35 to 44 are the most consumers of sports and news information via SMS.
Texting people of all ages and backgrounds allows you to reach a wider audience. This is especially true when compared to channels like Instagram or Snapchat, which are mainly used by younger audiences.
5. Being fast
On average, text messages are opened less than two minutes after they are received. This makes SMS marketing a great channel for time-sensitive offers, such as end-of-season sales or flash sales.
6. Ability to integrate with other digital marketing methods
No single marketing channel is best for marketing purposes. But SMS marketing can work with a variety of channels. So you can use it in your other channels and campaigns as well.
7. Strengthen customer participation
People like to feel that they matter to brands. When your business uses SMS to inform consumers about offers, events and other important news, they feel like they are part of the process. And this increases customer engagement and loyalty.
8. Ability to choose by the customer
You can make it possible for customers to stop sending you SMS. At first glance, this may seem negative. But do you really want to send messages to people who don’t want to know about your products, business or offers?
How does SMS marketing work?
SMS marketing is a relatively simple yet effective process that involves two main steps. First, you need to enable your customers or supporters to receive promotional messages via SMS. Second, you need a service to draft and send messages to your subscribers.
Choosing an SMS marketing platform can be complicated. It is important to choose a platform that will help you achieve your business goals by getting ROI, personalizing messages and segmenting your audience.
Plus, by using an integrated marketing platform that covers email marketing and SMS marketing under one roof, you can build your automation more effectively and evaluate the performance of your campaigns more accurately.
What is SMS marketing platform?
An SMS marketing platform is a tool used to create and send text messages to a specific list of phone numbers. You can use text messages to send anything from instant sales notifications to confirmation emails and more. Most of these platforms also allow you to send automated campaigns and text messages that are triggered based on buyer actions.
What are SMS marketing used for?
SMS can be used in different ways. Here are some of the most common uses of SMS marketing to give you a better idea of what you can do with SMS.
Short term advertising for retail or online businesses
Coupons and promotions are a great way to drive more people to your store or website. If you’re running a limited sale or promotion, you obviously want as many people as possible to hear about it.
SMS is a great channel to communicate. Because then customers will get the message quickly.
Instant updates on customer events or orders
Usually, during the implementation of events and campaigns, there are special situations where you need to inform customers immediately. The more people attend the event, the more challenging it becomes to convey the necessary information to everyone.
Through SMS, you can easily share any changes, cancellations, general information or updates with better engagement and more timely than email or other channels.
If your business runs on pre-scheduled appointments, you know how frustrating it can be for clients to be late or forget to meet with you. This not only destroys your schedule but also wastes your time. Sending appointment reminder text messages is a great way to ensure that clients don’t forget their appointments and show up on time.
If you have a large number of employees, it will be difficult to send urgent messages (office holidays, emergency updates, etc.) to all employees at the same time. Sending text messages is a great way to ensure that all employees receive your message in a timely manner.
Send quick order updates after sales
Sending order updates via SMS helps strengthen your SMS strategy. Informing the customer about the order process, including the shipping and delivery schedule, will gain their trust. Don’t forget that informed customers are satisfied customers.
Attracting new leads for more sales
You can promote your most popular products through SMS marketing messages. Or, if a new and popular product arrives in your store, inform customers about it. In addition to increasing online traffic, these notifications are a great way to increase sales! You can also target customers who have already purchased from you and with this trick, encourage them to return and repeat their order.
Important points in SMS marketing
So far we have talked about the benefits of SMS marketing. But before you use this convenient and affordable marketing channel, pay attention to the following points:
Get permission from customers.
Before you start SMS marketing, get permission from your audience and avoid sending too many messages. This is not good for your brand and could land you in legal trouble. Instead, respect your audience’s time by only sending essential and timely messages.
Use SMS marketing tools.
Use an SMS marketing tool. SMS marketing software allows you to automate your SMS marketing. In other words, you can automatically track your audience, determine the exact time to send messages, and send text messages that depend on user behavior. For example, when a customer makes a purchase, you can automatically send them a delivery update message.
SMS marketing software also makes it easy for you to evaluate and analyze marketing results. You can see how many people have opened your message, how many times the link inside the SMS text has been clicked, etc.
Send valuable messages.
When users decide to receive text messages from you, they expect these messages to add value to them.
One of the easiest ways to add value to text messages is to offer amazing offers like a special discount or a unique discount code. Unique offers make your customers feel special. Even if your offer is not as unique as it seems, if the user feels special, they are more likely to accept your offer and make a purchase.
The text of the message should be brief and useful.
Try to keep the text of the message as brief as possible. The text of your message should only be about 160 characters. So, keep your text messages short and simple.
Start your text with an attention-grabbing phrase. Adding a phrase like “special offer” to the beginning of the message grabs users’ interest and compels them to read and then take action.
Personalize the text of the message for customers.
When customers receive messages that are tailored specifically to them, they are more likely to pay attention and take action. In fact, personalized content outperforms static content by 42%. So, make sure to use personalization cues in your SMS marketing. Some examples of personalization in SMS marketing include using users’ names in messages, sending offers or information based on their location, and mentioning their recent activities such as recent purchases, cart abandonment reminders, shipping updates, and more. There are other cases.
SMS marketing guide
Here is a simple guide to sending SMS in SMS Marketing.
1. Define your business goals.
Start by determining what you want to do. Do you want to get more people into your online store in general or are you trying to get the word out about a specific product?
Identifying your targets allows you to know who to target and what type of messages to send.
2. Find an SMS marketing service.
Do your research to find the SMS marketing service that meets your needs and offers the features you need to support your goals.
3. Increase your customers.
Try to use different methods to increase SMS marketing audience. Remember, you will not be successful just by having a list of phone numbers and sending them mass SMS.
You can encourage customers to join your SMS marketing campaign through online forums on your website or social media. Also, if you have a physical store, you can ask customers to enter their mobile number in your list when they visit, so that they can receive your promotional messages.
4. Segment subscribers to send relevant messages.
Use data analytics to understand who is on your list so you can segment them into different groups. This allows you to send them the most relevant messages.
For example, if your e-commerce store sells both men’s and women’s clothing, you might segment your list by people who have only purchased women’s clothing and those who have only purchased men’s clothing. This allows you to send sales information about the right products to each list.
5. Use the trial and error method.
Follow up by reviewing the results so you can understand what you did right and what you can improve. Experiment with sending messages at different times and days to find the method that works best for your business.
Who can benefit from SMS marketing services?
Using SMS can be a great way for your digital marketing, regardless of your business type. But, there are some businesses that cannot do without SMS in their marketing strategy:
E-commerce stores: SMS is a great tool for e-commerce stores. Including sending advertising campaigns or confirming orders or sending and…
Travel companies: SMS is essential for travel companies because customers need real-time information. This information includes flight time updates, travel time changes, travel cancellations, weather alerts, and more. With SMS, you can tell your customers exactly what they need to know.
Service businesses that require appointments: Send SMS reminders to your clients to ensure they never miss another appointment. This saves a lot of time and money wasted on no-shows and late appointments.
Large organizations with more than 100 employees: internal communication of the organization is very important. Using SMS for your internal communications is the best way to ensure that every employee receives the information you want to send them at the right time.
SMS marketing mistakes to avoid.
Here are some of the most important mistakes to avoid when marketing with SMS:
Neglect of the law
Most countries have very specific laws regarding SMS marketing, especially regarding data privacy. Try to familiarize yourself with these rules. For example, by law, marketers are required to obtain the express consent of customers or subscribers before sending marketing communications. Marketers are also required to honor customers’ requests to opt out of receiving messages.
Sending too many messages
Overusing the SMS channel is likely to force your customers or subscribers to unsubscribe. Remember, just because you’ve received permission to communicate with your customers via SMS, doesn’t mean you can send them regular SMS. Keep this channel for exciting messages so that customers will be happy to see your message.
Lack of proper planning
Sending SMS at the wrong time will cause your message not to be seen. Not only does this negatively impact your campaign goals, but it can also lead to higher opt-out rates. To minimize this risk, try to time your messages wisely.
The right time to send text messages depends on the content and purpose of the message. For example, to announce a sale on the weekend, you will have the best participation by sending your SMS on the previous Thursday and then another message on the morning of the first day of the sale.
On the other hand, appointment reminders should be sent the day before the appointment date and possibly an hour before the scheduled time. If you have an international audience, consider time zone differences.
Forgetting to introduce yourself
When you send a large volume of text messages to your audience, they need to know who you are. Otherwise, they will immediately delete your message. Don’t be afraid to use your brand name. When you have a great brand, introducing yourself in text messages builds trust and therefore your audience pays more attention to it.
Lack of call-to-action
A call to action compels the audience to take the next step. For this purpose, it is essential that text messages are as clear and concise as possible.
Here are some examples of SMS marketing message text:
- Subscribe via <this link> to receive email marketing news weekly.
- Use <this code> for free delivery before 6pm.
- Answer <this survey> now for a chance to win exciting prizes.
- Visit <this link> before midnight to view discounted items.
Just like these examples, craft your messages so that your customers or subscribers know exactly how and when to do it next.