What Is SMS Marketing and Why Should You Try It?

    by Paul Shuteyev
    11.03.2013

    Nowadays, marketers have a wide selection of instruments they can leverage to reach their goals. There are a lot of disputes about what tools and marketing strategies are efficient and relevant, and what has already figuratively died and should be left behind.

    SMS marketing is one of the old-school tools known to marketers, but it still brings significant results and helps to build long-term relationships with clients and win their loyalty and love.

    In this article, we will discuss why you should use SMS marketing along with other practices, what advantages it can give to your campaigns and what SMS strategies you can benefit from.

    What Is SMS Marketing?

    The definition of SMS marketing is next: it is the practice of sending SMS (short message service) messages for promotional or transactional purposes. Businesses from dozens of industries, governmental institutions, NGOs, etc. can use SMS marketing to connect with their prospects and customers.

    How does SMS marketing work? Usually, it is done through bulk SMS providers who allow sending hundreds of SMS at the same time, analyzing the campaign performance (checking what percentage of messages was delivered to the end-point recipients and then opened and read). 

    What Benefits Has SMS Marketing?

    So, why should you use SMS for marketing and spend resources and efforts here? The question is simple: SMS has a row of advantages that can help a lot of businesses grow.

    • SMS can have a bigger reach than other channels: SMS open rate is around 98%. And it can be easily explained: the majority of the population owns a smartphone and is used to interacting with SMS, hence, tend to open them almost immediately after receiving it.
    • SMS messages have higher engagement rates than other channels. Hence, you have a higher chance to have your messages read by your clients or prospects.
    • SMS can help you reach audiences in the emerging markets, where Wi-fi connection might be unavailable.
    • SMS digital marketing is a rather inexpensive marketing tool: you need to cover expenses for SMS marketing software and efforts spent on creating campaigns. As a result, it would be much more cost-efficient than most other channels.
    • SMS channel is a fast one, as the delivery is almost instant, with a maximum delay of a few minutes (in case all tech is working correctly).
    • There are a lot of regulations for SMS campaigns all over the world, with every country having its own rules. However, the main principle is to ask users if they want to receive messages and give them the opportunity to opt-out later if they want. This gives you an audience that is interested in receiving your content rather than just tolerating it.
    • Due to its format, SMS gives you a lot of opportunities for personal communication. Personalized messages will definitely attract more attention and show that you care about your customers.
    • SMS is a short format. It might seem a problem at some point, but from the other point of view, it will push you to create short but vivid messages that will be able to deliver your idea even with such a small amount of characters available.

    How to Use SMS Marketing to Your Advantage?

    Marketing by SMS can bring your company to a new level in the promotion and as well as in customer services. Here are a few ways how you can implement SMS marketing and maximize the outcome of your efforts.

    • You can combine an SMS channel with others, for example, email. It will allow you to diversify your messages and strengthen your campaign overall.
    • You can leverage different marketing tools, for example, a phone number extractor or bulk whois email extractor, to induce the efficiency of your campaigns and expand your reach.
    • Pay attention to the content of your message. Technical aspects, and advanced analytics are great, but if your messages don’t persuade clients to act or if they are unclear, you won’t achieve anything. 
    • And about analytics: there are dozens of tools that will help you to measure the performance of your campaigns. Such an insight into your SMS marketing efforts will allow you to optimize your campaigns, find more efficient strategies, run an A/B test, etc.
    • We suggest you study the industry of SMS marketing and bulk SMS messaging. Telecommunications are pretty complex, and as we have already mentioned, there are a lot of regulations and rules you should follow to avoid being blacklisted. Take some time for research, and you will be able to gain precious expertise.
    • Choose the time for SMS delivery wisely: as users tend to interact with SMS immediately, you should understand when they are comfortable doing this. We doubt that anyone will be glad to receive a discount coupon at 2 PM on a workday. On the other hand, you can send messages for a certain date, holidays, or events.

    Advanced SMS Marketing Strategies to Try

    Thinking about implementing SMS marketing for your business? Here are a few strategies you might choose.

    • Flash sales

    Flash sales are a great option for SMS, as it creates a sense of urgency and pushes customers to check your discount and make an order or a purchase. Make sure that your offer looks limited and exclusive. 

    • Ask for feedback

    Asking customers to fill out surveys on the quality of customer services, quality of products, etc. will be like killing two birds with one stone: firstly, you might generate reliable feedback you might use to improve your business; secondly, you will be able to show that you care about your customers. You might also manage to resolve any issues with customers before they decide to complain publicly.

    • Reminders

    This strategy is relevant for businesses providing services and arranging appointments: beauty, healthcare, education, etc. SMS reminders will again show your care about customers, as well as optimize your time: the chance that the person will forget about an appointment will be lower if they receive a reminder beforehand.

    • Social media promotion

    Most likely, you are using other communication channels with your customers, including social media. You can combine them with SMS and share links to your profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., and ask customers to follow you. You might try more creative approaches, for example, announce a flash sale or post promo codes to your social media and send an SMS telling people that they can get a special offer on your social profiles.

    • New products or services announcement

    To drive customer attention to new products or services, choosing SMS to make an announcement is a great choice, as it is a quick and concentrated channel to deliver info and call for action.

    Conclusion

    SMS marketing can contribute a lot to your company. It is a cost-efficient, but effective way to reach the customers and invest in their relationships with them. The customers are already acquainted with the SMS channel, hence, it will be easy to establish a connection with them. There are a lot of strategies you can leverage, and there is always a place to create some creative approaches. We hope that this article has answered the question “what is text message marketing” and helped you understand the basics.

    Written by:
    Paul Shuteyev
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