What is SMS marketing?
SMS marketing is the use of text SMS to send marketing or transactional messages for marketing purposes. These messages are mostly intended to be time-sensitive offers, updates, and warnings to people who have agreed to receive these messages from your business.
If this SMS marketing definition seems too complicated – don’t worry. This article covers all of the above terms to give you a better idea of how SMS marketing can improve your digital marketing strategy.
It’s no secret that building relationships with customers works. If you want to reach your customers, you can’t wait for customers to come to you. You have to be proactive, and go where they are.
Now, I don’t expect (or suggest) you to knock on the door of all your customers and prospects – that would be madness.
As people become more connected to their phones, text messages become the most direct line of communication. It has turned text message marketing, or SMS marketing, into one of the most effective forms of communication with customers when done correctly.
What are the best practices for SMS (text) marketing?
Make sure your contacts have opted into SMS
Text SMS is a very effective and direct means of communication to reach the customer. But, there are many rules that you should consider when planning an SMS marketing strategy. First and foremost, get permission from your contacts to send them SMS.
SMS has a very high open rate, but it will not help you if you send messages to people you don’t want. Not to mention the need for opt-in in most countries.
Be aware when sending your message.
Unlike email, which is checked only a few times a day (at most), people open text messages almost instantly. This is great for urgent messages, but you don’t want to misuse this power by annoying acquaintances during odd times of the day.
Do you want to run out and use a coupon that wakes you up at 22 am I didn’t think so?
Some countries even have laws regarding when you can send marketing text messages (e.g. France does not allow SMS marketing anytime on Sundays, holidays, or after 10 pm).
Include your company name in your messages.
When sending bulk SMS messages, most providers send them via a short code, which means your contacts won’t know it’s coming from you. To do this you must first let your contacts know who is sending the message.
You don’t want to send a promotional coupon to customers and you don’t know where to go, do you?
Use SMS to complement your other digital marketing strategies
The beauty of digital marketing is that there are many channels that you can use to interact with your customers. All of these channels combine to create a marketing communications system that enables businesses to build customer relationships and lead on a large scale.
SMS and email marketing are two channels that are very much appreciated.
You can create campaigns through both channels using email with more detailed information and using SMS for more time-sensitive or urgent information communication.
Why is SMS (text) marketing effective?
SMS is one of the most useful marketing channels at your disposal for a variety of reasons:
- The ubiquity of smartphones: In 2019, 81% of adults in the United States own a smartphone, and SMS is a great way to reach customers directly. By including a link in this text, you can engage with your business online.
- Email marketing closes the loop: Although email and SMS marketing have a lot in common in implementing their strategies, they work best together. As mentioned earlier, you can use SMS to send instant notifications when an email contains more long-form content.
- Higher engagement rate: SMS engagement rate Compared to email, astronomers read 90% of SMS messages within 3 minutes of receipt. This makes SMS very helpful in providing important information with a high success rate.
- Great for emerging markets: If your business is trying to operate in countries where data is expensive and Wi-Fi is low, SMS is a much better channel for information communication.
How does SMS marketing work?
SMS marketing messages are sent from the short code” as opposed to the full telephone number. These short codes are usually 5-6 digits and can be combined with one sender or shared with more than one sender.
Many countries (including the United States) do not allow change of sender information. This means that the shortcode that your provider has used (not from your business) will make your message appear as a text message. That’s why it’s important to include your company name in the message.
You can send two messages through SMS marketing:
- Campaign: The campaign message is the classic “one-to-many” bulk text message. These are usually used to communicate promotions (coupons, sales, etc.) or general information (event details, updates, weather warnings, etc.).
- Transactional: Transactional messages are “one-to-one” messages that are triggered by a specific event or behavior. An example of this would be an order confirmation or shipping notification for an online shop purchase. These messages communicate relevant and timely information to an individual.
What is SMS marketing used for?
SMS can be used in different ways. To give you a better idea of what you can do with SMS and how it can help your business I will share with you some common usage cases.
Short-term promotion for retail or e-commerce business
Coupons and promotions are a great way to drive more people to your store or website. If you run a limited-time sale or promotion, you obviously want as many people as possible to hear about it.
SMS is a great channel to communicate with these offers, especially if you want to let customers know when they’re moving. That way you can be sure they won’t miss out because they didn’t get the message on time.
Urgent updates about events or customer orders
There are many moving parts that go into planning and executing an event. The more people you have at the event, the more challenging it will be for everyone to communicate the information they need.
You can easily report any changes, cancellations, general information via SMS, or updates with better real-time engagement than email or other channels.
If your business is running on a scheduled appointment, you know the frustration of clients forgetting appointment time and arriving late. Even more frustrating, when clients absolutely fail to show up.
It not only cancels your schedule, but it also wastes your time. This means that you may have declined another appointment because that appointment slot was taken. Sending reminder text messages is a great way to make sure people don’t forget their appointments and arrive on time.
If you have a large number of employees, it can be difficult to communicate urgent messages (office closures, urgent updates, etc.) to everyone at once. You can send them an email, but they won’t see it (I know I don’t check my work email often outside of work). SMS is a great way to guarantee that everyone will receive your message on time
Who can benefit from using SMS marketing services?
Text messages can be a great addition to your digital marketing efforts regardless of your business type. They serve the unique function of communicating very important information in a highly reliable way.
However, there are some businesses that cannot survive without SMS in their marketing strategy:
- E-Commerce Store: Whether you are sending a promotional campaign or order/shipping confirmation, SMS is a great tool for an e-commerce store.
- Travel agencies: SMS is essential for travel agencies because customers need real-time information. These include flight time updates, gate changes, cancellations, weather warnings, and more. With SMS you can tell customers exactly what they need to know, without worrying about whether they will be able to see it in time.
- Service Business Those Who Need an Appointment: Make sure your clients don’t miss another appointment by sending them an SMS reminder. This will save you a lot of time and money on no-shows and late appointments.
- Large organizations with 100+ employees: Internal communication is important, but it is difficult to communicate with every employee of a large company. For urgent information, email is too slow. Using SMS for your internal communication is the best way to ensure that every employee receives the information you want to send at the right time.
Can SMS Marketing Work for Your Business?
Only to find one – let your audience check it out! If you are already using (or considering) email marketing, try incorporating SMS into your strategy.
You should have a better idea of what SMS marketing is and why it is great. Here’s a quick overview of some of the professionals:
- Reliable delivery
- Direct line to customer
- High engagement
If you sign up for GhasForing SMS, you can send promotional and transactional SMS messages from a platform like your SMS campaign.