When social media and other forms of marketing came along, everybody assumed that was the end of SMS marketing…but is that really the case? It seems not. SMS messages have an open rate of over 82%. That’s right, over four in every five marketing messages sent through this medium are opened.
With consumers spending more time on their mobile devices, it seems that SMS marketing is making a comeback. As people check TikTok and Instagram, they’re also likely to read messages and the other notifications on their device. Although this won’t be surprising, millennials are the easiest market to target with this approach. According to one study, four in five within this age group check their phone within a few minutes of waking up.
Even for those who don’t check their device immediately after waking, they’re still paying attention to notifications and unlocking their device enough times over the course of the day to see SMS messages come through.
If you’re currently weighing both email and SMS as potential channels, we should warn you that email hasn’t enjoyed the same resurgence of attention. While open rates for SMS are sitting at 82%, the same metric for email is now under 25%.
Should you revisit this classic marketing technique? We’ll explore the advantages and plenty of other talking points in this guide.
Firstly, texting platforms have improved in recent years, which has made tracking much easier. With SlickText, for example, users can send messages and then track every stage from delivery to opening. Therefore, we’re getting a fantastic insight into what is and isn’t working. Over time, it’s possible to test different messages and check whether or not the audience is resonating (and, ultimately, converting).
SMS marketing has fantastic engagement. Email marketing not only has less engagement, but messages can sit in the inbox without being read for several days. On the other hand, a significant percentage of SMS messages are opened shortly after receipt. This also makes it a strong competitor for phone calls since these are often left unanswered.
Currently, paid advertising and PPC ads are seen as the golden marketing technique for all businesses, yet even this method only has a click-through rate of 2%. SMS marketing certainly looks more appealing in an environment where so many touch points have relatively low engagement rates.
Since engagement is so strong with SMS marketing, we now have an opportunity to introduce interactive elements to the messages. While some campaigns will urge recipients to reply, others will include a link for all those interested in learning more. For example, you might want to send people back to your website (or even a specific product page).
To push engagement even further, SMS marketing allows for the use of terms like ‘your’ and ‘friends’. You can send messages to ‘friends’ of the brand and drive engagement through personalization. Since you’re sending a message straight to their mobile device, it’s worth offering some level of personalization so it doesn’t come across as cold.
SMS also provides customers with a new avenue for communication with their favorite brands. They can explore this avenue whenever is most convenient for them. They can take action whether commuting to work, waiting at the dentist, or sitting at home on the sofa.
What could be quicker? Hit the ‘send’ button on your message and you could generate dozens of clicks within a matter of minutes. Phone calls are ignored, emails can sit in inboxes for days, and it takes a long time for the results of social media advertising to show. In the meantime, we’ve sent hundreds of text messages and received some interest in return.
You may have noticed that we’ve concentrated on the high engagement of SMS marketing, but this would be useless without conversion. It’s thought that the response rate for mobile campaigns reaches up to 15%. This is incredibly high compared to other forms, which further proves SMS marketing is a valuable tactic.
Of course, every marketing technique has at least one drawback. For SMS, your messages need to be targeted to people who have shown interest in your brand and given permission to receive them. Not only is it unethical to send unsolicited messages, it’s also now illegal when the recipient hasn’t expressly given their permission. As long as you have a written opt-in, you have all the permission you need to launch exciting SMS marketing campaigns.
If you have experience running social media contests and promotions, you’re in a good position to use SMS marketing. Below, we’ve listed some successful strategies as well as other tips that will be useful.
One way to capture the attention of recipients almost immediately is to send news about a special offer. With a unique coupon code, you can even make it so that only those subscribed will save. With modern solutions, you can send a simple link that connects the phone’s payment system to the specific offer. Doing this actually removes a step for the prospective customer and makes it easier for them to take advantage of the deal.
SMS marketing isn’t just for sales. Some brands use it as an opportunity to perform market research. With a simple message and a selection of options, those who respond will interact with the brand and feel as though they’ve contributed when the results are finally revealed. For example, you can ask about the industry, your content or even products. As the respondents eagerly await the results, they may browse your website and make a purchase.
SMS marketing is often seen as a manual process, but that’s not always the case. Depending on the status of the individual in question, we can create campaigns with tailored responses and messages. For example, for those who have recently subscribed, a small coupon code might encourage them to buy. After three weeks of no action, send a slightly larger discount. If six weeks go by and nothing happens, offer a large discount so you don’t lose them completely.
Don’t worry, we can do all of this automatically. No extensive spreadsheets, no keeping on top of who needs what message; the platform will look after everything.
Despite the various opportunities that SMS messaging presents for marketing, few marketers add images to these messages. However, this is definitely an area to explore. Rather than just sending text, adding an image is a great way to catch readers’ attention.
Get as many people as possible to opt in, and select a winner among the entrants—it’s as easy as that! You may also decide to offer something small to each entrant. Regardless, the reward needs to be worthwhile for people to gain interest in a sweepstake or competition.
Recently, Uber teamed up with Sterling Vineyards as a cross-promotion tool, which is a tactic that often reaps success. With two services complementing one another, there’s twice as much reason for people to be interested in what you have to offer.
We recommend you automate as much as you can (to make life easier) and use Facebook to build your SMS list. For instance, many are choosing to integrate their Facebook lead ads with SMS campaigns. We can collect data, build a subscriber base, and do all of this over a series of steps rather than requesting all information at once.
In terms of automation, use a tool like Zapier to help automate everything. These tools will connect to various platforms and services so that everything is under one roof. As people enter phone numbers in Facebook lead ads, this information is sent to the CRM and is then accessible for SMS campaigns.
Is SMS marketing a valuable marketing tactic? If you’re willing to consider your audience and understand whether or not they want to be reached in this way, then yes. At the moment, the younger markets are easily accessible through this form because they check their mobile devices more frequently than any other. Assuming that you’re confident your market is accessible through this medium, SMS marketing has your best chance of high engagement.
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