As marketers, we’re always looking for new and interesting ways to engage with our target audiences. Email marketing, although still the most popular means of digitally communicating, often has limited success. So what else is out there which may have better results? Enter: SMS marketing.
It’s certainly not a new concept – you have more than likely received promotional texts from your mobile network provider. Offers such as limited time deals on their services or reminders to renew your credit. Perhaps you have received a reminder for an appointment at the dentist?
Although we are all acutely aware of the existence of SMS Marketing, it is yet to become a widespread means of connecting brands to their audience.
Okay, what makes SMS appealing?
There are a few really powerful advantages of SMS marketing, which give it a competitive edge over more traditional campaigns, such as email marketing.
- Instant Delivery – There is no delay from the time they are sent, to the time they arrive on your customers’ devices.
- Super High Engagement – SMS messages have significantly higher open and read rates (97%) compared to email (<33%).
- Highly Accessible – Most mobile phone users have their phones on them throughout the day. As a result, your target audience is almost always accessible.
- Cost – In many cases, due to the simplistic nature of the messages being sent, SMS marketing is much cheaper than email.
- Easily Filter Customers – Targeted keywords allow decisive filtering of your subscriber list and effectively manage the marketing funnel.
- Short powerful messages – Limited to 160 characters, your message has to be punchy to get the right response. This also increases the likelihood of your recipient reading your message.
How does SMS Marketing work?
Essentially, it works in a similar fashion to email marketing. Subscribers are added to a list and a programme sends specific messages to their provided contact mobile number.
Telecommunications providers were of course the pioneers of this form of marketing, having full access to databases of customers, but it has since been picked up by a number of other businesses ranging from .
Subscribers ‘opt in’ via texting a certain code (keyword) to a specified number. Once they are on the list, you can send them SMS messages. This is a great way to establish your ‘true’ followers. The ones who subscribe are genuinely interested in your products and thus, are valuable as potential customers.
Campaigns are created using software similar to email marketing programmes. They are then converted into SMS messages and sent out to your specified lists.
Replies are received by the same server and converted into email files, which are then sent back to the marketer.
With devices becoming ever-more powerful, you can also enable additional analytical features to your campaign (depending on provider) such as Geotracking.
Many providers also offer forms of A/B testing in their campaigns, so you can improve your response rates.
Who is it best suited to?
Although it is generally used by SMEs and Hospitality/Retail businesses, there’s no reason why you couldn’t apply it to a larger business. Just be sure to convey your marketing message in 160 characters or less! Whether you use it to send reminders for bookings, confirmation of transactions or to actively promote deals and specials, there is bound to be an application that suits the needs of your business.
Would you use SMS marketing in your business? Let us know in the comments!