January 16, 2020

SMS Marketing: Why and How You Should Be Using It

lady checks phone for text outside store holding phone

It’s nearly impossible to think of a place we don’t encounter some sort of media advertising. We are overwhelmed with content, which can sometimes make it difficult for brands to get noticed. In order to keep up with ever-changing consumer behavior, we need to adapt our marketing efforts and include mobile in our digital strategy.

Mobile marketing, covers both SMS and Rich SMS, push notifications, mobile apps, emails, and websites. Due to its near-instantaneous consumer engagement, SMS marketing, or text messaging, is easily the most valuable platform. There is simply no other marketing channel that is almost guaranteed to be seen by a customer. Here are 7 reasons why SMS marketing needs to be a part of your 2020 marketing plan.

Fact: we’re increasingly connected to the world of digital information via mobile devices.

1. Mobile-Friendly

More and more people are using mobile devices to shop online and browse the internet, so it’s essential to present your business as mobile-friendly. Also, providing customers with easy access to promotions, events, and location information straight to the device they carry on the go allows you to be top of mind. SMS marketing gives you yet another mobile channel to increase your mobile presence. Because it is universal on mobile devices and it doesn’t require device customization, you are able to reach a wide range of demographics with very little effort.

2. Flexible Messaging

One of the biggest benefits of SMS is its versatility. Standardized uses of SMS include: promotion of your business, reminding customers of deliveries or appointments, order confirmations, temporary discounts, rewarding loyal customers, sharing news and updates, promoting relevant new products, and more. Plus, interacting with your audience through different messages allows your brand to become a part of the customer’s life on the go. Due to the advancement of SMS and mobile technology, businesses can now also target their audience using geo-fencing. This allows businesses to send post-transactional offers, and information, reach them at special events such as concerts and sporting events, and reach out to customers who shop at competitor locations.

3. High Open Rates

With an SMS read rate of 97%, you can be reassured that your messages will probably be read almost instantly. Most people are trained to check their phones regularly, especially text messages, since each notification or buzz could be a message from friends and family.

4. Increased Customer Engagement

It’s not easy to stand out from the crowd these days, considering the sheer amount of marketing messages bombarding consumers via both digital and print media. So, merely sending SMS text messages is not enough. The key to effective SMS marketing is remembering that response is triggered by relevance, which also includes relevant timing.

It is extremely important that businesses utilize a data-driven strategy and understand how their messaging and appropriate delivery time is relevant to their target audience. This may include, but is not limited to, customized messaging and offers for different customer segments. Like all marketing channels, these decisions about messaging and offers based on customer segments should be driven by customer data, behavior, engagement, and A/B testing.

While some customers may value updates and news on forthcoming developments within the business, sending tailored messages and special incentives gives your customers a way to engage with you. It makes your brand a part of their lives instead of being just that business they shop with sometimes. Instead, you’re right there with them on their mobile devices, prompting them to remember you as you send relevant messages and offers that speak specifically to them and their shopping habits.

5. Rich SMS

Rich SMS is essentially text messaging for the modern world. This service takes SMS marketing to the next level by providing consumers with visual content accessible from their text inbox through shortened and unique URLs.

The human brain understands visual information better.

We all know that visuals are vital to online success. Not only does this unlock the possibility of delivering a visually appealing website experience, but it also allows you to create personalized experiences based on your users’ interests and preferences. Rich SMS lets you segment your audiences based on past behavior and send them tailored offers you know they’ll be interested in. And, even better, you can engage them at multiple points in the sales cycle process, delivering personalized content.

Rich SMS also allows you to send more diverse types of content than most marketing channels. This could include traditional text messages, games, surveys, articles, event-related messages, personalized offers and promotions, important reminders, and more.

6. Works Well with Other Platforms

Much like Rich SMS, text messaging opens the door to incorporating other forms of media into your marketing campaigns. In fact, it is most effective when used with other marketing channels such as direct mail, on site sign-ups, email, web, and social media. SMS can be a quick and easy way for customers to connect with your message and your brand in multiple ways. Integrating text messaging allows you to create a fluid customer experience on the channels your audience is most comfortable with.

For example, you can integrate social and traditional channels with SMS to ensure that your message will reach customers who may not have read your email or seen your mailer. This way, they’ll learn about your offers as you guide them to the other channels they might have missed.

Reportedly, a follow-up text message encouraging customers to check out the latest email/offer you sent can help increase email open rates by 20%–30%.

7. Trackable Data

There is a misconception that SMS is an untrackable channel for marketers. Tracking meaningful ROI, identifying customers, measuring levels of engagement, and monitoring delivery rates are all possible through SMS. By using the analysis criteria below, businesses can create targeted campaigns and continuously build a better understanding of their mobile database.

  • Redemption and CTR: These allow you to measure how many customers took advantage of your offer.
  • Opt-out rate: There will always be people who want to opt out. However, carefully tracking your opt-out rates can help you see if there’s something you’re missing and determine the reason why people are opting out
  • Response rates: If the message requires a response, you can measure its effectiveness by looking at how many people took the time to respond and engaged with your Rich SMS message
  • ROI: It’s always important to measure the return on investment on any marketing initiative. This will give you insights into which channels bring you the best results. ROI should always play a role in helping you make informed decisions about all marketing campaigns.

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