Why Use SMS Marketing and How to Make It Work
You consistently create content for your company’s website. You are hip to all the viral TikTok trends. You can make a product flatlay for Instagram like nobody’s business. And your email marketing game is legendary. But how do you master ever-changing algorithms and stay out of the spam folder? Two words: SMS marketing.
SMS marketing is the channel for you if you’re looking for a more direct form of communication with your customers. But before you dive in headfirst, it’s essential to know what to use text message marketing for, why it’s important, and how you can make it work for your business.
What is SMS Marketing?
Short Message Service (SMS) marketing is a lot like email marketing, but you send text messages instead of sending emails to customers. Customers opt in and out, just as they do with email.
These texts alert customers to promotions like sales or product launches. You also can send a text after an interaction with a customer, like if they made a purchase or contacted customer service to create a support ticket.
But, unlike email marketing, text messages aren’t likely to wind up in a spam folder or get lost in an overly full inbox. So it’s not only a great way to communicate with your customers, but it’s also a good way to ensure they receive and read your message almost immediately.
When to Use SMS Marketing
You can use text message marketing for many different purposes. You’ve likely received text marketing messages from companies or non-profit organizations. And while companies use this type of marketing for different reasons, here are some examples of how you can make SMS marketing work for your company:
- Discounts and Promotions. Creating SMS-exclusive offers and giveaways is a great way to engage subscribers with your business. Promotions like seasonal sales, Buy One, Get One Free offers, new subscriber discounts, bundles, and customer loyalty rewards are all great SMS promotions.
- Company Updates and Notifications. Easily alert customers about new products you’re working on or when a popular product is back in stock.
- Referral Campaigns. Encourage your subscribers to send referral links to their friends by offering them a reward in the form of a discount. This approach increases your word-of-mouth marketing and gives your customers a deal, which makes them think more favorably of your brand.
- Shopping Cart Abandonment. When a subscriber abandons their card, send them an SMS reminder. You can even offer them free shipping.
- Gathering Feedback. Because text message marketing has such a high response rate, it’s the perfect way to get participation in surveys and gather customer feedback. Use SMS surveys to gather data about your customers.
Why SMS Marketing Should Be Part of Your Digital Strategy
It’s easy to see that text message marketing has many uses. And your wheels are probably already turning with ideas for implementing it for your business. But will it pay off as a part of your marketing strategy? The answer is a resounding yes.
SMS marketing benefits:
- Direct and Immediate Contact. People open most SMS campaigns within 15 minutes of delivery.
- Integrates with Other Channels. Texts work well alone but can also support and enhance your other channels. For example, you can send a message to remind your subscribers about the contents of an email you sent.
- Cost-Effective. SMS can contact thousands of customers quickly with a low cost per message rate. When you couple that with the open rate, there’s an obvious return on investment.
- Easy to Manage. Text marketing platforms allow you to manage multiple campaigns from a single dashboard.
- Highest Open Rates. SMS has a 90% delivery and open rate, which is really quite impressive.
- Great Response Rate. SMS campaigns have a response rate of 45%, while only 5% – 10% of email recipients respond to a marketing email.
- Increases Engagement. Customers are more likely to feel connected to brands that they engage with. They’re also more likely to continue to buy from those brands. Text message marketing gives you another point of contact with your customers, helping gain their loyalty.
- Strong Analytics. You can measure how people respond to your SMS campaigns. This ability means you know almost immediately what’s working and what isn’t, allowing you to adjust your approach to future messages.
How to Make It Work
By now you may be thinking it’s time to create an SMS marketing strategy. And you’re right. Before you start creating your plan, there are some things you must include in your messages.
Tips to make your first SMS campaign a success:
- Know Your Customers. Know your customers and who is opting into your text messages. Not everyone will choose to receive texts from you. Study who does and craft your messages and approach directly to them.
- Personalize Your Messages. Use your customer’s buying history to send more personalized offers. This approach is more likely to elicit a response from them than a generic offer.
- Include a Call-to-Action. A call-to-action can increase your customer’s engagement with your text messages. Phrases like “click here,” “buy now,” and “text to respond” encourage your customer to engage with your text.
- Promote Opt-In Across All Media. Share your SMS opt-in across your already-established channels to maximize the number of sign-ups.
- Write Clear Messages. Be direct and specific. Text messages have a limited number of characters, and the more clear and concise the message, the more likely the subscriber is to take you up on the offer.
- Time Well. Customers are most likely to see your text within three minutes of sending it, so know your audience and be strategic about when you send messages. You probably don’t want to send messages super early in the morning or after 9 p.m. Think about when your customer will be most likely to respond. Send your message then.
- Follow Up on Abandoned Shopping Carts. Send messages to customers who have left items in their online shopping cart. You can remind them to finalize their purchase or offer them a discount to apply to their cart.
- Announce New Product Releases. Send texts to generate buzz about new products. Add a product link in the message to boost site traffic.
- Provide Text-Based Customer Service. Save your customers time by allowing them to send a text to contact customer service instead of making a phone call.
Let Content Journey Help with Your Digital Strategy
SMS marketing is an effective way to reach your customers directly. Whether you’re ready to add SMS to your marketing, are looking for help with your editorial calendar, or are struggling to create a lead magnet that converts, Content Journey can help. Book a call today and learn how we can work together to build the best digital strategy for your business.