The Power of Text: What Is SMS Marketing, and Is It For Your Business?
Did you know that the open rate for SMS is nearly 98%?
Because SMS can offer such incredible open rates, it can be one of the best ways to reach your target audience. But if you want to use SMS to market your business, you may have doubts about where to begin.
You might be unsure of how to get the phone numbers for your campaigns. You may also worry about the kind of messages you should send people, once you have their phone number.
This post aims to provide you with some clarity on how SMS marketing works. Once you’ve read this post, you’ll be able to comfortably answer the question “What is SMS marketing?”
What Is SMS marketing?
SMS marketing is a means of marketing that’s based on you sending text messages to people. SMS (short message service) is just another way to describe a text message, and the two terms are interchangeable.
This method of marketing works well, as people carry phones with them everywhere they go. This then makes it easy for you to reach your target audience, no matter where they are.
Additionally, a text message often demands more attention than an email. This is usually down to the fact that not many other companies are using SMS marketing to contact customers.
It’s also worth noting that the notification for a text message often differs to the notification for an email.
SMS notifications are often more audible and can cause the phone to vibrate, whereas emails might not allow for this to happen. Following this, SMS marketing can produce better levels of engagement. That’s because people will quickly check their phone, upon receiving a promotional text message.
What Can You Do with SMS Marketing?
The way you use SMS marketing is going to depend on your business and the kinds of services you offer.
For an offline business, SMS marketing can be an incredible way to increase foot traffic.
You can use SMS marketing to notify customers of new products you might have in store. Once customers are aware of these new products, they may visit your store to see what is on offer.
You could even use SMS marketing as a means of distributing coupons.
For instance, if you own a pizzeria, you could use SMS to send people a coupon every weekend. In doing so, you may be able to increase the number of people that order a pizza from you, instead of a competitor.
Of course, the concepts mentioned above can also be applied to an online business too.
You can use SMS marketing to promote the release of a new product within your eCommerce store. Or you can use SMS marketing to generate sales, during certain events. An example might include promoting a coupon that’s associated with a particular time of year, such as valentines day.
Finding a Good SMS service
The SMS Marketing platform you use can have a big impact on deliverability rates and how much you can customize your campaigns.
Ideally, you want to pick a service that caters to your needs.
So, if you deal with a business audience, it might be better to use a business text messaging service, rather than a generic one. Or, if you’re a restauranteur, try to find one that’s designed specifically for restaurant owners.
By taking this step, your SMS marketing campaigns will be more effective, as the service will offer features that are a good fit for your needs. You can then use these features to create campaigns your target audience will resonate with.
Building Your Contact List
Before you can run an SMS marketing campaign, you first need to get a list of phone numbers you can send messages to.
But you can’t just buy a list, as you need to acquire explicit consent before you send people SMS marketing messages. Failure to obtain consent may result in you breaking the law.
One of the best ways to build your list of contacts is by getting people to send you a text message, so that they can join your list.
You might ask people to text a keyword to a specific phone number. Once people do this, they’ll be on your list and you can send them relevant marketing messages.
If you want to improve your odds of success, it’s essential you give people an incentive to join your list.
You can do this by providing people with a special offer, should they join your SMS list. So, if you own a restaurant, you might say that people can get 10% off their next order if they text “offer” to your designated SMS marketing number.
You can promote this incentive to your email list or even on your social media profile.
How to Get Results with SMS Marketing
Though SMS marketing is relatively foolproof, you may struggle to see results if you ignore certain fundamentals.
You need to make sure you include a call to action in each of your marketing messages.
Though it might sound odd, a lot of people will just ignore your marketing if you don’t tell them what to do. Thus, whenever you send out a message, be sure to tell people what you have on offer and what people need to do if they want to benefit from this offer.
You also want to pay attention to the timing of your messages. If you’re trying to get people to order pizza, you’ll probably get better results by sending a message around 6 PM as opposed to 1 PM.
The Value of Experimentation
If your results with SMS marketing reach a plateau, it’s worth conducting some experiments to see how you can take things to the next level.
You could do this by sending out a range of different offers and then observing which one generates the most engagement.
You might even want to experiment with the time you send your messages. In doing so, you may be able to find a ‘sweet spot’ wherein you’re able to generate the most engagement.
If you’re struggling to come up with marketing experiments, consider taking a look at what your competitors are doing.
By signing up to their text message marketing lists, you may discover a range of tactics that’ll help improve your campaigns.
Of course, it’s worth noting that you can also learn from companies that aren’t your competitors. For instance, if you run a B2C company, it could still be a good idea to sign up to a B2B list.
By studying the tactics used in other industries, you may be able to uncover tactics that nobody else in your sector is using. If you use these tactics, you may experience great results, as your methods will be ‘cutting edge’ when compared to your competitors.
So – What Is SMS Marketing?
Now that you’ve read this post, you should find it easy to answer the question “what is SMS marketing?”
Like all forms of marketing, you’ll need to run many campaigns before you understand the ins and outs of SMS marketing. As you do this, you’ll understand how to get people to join your list and how you can write text messages that’ll generate a response.
SMS marketing isn’t easy, and so you’ll definitely hit some snags along the way. But if you keep going, it won’t be long before you start to wonder how you managed to make money without SMS Marketing.
Need some help attracting customers to your business? Check out this post to learn how PPC marketing can help you reach your target market.