Matthew Winters
Matthew Winters 16 December 2016

Why SMS Marketing Makes Sense for Both Large and Small Businesses

Of all of the promotional tools available to brands and businesses today, such as online advertising, content marketing, and social media, few have as big an impact as text messaging.

 According to a survey by SAP, 70 per cent of people feel that SMS marketing is a good way for an organisation to get their attention. In fact, according to research by The Wireless Association, the open rate of text promotions/offers is a whopping 98% while the open rate of emails is a mere 22%!  Despite these numbers, when it comes to brands reaching consumers, email marketing is still the more commonly used tactic even though text message marketing — which includes coupons, special offers, and participation in loyalty programs — is redeemed eight or more times frequently than email.  

If you are not leveraging SMS in your marketing mix it might be time to reconsider. Whether you are a small business or a major consumer brand, you can implement successful SMS marketing strategy.

Here are six reasons you should take advantage of SMS marketing today:

1. SMS marketing is more effective than email

As stated earlier the open rate of text is a staggering 98% compared to the email open rate of just 22%. While an email might sit in a customer’s inbox all day, people’s phones will sit in their pockets or even better in their hand. Therefore, a text is read within minutes, making it a great channel for flash sales and same-day promotions.

2. Reach a highly-engaged audience

Consumers opt into mobile programs making a careful decision about which text campaigns they choose. This differs from email campaigns where consumers subscribe more generally to brands they may only be temporarily interested in. Because according to The Wireless Association, users limit themselves to brands they truly care about when opting into SMS promotions, therefore brands are able to market more directly to a captive, and loyal, target audience.

3. Build your brand conversation

While email communication is a one-way street, people can actually reply to an SMS promotion and engage with the brand through two-way SMS dialogue. By opening the doors of conversation between brand and consumer, and creating customer engagement, marketers ultimately create a stronger relationship and build brand trust.

4. Sell more and drive awareness

Unlike email, which tends to drive online sales, text promotions drive engagement to bring consumers in-store.

Once in-store, the consumer is then more likely to buy other products. According to TimeTrade research on the State of retail 2015, a consumer’s in-store basket size is on average three times larger than if you drove their purchase online.

5. Measuring ad value

With so many customer acquisition points for SMS programs, brands can easily track where users are texting in to join (via in-store advertising, print advertising, etc.) and measure the relative effectiveness of that advertisement. An example of this was Pepsi Max’s “2015 Field of Dreams” campaign which allowed Pepsi to measure consumer opt in value.   

6. Send highly targeted communication

Long gone are the days when business owners would send out text messages in the hope that the SMS would reach the targeted demographic of their store or business. Today mobile marketing campaigns are much more effective because you can choose which customers to tailor your promotional campaign to base on the marketing information you have previously collected. You can send messages to those that have agreed to receive communication from your company and to customers who have previously had some form of relationship with the business. This way, you will be sending messages to people who are likely to be interested, and more likely to respond.

Brand marketers know that in order to stay relevant they have to be where their consumers are. And consumers are mobile! Since we know texting is one of the most popular mobile activities today many brands are missing out on a major opportunity by not leveraging SMS based marketing. SMS practices are not just an efficient way to reach today’s consumer but also the most relevant way to engage with them, build brand trust regardless of size, and even track the effectiveness of advertising. If your business is not already engaging with customers via SMS based campaigns, it’s time to go mobile.

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