There is a new marketing tactic on deck, just waiting for businesses to seize its potential. It’s quick, it’s direct, and it has an open rate of a whopping 98%. But what is it?
Two words: text messaging.
SMS marketing is a buzzword you may have seen flung around the marketing scene over the last few years, but it hasn’t stuck. Not yet.
It isn’t because this marketing strategy doesn’t work, but rather many marketing teams aren’t sure how to utilize it. In this blog, we unveil the facts behind this powerhouse marketing tool and why your business should be using it.
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS Marketing is a term used to describe a text message marketing campaign. Like email, text message marketing is a tried and true method of communicating with both prospective and existing consumers.
Before you formulate an image of men and women in business suits bowing over their phones as they feverishly text various numbers, there is an efficient method to this strategy.
Many businesses use a software platform that allows them to create and track their SMS marketing campaign.
What makes SMS marketing so effective is that it’s easy and immediate. With a good, quick call-to-action, you can get a response from a high volume of recipients.
This is a big contrast from email marketing. Newsletters often sit in inboxes for days, if they’re opened at all. You also don’t have to worry about your message becoming lost in spam filters.
Sounds great in theory, but what about practice? Cold, hard numbers and facts are often needed before a business chooses to invest in the time, resources, and education it takes to tackle this marketing strategy.
Exploring What the Figures Say
The success behind text message communication isn’t an assumption. There are numerous statistics that back up its effectiveness. Here are just a few to keep in mind as you consider it:
- 87% of Millennials claim they always have their phone on their person (Zogby Analytics)
- 80% of Millennials admit the first thing they do every morning is check their smartphone (Zogby Analytics)
- 97% of North Americans use text messaging a minimum of once a day (Pew Internet)
- Text messaging trumps the open rate of emails, which sits far below texting’s near perfect 98% with a 20% open rate (Mobile Marketing Watch)
- 80% of professionals use texting for business purposes (eWeek)
- One in every five consumers would prefer businesses text them rather than call (ICMI)
- Prospects who receive texts convert at a 40% higher rate than those who do not (Velocify)
- 44% of consumers claim they prefer receiving product details and marketing messages via text over any other communication method (Direct Marketing Association)
- 72% of employees and business professionals prefer texting to using an app for messaging (eWeek)
Are you noticing a trend? So are marketers. It’s why you are starting to see more and more text message marketing services pop up on the internet today.
This lucrative approach is helping businesses build better relationships with their prospect and existing clients.
Tips for a Successful SMS Marketing Campaign
But how do you go about putting together a successful SMS marketing campaign? It takes more than just whipping up a text on the fly. Like any marketing strategy, you need to plan ahead.
Here are a few things to consider:
1. Identify Your Objective
A clear objective is essential before preparing any online campaign. You want to make sure that your objective is trackable and that it works well with the vehicle in which your message is delivered.
For example, let’s assume you’re a restaurant who is trying to fill tables at a specific location.
A great idea would be a text message opt-in where users in the area can receive a coupon they can put toward your products or services.
First, you need a plan for how to acquire people’s numbers. This can be through a landing page or homepage sign-up option. Keep in mind that all text campaigns require a physical opt-in. You can’t spam users without their permission.
Even when users sign up, they will have to confirm they want to receive your marketing texts or alerts via text.
Your coupon should be easy to redeem and you will want to have a method in place for tracking those redemptions. This will enable you to gauge the effectiveness of your text campaign.
2. Craft a Clear, Concise Message
Once you have a plan in place, you will need to craft compelling messages for recipients. When sending a text, it’s important to be concise. Users should be able to read your message at a glance.
It’s great to be creative and amiable in your language, but make sure your message is clear. There shouldn’t be any question over what it is about. For example:
“TGIF! Come on in and celebrate with B1G1 Margaritas!”
This message is smaller than a tweet, has a clear call-to-action, and a sense of immediacy as a Friday special.
3. Make Your Call-to-Action Easy
When it comes to creating a call-to-action, always keep it simple. Your recipients should be able to act in the span of a second. For example, “Click here to download your coupon” can be a hyperlink that leads to a quick download or site with a coupon the person can screenshot.
Complex call-to-actions are less likely to convert because they require more time and patience. Avoid anything that requires a complex form or multiple steps to complete. If you can narrow it down to a single click, you will yield the best results.
4. Gauge Your Campaign’s Performance with Analytics
Lastly, always have a way to track and gauge your campaign’s performance. This includes open rate, click rate, and follow-through. Did the user view, download, and use the coupon in the restaurant?
Being able to track each step of the conversion process can help you identify any kinks in your marketing approach.
For a deeper dive into best practices for SMS marketing, you can read more now on BeTwext’s website. Their professional insight will help you map out a solid strategy.
See Where SMS Marketing is Trending
We aren’t the only ones talking about SMS marketing. See where this method is trending in our latest articles. You may be surprised to find out how many businesses are jumping on board with this marketing strategy.
From eCommerce businesses to big name brands, you’ll soon find that your phone is becoming a hot inbox for direct consumer communications. To learn more, check out our article on how online sellers are revisiting SMS.