SMS marketing is excellent at increasing customer engagement and building brand awareness. If you’re thinking about leveraging texting to build your business, it’s a good idea to brush up on best practices before you get started.
Text marketing certainly isn’t new, but businesses aren’t utilizing it to the extent they could be. This provides a golden opportunity to break into a marketing channel your competitors may not be taking advantage of – yet.
Today we’ll review how SMS marketing works: what it is, how it can improve your business, and best practices to guide you along the way.
Table of Contents
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS (short message service) marketing uses permission-based text messaging to communicate with customers and spread promotional messages via smartphones and mobile devices. As a result, SMS has become an integral tool for companies looking to build relationships and strengthen their brands.
Here are a few must-know text marketing statistics:
- Smartphones are everywhere: Most Americans (97%) own a cell phone of some kind, 85% of which are smartphones.
- Engagement is sky-high: SMS has a 98% open rate compared to email marketing.
- SMS reaches customers where they are: 80% of coupon redemption in the US happens on mobile phones.
- Delivery is in real-time: SMS communicates time-sensitive information efficiently.
- Text marketing is fast and easy to use: You can deliver 10 or 100,000 bulk SMS marketing messages with just a few clicks.
How SMS Marketing Improves Your Business
So we’ve established that SMS is fast and easy, but how can it improve your marketing efforts? Here are several reasons to employ texting as a bonafide marketing tool.
Driving additional traffic to your website or retail store is easy with an effective SMS marketing strategy. For example, promoting sales, sending mobile coupons, or reminding customers of abandoned items in their online shopping carts can incentivize additional purchases.
Did you know that boosting customer retention rates by only 5% can help you raise profits by 25% to 95%? In addition, since 98% of people read SMS texts within minutes of being sent, you can text to follow up on leads and loyal customers.
Offers Customer Support
Nine out of ten consumers prefer texting with businesses over phone calls. Plus, using SMS to improve customer support is a huge timesaver. SMS customer service messages convey helpful information about service inquiries while providing an on-brand customer experience.
Customer support applications include:
- Appointment reminders
- Order and shipping confirmations
- Pickup notifications
- Urgent service requests
- Emergency alerts
- Chat follow-ups
Strengthens Customer Loyalty
Sending personalized, targeted messages makes customers feel seen and valued. When you can anticipate your customers’ needs by sending the right offer at the right time, you increase the likelihood of repeat business and referrals.
Increases Event Attendance
If you’re promoting a concert, charity gala, or other in-person events, getting people to attend can be challenging. Advertising dates in advance and sending text reminders leading up to and on the day of the event helps get the word out for a successful turnout.
Hi [First Name],
[Artist Name] has a show at [Venue Name] on [Date]! Buy tickets now and get a free parking pass: [Link]
How to Use SMS Marketing to Build Your Business
Now that we’ve reviewed the benefits SMS can have for your business, let’s get more specific. How can you use text message marketing to your advantage?
Did you know that 75% of people want to receive promotional offers through SMS? The most obvious use of marketing channels is to communicate your products and services with personalized messages that attract your ideal customers. Promoting sales, coupons and special offers via SMS is the fastest way to reach your target audience.
Use Two-Way Texting
You can make your SMS marketing campaign even more effective by allowing your recipients to reply to your text messages. For instance, cross-selling and upselling techniques entice people to upgrade a particular product they are considering, making a more profitable sale.
Two-way texting is also a great way to show that you care about meeting your customers’ needs as you engage in real conversations with them. If you only send them promotional messages, you end up coming off as only being interested in making a sale.
Share on Social Media
Social media has a broad reach, making it an effective platform for spreading the word about your SMS marketing campaigns.
Combining SMS campaigns with your social media channels is a no-brainer. Promoting keywords on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram generates interest in text-only offers and can increase subscribers to your text marketing database.
Conduct Polls and Surveys
SMS is also a great way to collect information about your business. Your company’s future largely depends on customer satisfaction, so keeping your finger on the pulse of your audience ensures that you stay in touch with what they want.
What’s the difference between polls and surveys?
Text message polls usually ask a single multiple-choice question, giving quick insights into customers’ choices or preferences. Polls require little to no analysis to tabulate results.
Text message surveys provide more feedback because they allow write-in responses to multiple questions vs. choosing predetermined answers to a single query. Surveys are more in-depth and take longer for customers to complete.
These are some of the best opportunities to send an SMS poll or survey:
- Immediately after a sale or service
- Immediately after a customer service call or chat
- A few weeks after your last interaction
Combine Text Messaging with Email
You can use several digital marketing methods to connect with your customers. But are you combining your channels to create a cohesive multi-channel communication strategy?
Email is an effective communication channel that has been used for decades. However, did you know that the average email click-through rate is 2.6%, while the average SMS click-through rate is 19%? What’s more, the average person takes 90 minutes to respond to an email but 90 seconds to respond to a text.
SMS marketing doesn’t have to exist in a silo. SMS and email marketing are quite complementary. Creating campaigns in each channel and then cross-promoting enables you to provide detailed information via email and boost that information via SMS.
SMS Marketing Best Practices
Adhere to the following SMS best practices to ensure the best results for your text marketing campaigns:
Follow Opt-In (and Opt-Out) Rules
A vital element in starting any SMS marketing campaign is getting permission to send promotional text messages. Attaining express written consent doesn’t have to be complicated, but you must follow the rules to avoid violating TCPA laws.
In addition, you must include instructions for customers to opt out of receiving text messages from your business. Texting people who no longer want your messages will likely result in a loss of customers and sales. Therefore, providing opt-out instructions is a best practice and a legal requirement for marketing communications.
To unsubscribe from our text messages, reply STOP.
Text STOP to end
Watch Your Timing
In addition to knowing how to send text messages, knowing when is also essential. Since it’s possible to text 24/7/365, it’s easy to forget that some hours during the day are inappropriate for marketing.
The following are generally considered the best times for businesses to send marketing text messages:
- Between 9 am and 12 pm and 5 pm and 9 pm on weekdays
- Between 10 am and 12 pm on Saturdays and Sundays
- Between 4 pm and 7 pm on Sundays
Remember that acknowledging special days like birthdays and holidays could positively impact your brand’s reputation and customer base.
If you’re texting via a dedicated short code, your customers may not be able to identify you straight away. Therefore, identifying yourself at the end of your message is vital to ensuring that customers immediately connect to your message.
Did you know you can get hotel discounts when you book your airfare through us?
Call today to learn more about our special pricing!
Text STOP to end
Add Compelling CTAs and Links
For your campaign to be truly effective, you must create enticing CTAs that capture people’s attention and compel them to take action.
Examples: Buy Now, Shop Now, Visit Our Store
However, without adding a link, your recipients can’t take action. Therefore, including relevant links to your store, a blog post, or a landing page will help you generate more leads that become sales opportunities.
Be Clear About Your Purpose
Keep the focus of your message on one primary CTA to avoid confusion and to increase the chances of your recipients following through. Keeping your message concise also makes texts easier to read, but identifying your business and providing an opt-out option can cut space short.
Most SMS platforms offer messages up to 160 characters long. However, Textedly’s platform can compose texts up to 300 characters, allowing you to communicate with your audience more effectively.
Measure the Results of Your Campaigns
Measuring the results of your SMS marketing campaign is crucial for gaining insight into its effectiveness. Seeing whether or not your efforts are paying off can improve your text messages while saving time and money in the long run.
It’s wise to calculate the number of people who opted in and out and monitor the number of recipients who acted on your CTAs. Doing so helps determine whether your campaign investment has paid off, and will help you turn future campaigns into successful ventures.
Improve Your SMS Marketing For Business With Textedly
SMS marketing is essential for business success because mobile usage is continuously growing. Nearly every person in the world has a mobile phone, making text messaging one of the most effective marketing channels.
Although text marketing can be incredibly effective, it must be done correctly. Before you can get a campaign up and running, you need to find a text message provider that can offer you the services you need.
Textedly provides simple, affordable SMS solutions for businesses in every industry. Learn how easy it is to start texting your customers. Sign up for a free Textedly trial today!