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SMS Marketing: Reaching Your Customers Directly

SMS Marketing: Reaching Your Customers Directly

Have you ever heard of marketing through SMS? Allow me to explain. Short Message Service (SMS) – or texting – is a type of marketing that employs text messages to send out information about sales, events, and other things directly to customers' cell phones.

Why is this important? Consider how much time people spend on their phones nowadays. We never put them down; we always have them around us. This implies that you can place your message right on your target audience’s palm at any given time using SMS advertising. What could be more direct than that?

Advantages of SMS Marketing

What Is Sms Marketing Advertising

Still not convinced that SMS marketing is a good idea for your business? Here are some of the most significant advantages:

More considerable Open rates And Response Rates

Email has become outdated. Have you seen how many emails people get? They’re just so busy with their inboxes these days. But texts? You know we’re all going to open those right away. Research shows they have an astonishing 98% open rate, compared to about 20% for email. Also, response rates are much higher: 45% for SMS vs only 6% for email.

Slice Through The Noise

Most digital marketing channels are overcrowded now. We see ads, get emails, and push notifications from every angle all day. With SMS, though, there’s no middleman (like social platforms or email providers) to muck up the works: it just cuts straight to your audience.

Inexpensive

SMS marketing is cheap compared with other types of advertising. There are plenty of low-cost SMS platforms out there that won’t break your budget. Plus, remember what we said about high ROI rates earlier? Well, when you factor in direct access to customers and intense engagement levels – this stuff is worth its weight in gold!

How to Build an SMS Marketing List

All right, so you know that SMS is powerful. But how are you supposed to make an SMS list? This is what I suggest:

Permission Marketing

It would be best to use opt-in or permission-based models for your email lists; the same goes for compiling contacts with SMS. Let it be known on your website — or wherever else people sign up — that they are permitted to receive texts from you by providing their mobile number. Make it crystal clear what this entails.

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Offer Incentives Relating to Sign-ups

Everyone loves getting free stuff! Offer a discount code or promotional offer that only those who sign up for text alerts will get. This gives them an extra push to opt in. Additionally, incorporating push notifications marketing can further engage users by sending timely and relevant updates, enhancing the overall mobile marketing strategy.

Ask for Numbers at Checkout

If there’s any way people can buy something from you either online or in person, then chances are high they’ll have to go through a point-of-sale system at checkout. In this case, don’t forget to ask them if they’d like updates about new products/services via phone!

What to Text Your SMS Subscribers

So you've done the work and built up a healthy SMS subscriber list – excellent work! Now, what content should you be sending them? Here are some top ideas:

  • Limited-time offers and promotions
  • New product/service announcements
  • Exclusive discounts and VIP perks
  • Reminders for sales, events, appointments, etc.
  • Order updates and delivery notifications
  • Quick tips, advice, or education related to your industry
  • Polls and surveys to solicit customer feedback

The possibilities are truly endless! The key is keeping the content short, sweet, highly relevant and valuable for your audience.

SMS Marketing Best Practices

Sms Marketing Examples Best Practices

For you to get the most out of your SMS campaigns, there are some best practices that you should follow:

Give Permission

Remember – NEVER text anyone who hasn't explicitly opted in first. That's not just bad practice; it's illegal! Always get express written consent before adding someone to your SMS list.

Identify Yourself

Always identify yourself and your business initially when sending out a text blast. Don't make subscribers have to guess who the message is from.

Have a Clear Call-to-Action

Every SMS should have a specific purpose, so tell recipients exactly what you want them to do – visit a website, redeem an offer, reply with feedback, etc.

Timing is Key

Time your SMS sends for maximum impact. For example, when people are likely to make purchase decisions, you can promote flash sales or happy hour specials. It is also helpful but not too early should reminders go out before events that could be forgotten.

Segment and Personalise

Segmenting your SMS list and sending more personalised content relevant to each group can dramatically improve engagement and ROI. Data such as demographics, past purchases, and interests, among others, must be used to determine which customer profiles need segmentation.

Be Brief

Text messages are limited to 160 characters, so be concise when choosing your word choice. Get straight to the point! If you have more information, use URLs to drive traffic back to your site.

Keep a Regular Schedule

A consistent SMS send cadence (weekly, monthly) can condition your subscribers to engage with messages regularly. However, please take care not to overdo it and bombard their phones!

Comply With Laws and Regulations

Familiarise yourself with laws and regulations governing SMS marketing, like providing easy opt-out instructions only sent during certain hours, depending on where you operate from.

Test and Optimise

If the results of your SMS campaigns are not as expected, do not be discouraged – test different send times, messages, offers, segmentation, etc. until you find what resonates best with your audience. Consistent optimisation is the key!

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Measuring SMS Marketing Success

You need to monitor and measure relevant statistics to determine if your text message campaigns are worth it. Below are some key performance indicators for SMS marketing:

  • Rate of delivery: The percentage of messages that get sent successfully.
  • Rate of opting out: How many subscribers have decided they no longer want to receive texts from the business?
  • Click-through rate (CTR): If there are any links in the texts, what percentage of recipients clicked on them?
  • Conversion rate (CR): What percentage of customers have acted after receiving an SMS?
  • Return on investment/sales impact: How much additional profit is from text message marketing efforts?

Most modern SMS platforms come with integrated analytics, which allow users to track such metrics. Use this information for ongoing optimisation to boost results with every campaign launched.

SMS Marketing Tools and Software

I have persuaded you to try out SMS advertising – terrific! But now, if you want to run SMS campaigns without a hitch, you will need some tools. There are many platforms and software solutions for SMS marketing available, such as:

  • SlickText
  • EZ Texting
  • SimpleTexting
  • Avochato
  • TextMagic
  • TxtCart
  • Sakari

Look into each one before making a decision; this way, it will suit your exact requirements and financial capabilities better than anything else. Most offer free trials, so be sure to use that opportunity wisely!

SMS Marketing Examples and Case Studies

Sms Marketing For Dentists

That sure was a lot to take in, don’t you think? Let’s see a few examples of SMS marketing done right:

Pizza Place Boosts Revenue

A pizza chain offered 20% off coupons for joining their “VIP Text Club” to build an SMS subscriber list. Once they had many subscribers, they started sending out weekly limited-time offers like buy-one-get-one-free pizzas.

In just a few months, they generated over $25K in additional monthly sales from their SMS marketing alone! Customers also loved the fact that it made them feel like valued VIPs.

Dentist Office Increases Appointment Adherence

Everyone has received a text reminder from their dentist’s office before an appointment at some point or another, right? One dental practice included links with prep instructions and forms to fill out in their confirmation texts before the visit.

They found that no-shows decreased by 35% after implementing this service! Patients loved how convenient and helpful these text messages were as reminders.

Coffee Shop Collects Customer Feedback

This small business owner wanted a way for customers to provide feedback on new menu items or suggested store improvements. So, they created the “TextPerks” club, which gave its members complimentary pastry via SMS upon signing up.

Afterwards, polls would be sent via text message every couple of weeks, asking people what they thought about certain things. These quick surveys saw high participation rates and allowed the company to gain valuable insights from their target market.

Integrating SMS With Other Channels

Indeed, as a single channel, SMS marketing can be compelling but is even more effective when integrated with other marketing initiatives. Here are some clever ways to blend SMS into your more comprehensive strategy:

Combine Email and SMS

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While some customers prefer email communications, others may favour SMYouyou, which can reinforce messaging using these channels while allowing contacts to interact through their chosen medium.

For example, send short-lived time-bound promotions through SMS that encourage people to open more in-depth content-rich email campaigns. Alternatively, include an opt-in call-to-action for texting in your emails to grow the mobile list.

Pair With Social Media

Are you already heavily invested in social media marketing? Use those popular feeds! Run posts promoting text clubs, exclusive content giveaways, etc., which advertise the SMS program. Then, subscribers can get links to the latest viral posts, videos, and other social content on their phones.

Support Offline Events

Using SMS to promote online campaigns is straightforward, but what about offline event marketing efforts? All you need to do is send out reminders about store openings, pop-up shop conferences you’re attending, and any other real-world happenings.

You can also integrate QR codes with text messaging – just have individuals text a keyword onto a short code. Then, they instantly receive digital loyalty cards, coupon contest entries or any other exclusive offer.

Boost Ecommerce Performance

Integrating your online store with text messaging brands dealing in e-commerce could significantly improve KPIs such as repeat purchase rates, cart abandonment average order value, etc.

You can deploy automated SMS campaigns to recover abandoned carts, promote free shipping thresholds to increase AOV, announce new product drops/restock alerts, etc. The fact that it is personal and instantaneously delivered allows one to reach out to customers exactly when they require that last nudge.

Future of SMS Marketing

Future Of Sms Marketing

However, massive SMS already is, and the future looks even brighter. This is because mobile device usage keeps increasing daily, hence the need for instant direct communication through SMS. In this article are some trends to watch out for:

More AI and Automation

Even though having a human touch is essential in SMS marketing, more will be done through AI and automation. Platforms have become more competent in optimising send times based on user behaviours, personalising content using dynamic data, and automating campaign workflows for mass and 1-on-1 messaging.

2-Way Conversational Experiences

The next wave won’t just be passive SMS blasts but enable authentic two-way conversations. Customers should efficiently respond, ask questions or make requests via text – creating seamless interactions between brands and consumers.

Multimedia and RCS Messaging

With the rise of rich communication services (RCS) messaging, we will no longer use plain text only. We will also incorporate richer multimedia, such as high-res images, videos, audio gifs, etc., into our text conversations, enabling us to have more interactive, immersive content, thus opening new opportunities for marketers.

Expanded Use Cases 

Some early adopters have already gone beyond typical marketing applications with workplace communication systems built entirely around SMS telehealth platforms that send appointment reminders via text-codeless app interfaces where users navigate menus by texting commands back and forth, among others. We expect businesses to continue finding exciting ways to benefit from SMS as they discover its potential.

SMS may be one of many channels, but it remains among the most successful when used correctly, especially now that mobile phones have taken over everything. People are always glued to their devices, making it possible for brands to connect with them instantly through messages, hence cutting through all other advertising noise at once.

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Final Thoughts on SMS Marketing

Wow, didn’t we just fly over the SMS marketing? Let me recap quickly.

✔ SMS is a direct channel to customers on their ubiquitous mobile devices

✔ Benefits include extremely high open/response rates; cut through digital clutter; affordability etc

✔ Collect an SMS list with opt-in ads, rewards, checkout offers & other permission-based tactics

✔ Send promotions, announcements, reminders, tips, and other helpful content via text message

✔ Permissions should be sought & always granted; ID yourself properly; CTAs must be clear too; time it well and bunch more

✔ Blend SMS with broader email, social media, offline and ecommerce advertising endeavours

✔ Don't sleep on rising trends like AI automation for texting, multimedia MMS messages within conversations or new use cases that nobody could ever have anticipated!

So here’s what I think – if you’re not using SMS as part of your marketing strategy, frankly speaking, my friend, you are blowing up huge chances of connecting directly with individuals who want nothing more than to hear from us. Put it out there!

FAQs on SMS Marketing

Still, have some unresolved inquiries about SMS marketing? Here are a few common questions:

Is SMS marketing legal?

Yes, as long as you get consent and opt-in from contacts before messaging them. Following all local laws and regulations regarding SMS marketing compliance is essential.

How much does SMS marketing cost?

Most SMS marketing platforms charge based on the number of messages sent, with costs typically ranging between 3–10 cents per message. Many offer package pricing options at affordable rates, especially for higher volumes of text.

How can I get people to subscribe to my SMS list?

You can use opt-in advertising on your website or social media, offer SMS promotions or giveaway entries in exchange for subscribing, collect numbers at checkout or in-person, or host text-to-join contests.

How often should I send out SMS campaigns?

Most experts recommend that subscribers not send more than 4-8 SMS campaigns per month so that they do not feel overwhelmed. Promote your desired frequency upfront and allow customers to choose their cadence preferences.

What is considered a reasonable conversion rate for SMS marketing?

While it depends on the industry and the offer being promoted through text messaging, a 5-15% conversion rate is typically considered a solid benchmark for success with this channel. Higher rates are frequently achievable over time through optimisation efforts.

Should I combine SMS with other channels like email?

Absolutely! For maximum reach and effectiveness, it is highly recommended to take an omnichannel approach using channels such as email, social media ads/offline promotions/ecommerce offers, etc., alongside SMS campaigns.

What exciting use cases for SMS I could try out?

Think outside the box when it comes to utilising texting as part of your overall communications strategy — consider customer support via SMS; appointment reminders and reservation confirmations; review collection post-purchase via text; product usage information prompts delivered by SMS or renewal reminders sent as part of a two-way interactive conversation through TXT.

This should equip you with all the knowledge needed to become an SMS marketing guru! Let me know if anything else pops up.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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