SMS marketing presents a unique opportunity because it utilizes such a personal means of communication. This allows you to chat back and forth, and build a real sense of community with your customers. This SMS marketing community can help you grow your business, build customer loyalty, and reach even more people. Here’s how it works.
SMS Marketing Basics
So, what is SMS marketing? SMS is short for “short message service,” which is the standard format for text messages. When you send or receive a text message on your phone, you’re using SMS messaging. The main difference between SMS and email is that SMS messages are limited to 160 characters; that’s why they’re called “short.”
The main reason businesses use SMS marketing is because they’re accessible. Almost everybody has a cell phone, so almost everybody is reachable.
Benefits of SMS Messaging
Text message marketing isn’t just useful because it’s universal. It’s also useful because SMS messages are easy to broadcast. You can quickly send out discount codes, promotion announcements, and other important messages. This makes it easy to reach all your customers at once, or only a small subset.
But what are some of the other ways SMS marketing can benefit your company? Let’s look at a few of those reasons.
Grow Your Business
The primary purpose of any marketing campaign is to boost sales. Maybe you’re doing this in the short term by advertising a promotion. Maybe you’re doing it over the long term, by growing brand awareness. Regardless, your campaign is not going to boost anything if nobody’s paying any attention.
With email marketing, you run the risk of your message getting redirected to the spam folder. And even if your message doesn’t get sent to spam, many legitimate emails get ignored. Think about how many emails you delete without even opening them. All of those emails represent a missed marketing opportunity. By contrast, almost everybody opens their text messages. This doesn’t guarantee success, but it at least means people are reading your message.
Grow Your Audience
Not everybody watches TV, or listens to the radio. Many people only check their email if they’re ordering something on Amazon. How do you reach all of those people?
With SMS marketing, you open up a whole new marketing channel, with all kinds of opportunities. This lets you reach even more people with all your marketing messages.
Target Your Existing Customers
Of course, reaching new customers is only part of marketing. You also want to build relationships with your existing customers. For example, let’s say you want to send out a customer experience survey. If you have your customer’s phone number, you can easily follow up after a sale. GrubHub is famous for using this technique.
Another way to advertise to existing customers is by knowing their sales history. For example, suppose someone always buys Mothers’ Day related merchandise in May? If you know this, you can text them a discount code for a certain line of products. This will only work if you’re keeping a database of your customer relationships.
Build a Community
The real meaning of community is relationships – the connections that we share with other people. If people see your brand as someone they have a relationship with, they’re more likely to be engaged. SMS marketing, because of its personal nature, is an effective way to do that.
For one thing, you can customize your texts based on who is receiving them. Take our earlier example of a Mothers’ Day discount. Now imagine you also have a Memorial Day promotion going on at the same time. Instead of just blasting out a single mass email, you can send two different texts to two different groups of customers.
For another thing, you can use text messages for real communication. You can send order updates, ask survey questions, and even send a birthday message. This makes it feel like genuine human conversation, not like spam emails. That’s why SMS marketing messages have an average click-through rate of 59%, as opposed to just over 9% for email marketing.
Can SMS Messaging Help Your Business?
For most businesses, SMS marketing can help you reap a ton of benefits. It can help you grow your business, boost customer loyalty, and reach a growing number of people. Being a part of the SMS marketing community means building real relationships with your customers, so they keep returning for more. If you need a truly personal marketing campaign, SMS is the way to go.