SMS Marketing: As any business owner would, you’ve probably wondered how else you can market your products and services and drive potential customers further down the funnel. SMS marketing could be your solution.
Your customers get plenty of emails regularly. However, they might not remember the email you sent them last week about the sale you’re having on payday or the freebies you’re giving away today. SMS marketing reminds them of the day, and the brevity of your SMS promotional material means your receivers get the gist right away.
SMS marketing can add value to a customer’s journey and boost satisfaction rates. However, if you’re not using SMS marketing for your lead generation and sales funnel, you may be losing up to 47% of potential customers.
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What Is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is a powerful tool that can propel your business to success. This entails sending promotional materials and transactional messages through SMS. This can be in the form of sales deals, promotional offers, and loyalty rewards. It could also be an appointment reminder or an invitation to answer a survey. They may take various forms, but they have the same goal of marketing your brand across. These messages are sent to recipients who have given you their consent to receive SMS from your company. In a nutshell, SMS marketing utilizes a mobile phone’s SMS or text messaging service to communicate with your customers and keep them engaged. One SMS has a 160-character limit, and if you go over this limit, your message is sent in two parts. So, SMS marketers should make their message copy concise yet compelling.
You can send customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys, offer customer loyalty perks and greet customers on their birthdays through SMS.
How Does SMS Marketing Work?
For customers to receive text message marketing offers, they’ll need to give their permission. They may do this over the phone, at your brick-and-mortar store, or on your website. This can also be done by texting a keyword to a phone number or a five- to the six-digit shortcode. Texting these keywords means they’re giving their consent to be added to your SMS marketing campaign.
Types of SMS messaging for businesses
When you implement SMS messaging as part of your marketing strategy, you might send two types of communications to your audience: promotional and transactional text messages.
Promotional text messages
Promotional SMS messages are texts you’d send to your audience to increase sales, promote a product, or build brand awareness.
You can use these kinds of messages to let your customers know about the launch of a new product, offer a special sale or promotion, share company announcements, promote branded events, and even provide tips on how to best use the products you’re selling.
Event-triggered promotional SMS messages are communications you can send to your customers based on their actions on your website.
If a shopper signs up to receive text messages from your brand or adds an item to their cart on your website, you could send them a welcome text or an abandoned cart text to encourage them to place an order.
Transactional text messages
Transactional SMS messages are texts that contain information your customers need, like order confirmation details or shipping information. If a customer makes a purchase, texting them delivery updates could be a great way to keep them informed and build customer loyalty.
They’re pretty simple messages, and unlike emails, there’s not much creative liberty you can take with transactional texts in terms of content or design.
One thing to note: If your customer or website visitor signs up to receive transactional text messages, you can’t market to them through this channel unless they explicitly give you their consent to do so.
Is SMS Marketing Better Than Email Marketing?
Much like SMS marketing, email marketing services entail sending content to your current and prospective customers. However, with email marketing, you can send similar information without the character restrictions of SMS messaging. As such, email marketers maximize this channel by sending newsletters, long-form informative content, and press releases.
You’ll find most email marketers adding interactive content, such as images, videos, and GIFs, in their visual promotional content – a limitation of SMS marketing.
This begs the question of which marketing channel is more effective.
SMS marketing and email marketing each have their own sets of pros and cons. For example, a customer is more likely to read an appointment reminder sent via SMS than an email reminder. However, customers will appreciate thoroughly written technical product information that can only be sent through email.
There is no definitive answer to this question. However, it works best for companies to assess their goals, budgets, and expected results to make a sound decision.
What Are the Benefits of SMS Marketing?
An estimated 5 billion people across the globe use SMS service. While this does not automatically guarantee marketing success, it poses a broad market to tap.
Here are more reasons why SMS marketing is right for your business and why you should invest in launching the best SMS marketing campaigns possible, whether on your own or with the help of an SMS marketing agency:
High open rates
SMS open rates can be as high as 98 percent within 15 minutes after delivery, making this a viable direct marketing channel. This is important for time-critical messages because studies show that your target audiences will likely read them immediately.
Over 50 percent of SMS marketing campaigns generate successful ROI when integrated with other marketing channels like social media and email marketing services.
Increase Customer engagement
Customers enjoy exclusive treatments, and a well-crafted SMS marketing copy can make them feel special. In addition, text messages are often conversational (or at least you can automate them), which means you can encourage your subscribers to respond to your texts.
When consumers are not satisfied with the level of support and attention the company provides, that company may experience a 45 percent decrease in customer value.
Increase Brand exposure
According to studies, 45 percent of consumers reply to branded text blasts. So if you’re a startup company looking to establish brand awareness, you can get your target audience’s attention by launching the best text message marketing strategies.
About 31 percent of recipients respond to an SMS survey. This makes it an effective channel for your online reputation management campaigns. In addition, your customers’ feedback is an excellent source of valuable insights into how your brand is performing.
Increase Brand loyalty
Well-planned bulk SMS marketing efforts drive customer engagement and brand loyalty. Customers don’t want to read generic and irrelevant content, so you’ll want to personalize your messages about special deals and promotions. You can even send them a special message on their birthdays.
Social media growth
SMS marketing can grow your social media followers and increase your online reviews. A well-curated SMS copy may compel your audiences to follow your page or submit their reviews.
Ways to Use and marketing to boost Sales and Revenue
The various ways you can use SMS marketing to boost your sales are:
Provide Value with Exclusive Offers
To see results, recipients must obviously see value in your message. To improve customer engagement and drive action, you can provide exclusive offers to new and existing customers.
For example, you can create coupons and offers for your list of SMS recipients. You may also send exclusive offers based on past customer behavior or purchases. Some SMS examples of exclusive offers include:
Save 10% this weekend by using the code “SMS” at checkout.
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Get a free manicure when you style your hair with us.
Receive a 20% discount if you show this text message.
Run Time-Limited Promotions
Exclusive offers may run for long periods, but sometimes you want customers to take quick action for a short time. SMS marketing can be a useful tool in providing customers with incentives to take action on a limited-time offer.
If you want to increase sales with an SMS promotion, consider offering something with time-limited value. For example, holidays are a great chance to increase sales in a short period of time.
Since other companies may take advantage of holiday seasons with SMS promotions, your message needs to stand out. So keep your SMS alerts brief and focused, and avoid cluttering recipients’ inboxes. Here’s an example of a time-limited promotional SMS:
Receive discounts on delicious Christmas day dinner specials. Text “Christmas” to 12345 and get a free glass of wine with your next dinner reservation!
Create Alerts for Upcoming Sales
An alert ensures people who are likely to buy can prepare to purchase during the sales period. Sales and discounts attract buyers keen on getting value for money or negotiating prices. You can send a text blast alerting your recipients about an upcoming sale.
Feedback allows you to improve your products and create accurate buyer personas. By better knowing your customers and their wants, you can improve your offers and SMS marketing strategies to negotiate better sales. Survey questions could be closed or open-ended: examples are:
How do you rate our services on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being poor and 5 being excellent)?
How can we improve our service?
Use Prompts for Personalized Messaging
Do you collect personal data about your customers? If yes, then you can send personalized messages at appropriate times. For example, you can send birthday and anniversary congratulatory messages. In addition, you can tempt the customer with offers related to their special occasions. For example:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We noticed your birthday is coming up next week. So treat yourself to a free pack of candy with every purchase of a birthday cake. ORDER TODAY!
Upsell Relevant Products
Upsells can be tough, especially if you lack strong negotiation training skills. You can upsell easier by following up with buyers with relevant suggestions. Once a customer buys a product, make recommendations for future products complementing what they already bought. You can match purchases with potential products the customer might have an interest in. For instance:
Send Timely Reminders
Do you offer bookings, reservations, and appointments? A no-show can negatively affect your sales numbers. Also, you might end up turning down other customers because you’re already booked. Reduce the chances of no-shows by sending alerts and reminders through SMS. For example, a reminder alert could look like this:
We are excited to host your party of 4 at 6 pm on Saturday! Would you please let us know of any special needs or whether you need to reschedule?
Encourage Customer Reviews
Positive testimonials and reviews can drive more business and boost brand loyalty. According to Conversion Sciences, over 80% of buyers say positive reviews encourage them to buy a product. You can use SMS messaging to ask customers who have bought your products to leave a review. Send a message like:
Thank you for your recent purchase. We hope you love it. Would you consider posting an online review? If yes, go to our social media page and share your thoughts about our service.
A well-planned and properly executed SMS marketing campaign can help bring your business closer to your customers and prospects. Aside from promoting your products and services, this can drive customer engagement and inspire brand loyalty.
SMS is a versatile tool. It can be used for many business cases, and sales are one of them. Hopefully, these tips help you to take your sales to the next level.