SMS marketing (Short message service marketing) is a technique that uses permission-based texting to send promotional texts to users. An SMS marketing platform helps to aid the process by providing businesses a web-based platform through which they can send messages to the relevant potential customers for their brand and manage the responses as well as customer interaction.
Due to the popularity of SMS marketing in recent years, the need for an SMS Marketing platform has significantly increased. Before, the process started out by sending out texts to potentially interested users through a personal phone where now you can send out a text blast through an SMS marketing application. However, there are certain rules and regulations for SMS marketing that need to be followed to protect the rights of users as well as businesses. Moreover, SMS marketing applications are usually costly for the business and the benefit of web-based platforms is the low cost and thus, high Return on Investment (ROI).
Web-based SMS marketing platforms are easy to use. There are many options available, and companies can choose to sign up on any one of these. They can choose based on the additional features the platform provides e.g. low rates, tracking delivery and response rates etc. Each business is required to make an account and then import or create a list of contacts to which they want to send promotional texts to. After this, they are assigned a short code and keyword that is relevant to their brand. This is required for the next step: SMS marketing campaigns. An SMS campaign is carried out to send texts to users asking for their permission to subscribe to the company to receive promotional offers and updates. The sender number that appears on the users’ screen is a 5-6 digit mobile short code and the message sent contains instructions for users to subscribe to the marketing service. An interested user is required to send the keyword to the shortcode number they received a text from e.g. ‘send subscribe to 89765.’ Once they have done this, they will receive offers and updates from that business. An SMS marketing platform provides businesses with a unique shared short code and keyword so that each marketing campaign is easily distinguishable to the users.
The Hub has listed a number of reasons why SMS marketing is so effective in 2018. Firstly, it is because of contacting users on their mobile phones is a direct form of marketing. Secondly, there are high conversion rates i.e. a 45% response rate while email only has an 8% response rate. People want to read what is accessible, short and easy to read. Moreover, an interesting use of SMS marketing platforms can be to send messages in trying to promote other channels of marketing such as email, websites and in-store visits. A good way to do this is to add a hyperlink so users can directly open the website. ‘A simple SMS reminder saying, “check your email for important updates”, can also increase your email open rates’. Lastly, SMS marketing is the most direct form of marketing.