Even though SMS was one of the first apps on a mobile phone, it’s downfall was predicted in the last 10 years. With the introduction of apps like Whatsapp and Facebook Messengers, people believed SMS would soon become a thing of the past. Surprisingly, they were wrong! Communication between consumers and businesses via SMS has increased in double-digit numbers. Why? That’s what this article is all about!
Learn how to send SMS Messages
Before you type in your message and hit send, there’s a couple of steps that you need to follow:
- Select a good SMS platform
- Sign up on the platform
- Choose a payment plan
- Conduct a text message campaign
- Send your subscribers promotional messages
One of the best SMS platforms that you can find the US currently is ExpressText. It guides you through each step of the process so you can set up easily. Moreover, it provides a variety of features that you can use tactfully for your promotion strategy. Not just that but it has a mass text messaging app for your convenience. And did I mention that despite all this, it is less expensive than most platforms?
Leverage the power of SMS
- Hire a marketing team
Yes, it’s possible to send out business SMSs without a professional marketing expert, but if you can afford a marketing team, you can ensure the best allocation of resources. A marketing expert will have better know-how on sending an effective text that generates a high return on investment. Marketing experts can also advise you on a budget-friendly SMS plan.
- Know your customer
The biggest mistake a marketer can make is to send SMS messages to the wrong market segment. You don’t want to market a hair straightener to a 50-year-old man, do you? Many times, businesses just send out texts to an entire market segment. However, for better use of your resources, you should create groups on your SMS platform account and market your products to them accordingly. If you send a promotional text for your hair products to people aged 20-30, you are more likely to derive a positive response. This will also ensure that people remain subscribed to your campaign, otherwise, they will simply opt out.
- Limited time offers
You need to push customers to buy your product. If you simply send SMS messages saying ‘Upto 50% sale on all articles’, you may tempt the shopaholics but the rest of your customers will not be so inclined to visit your store. However, if you can convince them that the offer is unlike any other and cannot be missed, you have mastered the art of marketing. Even if you don’t have a deadline for your sale, tell your customers to hurry up because it’s ending soon. Tell them that their favourite items will run out if they don’t make a purchase right now. Phrase your text in such a way that customers cannot resist your offers – even the smart ones!
- Call to action
Call to action buttons placed within a text can majorly improve customer engagement. Use URLs and other value-added features to engage with your customers. Call to action buttons frequently used by businesses include:
- Click here: This is the most common call to action button. ‘Click here to know more’, ‘click here to sign up’ and much more. It directs customers to details relevant to the text message.
- Show this text: This is a new call to action button that customers absolutely love, because most of the time it says, ‘Show this text to receive a discount’ and everybody loves to get more in less money. This button can be used as an event invite as well, e.g. ‘Show this text to enter the event’. Texts have begun to replace entry tickets. The best thing about that is (for messy people like me) that you don’t have to worry about losing your ticket. Moreover, you have your phone with you at all times so you can simply access your ticket through your SMS app within seconds. No more rummaging around in your bag to find your ticket at the last minute. It also makes the process more secure as digital tickets cannot be stolen. The process becomes smoother as well because all you have to do is show your phone to security and you’re in!
- Buy now: Who doesn’t love the ease of use? How simple would life be if we could just buy any product by clicking on a link within a text? Well, some businesses make that possible for their customers. Suppose a sports brand launched a pair of basketball shoes. They’re the trendiest thing in the market. The company texts all the basketball fans out there and tells them about this new product. Within the text, it adds a link through which they can buy the shoes directly. Now that is the true definition of convenience!
- Text to vote: Not only businesses but election campaigns have also resorted to SMS. The process of polling has become a lot smoother and faster if done via text. To make it easier, just direct your customers on how to vote.
- Text to win: Last but definitely not least, text to win is also one of the most engaging call to action buttons. People love to win free stuff, so they’ll definitely go for it if you text them with details!
Timing is key to the success of your text message campaign. Not only do you need to message your customers at appropriate hours, but also the hour which deems most effective. Suppose you’re having a spontaneous sale for the next 12 hours. It ends at midnight and you make this decision in the morning. When should you message your customers? Do it after 10 AM once most people are up and they have the whole day to avail the sale. Even if the sale was pre-planned, informing customers days in advance is equal to wasting your money because people will simply forget by the time the sale occurs. Take advantage of the immediacy of text – 90% of users who receive texts read them in the first 3 minutes! No more need for planning and stress. If your business is not getting a good enough customer turnout, have a sale. If your new stock is coming and you want to get rid of your old stock, have a sale! But be sure to text your customers about it and just hours before the sale starts so that they do not forget.
- Retain your loyal customers
Keeping your current customers happy is as important as attracting new ones. If you become too invested in bringing in new customers that you forget about old ones, they will leave and your efforts will be of no use. This is extremely important in service businesses as well as the niche market. Use SMS to send your loyal customers exclusive offers. Send them texts on their birthdays and make other similar gestures to let them know that they are important to the business.
SMS & Digital Marketing
Let’s talk about the flexibility of SMS. It can be used for so many things – engaging with customers, letting customers track their shipment, getting feedback post-purchase, endorsing mobile apps, product activation and much more. This is why it works really well when integrated with other platforms and apps, including:
- Social media
When you create a Facebook or Instagram account, the platform will ask for your number for multiple reasons. The one that involves SMS is security. If you ever happen to forget your password, you can easily recover it through your mobile number. A security code is sent via SMS which can be entered to set a new password. Moreover, at one point, Facebook even introduced SMS notifications. If you tick this option, it means that even if you do not have internet, you’ll receive notifications from your Facebook account via SMS, whether you receive a message from someone or you were tagged in a meme!
- Messaging apps
While messaging apps like Whatsapp and WeChat are somewhat competitors of SMS, even they are integrated with it. Every time you set up an app, it will send you a confirmation code via SMS to make sure you are using your own number. Thus, all apps depend on SMS in one way or another.
All the iPhone users out there know the importance of iCloud. It is like OneDrive or Google drive; you can upload all of your data onto the cloud instead of usng up unnecessary space on your phone. Since iCloud has all your personal information, it needs to remain secure. You may have noticed that if you log in to your iCloud account from an unknown device it will ask for two-factor authentification via SMS. This way, if someone is trying to log in to your account without your permission, they can’t do so because only you have access to your phone! Thus, SMS messaging helps in keeping your information secure.
- Courier companies
Is it just me or does everyone feel better when they track their online orders? If I’m ordering something I really want, I keep checking my Amazon account just for an update on where my order is. I guess courier companies and online websites sensed this because they have made life easier for people like me. What most companies do is assign you an order ID or tracking code that you can text to a specific shortcode in order to receive an update on your order. This way, you can get to know exactly where your order is at any given point in time! And SMS is cheap so it won’t cost you much.
- Wallet apps
Customers need to feel at ease once their payments go through. Whether it’s a card payment through a point of sale or a money transfer wired to another bank, people need assurance that the correct amount of money has been deposited in the right place. Most bank and wallet apps have been integrated with SMS in such a way that every time you receive or send a payment, you are sent a text. This text will contain the amount of money, point of transaction and (with some apps) your remaining account balance. Thus, customers can feel at ease especially when a large sum of money is being transferred.
Did you know that 89% of customers use their phones even while shopping? People are addicted to phones and as a marketer, you need to take advantage of that. Communicate on a platform that is readily available and personal for them. So I’m pretty definitive in concluding that SMS messages can be highly beneficial to your business. If used the right way, you can cut down your costs and boost your sales by a very high margin via SMS.