SMS is known as a Short Message System. It is a text messaging system that can be accessed and managed online. SMS Marketing for business is a promotional means to ensure there are increased selling and buying of products. SMS Marketing is the use of text messaging to reach subscribed customers directly on their devices about products and discounts. The idea is that the business has its own customer base and has gotten their contacts legally from different opt-in approaches which we will share with you shortly below.
SMS marketing is already gaining its ground. It is ideal for any business, small or large, to acknowledge how influential it can be to their businesses. According to research 90% of the world’s population owns a phone. This is plausible if one considers the number of people that now use their mobile phones to browse rather than desktop computers.
The use of SMS also shows more feasibility and is gaining more ground because it is more personal. Texting is a more direct form of marketing. Also, considering the pennies involved in sending a text or how cheaper it is if purchased in bulk, you might just want to jump into it and add it to your current marketing strategy. However, there are a few things that should be put into consideration before one can conclude if SMS marketing is appropriate for their business or not. Just a little patience and diligence will shed more light.
How To Get A Customer’s Number
One of the things people are always careful with is to give out their mobile number. It is easier for an average customer to want to give out his or her email address instead of giving out the number. This was the major challenge with email marketing at first.
However, after much trust based on pre-existing deals, a customer might be willing to opt in to receives text messages from their favorite brands. Customers need to be convinced and informed that what they will receive via text is different from social media posts and email messages. You can use the following approaches to make things easier for customers. Here are two tips that will help convince customers to opt into your list.
- Send between 1-3 text messages a month.
- Exclusive offers are only available via text and not any other marketing material.
- Hold a contest and choose a random number to win a prize
The following are ways to collect a customer phone number
- You can use a signup web page to collect their numbers and have them agree that it’s okay to send them text messages
- You can ask the customer while talking on the phone and get prior consent that it’s okay to text them
- The easiest and most effective way is a text to join campaign. Have customers text a keyword to a shortcode to join your list. example: Text the word demo to 545454. Once a customer’s texts in they’ll join the list automatically and receive a text message back thanking them for joining with an offer.
Basic Rules To Pay Attention To
There are some standards that one must set things to. They are normal conditions that are backed up by rules and regulations. For example, if someone unsubscribes from a text message campaign, the customer must be immediately removed from your database. Sending further messages to such customers is illegal and if such cases are taken up, it could lead to serious issues. Here are some very important regulations of SMS marketing one must pay attention to. These rules include:
- The opt-in only rule: this rule shows that permission has been taken from the right quarters, that is, the customer has given his o her consent and approval that he or she can receive text messages on their number.
- The unsubscribe rule: this rule states that, whenever you send your customers messages, you must provide them with the option to “unsubscribe”. Once the customer replies with the word stop this should automatically and successfully unsubscribe the customer’s number, under no circumstance should you send the customer another text message again unless the customer subscribes again.
- The cost rule: you can let customers know that there may be costs associated with receiving a text message if they do not have unlimited texting with their carrier.
These points highlighted above are important, it is also important to know that we may have not covered everything and these are just a few guidelines. If you would like to know more about SMS regulations we recommend you read the CTIA handbook. This will keep you updated with more rules and regulations.
Welcome to Business
After you have followed the right legal procedures, you can go ahead and start your SMS marketing campaign. Since you have your numbers (customer base) and have verified the necessary legal procedures for yourself, you can go ahead with your campaign.
According to research, it is important for you to analyze your reports and
Benefits of SMS Marketing
SMS marketing is very appropriate for business because of the many benefits it comes with. Here are a few of the many benefits.
- Open rate is sensational
This is a benefit peculiar to SMS marketing for business unlike other forms of marketing. SMS marketing is exposed to more customers according to statistics. Statistics record it that 98% of the customers are reached via SMS rather than 24.78% reached via email. People receive loads of emails on a daily basis and it includes social ads too. This makes people pay less attention to it and they can easily ignore important mails also. SMS is however different because only our closed ones (friends and families) send them to us. Since SMS are received as snippets on phones, you can be rest assured that they will get to your audience even though they do not open to check the content. This means a more attractive subject line will determine if the customer will open it or not rather than through email where it is totally ignored.
- There is a little competition rate
Research shows it that an average customer is opened to 3500 marketing messages across all platforms. This is called marketing clutter. Marketing clutter has been major challenge marketers and advertisers face recently. Brands are not noticed by customers because they are overwhelmed by daily loads of messages.
The next question is; how do we get out of this? Well, the best shot is still to use the least utilized platform. Once your customers are on that platform, you are good to go. Just ensure that they are active on that platform and they love it. Of course, SMS marketing is underutilized despite how effective it is. Studies approve it that only 21% of brands use SMS to get to their customers. Since this platform is not saturated yet, it means it can still be taken advantage of before it gets more complex like others.
- There is an increment in how customers get involved
People have wrongly assumed that SMS is designed just for reminders or to send discount codes and vouchers to however there is more than can be done. Well, the NHS has shown us how timely and important the uses of SMS could be. NHS send relevant and personal messages. They provide details of what you should expect and make you feel in charge of the situation.
You can use rich SMS to provide customers with rich media content like scratch cards and games. Their personal selection will make impacts. This process will also promote brand awareness and make people refer the brand, another advantage to their involvement.
- It has more reliability
SMS has more reliability, unlike emails which can enter spam after crafting lovely content. It is even possible for one to craftily design the content on mail so as to prevent it from being spammed. However, you have not 100% control over its deliverability into the spam folder. According to recent studies carried out, it has been proven that one of the major reasons for worldwide email traffic is spam messages. This is because spam filters want to ensure that email users receive only contents that are safe and solicited.
Even though service providers also filter contents to avoid spam, you can be rest assured that your message will get to the inbox if it does not look spammy. This increases the reliability level of SMS as a communicative tool when compared with other platforms.
In order to avoid your SMS from being treated as spam and it can reach its destination, note the following.
Avoid too much use of upper case and exclamation marks.
Make your content and offer compelling.
Avoid foul language
Personalize the offer when possible
- With SMS, there is a greater reach
An obvious fact is that there are more phone owners than those who have their devices connected to the internet. For every 100 people gathered together, research has it that 64% of them have mobile phones while 48% of them have their devices connected to the Internet. Even though this statistic is not constant for all locations in the world, SMS can still reach more people because it does not involve the Internet. Of course, the most important factor in this is who your customers are. Imagine your products are to aged people (65 years and above), common sense has it that a larger percentage of them would have a phone rather than anything connected to the internet. This makes SMS the better shot to get at them.
- There is immediacy with SMS.
One of the most effective ways to pass an urgent message is via SMS. One can be rest assured that a message is read on average of 3 minutes after sent. For brands there is an assurance that their critical messages can be read immediately. Critical messages include flash sales, holiday greetings, event-related promotions, last-minute deals, holiday greetings, etc.
For example, a brand can relay information about Black Friday stating the products that would be available. A restaurant can send SMS to people in the afternoon or evening when they are about leaving work and thinking of what to eat. This will create more immediacy to the users and they can take actions on time.
- The collaboration of SMS with other channels
A brand that wants to be solid must be able to integrate its campaigns with various promotions methods. This is to reinforce all the platforms while the process is more coordinated too. SMS marketing can stand alone as a single platform and also can be integrated into other channels.
Traditional and social media platforms are not the best of channels to reach out to customers on time. However, you can integrate the use of SMS into these platforms so that you can be sure that your messages will reach more people yet to check mailboxes and inform them about your offer.
Are you more curious than ever to see if you can increase your reach and promote your brand via SMS marketing? ExpressText is the ideal solution you need. It is affordable for small, medium and large businesses. With us as your SMS marketers, a larger profit is certain.