SMS Marketing is a method of marketing which uses permission-based text messaging to send out promotional offers. The process is such that companies host a mass scale SMS Campaign in which they market to potential customers allowing them to subscribe to the brand’s SMS text marketing service to receive promotional offers, discounts, and updates. Interested customers can then subscribe to the service to receive further text messages from the brand by texting a keyword to a shortcode.
Taking a closer look at the process of SMS marketing, certain steps have been put in place to protect the rights and privacy of both clients and companies. For starters, a business is required to register an account with a web based texting platform. After doing so, they will be able to upload a list of subscribers or build a new list which consists of their target audience. Once this step is complete, all that is required is typing in the text message and pressing send. This one click will send the text message to all the subscribers in the contact list. Payment options decide how many messages can be sent and which additional features will be included.
The rules and regulations of SMS mainly revolve around being permission based. An SMS company will provide customers with a shared shortcode (the number to send out messages from) and a unique keyword that is relevant to their brand (e.g. SUBEZ). This is done for two purposes: to make it clear to the user which campaign they are subscribing to, and secondly to make sure that users voluntarily opt into the service. A brand must make sure to clarify repeatedly that consumers can opt out of the service if they feel the need to do so. This is the responsibility of each organization while carrying out a text campaign.
SMS Marketing has become the most effective method of promoting a brand. J&C states that 50% of consumers in the US make a direct purchase after receiving a discount coupon or QR code through text message. This is an astounding number considering no other form of marketing has yielded such high results. Moreover, SMS text marketing performs SEVEN times better than email campaigns. Emails have much lower open rates as well as response rates which can be due to the reason that they are much longer to read as compared to SMS. Moreover, emails require a Wi-Fi connection to be opened and read and most but not all phones support Wi-Fi. SMS applications are more direct and easy to use, thus more frequently used. Due to the 160 character word limit, texts are short and to the point, so users tend to read the texts they receive.
Web-based SMS platforms such as EZ Texting and Express Text offer brands many additional features. Companies can include hyperlinks, survey forms, polls and much more in their text messages. The response rate for these features can also be tracked e.g. the number of users who opened the texts, the number of respondents that filled out survey forms and so on. All this and yet SMS Marketing is the cheapest form of advertising out there!