Text message marketing has evolved significantly over the years. There are countless uses that businesses can acquire from it. Why? Because SMS has a 99% open rate. Before moving on to Text message marketing examples, it is important to note that SMS marketing is permission based. Organizations require the consent of customers in order to send them text messages, for which platforms like ExpressText are available online. The variety of uses of Text Message Marketing include:
1. Restaurant Marketing
What’s the easiest industry to enter? Definitely the food industry. All it requires is skills and talent, and one is ready to open shop. Even the largest food franchises that exist today started from one small shop/food stand. This easy market penetration is also the reason behind fierce competition within the market. With so many businesses in the same industry, extensive advertising and marketing are required to remain profitable and survive in the market. Without proper brand awareness, it would be extremely difficult for a start-up food business to attract and retain customers. When starting out, smaller businesses also have less capital and thus, fewer resources to advertise with. The solution? SMS marketing. Platforms like ExpressText offer a variety of packages with a large number of texts at an affordable price. Smaller businesses and talented entrepreneur chefs no longer have to suffer due to less capital. Cafe marketing ideas coupled with technology has enabled them to market their products directly to customers via SMS. However, it comes in handy for both small and larger businesses. While smaller businesses can use it to create brand awareness, larger restaurants and food chains can use it to send out offers and discounts. The restaurant industry is one that operates 24 hours a day, as food is a necessity. Thus, it is also one of the only industries which can send out an offer during any time of the day (or night). Receiving a text from a restaurant at midnight would not be considered intrusive. Why? Think of your favourite fast food brand. Suppose they text you at midnight with an offer that can only be availed between 12 AM-12 PM. You’re up late studying or working and you are bound to hungry. What do you order? Food from your favourite restaurant at a lower price! This is just one text message marketing example which proves to be highly useful for restaurants. It also proves effective in increasing clientele immediately. On slow business days, an enticing offer via text can lead to an increased number of customers. Discounted prices are better than no customers at all!
2. Retail industry Marketing
So many brands have sprung up, each targeting a whole new clientele. Let’s take the clothing industry as an example. Before, all brands sold clothes either for men, women or children. These came in basic sizes, from XS-XL. Now, however, the game has completely changed. There are brands with an entire maternity section. There are brands and freelance designers who create clothes for specific needs of unique groups. Many individuals and corporations are creating awareness for the need of plus size clothing, or makeup suited for dark skinned. The entire retail industry is being pushed to cater to every single market segment. But how so? With SMS, brands and entrepreneurs can create vote to polls through which they can target the customers within a market segment and use their feedback to the cater to their specific needs. Larger corporations who can afford to invest money in a new division catering to a specific customer base can use this as an edge over competitors. 4 decades back, Marks & Spencers was a market leader. However, since then times have changed and more contemporary brands like ZARA and H&M have taken over. Thus, SMS not only helps a brand in marketing its products but also to use the insight of customers to improve its services.
3. Medical & healthcare marketing
Every industry requires marketing. Who thought even healthcare would need marketing, right? As the standard of living has improved over the years, more and more private clinics have opened. For these organisations, not only the welfare of patients but profit is also the bottom line. Thus, they need to make sure they attract and retain their patients. Suppose a health clinic opens up. Without proper marketing and brand awareness, the clinic will not be able to make good revenue and cover its capital costs. Thus, the clinic could send out promotion via text e.g. ‘To celebrate the opening of Dermalogica, we offer 20% on our services throughout the entire week!’ This way, patients (especially those without insurance) will be less hesitant to try a new doctor. Who knows, they might even end up liking the doctor and come for frequent visits! Another scenario in which SMS can benefit healthcare clinic and hospital departments is through appointments and reminders. Many times, if appointments are scheduled for weeks later, patients tend to forget about them. To retain such clients, clinics send out appointment reminders usually on the day of the appointment so as to ensure that the patient does not miss it. Some of the best doctors in the state have a busy schedule and a very long waiting list, so missing an appointment comes at a heavy cost! They also have a busy telephone line which is why businesses can schedule appointments over text. It is fast and convenient for both the patient as well as the clinic.
4. Travel & Transport Marketing
Ever lose your passport or airplane ticket right before your flight? It can be a nightmare. Especially at the last minute, a person cannot afford to lose such valuable items, not to mention the stress that comes along with it. Thus come wallet apps into the picture. Everything has become digital. It is simply more convenient to have everything readily available in one device instead of having to search through bags and wallets for tickets and cash. Whether you want to buy tickets for the new Avengers movie or make an online purchase, credit cards and digital apps are your best friend. They allow for quick and secure payments which put a person at ease. So where does SMS come into the picture? While the popularity of smartphones is ever increasing, not everyone owns one. Similarly, not everyone has an active internet connection throughout the day. Thus, the most immediate form of communication is SMS. When payments are made online or through ATMs, confirmation is usually sent via text since emails or other mediums are just not as fast. This is extremely important as it puts customers at ease when sending large payments.
5. Online & Personal business marketing
Smaller businesses are perhaps the ones that benefit the most out of SMS marketing. There has been a sharp increase in online and other businesses which cater to the personal needs of customers ever since the evolution of platforms like social media and SMS. These platforms allow businesses and consumers to communicate better with one another, thus bringing about the demand for personal businesses. Examples of these include massage therapists and makeup artists. A diploma in the relevant field makes one qualified enough to start a small scale business these days. However, these freelancers do not have the capital to advertise their business through conventional means. Thus, they create a page on Facebook and Instagram for internet marketing as well as advertising their brand via text. Communicating with their clients directly on text creates a personal and intimate vibe. Freelancers can use this to their advantage by catering to the unique needs of each customer. Prices can also be adjusted according to the need of each customer. If used properly, SMS can be a very cost-effective and profitable platform that boosts small businesses to expand in the long run.
6. NGO Marketing
It’s not just profit-oriented organizations that benefit from SMS Marketing. The low cost is attractive for all kinds of organizations, especially non-profit organizations looking to collect funds. It is an efficient way to reach a large number of people in a small amount of time. Moreover, hyperlinks can be used to direct donors to online payment methods. Trusted organizations can benefit from this more than others because people are likely to donate to well-reputed organizations. Thus, making the investment of SMS marketing is worth it. Non-profit organizations can also use SMS as a platform to communicate with interested donors and convince them to fund a good cause. Without the availability of these platforms, it would be much harder to collect funds and donations.
7. Government Organizations Marketing
Communication between government organisations is suitable through text for all reasons. About 81% of Americans use SMS for communication daily, so why not use it for official purposes? Firstly, as mentioned earlier, not everybody owns a smartphone. Secondly, government and state organisations usually require such platforms to send out alerts. SMS fulfills the urgency factor as well, as communication through it is fast. Furthermore, SMS is easy to use. The elderly, as well as adults who are not proficient in the use of technology, can operate SMS at ease as there are no complicated features involved. Government text message marketing examples include evacuation alerts, threat alerts, crisis updates, etc. However, SMS can also be used in non-emergency situations as well. Government organisations can use them to send out notifications e.g. a license office notifies individuals when their license expires so that they can get it renewed. Such communication avoids the hassle of penalties and fines for late payment.
8. Bank Marketing
The service industry can also make use of SMS marketing, especially banks. Just like food and water, banks have become a necessity for people. Without money, the world would not run. SMS plays a key role in the banking industry as it calls for high security. Customers can sign up for receiving text messages alerts and notifications. This is usually an additional feature offered by every bank. The bank can then send its account holders text messages, which may include offers and discounts on brands, alerts when their online account is logged in and confirmation notifications of transactions. All of this works on a completely automated system so account holders receive text messages within seconds. Not only does it put them at ease, but they can also take immediate action in case of a breach in their account so as to minimise losses.
9. Sports & entertainment marketing
Everybody loves the entertainment industry. It calls for a break from their daily lives. But unluckily for businesses, sports and entertainment usually have off and on seasons. Fortunately, SMS marketing can be used to improve sales during off seasons – and that too at a very low price. Suppose baseball season is just over and a baseball equipment company is having slow business days. They can send out a text to their customers offering heavy discounts such as Buy 1 get free or 50% off on selected items. By creating a pattern of offering discounts in offseasons, many customers will begin to stock up their sporting equipment then. This ensures that a business will generate a high volume of sales throughout the year. Simple, yet effective!
The above text message marketing examples portray the usefulness of text marketing. If used properly, this tool can be used to greatly increase sales. SMS bridges the gap between consumers and businesses – thus creating a better understanding of the needs and wants of customers. With frequently evolving technology, every business should add text messaging to their marketing strategy.