What is Mass Text Messaging?

what is mass text messaging

What is mass text messaging? It’s the future! Mass text messaging allows businesses to send a large number of texts to their customers within seconds; a highly convenient way to get in touch with them. They can use text messaging to communicate with each customer on an individual level – but the idea of mass texting is primarily to send out promotional messages. This article highlights the numerous advantages that mass text messaging brings forth.

Advantages of Mass Text messaging

Did you know mass text messaging has a Return on Investment? On average, a text message only costs between $0.01-$0.05. But what’s even better is that it delivers an ROI as high as 1650-3000%! Yes, you heard that right – three THOUSAND. Sounds pretty unbelievable, right? Well, it’s true, which makes it one of the reasons why SMS should be an essential part of a company’s marketing strategy. The following are advantages of mass text messaging:

Immediacy

SMS is fast. It delivers messages instantly. This reduces the effort of planning and informing customers ahead of time. Want to throw a spontaneous sale? Just text your customers about it! If customers were to receive this information via, for example, email then they would have to be informed days earlier so as to read the message timely. Moreover, this immediacy is why mass texting has little competition. Marketing clutter has become a common problem for companies. Since customers are overwhelmed with so much marketing, it is harder for brands to stand out. SMS can greatly help with this. Even with its numerous advantages, it is a greatly underutilized channel which means companies can use it to directly contact their customers.

Concise

The length of a text message may be underestimated as a contributing factor to the ROI. Text messages are short and to the point. This makes it easier to read and interesting. In fact, it is one of the reasons which contributes to the astoundingly high open rates of SMS. Almost 98% of text messages are opened and read within the first 3 minutes! Does it get any better than that?

Personal

What’s a preinstalled app that comes with every mobile phone and not just smartphones? SMS! It’s readily available to all mobile phone users and highly personal. In fact, surveys have shown that customers want businesses to contact them via SMS. I would definitely want my favourite brand to send me offers directly on my phone. Contacting customers directly creates a stronger customer-business relationship which in turn leads to customer loyalty which is absolutely crucial in competitive industries. A small effort can go a long way. Customers can use text messaging to send in feedback or complaints. They can also use it to inquire generally about the business. A personal platform makes customers feel more valued as compared to a non-personal one.

Reliable

Why’s SMS reliable, and what makes it more reliable than other channels? Well, speed is one factor that increases reliability. If it’s a time-sensitive situation, the message will reach faster via SMS than any other channel. Suppose there is a delay in shipment of a product, informing customers of this via SMS will increase the chances of them reading the message instantly. Emails could sit unread for days and all channels except SMS require a working internet connection to send and receive messages. Moreover, SMS provides greater reach. It is a fairly easy app to use so it’s used as a form of communication within all age groups. Adults over the age of 65 may not be familiar with how social media or email works, but it is much simpler for them to send and receive messages via SMS.

Easy tracking

Text messages can easily be monitored. SMS platforms such as ExpressText allow companies to monitor the performance of mass texts. Statistical and analytic reports are available which show the number of text messages opened, read and responded to. This evaluation of performance can help a business determine how well their text to join SMS Campaign is doing. Using this as feedback, companies can also determine which parts of the campaign are doing and which are not – thus, being able to improve their campaign accordingly.

Integration with other channels

A marketing strategy includes a number of marketing channels. An effective marketing strategy coordinates these channels so that they are integrated and reinforce each other. The best thing about SMS is that it is a great channel to use on its own as well as one that is integrated with others. Traditional channels such as TV Advertising and billboards do not convey information to customers as quickly as digital methods. They need to be integrated with SMS to ensure that the message reaches the customer. Moreover, SMS can also be used for follow-ups. After each purchase, customers can be asked whether they are satisfied with the purchase or not. Sending in a simple YES or NO is easier for customers instead of giving detailed feedback. Last but not least, it can help boost the open rates for email e.g. reminding customers via SMS to check their email where an enticing new offer awaits just for them. Phrasing the message in such a way will get customers to open and read their emails regularly, thus improving the performance of other channels through SMS.

SMS and Digital Marketing

Email

While email also has a tremendously high ROI, mostly due to its low cost, its open rates are not as high. The average open rates for email are just around 20%. Emails are longer to read and serve as a more formal platform of communication. Businesses can use emails when sending formal invites to an event beforehand. Customers can RSVP via websites or hyperlinks that direct them to an online webpage. However, in more time-sensitive situations SMS is the best way to go. Both platforms can be integrated with one another so as to improve open rates and campaign subscriptions. Emails can be sent out asking customers to subscribe to the company’s SMS Campaign, and SMS can be used to ask customers to subscribe to email campaigns

Social media

Social media in itself is a very rich platform. It makes use of graphics, text and videos. Its features are more advanced than any other platforms – it allows for 2-way communication, location services, posts, blogs, groups, reactions and what not. Social media has greatly amplified the existence and survival of small businesses. It is also personalised as it offers direct communication between the buyer and seller. However, the edge that mass texting has over social media is that it is simpler to use and readily available. While almost every individual has access to a phone, not everyone has access to a smartphone. Thus, a larger number of people will have access to SMS as compared to social media. Moreover, social media is still a fairly new concept as compared to SMS so it is limited to the millennial generation. Fortunately, both marketing channels can be integrated for the highest possible Return on Investment. Online orders can be placed via social media pages and accounts. These can then be tracked via SMS. Thus, a collaboration of both is beneficial for companies

Pay-per-click advertising

Pay-per-click is also known as cost-per-like advertising. You may not have heard the term but you must be familiar with the concept. Every time a website user clicks on an ad, the advertiser (company) pays the search engine (e.g. Google). It is a commonly used form of advertising which we all observe while using the internet or even mobile apps. However, the open rates for PPC are extremely low i.e. 2%. SMS can be used to boost this form of advertising by sending out promotional text messages encouraging customers to visit a website or download an app. This increases the likelihood of them clicking on PPC ads while using the website or app. 

Campaigns

Mass text messaging and SMS Campaigns are primarily conducted to seek the permission of customers in order to send them promotional text messages. A campaign has two components: a mobile keyword and a shortcode through which customers can subscribe to the marketing campaign.

Examples of SMS Marketing 

Surveys

The importance of feedback cannot be emphasized enough when it comes to marketing. SMS is a very effective channel for collecting surveys. As everything is moving from conventional methods to digitalization, more people move towards SMS and online surveys. Companies can just ask customers via SMS to reply with one letter i.e. Y or N to indicate whether they are satisfied with their experience. This usually occurs after a representative deals with a customer on call or the customer makes a purchase. Hyperlinks can also be used to direct customers to detailed, online surveys. All kinds of surveys and feedback greatly help in improving services and therein, customer satisfaction. 

Polls

Polls are a fun way of interacting with customers. It creates a stronger relationship between the business and customer, thus improving customer loyalty. Businesses can poll about any trending topic e.g. guessing who will win the general election. Sounds too boring? You could poll different celebrities against each other. You could poll pizza vs lasagna (can’t go wrong with food). Basically, anything can be polled. Free giveaways can also be based on polls e.g. the answer to a math question. A lucky winner who gets the answer right will receive free products from the brand. A more engaging business is also likely to attract more customers as it is perceived as easily approachable with good customer management.

Appointments

Is it just me or do all introverted people hate picking up the phone to make an appointment? Luckily for us, appointments can now be booked online and via SMS. It is much more convenient to check available slots and book one at your convenience. The process is automated which also frees up manual work, making life easier for businesses. It is also convenient for customers because they no longer have to make endless calls to busy companies waiting on hold for an available customer representative. We’ve all been there and SMS provides the perfect solution to this hassle!

Payments

You must be thinking, payments can’t be made via SMS, right? You are right, except that SMS can be integrated with other channels to make payments. Either before or after a service/product is purchased, companies can bill the amount to customers via SMS. The text may contain payment details and options relevant to the purchase. A hyperlink in the text message can be used to direct them to a wallet app or a QR code through which they can make a direct payment to the company’s account. Digital payments are much more secure and at times, faster than conventional forms of payment. This is why newer generations are moving towards these, and SMS plays a significant role in the billing and confirmation of payments.

Let’s summarize what we learned from this article about what is mass text messaging?. SMS has improved greatly over the years, with platforms including new and enhanced features frequently. People are also addicted to their phones so there is no better platform to reach them on. Thus, SMS is an essential part of an effective marketing strategy.

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