What is SMS Messages?

what is sms messages

We’re all well aware of the question, What is SMS messages? For us, it is simply a channel of communication that we use to interact with one another. However, in the business world, it is of much more value than that. You may have heard the term mass texting or Bulk SMS. Both these terms refer to SMS marketing i.e. a marketing tool to send out text messages to a large number of opted-in subscribers instantly. At the moment, SMS is the most effective marketing method in the industry. It generates an extremely high Return on Investment because it is engaging, fast and overall effective. This article focuses on what is SMS messages and how it is strategically useful for businesses.

#1. Restaurant Marketing 

This is perhaps the easiest form of marketing. If you go by the rules, you will definitely have a profitable business. Restaurants are usually open late at night or 24/7 so they can stay in touch with their customers at any time. Unlike other businesses, they do not need to make sure that they contact their customers only during working hours so as to remain professional. In fact, sending out a discount offer via text at say, 11 pm will probably be more effective than any other time. Why? Millennials usually stay up late – students are studying for exams, lawyers are up, working cases and a lot of the working class is up in their offices working late at night. These people are bound to get hungry working this hard and a perfectly phrased text will surely tempt them to deliver some food at their workplace or home. Moreover, SMS can be used as an incentive to get customers to download a restaurant’s app e.g. ‘Get 20% off on your next order by downloading our app now’ This message is followed by the hyperlink of the app so that customers can easily download it.  

#2. Bank Marketing  

A bank is all about security. And what is better security than an extremely fast way of communication? With the increasing use of digital banking, many banks use SMS to notify their customers every time their account has been logged in or a transaction has been made. This ensures that account holders’ debit/credit card or account password is in the right hands and they are updated of any changes immediately. In case of a breach in their account, users can take action immediately by contacting the bank as they receive the message instantly.  

#3. Retail Marketing  

When I think of retail, I think clothes and malls. But well, I love to shop! There are so many brands in the clothing industry now that it is hard to keep track. You step into a mall and you shop at different stores until you like the clothes that suit you best. How can brands break out of this clutter and stand out to customers? Apart from offering good quality products, of course, marketing plays a major role. And SMS is the fastest way to reach customers. Suppose Mondays are slow business days. You get the idea to host a spontaneous sale in the morning. Simply text your customers about a 12-hour flash sale and you’re good to go! SMS ensures that 82% of customers will read the message in under 3 minutes. They have the whole day to plan a trip to your store or simply shop online.  

#4. School/College Marketing  

Usually, schools send out homework to their students via email. However, this comes with a number of problems. What if a student’s WiFi network is not working? What is the server is slow and they don’t receive the email in time? They would miss out on homework and lag behind their peers. SMS is a far simpler solution, especially for high school and college students that are more likely to own smartphones. Homework material can be sent to them via text and if necessary, hyperlinks can be added to direct them to internet resources. This is more convenient than the Web because SMS is much faster than email and it does not require a working internet connection. Moreover, schools and colleges can also market their institution via SMS to both students and parents. They can also contact the parents of enrolled students to inform them of school events, consent for field trips, student GPAs and other relevant purposes. SMS can also be used to set up meetings with parents who are looking to enroll their children in a preschool.   

#5. Government Organisations  

Why is SMS perfect for this? Because the message needs to be sent out on a mass scale and it needs to be done within seconds! SMS Platforms such as ExpressText allow up to 100,000 messages to be sent at one time and this will only cost you $1500. SMS comes in handy in emergency situations that call for immediate action e.g. a predicted hurricane or earthquake, a fire or even the threat of a dangerous person in a local area. A government’s goal is to keep citizens safe and SMS is the most effective way of getting an important message across. Government organizations can also use SMS for non-emergency purposes such as informing citizens if their National ID cards or licenses have expired. Keeping citizens updated and informed ensures that government departments run efficiently with less hassle to deal with it.  

#6. Non-Profit Government Organisations  

The biggest reason that NGOs benefit from SMS Marketing is its ROI. SMS is cheap so it does not require a large amount of funding, and this little investment goes a long way. NGOs can target the masses by asking for donations via text. To create more efficiency, SMS can also be integrated with wallet apps and online websites so that money can easily be transferred for donations. 2-way communication with each donor also helps to convince them to give for the cause. Since much of the process is automated and not so time-consuming, it cuts down on a lot of effort that would otherwise have been required to raise donations for a cause (such as door-to-door marketing).  

#7. Salon Marketing  

It is so easy to get a diploma in the beauty industry. Unlike before, there are a number of short courses that help people learn how to become experts in hair, makeup, skincare and what not. There are even specialized experts just for nails! The point is, with such easy access to this type of education, the competition in the industry has risen drastically. Freelancers even offer beauty services after learning the relevant skills off of YouTube! Technology has made everything easily accessible to individuals. The beauty industry depends heavily on social media due to the rich content it provides. However, SMS is a greatly underutilized channel and marketers can use it to break through the clutter and contact their clients directly through it. It is also more personal, so it is likely to make customers feel valued – thus improving client retention. Salon texting ideas include sending out promotional offers or discounts on the provided services, updates on business timings (especially around holidays), general information about the business e.g. contact number and location etc. Keeping it in touch with clients and making sure they are fully informed attracts many customers, hence generating high returns.  

#8. Cafe Marketing  

Cafe Marketing is not the same as restaurant marketing. Cafes are small-scale and thus, have a lower clientele. In this case, it is more important to keep customers happy because the clientele is restricted only to local people living in surrounding areas. SMS has the advantage of being a highly intimate platform through which cafe owners can interact with their customers. Regular customers can be sent birthday greetings, special discounts and offers and much more. Usually, in one area, there are two to three cafes serving similar products. That is why the right type of marketing can be very effective in not only attracting new customers but also retaining previous ones. 

Read: Cafe Marketing Ideas 

#9. Clinic Marketing  

Private clinic and hospital marketing are as important as any other type of marketing. If patients trust a brand, they will trust the brand’s doctors. Thus, it is important to maintain a good reputation. To do this, clinics can use SMS for follow-ups with patients after appointments. ExpressText is one of the SMS platforms that allows for 2 way communication so patients can ask doctors any follow up questions via text. The advantage of using SMS is that it’s affordable for both parties (one text costs as less as $0.01). SMS can also be used for feedback after consultation or treatment. Patients can be asked whether they were satisfied with the service and if not, then why. Another great way to use SMS is by booking appointments and sending out reminders. A lot of patients tend to forget appointments if they were scheduled a long time ago. Thus, reminders sent out a day or two before the appointment can greatly help to improve customer turnout and ensure that the time of busy doctors does not go to waste.  

#10. Wallet apps 

Not only is SMS great for advertising on its own, but it can also be integrated with other channels and apps for smoother communication. A wallet app like PayPal is a example of this. Payment details and confirmation can be sent to users via SMS. This act as a secure medium of interacting with customers as financial payments are highly sensitive and require security.  

#11. Nightclub Marketing  

It’s very tricky to get nightclub marketing right. You want to attract the right crowd but you also want a full house every night. So how does one market a nightclub? bringing an artist can help. On a Saturday evening, customers can be texted about a concert. If, business is slow, it helps to get a celebrity endorsement as well. People are more likely to come if a celebrity is making a scheduled visit to the club. Moreover, DJs make all the difference too. Get the best DJ in town and let everybody know via text that he will be playing the coolest music because people just want to dance to the right tune after a stressful week at work! Moreover, it’s all about staying trendy, so nightclubs can come up with different drinks each week to give customers something new to look forward to.  

#12. Email Marketing  

One of the great things about SMS is that it can be used to boost other channels of marketing, such as email. At present, the open rate of email is 20-40% whereas that of SMS can go as high as 98%. SMS can help improve campaign rates of email i.e. by asking users to subscribe to email campaigns via SMS. Moreover, suppose an event invite is sent via email. Customers can be texted about it so that they can RSVP through email. While email may not be as effective as SMS, it still generates a very high Return of Investment. Thus it is important to boost this channel of marketing as part of an effective strategy.  

Summing it all up, it can be seen that there are countless ways to use SMS. In each use, it proves to be highly effective due to one sole reason: people are addicted to their phones so they will definitely get the message. Based on statistics, no other marketing channel comes even close to SMS so if you are not already using SMS for your business, start now!  

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