In this post:
- What is SMS marketing?
- SMS marketing – better than email?
- How will SMS marketing help your business?
- How does SMS marketing help customers?
- How does SMS personalization work?
- Your free guide to SMS and IVR automation (eBook)
What is SMS marketing?
Let’s start at the beginning.
SMS marketing uses the nearly universal SMS channel to deliver marketing messages.
SMS messages – also known as text messages – generally include a link to an offer on your website. They’ll also feature an intriguing message that encourages your audience to find out more…
(You can also use SMS in customer service. Read about that in ‘Why SMS is the using hero of Call Center Technology.’)
SMS marketing – better than email?
Here are a few startling facts to make you look twice at SMS:
- The open rate for SMS is 98% (That compares with just 20% for email)
- The response rate for SMS is 45% (Just 6% for email)
- The response time for SMS is 90 seconds (For email it’s 90 minutes)
One app to rule them all
SMS clearly blows email out of the water. But email is hardly cutting edge tech either – what about modern messaging solutions?
It’s the same story. SMS is the preferred option over Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and WhatsApp.
And that makes total sense. We’ve all had SMS for 20+ years! Modern apps have had nowhere near as much time to ‘bed in’ as marketing tools.
How will SMS marketing help your business?
The outcomes are easy to track
One of the main struggles in any marketing activity is measuring effectiveness. You need tools that make it easy to gauge success – and SMS is one such tool.
Basically, your audience either follow the link… or they don’t. Either way, you can plainly see the outcome.
They’re easy to create and send
An SMS message is short. Shortness is a defining feature of SMS. This shortness means SMS messages are seldom long-winded…
Are you getting the drift? You don’t need a vast creative team to produce a text message. As for sending it, you only need an SMS platform or an API integration.
Once you’re set up, sending a million messages is no harder than sending one message!
(SMS offers are also good for maintaining loyalty. Find out why in ‘How to create your own customer retention automation!’)
SMS marketing has a proven track record for success – what else matters?
People just can’t resist opening text messages. Honestly, I have no idea why (although I also can’t leave an SMS unopened.)
People read them. People respond to them.
How does SMS marketing help customers?
Marketing offers are highly accessible
Good marketing campaigns aim to send customers something of genuine value.
Let’s assume that that’s the case for you. If you’re offering something that customers are interested in, you should make your offer accessible.
Luckily, around 92% of US adults have access to SMS – more than any other channel (apart from voice.)
The messages are easy to personalize
The ideal SMS marketing campaign doesn’t just bombard customers – it targets certain people based on certain behaviours.
Showing interest in a product might lead to a discount. High value customers might get your best offers.
However you arrange it, the valuable thing is that you’re sending customers an offer that’s tailored to them. (I guess that’s why Dominoes offers me the same discounted pizza every Friday – I’m only human!)
SMS marketing is trustworthy
Text messages carry a lot of trust. Maybe it’s because they’ve been with us for so long, or because phone communications come with a good amount of anti-scam legislation attached.
On top of that, it’s pretty easy to link your messages to your brand – so your messages are as trustworthy as you are!
(Need help keeping your customers happy? Read ‘5 Customer Satisfaction Metrics for getting inside their heads.’)
How does SMS personalization work?
It’s easy to say ‘if customer does X, send them y’.
But how do you actually make that happen?
We mentioned API integration earlier in this post – and that is one possible answer. In a nutshell, an API is a way for different systems or pieces of software to ‘talk’ to one another.
Think about your CRM system, which stores your customer’s phone numbers. Integrating that with the system that sends messages lays the foundation of a marketing campaign.
But you could go further…
There’s other data in your CRM that could influence which messages go to which customers.
You can personalize with data like:
- Purchase history
- Customer Lifetime Value
- Feedback and survey data
- Wishlists and incomplete purchases
- Demographic modelling and customer profiles
Basically, you can use (almost) any data you’ve got.
In one Accenture survey, shoppers said it was ‘creepy’ when businesses sent them notifications based on their physical proximity to a shop. And yes, fair enough – that is creepy.
On the other hand, the same survey found that 91% of shoppers are more likely to buy from brands that provide relevant offers based on what they know about them.
The key difference is transparency – consumers are happy for you to use data which they’ve provided knowingly and willingly.
So no stalking your customers!
The other key ingredient is automation. Naturally, you’ll want that customer data to inform the messages you send without a lot of manual intervention.
In our experience, No-Code automation is the simplest option for sales marketing and service teams who need to create new automated processes fast.
You can read all about how in ‘Your (free) Guide to Contact Center Automation.’