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What is SMS marketing?


Text message (SMS) marketing is the practice of using text messaging to convey transactional or promotional communications. Mostly, you want to use these messages to notify folks who have given you permission to send them texts about urgent offers, updates, and alerts.

Don’t worry if my description of SMS marketing seems too technical. All of the aforementioned topics are covered in this article to help you better understand how SMS marketing can improve your digital marketing plan.

It goes without saying that building relationships with clients requires effort. Waiting for your clients to come to you is not an option if you want to contact them. You have to move forward and meet them where they are.

Additionally, they are almost always on the run, carrying just their mobile gadgets in their pockets.

You can communicate directly with people using text messages, email, WhatsApp, and push notifications. This has made text message marketing, sometimes known as SMS marketing or mobile marketing, one of the best ways to communicate with customers when done correctly.

Table of Contents:

  1. What Is SMS Marketing Used For?
  2. Why Is SMS Marketing Effective?
  3. Who Can Benefit From Using SMS Marketing Services?
  4. SMS Marketing Best Practices and Rules
  5. How Does SMS Marketing Work?
  6. Can SMS Marketing Work for Your Business?


What is SMS marketing used for?

There are numerous applications for SMS. I’ll go over a few of the most popular use cases with you to help you see how SMS may be used to improve your business.


Short-term promotions for retail or ecommerce businesses

Offering discounts and promotions is a great strategy to increase traffic to your website or store. It goes without saying that you want as many people to know about any limited-time deals or promotions you are doing.

If you want to inform clients while they are on the go, SMS marketing campaigns are an excellent way to spread the word about these deals. By doing so, you can guarantee that they won’t miss anything because they received the message too late.

Related: WhatsApp marketing


Urgent updates about events or customer orders:

The preparation and execution of an event involves many moving components. It gets harder to get the important information along to everyone who is attending an event when there are more individuals there.

Related: Transactional messages examples

Unlike email or other channels, SMS allows you to more effectively and instantly share any updates, cancellations, general information, or changes.


Appointment reminders

You understand how annoying it can be when customers miss their appointments and are late if your firm operates on set schedules for appointments. Clients who never show up at all are much more annoying.

This is a time waster in addition to throwing off your timetable. It indicates that since that appointment time was reserved, you might have declined other requests.

Text message reminders are an excellent method of ensuring that individuals don’t miss their appointments. All that needs to be done is set up an automated text to follow up on each appointment booking using marketing automation.

Related reading: How to book an appointment


Internal alerts:

Sending out important information (such office closures or emergency updates) to a large number of employees at once might be challenging.

They might not see your email if you send it to them (I know I don’t check my work email too frequently outside of work). Sending out SMS messages is an excellent technique to make sure that everyone gets your message on time.


Why is SMS marketing effective?

For a number of reasons, text messaging is among your most effective marketing platforms:

  • Ubiquity of smartphones:

SMS is a great approach to communicate directly with clients, as 85% of US citizens own a smartphone as of 2021. An web link placed within this text will encourage people to interact with your business.

  • Closes the email marketing loop

Even though the strategies for implementing email and SMS marketing are very similar, they function best when combined. As was previously noted, emails contain longer-form material, such as newsletters with helpful resources, while SMS allows you to deliver rapid notifications.

  • High engagement rates:

SMS engagement rates are astronomical compared to email, with 90% of SMS messages read within 3 minutes of receiving them. This makes SMS very helpful in delivering critical information with a high success rate.

  • Great for emerging markets

SMS is a far more effective means of information communication if your company is attempting to operate in nations where data is expensive and wi-fi is less widespread.


Who can benefit from using SMS marketing services?

Whether you own a small business or are in charge of corporate communications, text messaging can be a terrific addition to your digital marketing campaigns. They have the special responsibility of reliably and quickly conveying extremely important information.

However, certain companies gain greatly from SMS marketing more than others:

  • Ecommerce stores: SMS is a fantastic e-commerce marketing platform for campaigns and order/shipping confirmations alike.
  • Travel companies: Travel agencies depend on SMS since their clients require up-to-date information while they are on the go. Updates on flight times, gate modifications, cancellations, weather alerts, and much more are included in this.
  • Service businesses that require appointments: To ensure that your clients never miss another appointment, send SMS reminders. You’ll avoid wasting a ton of time and money on late and no-show appointments by doing this.
  • Large organizations with 100+ employees: Email is too sluggish for urgent information. The easiest approach to make sure that every employee receives the information you want to provide them at the appropriate moment is to use SMS for internal communications.


SMS marketing best practices and rules

Make sure your contacts have opted in to SMS:

One of the most efficient and direct forms of client communication is text messaging. When organizing your SMS marketing strategy, you should take certain guidelines into account.

Getting your contacts to consent to you sending them SMS messages is the first and most crucial step. Just as with email marketing, all you have to do is request permission to use their phone numbers for promotional purposes. Don’t forget to include a link in every text message allowing them to unsubscribe.

SMS has an extremely high open rate, but this won’t help you if you’re sending messages to people who don’t want them. Not to mention opt-in for text message marketing is required in most countries.


Mind the timing of your messages:

Individuals check social media and email relatively occasionally each day, but they open text messages nearly instantly. This works well for urgent messages, but you shouldn’t misuse it by bothering contacts at strange times of the day.

Would you want to run out and use a coupon that just woke you up at 2 AM on a Wednesday night? Didn’t think so.

Some countries even have laws about when you can send marketing text messages (e.g. France does not allow SMS marketing on Sundays, holidays, or anytime after 10 PM).


Include your company’s name in your messages:

Most carriers use a shortcode to send bulk SMS messages, so your contacts won’t be aware that they are from you.

For this reason, you must first inform your contacts about the sender of the communication. You wouldn’t want to send them a promotional voucher and have them unsure about where to use it, would you?


Always add a call-to-action (CTA):

Encourage individuals to take the next action, just as you would with any other marketing message. What action do you desire from them? Check out your webpage? Attend a function? Request that they increase click-through rates.


Use SMS to complement the rest of your digital marketing strategy:

One of the best things about digital marketing is the abundance of channels available for engaging with your target audience. Together, these channels provide a system of marketing communication that helps companies cultivate clientele and generate leads on a massive scale.

Email marketing and SMS marketing are two channels that work well together. Both channels can be used to develop campaigns; email can be used to include more thorough information, while SMS can be used to express information that has to be shared quickly.


How does SMS marketing work?

Instead than using complete phone numbers, “short codes” are used to send SMS marketing messages. These brief codes, which usually consist of five or six numbers, can be shared by several senders or linked to a single sender.

The US is among the several nations that forbid the alteration of sender information. This implies that your message—not one from your company—will appear as a text message from whichever short code your provider uses. It’s crucial to include your organization in the message because of this.

With SMS marketing, you can send two different kinds of messages:

  1. Campaigns: The traditional “one-to-many” bulk text messages are known as campaign texts. Usually, they are used to disseminate general information (event details, updates, weather alerts, etc.) or promotions (coupons, offers, etc.).
  2. Transactional: “One-to-one” communications known as transactional messages are sent in response to specific actions or events. An order confirmation or shipment notification from an online retailer would be one example of this. An individual receives pertinent and timely information from these messages.


Can SMS marketing work for your business?

Test it on your audience; there’s only one way to find out! Try including SMS marketing into your mix if you currently use email.

You should now have a clearer understanding of SMS marketing’s functions and benefits. Here’s a brief summary of a few advantages:

  • Real-time
  • Reliable delivery
  • Direct connection to the customer
  • High engagement
  • Compliments your email marketing strategy

Enroll in an SMS marketing platform, gather contact information, and get interacting!

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