February 12th, 2019
Before we dig into weather text message marketing or SMS is effective, lets think about where we are first.
As a business owner or marketer, you may be up to your knees in offers aimed at helping you build better relationships with your customers.
Or, after researching for yourself, you became more confused as to what your looking for initially with all the options available.
You know that customers like when businesses keep up with modern technology, and if you can beat your competitors to the next new thing.. well cha ching!
On the flip side, there are old sayings like KISS, (keep it simple stupid) or "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", leaving you to do nothing at all. But insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
And your business needs to grow, like as of yesterday. Then your bank texts you an update on recent account activity. So you ask, "Can text message marketing be an effective way to grow my business"?
Let me tell you it can be. Yes, text message marketing is still relevant and effective today. Its also so non-intrusive that you hardly notice when companies are using SMS.
How Effective is Text Message Marketing (SMS)?
Before investing in text message marketing, you may be questioning yourself if you should even consider the thought any further.
So I have provided a few common questions business owners have asked along with the answers, benefits of this type of marketing, and how customers view receiving texts from businesses.
As a bonus, I also provided tips on making a text marketing campaign successful. Enjoy!
5 Common Questions Asked About SMS Marketing
As I stated earlier, there may be a few questions you are asking yourself about text message marketing? Here are some common questions I've come across:
Can I text message anyone?
You could, but sending text messages that happen to be unauthorized is illegal and could wind you up in court. That means buying a list or using numbers you already have should be dismissed.
Effective text message marketing means growing your own list through opt in campaigns you set up for your target customers.
Even after they have opted-in, you would still need to give customers or prospects the option and ability to unsubscribe.
Does it cost a lot?
No! SMS marketing is a small investment, and in return you'll receive great value. We'll consider the benefits a little later.
The cost of SMS can vary from software to software but in general SMS marketing cost is between $5-$25 per keyword used. Text will cost anywhere from $0.01 to $0.05 per text.
You might find companies who charges a monthly fee for a fixed amount of text messages and keywords.
Does this require another specialized full time hire like e-mail marketing?
We understand that a successful email marketing campaign involves creating responsive template designs, great copy, scheduled followups, pop up forms, and more. This may require a full time dedicated hire.
SMS campaigns are easier to setup, and very often only need to be a sentence or two to be effective.
Will my customers be receptive of receiving text messages from me?
First, they should have opted in to receive them. Second, always provide value. Third, avoid spamming.
Sending a text telling them good morning and wishing the a wonderful day may seem like a kind jester, but that's going to annoy them. They know your a business, so keep it business but of value.
Will my messages get drowned out by competitors?
There are many well known brands harnessing the power of SMS marketing including Subway, Jack in the box, and Nordstrom.
They realize how it helps with increasing customer engagement, as well as cementing brand awareness. Surprisingly, small to mid sized businesses, unaware of the affordability, are missing out on having something their competitors doesn't have.
4 Guaranteed Benefits of SMS Marketing
No business owner likes to invest into anything that does not have benefits. Here are four you will see right away, one day one of starting a text marketing campaign.
They are swift: Maybe you need to run an campaign that requires an immediate response action. Or could you be having a last minute blowout special?
Within seconds of being sent, messages are delivered and have reached the recipients phones.
They are undeviating: Because these messages are sent directly to an individuals device, they persuade more engagement.
Not only do 90% of people read a text within the first 3 minutes, but many prefer text messages over push notifications when it comes to customer engagement.
They have a High open-rate: With an 82% open rate for SMS's, not only does that blow e-mail away, it shows that SMS marketing is still relevant today.
Maybe its because accessing text messages are easier with your customers most likely to have their cell phones already on them.
photo via citygro.com
They can support your other channels: Looking to increase your email open rates? Send a text asking the recipient to check their email. Got something new featured on your website?
Send a text with a shortened hyperlink and direct them back to your website. Need to boost sales on Tuesdays? Distribute an one day coupon to increase in-store visits and purchases.
SMS marketing allows you to increase interaction with your other marketing channels.
How Do Customers View SMS?
There are times where customers appreciate being sent an SMS that is not coupon related. This allows more industries besides retail to take advantage of this marketing strategy.
No doubt in our busy lives, we forget about commitments we make from time to time, or need assurance our online purchase went through. Here are a few you may have received yourself:
- Appointment Reminders
- Ride Sharing Arrival Notifications
- Food Delivery Alerts
- Purchase Notifications
- Restaurant Reservation Reminders
- Billing Update Notifications
- Unusual Activity Alerts
- Purchase Verification Notices
- Shipping Notifications
Chances are,hardly ever has these messages annoyed you. You most likely appreciated the friendly reminders. Here is one I received on my cell phone.
Knowing my corned beef was on its way eased my mind that soon, my craving would be satisfied.
You can send text messages like this using CTownSaver's software.
Increasing The Response Rate of an SMS Marketing Campaign
Once you have decided to try SMS marketing for yourself, you need to ensure your campaigns are at the top of their game. Following these tips will do just that.
Opening Sentence: Just as with an e-mail subject line, or blog title, your professional text messages opening line needs to be short,sweet, and grab the attention of the recipient.
Don't be so professional that you don't come off a human however.
Length of Message/Content: Think of an SMS message length like the size of a tweet. After your opening sentence, ensure the rest of the message is clearly understandable with proper grammer and syntax.
While trying to keep your messages under 160 characters, use emojis. Just like a picture is worth thousand words, emojis can help you divulge more of your message in fewer words.
If you are offering a special, use words that create a sense of urgency like: Hurry, ends soon, and limited time offer.
Present Yourself: Just imagine your customers being excited at the savings coupon you just sent, but have no way to redeem it because you failed to provide them with who's it from. Announce who you are!
Create Value: Every text sent by you through your text marketing campaign should create value for the customer.
Value not only motivates people to sign up for what your offering, but also engages subscribers and create loyal customers. Sending an offer is a great way to ensure that your adding value. But so does personalizing.
In addition, you could send text that solve customer service issues or answering questions.
Think Engagement: Text message marketing provides a great opportunity for you to increase customers interaction with your brand. Tactics used to engage customers go beyond sending exclusive offers.
Surveys and polls are a great way to get customers to take action and express their opinions. Contest where prizes are valuable enough to draw participation are are a sure fire way to increase excitement around your brand.
How about keeping them update on their rewards status from a loyalty program you offer?
photo via pollevent.com
Keep it 100% Relevant: One of best practises is to avoid sending annoying messages. This includes not sending too many. Two per month max is a good frequency.
Personalized messages for birthdays are okay to go over the two per month max ideal limit.Sending text for the sake of filling a content calendar like you would for blogging or social media is not going to get them to patron your business.
By keeping the text as relevant as possible, you will be creating a positive experience for the customer rather than a negative one.
Send at a Time Most Likely to be Read: Sending your messages at a time where they can take immediate action is key in any marketing you do. Use the data you receive from testing to find your sweet spot.
The best time to schedule a text message campaign could be from 8 am and 12 pm if the message has information valuable for the start of the day.
Or it could be between 5 pm and 9 pm if you think that is the time your customers are winding down their day is when they are most likely to take action. Whatever you decide, remember to be respectful of your customers schedules!
Getting started with text message marketing(SMS) is an effective way to build customer relationships, and create customer loyalty. They are simple to run with a low cost to get started.
As long as you follow laws regarding text spam, your customers will be receptive to this form of marketing. This is proven by the high open rate and success bigger brands are having with SMS.
Following small tips and best practices will ensure your campaigns are a success and prove that text message marketing is still relevant and effective today!