SMS Marketing: Texting Your Way to Success


SMS marketing, or text message marketing for those born in this millennium, is something that has been around for a long time now. However, it wasn’t until recently that it surged in popularity, and in it’s success rate.

Did you know that the average American looks at their phone 96 times per day? If you’re a business owner, that’s 96 opportunities to get the attention of your customers.

When comparing the analytics behind SMS to email marketing, the decision seems like a no brainer. The average open rate for emails is between 20-30%. In comparison, the open rate for SMS messages is nearly 98%. Furthermore, 95% of those are read within the first 3 minutes!

If you’re not convinced yet, that’s just only one of the reasons you should consider SMS marketing for your business. Read more to find out all the tips, tricks, and advice you need to start exploring text messaging as a marketing channel.

Captivating Your Audience

It’s important to captivate your audience on mobile, especially considering that mobile commerce sales are projected to reach $ 3.56 trillion this year.

Email is still surveyed to be the most preferred way of receiving communications, but SMS is marketing is coming close to being more popular. This is important to remember when deciding where to invest your marketing money. Also, just so you know, social media is third in the race of the most popular way of communicating with customers.

Mobile usage is very dynamic and interesting when it comes to ‘who’ is using it for ‘what’. While it’s natural to assume that it’s mostly a younger audience on mobile, it turns out that the largest consumers of information about sports and news on mobile are people between the ages of 35 and 44. This is important to note when building the demographic base for your business. You can leverage all of the information you gather from your marketing channels (ie: emails, social media) to target specific your audience with your text messages.

Why It’s Growing and How to Strategize

The pandemic has affected pretty much everything at this point, including the prevalence of SMS marketing. In 2020, mobile business messaging traffic hit 2.7 trillion, 10% up from 2019. Brands are now using these messages for marketing, customer support, and transactional purposes.

We only expect this trend to grow at an even bigger, more accelerated rate. According to one survey by CommerceNext, 51% of retail marketers in January 2020 said they planned to increase their investment in SMS. That figure grew to 56% when they surveyed them again in June.

Not only doing you get a nearly perfect ROI rate with SMS, but you can also expand your demographic to reach millennials and Gen Z’s because they don’t rely on email as much as older generations. You can also use them to strengthen your customer loyalty and support.

Also, in our latest blog focused on Customer Retention, we spoke about how SMS Marketing plays a key role in keeping your customers coming back to your business. Check that out here!


3 Best Practices for SMS Marketing

Gain Permission

It is illegal to send SMS messages to people without their consent (when you’re a business). Plus, people don’t like being spammed. So, make sure you get your audience to opt into text messages. It’s also a good idea to inform them of what they can expect to receive from your text messages.

Choose the Right Time

The last thing you want to do is annoy your customers. Only send SMS messages between the hours of 10AM – 6PM. Mornings can be hectic and evenings are for relaxing, so anything outside of that time window can be detrimental to your brand. People call 911 to complain about amber alerts after midnight, and those usually concern public health and safety. Think about what they’ll do to you if you send them a midnight text about a sale!

Also, don’t send too many messages. Start with 2 or 3 a month and increase or decrease the amount based on the results you’re getting.

Be Exclusive

The people who opt in for your SMS messages are likely your most loyal and dedicated customers. This is a wonderful opportunity to ramp up your customer service with this specifically loyal customer base. Offer them deals and promos through SMS that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to get.

Keep It Professional, Personal, and Simple

You only have 160 characters to get your message across in SMS messages. This means that you should not use slang or abbreviations. Slang isn’t understood by everyone, so you run the risk of confusing some people. Also, there’s a lot of people who will find it unprofessional.

Question: have you ever gotten a text from a mystery number? Chances are you ignored it. Don’t forget to identify yourself in these messages to let your customers know who it is coming from. You also don’t want to be too “salesy”, meaning no one wants to communicate with someone who is always trying to sell them something.

Also, this part is super important! Don’t forget to include an easy option for opting out. People will hate it if they’re stuck receiving texts they no longer want to receive. Lastly, we have to mention to include a call to action and a link. What’s the point of sending these messages if you’re not getting your customers to do something?

You should always maintain a diverse multi-channel marketing strategy for your business, and we definitely recommend SMS being part of that strategy. It’s proving to be successful, and more businesses are putting more resources into using it.

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