SMS: Why and How You Should Be Using It

lady checks phone for text outside store holding phone

Today, it’s nearly impossible to think of a place we don’t encounter some sort of media advertising. We are overwhelmed with content, which can sometimes make it difficult for brands to get noticed. In order to keep up with consumer behavior, we need to adapt our marketing efforts and include mobile in our digital strategy. Mobile marketing, covers both SMS and Rich SMS, push notifications, mobile apps, emails and websites. The most valuable platform with near-instantaneous consumer engagement, comes from using SMS Marketing, or text messaging. There is simply no other marketing channel that is almost guaranteed to be seen by a customer. Here are 7 reasons why SMS needs to be a part of your 2020 marketing plan.

Fact: we’re increasingly connected to the world of digital information via mobile devices.

1. Mobile-friendly

More and more people are using mobile devices to shop online and browse the internet, so being able to present your business as mobile-friendly is incredibly important. Also, providing customers with easy access to promotions, events, location information on their device they carry on the go allows you to be top of mind. SMS marketing gives you another mobile channel to increase your mobile presence and because it is universal on mobile devices and it does not require device customization, you are able to reach a wide range of demographics with very little effort.

2. Flexible Messaging

One of the best benefits of SMS is the fact that it is so versatile. Standardized uses of SMS include: promotion of your business, reminding customers of deliveries or appointments, confirmations, giving temporary discounts, rewarding loyal customers, sharing news and updates, promoting relevant new products and more. Plus, interacting with your audience with variable messages allows your brand to become a part of the customer’s life on-the-go. Due to the advancement of SMS and technology, businesses can now also target their audience using geo-fencing. Allowing businesses to send, post-transactional offers & information, reach them at special events like concerts and sporting events, or reach out to customers who shop at competitor locations.

3. High Open Rates

With a read rate of 97%, you can be reassured that your messages will be read almost instantly. Most people are trained to check their phones regularly, especially text messages, since it could be messages from friends and family.

4. Increase Customer Engagement

Merely sending SMS text messages is not enough to stand out from the crowd, especially with the sheer amount of marketing messages bombarding people via digital and print media on-the-daily. The key to using SMS marketing effectively and sparingly is remembering that response is triggered by relevance, which also includes relevant timing.

It is extremely important that businesses utilize a data-driven strategy and understand what makes their message and appropriate delivery time relevant for their target audience. Which includes, but is not limited to, customized messaging and offers for different customer segments. Like in all marketing channels, these decisions about messaging and offers based on customer segments should be driven by customer data, behavior, engagement, and A/B testing.

While customers may value updates and news on forthcoming developments within the business, sending tailored messages and special incentives give your customers a way to engage with you. It makes your brand a part of their lives instead of being just “that business I shop with sometimes”. Instead, you’re there with them on their mobile devices, prompting them to remember you by sending relevant messages and offers that speak to them and their specific shopping habits.

5. Rich SMS

Rich SMS: text messaging for the modern world. This service takes SMS marketing to the next level by providing consumers with visual content accessible from their text inbox through shortened and unique URLs.

The human brain understands visual information better.

We all know that visuals are vital to online success. Not only does this unlock the possibility of delivering a visually appealing experience for your customers but it also allows you to create personalized experiences based on your users’ interests and preferences. Rich SMS enables you to segment your audiences based on past behavior and send them tailored offers. And even better, you can engage them at multiple points in the sales cycle process and based on their choices, delivering personalized content.

Rich SMS also allows you to send more diverse types of content than most marketing channels. This could include traditional text messages, games, surveys, articles, event-related messages, personalized offers and promotions, reminders, and more.

6. Works Well with Other Platforms

Like with Rich SMS, text messaging opens the door to incorporating other forms of media into your marketing campaigns. In fact, it is most effective when used with other marketing channels such as direct mail, on site sign ups, email, web and social media. It can be a quick and easy way for customers to connect with your message and your brand in multiple ways. Integrating SMS allows you to create a fluid customer experience on the channels your audience is most comfortable with.

For example, you can integrate social and traditional channels with SMS to ensure that your message will reach customers who may not have read your email or seen your mailer and not only let them know about your offers, but guide them to the other channels they might have missed.

Reportedly, a follow-up text message encouraging customers to check the latest email/offer you sent can help increase email open rates by 20%–30%.

7. Track & Analyze Your Data

There is a misconception that SMS is an untrackable channel for marketers. Tracking meaningful ROI, identifying customers, measuring levels of engagement, and monitoring delivery rates are all possible through SMS. By using the analytics criteria below, businesses can create targeted campaigns and continuously build a better understanding of their mobile database:

  • Redemption and CTR – it allows you to measure how many customers took advantage of your offer
  • Opt-out rate – there will always be people who want to opt out. However, carefully tracking your opt-out rates can help you see if there’s something you’re missing and determine the reason why people are opting out
  • Response rates – if the message requires a response, you can measure its effectiveness by looking at how many people took the time to respond and engaged with your rich SMS message
  • ROI – it’s always important to measure the return on investment on any marketing initiative. This will give you insights into which channels bring you the best results. Data such as ROI should always play a role in helping you make informed decisions about all marketing campaigns.

Want to learn more about how we utilize data to help clients spend less and engage more? Contact us.

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