What is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is the practice of sending mass text message alerts to customers who have opted-in to receive texts from a brand. Like a vanity 800 number, SMS marketing is a low-cost, short message service and effective marketing tool.
Used as a marketing strategy, SMS marketing is a broad term covering multiple commercial text messaging practices. It is a great tool to provide sign-up links, polls, contests, and limited-time offers to any cell phone device. This practice has been beneficial for e-commerce and small businesses given the simplicity and digitalized version of advertising.
Customers Must Subscribe to SMS Marketing
Unlike advertising your toll-free number or using email marketing, text message marketing is strictly subscriber-only. A company cannot send messages to individuals who did not opt-in with express written consent, usually this will be their target audience or recurring customers.
Companies that fail to secure written consent before sending an SMS marketing campaign can face fines anywhere from $500-$1,500 per text message, which could get expensive fast.
Examples of SMS marketing opt-in methods include:
- After seeing an ad on social media, consumers send an sms text with an automated keyword like “WORKOUT” to the company’s shortcode — a unique five to six-digit SMS marketing code.
- Shoppers sign up via a form on a company’s website.
- Customers opt-in at the checkout counter.
By giving consent, consumers indicate their willingness to receive things like promotional offers and text message coupons. You are able to unsubscribe if you wish to.
Reward Opt-In with an Immediate Offer
Experts recommend offering an incentive immediately after a customer subscribes. When someone opts-in to your automated text campaigns, appreciate him or her with a special offer. An example of a reward message might be:
Thank you for subscribing to Company’s text offers! Use code MEMBER and get 20% off your next purchase.
Today’s turnkey software can enable existing landline telephones and 800 numbers to support business texting.
Advantages of SMS Marketing
Globally, five billion people send and receive SMS, which is about 65% of the world population. In the United States, 80% of the total population use SMS messaging. People are carrying their phones and checking text messages.
Customers open 90% of text messages within three minutes of receipt, and they can inspire immediate action. No other marketing channel even approaches this open rate.
Text is the preferred marketing channel for the 77 million millennials in the United States. They would rather receive notifications, delivery updates, and promotions via text. About 20% say they never check their email, but they are often on their phones.
SMS marketing is straightforward and easy to implement. Like the tracking software included with your vanity phone number, text providers include software to manage contacts, send text messages, and analyze results.
SMS marketing is a cost-effective digital marketing channel. Rather than spending on costly advertising, a business can send targeted and engaging messages.
Why Customers and Businesses Like SMS Marketing
Here are four reasons both customers and businesses appreciate mobile marketing.
Business texts are limited to 160 characters, which makes it easy to read in a real-time, fast-paced world.
The short format helps businesses create targeted and specialized call to action messages.
Because texts are standard in personal communication, most people check their messages multiple times a day. They look at a text from their mobile device quickly after receiving it. Moreover, there is no spam filter as there is with email.
The direct and straightforward nature of text messages can help stimulate an immediate purchase. It can also cultivate lasting relationships between brands and their consumers.
Success in any marketing channel requires monitoring and responding to metrics. Business SMS marketing is easy to track. Through your provider, you can see your campaign’s results, including the number of texts sent, messages received, and engagement.
4. Rapid Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is valuable for businesses. Brands can initiate surveys via text and receive results in relatively quickly. People open texts more than 90% of the time, compared to only 20% for emails.