In the current competitive marketing scenario, brands, irrespective of their size, can’t afford to ignore the latest digital marketing trends. With a plethora of marketing alternatives to choose from, brands with limited budgets must judiciously weight their options before zeroing in on which marketing strategies to focus on.
SMS Marketing is an overemphasized, yet undervalued gem in the marketing world. To some, it sounds basic, while to the others, it sounds fancy. However, most marketers by now recognize that SMS Marketing holds an important place in the marketing mix of successful brands. More so in today’s mobile-focused world that we live in.
Unleashing the power of SMS Marketing:
Contrary to popular belief, SMS Marketing is among the most powerful marketing strategies in the digital space. While 84% of Facebook news feed stories aren't viewed, 71% of tweets get ignored and 88% of emails go unopened, a stupendous 98% of text messages are opened and read within 2 minutes of reception. Therefore, SMS is perhaps the best way to reach a larger audience almost instantaneously, giving companies that market through SMS a far better reach.
Practically every mobile phone (smartphone or otherwise), is able to natively send and receive SMS. Users need not download an application or include a data plan in their mobile subscription. Further, SMS implies direct broadcast, ensuring the message directly reaches the consumer, with no added middlemen. A message sent to a certain group is delivered exactly as written and as intended.
“SMS remains an effective, yet underutilized, mobile tactic among marketing leaders and is particularly valuable when used in conjunction with mobile techniques such as wallet, web and native applications to orchestrate a deepening level of customer engagement,” says Charles Golvin, Research Director, Gartner for Marketers.
Benefits of SMS Marketing:
The best feature of SMS marketing is the ability to segment customers and deliver personalized, tailored messaging to a specific group of customers based on logic and relevance. Customer segmentation ensures that the right message reaches the right person at the right time, instead of simply bombarding lumps of messages to all customers.
Other benefits of SMS Marketing include:
- Higher Open Rate
As mentioned earlier, 98% of text messages are opened and read at the time they are received, resulting in a higher open rate of SMSs, compared to other advertising options. Not everyone may have a smartphone that can access email, and even if they do, it’s easy for emails to get lost in a spam folder. Given the popularity of texting, SMSs seldom go ignored, providing brands with a consistent way to reach customers.
It doesn’t cost much to send an SMS to a customer, even when sending in bulk to a large number of people. It’s much more affordable than other marketing options, including buying a Facebook or YouTube ad spot. Drafting an SMS doesn’t require as much skill as it takes to craft any other type of ad, making SMS marketing a great choice for all businesses, especially those that are just starting out.
- Faster Delivery
The moment the send button is pressed, one can be certain that their message will reach the intended customers. This type of marketing works because it requires little prep time – no materials to gather, no printings to wait for, and no requirements of designers or designs. The only thing needed is a succinct, effective message.
- Customers Can Opt-In and Opt-Out
While it’s great to send out mass text messages, letting customers decide if they’d like to opt-in or giving them the option to decline messages is important. Sending out SMSs with the aim of getting an uninterested customer engaged could prove rather detrimental. Brands may lose the customer altogether, while they could have simply let the customer opt-out and used other marketing strategies to engage with them instead.
- SMS Interactions Are Easy to Track
The power of analytics can be leveraged to understand today’s mobile-savvy audiences. SMS interaction metrics like open rate, click through rate, conversion rate, etc., can be easily tracked, enabling brands to gather tremendous insights about users who engage with their SMS marketing. With this, brands can optimize SMS marketing content for more traction, experiment with different content strategies to measure engagement and replicate winning recipes across buyer personas.
- No Automatic Filtering
A good deal of marketing emails doesn’t even make it to the recipient’s mailbox, owing to automatic filters that block overly promotional and spammy emails. Fortunately, there is no automatic filtering of SMS and it remains one of the most effective channels of lead generation. Brands can this trust that SMSs actually reach the intended recipient.
What can brands do to leverage the power of SMS marketing?
Once the decision to delve into SMS Marketing has been taken, there’s no looking back. Brands can employ various tactics to engage better with their customers and ensure they generate the required leads. Some of them include:
- Reach the right audience: The key to successful SMS marketing is to send the right messages to the right audience. A targeted, segmented list can help brands gauge what to communicate with whom.
- Develop good timing: Consistency is important, but frequency can become annoying. It would do good for brands to test, analyze and identify the best time of day and days of the week to send SMSs.
- Create compelling offers - There are umpteen ways to provide value through SMS Marketing. Contests, promo codes, giveaways – brands can get as creative as possible to encourage people to respond to offers.