SMS marketing is one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach busy consumers and convert them quickly. Not only are they effective, but they are also incredibly inexpensive compared to almost any other form of marketing.
What Is SMS?
SMS is shorthand for Short Message Service. It’s more commonly known as text messaging. Marketers are using SMS as an effective marketing channel to send messages to customer’s mobile devices around promotions, order information, or to listen to customer feedback.
SMS Marketing By The Numbers
SMS can cut through the clutter and actually reach your target audience. Unlike email, digital ads or other forms of marketing, text messages get seen at a much higher rate. Not only do text messages have a 99% open rate but 94% are seen within the first 5 minutes after receipt.
Text messages also feature a high response rate for businesses. While email response rates hover around 4%, SMS messaging rates can average nearly 8 times higher.
Most importantly, SMS messages have high conversion rates. A study in Retail Dive reports that retailers using SMS marketing programs featuring a strong call to action and a fixed time frame enjoy a 23% conversion rate. Clearly, leveraging SMS marketing can create a great return-on-investment for businesses.
Why Are SMS Rates So Good?
We live in a mobile society. More than 71% of the U.S. population has a smartphone. 560 billion text messages are sent every month. If you think about the entire global population, that averages out to roughly 80 text messages per person.
Texting is a convenient smartphone function that marketers can leverage to get the attention of customers. When customers get a text, they take a look because they understand it may be urgent. Businesses should use this understanding to use SMS marketing wisely and not abuse the feature. SMS marketing is best used when the information in the text is urgent and helpful. Sending text messages around flash sales, the shipment of a product, or the arrival of a tech are great ways to leverage this powerful medium.
Businesses of all sizes should be looking for strategies that integrate your SMS campaigns with your overall marketing automation and communications platform plans.
By marrying voice and text messaging into one virtual number, for example, you can more easily manage communications from a single interface. When a customer sends you a text, your customer support team will receive the text in the same way they would receive an email. When team members reply, your system knows it’s a text message and will reply to the customer’s phone instead of sending an email.
This dramatically speeds up response times and reaches out to customers on the channel they prefer.
By integrating SMS messaging into your marketing automation, you can use your CRM to drive targeted campaigns.
The Most Effective SMS Marketing Campaigns
After integration your marketing efforts and SMS systems, get the most out of SMS marketing by leveraging one of these campaigns.
Time-sensitive promotions are an effective way to increase your e-commerce sales. Just as sales at retail stores can drive customers to buy now, putting deadlines on sales online can move consumers to action. Consider giving a call-to-action with a defined end time such as a single hour, day or week. You can also spur sales by letting customers know when a promotion is about to come to an end.
This technique can also be applied to perks. For example, you might offer free shipping for the next two hours or a discount code that is only valid for a particular day or time via text message.
SMS gives you a way to tag special days and recognize customer birthdays. Simply connect your CRM, or customer management system to your text messaging system and create auto text messages that send a short message on the customer’s birthday. Include a coupon code or special perk to the customer to drive online sales or in-store visits. Customers appreciate the sentiment and feel special when they are celebrated.
Do your customers order the same products regularly? SMS reminders that it’s time to replenish your supplies can be effective. Analyze order patters and set up marketing automation reminders to encourage reactivation.
This works especially well with consumer goods, such as cosmetics, vitamins or medications, pet food, or anything else customers order on a regular schedule. These reminders provide value to the customer as you can take one more think off their to-do list and pop in with a helpful reminder when you know their supply may be running low.
Abandoned Shopping Carts
When a customer put items into an online shopping carts they are sending a very strong buying signal. Putting an item in a cart signals that the customer have come just one step away from the end of the buying process, so you can assume they are very seriously considering purchasing.
You can use this to your advantage by nudging them to finish the checkout via text message. Marketing automation tools allow you to send text messages at preferred time intervals to remind customers they left items in their cart. A potential customer could have been distracted when shopping, started comparing products or been researching other goods and an SMS message may help them make the decision to ultimately purchase yours. You can also offer additional incentives like free shipping or promo codes as a way to encourage them to convert.
SMS can be a powerful way to get your marketing message in front of the right customers. Pairing SMS marketing with automatons can help provide helpful messages at the right time. However, before you send any text message ask yourself if the message is providing clear value to the recipient. Sending a text message is a privilege and should only be used when helping or providing important information to the customer.