What is SMS marketing and why you should try it
SMS Marketing is a mobile marketing strategy that uses Short Message Services (SMS) or text-messages to convert leads and improve customer relationships.
There are two types of messages we can send in our SMS campaigns:
- Marketing SMS. These are the messages we send for commercial and promotional purposes. Their main goal is to increase our sales. Some examples of Marketing campaigns are: promotions, special deals, product launches, cart recovery, and more.
- Alert SMS. Also known as SMS notifications, Alert SMS are the messages we send to our prospects to keep them informed. With these texts, we’re not selling or promoting, just keeping the person up to date about important events that matter to them. Some examples of Alert SMS are shipping information, account verification with codes, order updates, and more.
For a long time, people believed that SMS was dead because it’s been overruled by more modern messaging systems, such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger and what not.
If we refer to commercial messaging, it appears that email marketing has been taking over for a long time since it’s creation: it’s free, it’s not personal, and it allows plenty of rich media (videos, photos) that can be linked within a single email.
On top of that, it allows a lot of very useful features for delivering tailored messages and measuring results to optimize campaigns. In a few words, they give a lot of valuable information that you can use to perfect your marketing and improve your conversion.
A lot has been going on through the years, and while messaging tools were evolving and giving birth to new and innovative ways to communicate, the SMS has been also improving, silent and steady.
10 Things you didn’t know you could do with SMS
As we said, SMS has been evolving. If you thought that text-messages were just that old fashioned telegram-like text with rudimentary functions… think twice.
Here you have 10 things you can do with SMS that you probably didn’t know you could:
- Send bulk SMS to a large amount of contacts: reach your entire database with a single click.
- Trigger SMS notifications automatically when a given event happens: keep your customers updated and informed.
- Receive SMS and chat with your audience: have conversations with your audience and learn from their needs.
- Include multimedia content like photos and video: expand to more than just text and send more compelling messages.
- Include URL to redirect your reader to dedicated landing pages: guide your audience to a specific page of your website for more information.
- Transform a text message into voice message: explore beyond text into automated virtual calls.
- Create segments with your audience: to send your message to the right people.
- Include merge-tags for personalization: nurture the bond with your audience.
- Measure open rate, click-through rate, churn rate, and more analytics: learn from your campaigns’ results to improve.
- Create automatic workflows according to reader’s response: let your customers self-help themselves and lower the need for human intervention from your side.
Some statistics about SMS Marketing
Now that you know how SMS has been evolving in the last decades, let’s explore how the tendencies and practices of both, businesses and consumers, have been changing.
23 billion text messages are sent each day worldwide. (Source: SMSeagle)
There are 7,5 billion people in the world, so the amount of text-messaging that is happening nowadays would be like if every person of the planet would send 3 SMS daily. Far from being dead, we can say that text-messaging is very much alive and present in the life of most of the people on this planet, which leads us to the next statistic.
Researchers predict 6 billion people will send and receive SMS text messages by 2025.
As the number goes up, we can rely on the fact that SMS Marketing will continue to be relevant in the future, and what’s more, it will actually increase.
SMS messages have a whopping 98% open rate and 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes
These are probably the main competitive differences between text-messages and email: SMS open rates are nearly 5 times that of email. The open rate for an SMS is 70% higher than the one of emails, which is on average of about 20%.
The average person takes 90 seconds to reply to an SMS message — but 90 minutes to respond to an email. Moreover, SMS messages have a 209% higher response rate than phone, email, or Facebook.
Another competitive advantage that text-messaging has over email and other regular channels, and we could add that, of that percentage of people that do reply to SMS, 95% do it within the first 3 minutes of receiving.
48.7 million people will choose to receive business SMS messages in 2020.
From a consumer perspective, SMS appears to be a desired channel of communication with brands that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
More than half of consumers prefer contacting customer support through text. Those who get SMS marketing messages are 40% more likely to convert than those who don’t.
This is something very easy to prove: just integrate SMS to your customer channels and compare the results. Even if it’s for a while, it’s worth trying to give your customers what they’re asking for.
20% of market leaders plan to use SMS marketing more.
With all that we’ve explored about SMS, it seems like a good choice to make. More and more, we’re seeing top-quality services and products offering integrations with SMS gateways and providers, so we can say with confidence that those plans are pretty much being executed at the present moment.
How it works: making of Your First SMS Marketing Plan
After all we’ve seen and learned so far about SMS Marketing and its advantages, the next logical step would be: how to put all of this into practice?
And though sending text messages might feel very simple, we shouldn’t forget that this is not some friend we’re texting to: this is a marketing strategy with a defined goal. Therefore, we should take it as such and drive smart campaigns that will bring us results.
Here you have a list of 10 basic steps to come up with a powerful SMS Marketing campaign for your business. If you’re a complete beginner, we recommend you take some basics marketing course
And before you start, just a little advice: take this structure and adapt it to your own business. Like us, businesses vary a lot from one another, so take these steps as the grounds of your campaign and change it to your needs. Experiment, take risks, document your processes and learn from your results to know what works best for you.
How to make an SMS Campaign
- Define a sales funnel for your business: your sales process from beginning to end.
- Create buyer persona profiles.
- Distribute your opt-in message for your SMS campaigns in all your marketing channels.
- Grow your list of subscribers.
- Segment your audience according to your sales funnel and your buyer personas
- Define a marketing goal and create a plan accordingly.
- Write the messages for your campaigns, set your campaigns and launch. You can sign up with Octopush and receive free SMS for you first campaigns.
- Analyze the results.
- Optimize, iterate or suspend your campaigns according to what you’ve learned from your results.
- Run some experiments on the side to try new approaches. Read some use cases for inspiration.