In today’s market, brands both big and small can no longer afford to ignore the latest digital marketing trends that arise. At the same time, finding the best timing for getting involved in these methods is also an important aspect of rounding out your digital strategy. With so many options to choose from, brands with limited budgets have to choose which routes to take and which marketing strategies to focus on.

For many large brands, SMS marketing strategies have become a tried and true method for increasing customer engagement and brand awareness. In fact, some of the largest brands in the country have now decided to get involved in the world of SMS. This article will cover 5 big brands that are harnessing the power of SMS marketing strategies, as well as a few words on what we can learn from their success.

Now that we find ourselves in a world with almost limitless choices, these decisions have never been more important in defining the success of you as well as your clients. By taking what we can learn from the big players already in the space, you can better tailor your own campaign. Let’s get started.

The power of SMS marketing strategies

The first thing you should understand about SMS and the various marketing strategies that come with it are that they are among the most powerful in the digital space. When 98% of text messages are ready within 2 minutes, large brands understand that SMS is the best way to reach a large portion of their market almost instantaneously.

Having this power at your fingertips can be wonderful for these companies, but as Spiderman is known to say, “with great power comes great responsibility.” This is why one of the best SMS marketing strategies these brands employ is the use of customer segmentation. Segmentation allows companies to deliver tailored, personalized messaging to specific groups of customers based on logic and relevancy.

Instead of simply attempting to lump all of your customers into one group, segmenting and personalization ensure that you get the most out of your program without alienating anyone. Simple tools and tricks like this used by big brands can make a difference for small companies as well, it’s simply a matter of knowing which marketing strategies to use.

Brands taking advantage of SMS

Speaking of marketing strategies, next we are going to look at 4 brands taking advantage of SMS and leading the mobile marketing revolution. Some will seem obvious, while others might surprise you, but each of them has seen the potential of SMS. We hope that once you see these examples of how text marketing is affecting our current economic landscape, you will too.

1. Subway

The first brand that has ventured in the SMS marketing space and see exceptional success is Subway, the notorious sandwich chain. Beginning their SMS campaign back in December of 2015, Subway now has over 5 million subscribers with an 85% retention rate. Due to the fact that subscribers have to ‘opt-in’ to receive messages, they are more likely to stay with the program. That being said, 85% is still an impressive number.

However, with a company as large as Subway, these stats aren’t too surprising or impressive on their own. That is, until you look at their average return from SMS customers. On average, 26% return more often, 13% spend more when they do, and 15% make more purchases than before being in the SMS program. Not only are these customers more engaged, but they have a clear impact on the success of Subway and their bottom line.  

2. Jack in the Box

Moving on to another household brand, Jack in the Box has been using text marketing strategies for a few years now as a way of distancing themselves from a reliance on email. Due to the nature of fast food restaurants, SMS makes sense when it comes to increasing repeat purchases and engagement. Turns out Jack in the Box was right, seeing SMS redemption rates for coupons and deals at 3-5x that of email marketing.

The struggle of finding the right channel for getting your messaging across is all too real for many small businesses. This shows that it may not be your messaging that is at fault, but the channel itself. If you operate on a similar business of repeat purchases such as a fitness club or retail shop, this sort of engagement platform might be the answer to your problems.

3. Nordstrom

In their attempt to enter the digital landscape, Nordstrom has taken things a few steps further than others by acquiring two retail technology companies, BevyUp and MessageYes. Each of these acquisition shows Nordstrom’s dedication to a seamless customer experience, part of most marketing strategies entering the zeitgeist of today’s digital economy.

However, both of these companies are being used to improve other aspects of the customer experience, such as SMS marketing. For instance, MessageYes helps to provide machine learning for businesses to make smart decisions on not only how to target customers, but when and where.

That being said, you don’t have to make an acquisition of this scale to have access to this kind of technology, when Gleantap offers the same thing to our text message marketing clients. It will be interesting to see how this investment pays off for Nordstrom, but shaping the customer experience from start to finish is a good place to start.

4. Facebook

It’s not just obvious brands such as Subway that are making a splash with SMS, but big names like Facebook as well. Although they have their own dedicated messaging platform, even the social media giant can’t ignore the power of SMS for helping businesses to succeed. This is why they have announced that they are seeking to help small businesses establish digital marketing strategies using SMS and Facebook messenger.

Although it is still early in the process, this sort of expansion has the potential to be a double-edged sword for Facebook. On one hand, they may be simply adding to the noise by adding another digital marketing channel. On the other hand, Facebook messenger has the potential to reach currently untapped markets. All we know is that if someone as big as Facebook is trying to break into the SMS marketing game, we must be doing something right.

Final thought: Taco Bell example

As we see more and more large brands enter the SMS marketing realm and introduce their own marketing strategies into the conversation, it can seem as if the market might soon become oversaturated by big players, leaving no room for smaller businesses. In response to that, I offer you the Taco Bell example.

Every year, Taco Bell saves millions on market research by simply letting McDonalds do the work for them. Instead of spending the money surveying the area and conducting reports to find the best location for a new Taco Bell, they simply wait until McDonalds opens a new store and then they open one across the street.

In this scenario, you are Taco Bell and these big brands are McDonalds. As these brands invest in SMS, it will only continue to grow in popularity and potency. Save yourself the time and money by following their lead and investing in SMS now to gain an advantage for your business. After all, there is only so many street corners to set up on.