Consumers are bombarded with alerts from their phones — about 47 alerts per hour to be exact. And when you couple that with the fact that the average person sees up to 10,000 ads a day, it could be difficult to effectively market your brand.
However, there is a way to win the attention of your target audience — SMS marketing, or text message marketing.
SMS marketing relies on texts as the primary means of communicating brand messages and promotions.
When used strategically, SMS campaigns can yield excellent results. Today, we will go over the reasons why this marketing method is so powerful. We also give you a few ideas on how you can use it to grow your business.
What Are the Types of Text Message Marketing?
If you decide to make text message marketing a part of your marketing strategy, you have a few options.
There are two types of text message communications you could send to your audience: promotional and transactional.
Here’s a breakdown of each type:
Promotional Text Messages
Promotional text messages are texts you would send to your audience to increase sales, promote a product, or build brand awareness.
With these types of text messages you can inform your customers about a new product launch, offer a coupon code, share announcements or promote branded events. You could even provide tips on how to use your products.
Event-triggered promotional text messages are messages you can send your customers based on an action they take.
For instance if a shopper signs up to receive text messages from your business or adds an item to their cart you could send them a welcome text or abandoned cart text to encourage them to complete a transaction.
Speaking of transactions, that brings us to the next type of text messaging marketing.
Transactional Text Messages
Transactional text messages are texts that contain information your customer needs like shopping details or order confirmation.
When a customer makes a purchase, texting them updates is a great way to keep them informed and cultivate brand loyalty.
Unlike emails, they have a low chance of getting lost or sent to spam. If you want you could even include creative things like images or gifs.
We’d also like to note that if a customer signs up to receive transactional text messages, you can’t market to them through this medium unless they give you content to.
7 Ways to Grow Your Business Using Text Message Marketing
Now that you’ve gain a basic understanding of the two ways you can use text message marketing, let’s look a few campaign ideas:
1. Text to Collect Info
You can use SMS marketing to gather necessary information for your customers like their email address or birthday, for special birthday promotions.
This is a convenient way to gather info because they won’t need to go online or open up a separate browser window or fill out a long web form.
Text-to-collect information campaigns information from customers without involving extra steps. It’s straightforward.
Don’t forget to mention that by giving their information, they will receive exclusive offers, discounts, and other updates.
2. Time-Sensitive Coupons
If you want your customers to respond to an offer quickly, send a text message. Like we’ve mentioned earlier, consumers read text messages within minutes of receiving it.
So if you want your consumers to act on a limited-time only offer or sales promotion, send a SMS message.
For example, you could send a discount code that gives customers a percentage off their order if they click your link. Doing this is a great way to get people to come back to your website and complete another purchase.
Not to mention, when you include unique links in your messages you will get more insights and data on sales and how your customers interact with your offers.
The most common limited time sales include special holiday promotions like Labor Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other holidays. Leverage text messages so your customers don’t miss out.
3. Text-to-Win Competitions
With contest promotions your customer sends a keyword to the short code to enter the contest to win a prize.
Running a text-to-win campaign is a surefire way to grow your subscriber list. Each person who enters the contest will be opted in to receiving future promotions and messages.
SMS is also a great way to promote your contest and encourage customer engagement through text — it also increases brand awareness.
4. Loyalty Program Notifications
The personal and intimate nature of text messaging allows you to amplify brand loyalty and boost engagement. It also presents many opportunities to offer incentives.
Text messages make it easier for them to redeem rewards. For instance, you could have your loyalty program subscribers text a word to receive a special discount code.
You can even get creative with your SMS loyalty program. Here are a few fun ideas:
- Send subscribers a survey asking them how you could improve your products or service.
- Surprise customers on their birthday with a special coupon code.
- Send a series of trivia questions and give a reward if they answer correctly.
The list doesn’t stop here. There are many ways you can keep your customers engaged through a brand loyalty campaign. Keep exploring and testing the same.
5. Alerts and Notifications
There’s no better way to alert your customers about important chances than with text messages. For booking appointments or announcing pricing updates they need to know ASAP, a message is the way to go.
For example, if you want to remind your customer of an upcoming webinar, you can send out a SMS reminder an hour before. A simple reminder like this one helps you get more responses and interactions.
Since SMS messages are usually limited to 160 characters, you can include a URL into your messages to direct customers to your website for more info.
You can also encourage your subscribers to share your new product on social media or sign up for your email list.
While it may not seem like it, simple interactions like these could boost your website traffic, engagement, and sales.
6. Personalised Texts
Plain promotional text messages come off impersonal, and it defeats the purpose of SMS marketing.
As explained earlier, your goal for this marketing approach is to connect on a personal level. Your messages should feel like a human is sending them, not a robot.
So, personalized SMS campaigns enable you to send messages that change based on each customer’s name, purchase history, birthday, and more.
There are even some SMS marketing software that enables you to segment your audience into lists. With this you can send personalized content and offers to people with different interests.
Another way to offer personalised messaging is to allow your customers to choose what type of messages they want to receive.
For example, when they opt-in you can have them select if they want to receive promotions, news and updates, or any other topic they would like to see.
Doing this is a stellar way to boost conversions and engagement. Don’t believe us? Research proves personalization increases conversions by 20 percent.
Also, without personalization, you might see a flood of customer opt-outs.
7. Order Notifications
Keeping in touch with your customer after they make a purchase is crucial. Aside from sending the usual invoice, you can send an SMS alert once their order is processed and shipped.
One of the key factors in customer retention is customer care and follow up. Post-purchase experience is a critical part of molding the customer’s perception of your brand.
So providing shipping notifications and order updates via text reduces customer friction and delivers value.
After sales care even increases the chances of a second purchase. An American Express survey revealed that 58 percent of consumers are willing to spend more with brands that provide great customer service.
Research also shows that boosting customer retention by as little as 5 percent could increase profits by 25 to 95 percent.
How Can Text Message Marketing Be Effective?
According to 65 percent of marketers, SMS marketing is “very effective” for them.
But don’t just take their word for it, here are a few reasons why text message marketing is powerful:
Increases Customer Engagement
Text messages have impeccable engagement numbers — we’re talking 98 percent open rates.
Although this number is high, you have to remember that many customers may only open a text message to get rid of the notification on their phones. That’s why it’s crucial to put more value on KPI’s like clicks and conversions.
Depending on the content you share with your customers, text messages can outperform emails on both click rates and conversions.
For example, the brand GhostBed gets 32 percent click rates with their text messages.
The reason why text messages increase engagement is because they’re conversational. You can encourage your subscribers to respond to your texts without sounding too sales-y.
You want your text communications to feel like you’re talking to a friend. The messages should be meaningful — don’t make it obvious that you’re marketing to them.
Connects With Customers Instantly
People read text messages as soon as they receive them. They open 90 percent of messages within three minutes of reception.
If you have a promotion to offer and want your customers to act on it immediately, sending an email means that they may miss out the message and not act in time.
But sending this message via text they’re more likely to see it sooner and take action when you’d like them to.
Builds Relationship With Customer
Texting is a way people communicate with their friends and family — which means their phones are pretty much attached to their hips.
Texting has a positive association. In fact a University of California at Berkeley found that people experience a positive mood when they recieve or respond to a text from a family member or friend
So when your text message makes it to someone’s inbox it’s almost like it’s coming from someone near and dear.
People Don’t Ignore Texts
Consumers are inundated with hundreds of marketing messages every day. As people grow immune to ads it can become increasingly difficult to get your message across.
But text message marketing is different from typical mediums. In a world of digital information overload text messages are guaranteed to be read.
The average text marketing campaign has a conversion rate of 45% and the click-through rate for text promotions are around 19%.
Now we can see why 60% of business owners include text messaging in their marketing budget.
Texts are Instantaneous
Want your customers to respond to a flash sale? Send a text message. Surveys reveal that 50% of marketing text respondents said that flash sales would encourage them to opt-in to a business’s text messages.
Also, time-sensitive promotions have a 25% conversion rate.
Here are few more powerful SMS marketing stats:
- Consumers are 5 times more likely to respond to a SMS marketing message than an email.
- SMS marketing click-through rate is 10-15 percent higher than email marketing campaigns.
- 33 percent of text campaigns recipients respond to CTA in SMS marketing messages, and 47 percent of those end up making a purchase.
People Want to Recieve Texts
Texts are consumers’ most preferred mode of communication. Soprano Design found that 85 percent prefer text messages to emails. So if you want to get customers’ attention, it’s best to send a text.
Most marketing messages are ignored because their message is intrusive. Just think of how many times you’re bombarded with ads asking you to “Buy Now”.
But SMS campaigns take a more personal approach, so the consumer is more receptive to the marketing message.
Text Messages Are Common
Chances are every one of your customers has a cell phone — 96% to be exact.
Not only do they own one but they’re on it a lot. 79 percent of adults have their phones with them 22 hours a day.
And they’re not just using their phones to check out the latest viral videos and memes, they’re using the majority of that time checking, sending, and answering text messages.
So, the best way to get in contact with them and build a relationship is through text message.
How Are Businesses Using Text Message Marketing in 2021?
Text message marketing is growing rapidly. According to Juniper Research, messaging traffic hit 2.7 trillion in 2020 — a 10 percent increase from 2019. More and more businesses plan on investing in messaging and SMS platforms.
Here’s a quick look at how businesses are implementing SMS marketing messaging:
SMS as Customer Service
As we already know, customer service can make or break your business. It plays a huge role in earning customer’s trust and delivering your brand’s promise.
Consumers expect speedy responses to their inquiries, and text messaging helps provide prompt customer service.
SMS can serve customer services functions including:
- Sending order confirmations
- Providing delivery and tracking information
- Responding to frequently asked questions
- Asking for product feedback
Texting customer support eliminates long wait times and ensures issues get resolved quickly. Shorter wait times help boost your brand’s trustworthiness.
Personalized Consumer Engagement
According to SmarterHQ, 72 percent of consumers only engage with marketing messages tailored to their interests. They want to know that your brand can fulfil their needs. So, plain and robotic SMS messages aren’t going to cut it.
Instead, find a personal way to engage with your customers. Take the cookware brand Equal Parts for example.
The cookware brand Equal Parts, incorporates a conversational approach to consumer engagement. Their text-a-chef program where customers could chat with a chef and receive recipes and tips through SMS messaging.
No matter the question, the customer gets a quick response.
Strong Relationship Building
More and more businesses are realizing the power of crafting a personal relationship with their customer base. If you’re only communicating with them when you want to sell them something, you’re missing out on opportunities to connect and build customer loyalty.
Fashion boutique Sassy Jones offers a 1:1 recommendation service where a rep answers customers questions. This conversational and personal communication style helps create trust between the consumer and the brand.
How Will You Use SMS Marketing in 2021?
Years ago the idea of using text messages to market to consumers was still in its experimental phase. No one knew how effective it could be. However, today it has blossomed into a vast industry and provides countless opportunities to expand businesses.
As we’ve learned today, SMS marketing is one of the best ways to reach your audience. It’s personal and gets quick response times. Not only can it result in a surge in conversions but it could help grow your customer base.
We hope that the tips and suggestions mentioned here sheds light on how you can implement text messaging into your marketing plan. If you are looking for a good SMS marketing tool that will level up your marketing game, give Gleantap a shot.
Co-Founder, Gleantap & Mastera