Over the course of the last few years, email marketing has been many company’s go-to for targeted campaigns. However, as users have grown wary of spam and phishing emails, a large majority have begun to trust SMS in same way they once trusted email. Now that marketers are starting to understand this, mass text marketing has emerged as the latest trend in reaching customers with powerful brand messaging.
In an attempt to help you understand the newest marketing trend, we have put together a few reasons why mass text marketing has become so popular, along with a few best practices to help you get started. While different channels serve different purposes within the overall marketing plan of a company, using those different channels and user engagement platforms correctly is what separates a good marketer from a great one.
After reading this article, we hope that you will not only see the benefits of what SMS can do for you. We also hope that you will have a better understanding of when to use certain forms of communication over others. Let’s get into it.
SMS vs. Email
While they both serve different functions, the purposes of SMS and email are closely aligned. Email has been used since its inception for branded messaging and has only grown in popularity in recent years. SMS has always been seen as more personal and less professional for communication with customers. No longer.
SMS now is most consumer’s primary form of communication. Now that mass text marketing has opened the door for businesses to meet clients on their mobile phones instead of their email accounts, a whole new dynamic has emerged.
There are currently 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide while on the other hand there are only 2.5 billion email users worldwide. This is a steep difference in size and availability in these two markets. Although email has shined for marketers in the past, the future is moving toward mobile.
Why mass text marketing?
Due to the fact that this is a recent trend in the world of marketing, the final word has not been said on mass text marketing. However, mass text marketing has numerous benefits that make it stand out from other forms of communication. In order to show you exactly what mass text marketing can do, we have laid out some of the best aspects of this channel and how best to use them.
Not only does SMS have a wider audience as we saw earlier, but the open rates compared to other channels of communication are impressive. According to recent reports, the open rate for SMS is close to 96 percent! Compare that with the dismal open rate of email (22 percent), and you can see why mass text marketing has taken off.
While we would never advise to stop your email campaigns, we do want to open your eyes to what else is out there. With mobile continuing to move forward, with new ways of reach customers like push notifications and SMS, the game is changing. Using SMS is the best way to get your message in the hands of your customers much faster than ever before.
Deliver a powerful message
Since mobile users are far more likely to open (and then engage) your message, you need to be very strategic in what that message is. Not only that, but when you send the message, who you are sending it to, and why.
A basic rule of thumb is that if you can wait until tomorrow for a response, you should send an email. If it is more immediate, send a text. This means that texts should only be sent when there is powerful messaging behind them and a clear call-to-action. Without these two features of a text, you are just going to be wasting their time.
Meet customers where they are
One of the most vital aspects of any marketing plan is ensuring you are meeting your customers where they are. In this case, where they are is on their cell phones. Most of your customers are within an arm’s reach of their phone almost 24 hours a day. With this great power for reaching them also comes a great responsibility.
As you begin to plan out your first mass text marketing campaign, keep time in mind. Bad timing is one of the easiest ways to lose a subscribed user. Be professional and deliver your targeted messaging either during business hours or, if you have a business with abnormal business hours, when you customers would be using your services.
Additional best practices
Each of the previously covered reasons for utilizing mass text marketing are fairly general and designed to give you a basic idea of what this channel can do for you. However, there are additional best practices (which we will explore later) that we want to share with you.
- Get permission: Before you ever send an SMS, you need to make sure you have the user’s permission. This is a rule of thumb that should never be violated.
- Be clear about your intentions: SMS is personal and straightforward so be clear about your intentions. You don’t have much space, so if you are trying to sell something, be upfront about it. Your customers don’t have time for you to beat around the bush and honestly, neither do you.
- Segment, coordinate, and integrate: Not every mass text you send should go to all the users in your database. Segment your audience and then coordinate with your team the best way to approach each unique share of your audience.
- Never use unnecessary abbreviations: Text lingo and abbreviations should be avoided when possible. While SMS is personal between friends, you are a business and should communicate like you are.
- Embedded links are a life-saver: Your customers don’t want to receive a message without an actionable next step. Give this to them by including a link with your message. By doing this, you make it easy for those who are interested and knock down one less barrier for those on the fence.
- Track everything: Make sure that you are using user engagement metrics to track everything from day one. This data is incredibly valuable to you and the success of your campaign, don’t ignore it.
Mass text marketing is only continuing to grow. Make sure that you know what you need to be doing in order to be successful.