“What is Churn?” and other SMS Marketing FAQs, Answered

For any business owner trying to effectively serve their clients in 2018, digital marketing channels and mobile technology can seem daunting if you aren’t sure where to begin. As an SMS marketing platform, we understand the informational barriers of entry that prevent these owners from getting involved and taking their retention to new levels. Even simple questions like “what is churn?” can be difficult to answer unless you know where to look.

In the interest of helping bring more owners and marketers into the future and help them reduce churn for their own business, we have put together a list of FAQs or frequently asked questions about SMS. Our hope is that with these questions out of the way, you can begin to focus your energy on using these tools to improve your customer journey instead of trying to understand how to use them. Without further ado, let’s look at the first question.

1. What is churn?

The first FAQ that we often receive is “What is churn?” Customer churn is when, for a variety of different reasons, a customer stops using your services and buying your products. Although this is a natural part of the business process, many companies are seeing higher churn rates as consumers today have more options and companies are seeing an increase in competition.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to reduce churn, which is the basis of most customer retention and SMS marketing plans. In the case of text marketing, delivering your customers personalized content that adds value to their experience directly to their phones is the best way to show your customers that you care. If you can consistently do this, you can lower your churn rate and provide better customer engagement for your audience.

For more, check out these 6 powerful strategies for battling churn.  

2. What’s the difference between MMS and SMS marketing?

Another common Q we received along with “What is Churn?” is “What is the difference between MMS and SMS marketing? First, let’s break down MMS, which means Multimedia Messaging Service and SMS, which means Short Messaging Service. While SMS is limited to 160 characters, MMS has no character limit and can include a subject line as well as attached media like images and videos.

However, when it comes to the marketing purposes of MMS vs. SMS, they are often similar, with MMS simply allowing for more customization. That being said, now that big names like Apple are seeing the use cases of marketing through messaging, we may see a revitalization of MMS as it is used to enhance the user experience.

For more, check out this article “What is MMS?”

3. Why is an opt-in required for SMS marketing?

Moving on to slightly more in-depth SMS questions that we receive, often business owners are curious as to why an opt-in is required when launching a text marketing campaign. Simply put, it’s the law, however there are other reasons why you should seek an opt-in from your audience. By asking your customers to confirm that they want to receive messages from you, they are showing you that they are interest in customer engagement.

If you’re wondering why this is so important, consider that loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 7x as likely to try a new offering, and 4x as likely to refer. Although asking for that initial opt-in may seem like a risk, the rewards that come from a dedicated customer base are more than worth it.


For further reading, you may be interested in SMS Best Practices for Optimal Results.

SMS marketing

4. Is text marketing as effective as everyone says?

When business owners first hear about mass text marketing, they often believe that it is too good to be true. We can’t blame them. Statistics like SMS’s 98% open rate do sound like they are unrealistic, but as a platform that helps small businesses with SMS, we can confirm that the rumors are true. SMS is far and away the most effective mobile marketing solution out there and brands that aren’t taking advantage of it are missing out.

Want to improve customer retention? See how SMS can help.

5. How can I track conversions with SMS?

As we continue looking at more questions like “What is churn?” and the intricacies of SMS marketing, you may already have a good understanding of these things and be more interested in improving your campaign. “How can I track conversions?” and the following three questions should help you out in this regard.

Now, we can’t speak for all text marketing platforms, but Gleantap allows business owners and marketers to track their conversion rates for every message they send. Along with this, we provide you with various tools like marketing automation and touchpoints to optimize conversion rates for you campaign. If you are working with an SMS platform that doesn’t provide these basic insights, we recommend finding one that does.

For more, check out the Holy Grail of Conversion Rate Optimization.

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6. Does SMS marketing allow for one-on-one messaging?

Another FAQ that we receive stems from a common misunderstanding about how SMS marketing works, which asks if SMS allows one-on-one messaging. The simple answer to this question is yes, it does. However, to further clarify, SMS marketing is more than bulk SMS messages sent to your audience.

Mass text marketing campaigns can be customized and personalized down to one-on-one interactions if you find that is the best way to reach your customers. Others will simply use customer segmentation to reach different groups of customers. The most important thing is that you are meeting your customers where they are and providing value to their experience. If you can do this, the rest will fall into place.

SMS marketing

7. What is marketing automation?

If you have been trying to get involved in digital marketing over the last few years, you may have heard the term ‘marketing automation’ and wondered what it means. Marketing automation is the process of automating various marketing activities for a more efficient and improved customer experience. Due to the nature of most marketing activities in 2018, you can automate most of a customer’s journey.

For instance, with SMS, marketers can use SMS keywords like STOP, HELP, and INFO with automatic responses to help their customers understand their business processes. Similar to chatbots, these responses can be written in advance and help with everything from support to purchase decisions. In order to keep up with the fast-paced digital world we live in, marketing automation will only continue to be a powerful tactic for many companies in the future.

See why Marketing Automation should be part of your 2018 strategy.

8. How can I improve my campaign?

Finally, the last FAQ we will look at is “How can I improve my campaign?” Although this is fairly open-ended and there is a large amount of tools and tactics that can be used, we will simply recommend that you check out our free eBook with 30 different techniques. Hopefully, this will help you go from “what is churn?” to never having to worry about your churn rate again. With this, we wish you happy hunting and best luck on your own SMS marketing campaign!

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