Most people carry their smartphones 24/7.
It’s the first thing they grab in the morning. It’s a must-have to respond to emails and messages from your co-workers and boss. And it’s why people are developing neck strain and injuries – because they’re glued to their smartphone screens and texting while walking. And texts are a great way to get in front of your customer’s smartphone screens.
So, if you’re not texting your customers, then you’re missing out on a prime marketing opportunity.
What are the perks of text messaging and how can you leverage them? Here’s what you need to know.[toc]
What is text message marketing?
Text message marketing – otherwise known as SMS marketing – involves sending promotions, deals, and coupons to consumers through SMS. It’s a simple and straightforward way to engage your target market.
It’ll be easy to reach your customers through text message marketing
The goal of SMS marketing is to build a fanbase of subscribers and increase repeat purchases.
It enables businesses to send offers and recommendations when customers are near the store. While it’s often used for promotional purposes, it can also be used to aggregate feedback and send notifications for upcoming events.
How does text message marketing work?
Text message marketing is a permission-based marketing process, where customers opt-in to receive promotional offers and updates. Businesses use special software to send text messages at scale, to notify customers about time-limited offers, promotional events or business updates.
Customers either opt-in by texting a shortcode (commonly 5 digits in US/UK, but can between 3-6 digits) or by inputting their telephone number into a customer database. Depending on the company, customers may receive coupons, regular promotional updates or notifications of special deals. A confirmation response is then sent in exchange for opting-in. It usually comes with an opt-out code in case users want to unsubscribe.
Why should small businesses use Text Message Marketing?
Let’s take a look at the perks of text marketing for small businesses.
1. Text messages have the highest read & response rate
Customers can ignore ads and emails, but text messages are read immediately on a regular basis.
This means that SMS has the highest chance of attracting your audience’ attention and eliciting a response from them.
2. Text message marketing stands out compared to other forms
Since customers receive a bulk of marketing messages everyday, they’re likely to ignore promotional emails and notifications.
In contrast, text messages are typically short, simple and non-intrusive. EZ Texting found that most consumers prefer to receive SMS promotional materials through text message.
Consumers live a fast-paced lifestyle and clicking a URL in a text message, is also faster than browsing through promotional emails to do the same.
Plus, if customers get annoyed by the marketing messages, it’s easy to unsubscribe and delete them.
3. Better reach for SMS, greater accessibility
SMS is the medium with the highest reach.
Pew Research estimates that more than 5 billion people own mobile devices, and over half of these people own smartphones.
This number shows that SMS messaging has a lot of potential because subscribers don’t need to download apps, buy a data plan or possess a smartphone to receive marketing messages.
If your target customers are based in developing countries, some subscribers can’t avail of a smartphone or data subscription, so SMS messaging has greater accessibility.
4. Text messages are trackable
Links in SMS campaigns can help you, direct customers, to your website.
You can add a “UTM code,” to your URL to track the performance of your SMS messages and determine clicks or conversions. Understanding the numbers will help you determine the effectivity of your campaign.
With a UTM code, Google Analytics can track the website activity of mobile visitors and generate detailed mobile analytics.
5. Text messages can boost customer service
Text marketing for small businesses can improve customer service.
SMS messages are a fast and reliable way to inform your customers. Customers may prefer to receive texts to get details about product shipping and transaction. Similarly, others may want to receive appointment details through SMS.
Issues like delays or cancellations can instantly be resolved through text. People are likely to see messages about delays or last-minute flight cancellations when it’s sent through text.
Examples of SMS Marketing Campaigns
Here are a few text message advertising examples that will inspire you to start your own SMS campaign.
#1 – Domino’s uses SMS Marketing for Sporting Events Campaigns
Domino’s uses SMS marketing campaigns to promote their deals during sporting events.
During the NRL Grand Finals for Rugby they sent SMS messages with a link to their promotional offer. The message was sent at 4:30 pm which was around the time that customers started to prepare for dinner.
#2 – T-Mobile uses SMS Marketing to Promote App
T-Mobile uses SMS to send incentivize customers to download the app.
They sent offered a free roasted chicken sandwich from Subway to loyal advocates.
In the example below, recipients had to click the URL and get the app to view more offers. Getting the app ensures that T-Mobile has more channels to communicate with its customers.
SMS Marketing Tips
If you’re an amateur at SMS marketing, then there’s no need to worry. We’ve got some tips to help you launch your campaign.
1. Keep messages short and simple so they will be read
Keep your messages short and straightforward. 160 characters are the character limit for messages and going over the limit leads to split multiple messages.
Nobody wants to receive multiple promotional messages so make sure that your promos or deals fit in one message. A good tip is to use shortened words like “ur” and “cos” to lessen the characters.
2. Send messages at the right time to stay on top of customers’ minds
Send messages at a strategic time.
Some restaurants send their deals and promos once users are near their store’s vicinity. This encourages them to drop by and make a purchase.
Meanwhile, other F&B stores send a message several minutes before lunch break or dinnertime to keep their brand at top of a customer’s mind.
3. Send irresistible offers to retain customer interest
Deals and promos should be interesting for your target customers, otherwise, they’ll opt-out of your campaign. The reward doesn’t have to be expensive. You can give a small discount or a useful ebook to boost participation.
A good tip is to sit down with your marketing team to brainstorm small rewards that will provide value to your audience.
4. Add a personal touch to connect with customers
Personalize your text messages by adding the customers’ names. Use words like “you” and “I” to make it seem like you’re directly messaging them.
You can also send promos or discounts for items that customers’ previously bought. This ensures that they’ll be interested in the campaign that you have to offer.
A good tip is to give them the opportunity to win discounts through fun mobile games.
5. Pay attention to frequency so customers aren’t annoyed
While you want to engage with customers, you don’t want to be seen as disruptive and annoying. No one wants to receive promotional messages every day.
Consider the frequency of your text messages. Businesses that rely on SMS marketing only send one text per week or every two weeks. Customers also receive a text message whenever they’re within the vicinity of the store.
Be mindful of the frequency of text messages and don’t send too much.
Sample Marketing Messages
Here are some promotional message examples to help you get started:
Sample text message to customers for discounts
Enjoy a 15% discount on ABC store with XYZ rewards! Get your promo code through the app via https://xyz.com/1234 now.
Sample text message to customers for events and freebies
Visit our store with your friends this Christmas and get a box of 3 chocolate flavoured doughnuts for free! Redeem your freebie on the app at https://xyz.com/1234 and get a free box of 3 when you buy a cup of coffee.
Launching Your First SMS Marketing Campaign?
Text message marketing has a lot of perks.
SMS messages have the highest and fastest open rate. Not surprisingly, we read text messages immediately after they’re sent.
Promos, discounts or freebies can boost customer engagement with your campaigns. Keep it simple and add a personal touch by using your customers’ names and delivering personalised deals and offers.
Think about the most strategic time to send your texts. Pay attention to frequency and don’t send too many text messages. Otherwise, it’ll seem disruptive and annoying.
Got any SMS marketing examples or promotional message examples? Let us know in the comments below.