What is text message marketing?
SMS marketing refers to sending text messages to customers for promotions, news updates, events, etc. It falls under opt-in marketing and needs contacts for a subscription. It differs from social media marketing, where a social media marketer publishes content for the audience to follow.
In literal terms, SMS means “short messaging service,” and businesses use this communication mode to engage with their clients personally. Text marketing allows you to design client experience across the marketing platform from scratch to completion.
Types of text message marketing
When you integrate SMS marketing into your marketing plan, you will come across two modes of communication to connect with your audience, transactional texts, and promotional texts. However, some conventional types of SMS marketing are as follows:
- Personalized promotional text messages
- New offers or sales
Mobile devices have become drastically typical for customers and offer them ease of communication, anytime, anywhere. Hence in most cases, they are willing to approach businesses through text messages. This user experience increased more before and after pandemic times, and a majority of the US-based businesses switched to SMS and text messages as their marketing tactic.
Text Messaging – an owned platform
Like email marketing, text messaging is an owned platform that implies that you have the authority over recipients who get SMS marketing text, your shared content, and the time you plan to send that text. It essentially means that you are the owner of generating an experience for a client.
Text message marketing can be a great tool to connect with your audience
- You can establish real-time communication with your customers using SMS marketing.
- Short messages (texts) have a better open rate than emails.
- You can get support from text marketing campaigns to increase your brand engagement.
This blog is for small businesses and digital marketing personnel looking to use text message marketing to create leads and attract clients.
What are the benefits of text message marketing?
Any SMS marketing strategy that brands integrate has three essential purposes: they want to boost brand awareness, increase engagement and earn more sales. Businesses can readily grab customers’ attention whenever they need it with text messages. One crucial factor is that these modes of SMS marketing enable an excellent potential for boosting the competitive side of businesses.
Text message marketing offers several vital benefits:
1. You can easily associate with your audience.
SMS marketing offers a unique opportunity to associate with your audience more informally. Your audience is quicker to open and read text messages than emails. A survey shows that the ratio of people opening text messages is 90% within two or three minutes.
In another scenario, if you have to send out special promotion and want your customers to subscribe instantly, informing them through email might not serve the purpose. Your customers are more likely to miss that message and would not take necessary action. In the case of a text message, their message reading duration would be faster, and you can achieve the desired call-to-action from your customers.
Instead, if you send them this timely message via text, they are more likely to see it sooner and take the action you’d like them to take.
According to Leslie Crews, senior content strategist at BPC Content Co. “Text message marketing reduces the pressure of conventional correspondence like email or snail mail and helps to reduce the pressure already inherent to sales. People buy from you because they feel comfortable.”
2. It has a better open ratio.
People in the US have a greater frequency of opening text messages than 98%. This rate is higher than email marketing, almost 20% on average. A quick survey also shows that most US nationals check their phones within 10 to 12 minutes. You need not worry about your messages going into other folders with text messages. Everything you send out is engaging enough to retain your clients’ attention.
3. It is a personalized form of marketing.
Clients accept modern marketing tools from businesses that reach out to them, and in that case, a text message is the most personalized mode of communication. It helps businesses get the desired engagement and achieve their marketing goals. People are always with their phones to stay connected with their loved ones; hence they prefer text messaging over email.
4. It puts you in front of your customers.
As an ancient proverb says that you should go where your clients are. And in this scenario, your clients are using their smartphones, where text messages are instantly available. Phone marketing might be abruptly aggressive; however, Maria Kiagis, Founder of Social Gold, says, “It’s how you use it that counts. Get in your customer’s mind [and] don’t abuse the technology.”
According to her, what matters are responsibility and moderation. SMS marketing holds immense importance since it is widely opened and read. If the recipients relate to your content in the messages and engage, it proves you are in the right direction for marketing.
How to use text message marketing for businesses?
SMS marketing brings clients closer and establishes a regular dual-communication with them. The three essential features that companies can take help from to achieve this ongoing connection are as follows:
Auto-responses: It is the most utilized option you can create in advance so that you won’t have to answer each client separately. You can create auto-response text messages and send them according to certain conditions. For example, when new clients subscribe for new messages, when a client takes part in a survey, or when a client uses specific keywords in their message body.
Surveys and polls: Creating polls help you figure out your clients’ requirements, what they would like to search for, or which deals they are interested in getting into their message folder as texts. On the other hand, surveys play an integral part in two-ended communication that can upscale your marketing and service features.
Coupons: They are a convenient option to attract new clients. Your clients always want discounts and coupons, which attract them to take that step and buy stuff.
Text message marketing lets businesses communicate directly to their clients and receive genuine feedback related to products and client service.
How to choose a text message marketing service?
When you are looking for a text message marketing tool, focus on the reporting tools which will provide you insights on making amendments to your campaigns later. Besides, make sure the software is convenient and the customer service is satisfactory so that you could figure out possible issues with the tool.
Besides the functionality to send multiple texts including auto-responses, polls, and coupons, the tool must offer reporting tools to let you measure your campaign insights. These kinds of tools allow you to navigate communication between your clients and you, keywords usage, poll outcomes, etc.
Dealing with cumbersome text messaging software while taking care of your business operations would not be a good idea for a business owner. While you are looking for a service, choose one that offers sufficient functionality and convenience. Would you require full-length training or is it user-friendly in terms of tools?
In case there is an issue with the service, reaching out to customer support is an urgent need. Most of the leading services offer telephonic support and email to resolve urgent issues and also provide an online user guide so that businesses could sort out small issues that they may come across.
Focus on convenience, reporting tools, and customer service of a text message marketing service before you sign up.
When should businesses use text message marketing?
SMS or text message marketing offers you a chance to strengthen your business terms with your clients, however, you must be mindful of certain things before starting this journey. The text message platform is more personalized as compared to email, so you must design a smart strategy about which texts you should send and what should be text message frequency per week.
It is a great opportunity to establish brand loyalty but one small mistake could damage your clientele if you misuse this platform. Your deep understanding of text messages and good research on data collection according to clients’ preferences would determine your path toward text campaigns.
Text message marketing is a crucial tool for businesses that aim to reach heights, make strong bonds and make excellent customer experiences. It is because clients expect businesses to offer them more relatable content through text communication.
How to benefit from text marketing – Do’s and don’ts
For boosting your text marketing ROI and regularly sending out marketing texts you have to take care of certain practical approaches. First, you should get documented approval from your clients to send them SMS.
Then plan on what you have to send to the ones who opt-in but it should be relevant to both your target client and the business. It should be short and clear, and should not exceed 200 characters. You must keep in mind that it is an SMS campaign, hence, it should be brief and comprehensive.
Then comes the content, make sure it’s engaging enough for audiences who have opted in to get text messages.
According to David Hamilton, founder of Oppilo Marketing, “You want your text message channel to feel like an exclusive VIP club for your customers. Offer exclusive access to new products and special deals.”
Your text messages should not be without purpose. Rather be selective on your message sending frequency and timings. Send out text messages during business hours and do not bombard your clients with messages, instead weekly or biweekly would be sufficient.
“We think this is a sacred space for our customers so we don’t text them often and we’re careful when we do,” said Taran Ghatrora, CEO and Co-Founder of Blume.
It is a good practice to let your clients opt-in for text marketing campaigns but you must not overdo it or make it sound like spam.
What should be the next step?
By the end of this article, if you are ready to go for a change, you must first look for an SMS marketing solution as there are a lot of software solutions you could choose. You must keep your goals and preferences on priority and the features that you would like to have. Is a message-only tool workable for you?
Or implementing Power Textor’s complete set of tools – creating groups with unlimited contacts, scheduling texts, sending event reminders and updates, etc for text message campaigns would offer a more powerful experience?
Still, if you are unsure about your first move but you have done the sign-up, simply follow these practical tips:
- Start collecting clients’ contact details
- Send out your first text message campaign
- Monitor the campaign outcomes
Start Power Textor today and experience how text message marketing can help boost your sales.