Offline? No problem! Maximize the use of text messages with this marketing strategy! [Every Thursday: FYO!]
Your phone screen lights up at the same time you hear that sound…
You have a new text message.
Do you take a pause at whatever you’re doing, grab your phone and unlock it, and open that message?
SMS (Short Message Service) Marketing is a strategy that uses mobile phones to send text messages containing promotional content.
This promotional content can be in the form of special deals, product updates, customer loyalty perks, or other information businesses want to notify their customers about.
SMS marketing operates on a permission-based model, which means customers opt-in to receive marketing content from businesses through text messages.
Businesses collect their customers’ mobile phone numbers through a signup form on their website, when they’re talking to their customers over the phone, or at their physical store’s register.
Sometimes when customers or prospects buy a product from a store, the staff at the cashier counter will ask if they would like to receive store updates through text messages. If they say, “yes,” then the staff records their mobile phone numbers.
SMS marketing helps businesses increase brand awareness, boost engagement with prospects and customers, and even generate sales.
Usually, these text messages contain a link to a business’ website. Once the receiver of that message clicks on the link, he or she will be directed to the website and see promos, discounts, coupons, etc.
As a marketer or business owner, here are a few reasons why you should try SMS marketing:
Fast delivery of messages.
SMS marketing is fast. Once you send out a text message, it gets delivered to your contact list immediately.
This enables you to send time-sensitive messages such as flash sales and event-related promotions.
High open rates.
People are instantly aware of new text messages that are sent to their mobile phones.
Since sending and receiving text messages are one of the key features of a mobile phone, messages sent through SMS marketing are less likely to be “unseen.”
A Forbes study has also found that in 2018, SMS open rates were as high as 98%, and about 90% of those messages were opened and read within the first 3 minutes since it was delivered.
High response rates.
Aside from a high open rate, SMS marketing messages have recorded an average response rate of 45%.
These response rates can show if SMS marketing for your business is effective or not.
High response rates may also mean more sales as more people engage with your business.
According to a survey conducted by software company SAP, 70% of customers see SMS marketing as a good way for businesses to get customers’ attention.
Fits business of all sizes.
Large companies and businesses like banks, travel agencies, restaurants, healthcare providers, and others take advantage of SMS marketing to reach the public.
In the same way, small businesses also use SMS marketing as a way to reach and connect with their target market.
Unlike emails, SMS marketing has no bounces. Even if a mobile device is turned off or out of range, your text message will still be delivered once the phone is connected to a cellular network again.
In order to make sure that your text message gets delivered to your contact list (your mobile number is not blocked and your message is not marked as spam), consider these guidelines:
- Encourage opt-in. When your SMS recipients opt-in to receive your messages, it would be less likely for them to block your number or spam your messages.
- Offer opt-out. If your recipients decide that they want to stop receiving messages from you, they can just follow your opt-out instructions instead of blocking your number.
Use short codes or your business name as the sender’s name. Short codes are 5 to 6 digits (or sometimes letters) that are used by businesses to send bulk text messages.
Using these codes or your business name enables recipients to acknowledge your message’s legitimacy and will prevent them from blocking your number or spamming your message.
Now, you might be wondering: Can SMS marketing (which operates offline) still help improve your business’ online presence?
The answer is YES!
When SMS marketing is done properly, it can still direct your prospects and customers to your online business platforms.
Here are some tips to a successful SMS marketing strategy that also contributes to your business’ online presence:
Use SMS marketing to drive page likes.
Create a sense of urgency in your text messages and encourage your customers to act quickly.
For example: A text that offers your subscribers extra points or a discount for liking your social media pages―and sharing the message to their friends and getting them to like the pages too―can be a good way to build your social media following.
Always connect your SMS marketing messages with your online business platform.
By including your business’ website link in your SMS marketing messages, prospects and customers can easily access your website.
An embedded link can boost engagement with your target market as it will give them the opportunity to scroll through your website for other discounts, product sales, and limited edition promos.
Take note that a single text message is often limited to 160 characters. Keep your messages short but useful and informative for your recipients at the same time.
If the links to your business website or social media pages are too long, create a custom short link so that all the parts of your message can fit into a single text message.
Make sure your URLs have the option of destination redirecting.
If the offer or the information to which your link takes your customer has already expired, you can change it by redirecting your customer to a new offer.
That way, he or she is still encouraged to engage with your business online, which can also lead to generation of sales.
Here are some examples of industries using SMS marketing to reach their target market:
Restaurants. This industry uses SMS marketing to increase loyalty among customers and prospects by giving them discounts and promos from time to time, or on their next visit at the store.
Sports. Sports businesses and other sporting organizations use SMS marketing to announce games, confirm bookings, organize contests for fans, and offer discounts on sports merchandise.
Airlines. This industry sees SMS marketing as a useful tool to send reminders about flights, ticket proposals, new destination updates, and other travel-related information.
Text messaging can still be a useful tool in the marketing scene, even in a world of growing internet connectivity-based messaging applications.
As long as you (the business owner or marketer), your prospects, and your customers own a mobile device, you can easily do SMS marketing for your brand.
What’s stopping you from venturing into SMS marketing?
Check out some of the available SMS marketing softwares and try it!
See the higher open rates and response rates it will yield for your business.
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: FYO! Find You Optimization”
Why should you stop thinking SEO and start thinking FYO?
We’re not saying that you should abandon Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Don’t get us wrong, of course, we know this is something very important, especially in today’s digital marketing age.
The internet landscape is vast, and a world of its own. You really need to distinguish yourself and make your brand/company/website known and easily searchable.
Better yet, get to the top of page one for Top Results on Google or any other search engine.
However, what is the purpose of SEO? It’s that customers Find You!
That’s what matters. So, while SEO is one factor of FYO… it really is only one, and we ought not to abandon all the myriad of ways digitally and offline for improving your FYO.
How can we look at this from a different and better perspective?
Let’s say you have it in the bag! You and your team are experts in SEO. Awesome. But did you ever wonder what else you could do to push it further and give your SEO skills a boost?
FYO! Find You Optimization!
You need your target audience to FIND YOU—your brand, product, service, or offer. This is SEO plus other tools that increase visibility online (and offline).
Every Thursday, we publish content on how you can get your target market to find you, beyond the typical “type and search.” There are other things you can do along with your SEO to give your online advertising process a boost.
Try considering other tactics beyond it—WOMO (Word Of Mouth Optimization), RO (Referral Optimization), and “All-Other-Means-Of-Getting-Your-Target-Market-To-Find-You” Optimization (AOMOGYTMTFY, if you’d like a long acronym).
Part of a great marketing strategy is knowing how to adapt new methods and make use of different types of marketing and promotion that best fit your business goals and which give you the results you want.
Hope you’ve found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Thursday’s FYO!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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