SMS Marketing Guide for Business

SMS marketing is a great tool which you should add to your business marketing arsenal. If you are looking for new ways on how to expand your promotion and advertising efforts, keep on reading.  We will tell you why SMS marketing is great and why you should start using it right now!

Where is your phone right now?

If you’re not reading this on your phone, and you can’t immediately see it, you are feeling one thing: PANIC

Panic over. There it is. I already thought that I'd lost it for a moment...

Oh, and there’s a new text message received: perfect! A distraction.

We all keep our phones handy. We rely on them for everything from banking to socialising. And the short-form text is something we still rely on and respond to.

We check our phones 85 times per day, on average!

That’s why SMS marketing contact from businesses is coming back in a big way.

Remember mobile advertising by phone text messages? A quick invitation to interact with a business received as a text message.

It’s still attention-grabbing. And if you get it right, it can have a real impact.

Text message marketing is a very different offer nowadays. Forget splash offers and spam. It's is about targeted, effective contact. And customers love it.

 

SMS has more than a 95% open rate!

We don’t ignore text messages. SMS messages have a read-rate of 95% within three minutes.

Repeat: 95%. Email is down at a 24% read-rate.

There are plenty more figures that provide evidence for choosing text message marketing:

  • 98% open rate (Gartner)

  • 45% response rate (Gartner)

  • 50% of those receiving SMS marketing messages (in a Marketing Charts survey) purchased as a result. So, almost everyone you contact via text message will read the message. And if you have made your company name and the offer clear, they will all interact with your business.

That’s a commanding advantage over competitors sticking with email and social media.

 

Using SMS marketing to expand your business advertising

Make sure your campaign focuses around one abiding rule:

Fulfil an established need at the right time; or fulfil a potential point of interest for the future.

Sending unwanted messages is a sure-fire way to alienate your customers.

Focus. Target. Deploy. SMS marketing is about getting a response: inviting customers to action, and enticing them to do so.

So, what can you use SMS marketing technology to promote? Here are a few ideas that take you way beyond the spamming campaigns of old...

  • New product or service

  • Sale or exclusive offers

  • Notifications

  • Delivery updates

  • Appointment reminders

  • Important news

  • Customer service

  • Support

And the potential benefits are huge. Want customers to switch to regular standing orders? Or provide more data about themselves? How about preventing service issues with up-front outage information? Text message marketing can provide all these.

Can you think of any other technology that provides such a high potential response?

 

Reach potential customers offline

Customers can’t always access mobile data when they are out and about, or at work. Many industries don’t allow it. But texts still make it through.

Think of that potential. The only voice the customer hears during the day. All other marketing sources are quiet.

As with all marketing campaigns, content is king. Focus on a few critical messages within your 160 characters:

  • Keep it personal: use personal pronouns and the customer’s name

  • Be specific: include a call to action

  • Be relevant: refer to a previously-expressed interest

  • Be interactive: make it easy for the customer to reply with a link to your website

  • Invite your customer: use a discount or giveaway to entice the customer. Or manage any disappointment or inconvenience

  • Be timely: take account of time zones to ensure you catch your customer at a convenient time

 

How to succeed

How could your business use text messages to increase customer base and drive sales? There are countless examples for different industries, but here are a few:

Retail stores: Alert your customers to a sale or a special offer. Reward sign-ups to email or Facebook with discount codes.

Restaurants and takeaways: Send booking reminders. Issue progress updates for deliveries launch new menus.

Hotels: Issue booking confirmation and reservation information. Follow-up with a feedback survey.

Sport and leisure: Promote new activities and updated timetables. Send live scores for sports fans.

Healthcare: Help patients remember their appointments with timely reminders. Issue seasonal advice such as cold weather warnings.

Your business will gain real competitive advantage with a creative SMS marketing campaign. The options are only limited by your creativity.

 

Deploying the right technology

Apifonica can offer a full service if you need it. If you have in-house software developers, Apifonica provides an API to create custom Bulk SMS and two-way SMS solutions. If you do not have your software developers, you can be sure that our software development team is going to fulfil any of your requests and help you along the way of creating the best solution just for you.

Remember that you need to be careful about timing. Text marketing campaigns are about reaching customers in the moment. So, give them something useful there and then.

And be careful not to send too many, or too often. Use texting with caution and never invade your customer’s privacy for no good reason.

SMS marketing is all about mutual benefit: something for you, and something for your customer.

Summary: deploy targeted SMS marketing to reach customers in unique ways

It is reassuring to businesses that read, and response rates with SMS marketing campaigns are reliably high. This gives unique access to customers.

Businesses have an important responsibility when deploying SMS campaigns: use that access to customers very carefully. Spamming is not acceptable!

SMS marketing gives your customers the power to instantly redeem an offer, get a great benefit or receive helpful updates. That’s why it's is so popular: customers enjoy receiving personal advantages from companies they choose to interact with.

Interacting with customers via SMS also means that your business gets real 1:1 access to individuals. Make sure you use that time carefully by planning personalised, rich content.

Wariness of SMS rules and regulations can be off-putting. Many businesses wrongly believe that they are unmanageable and restrictive. Thankfully, that’s not true. Read this easy guide to understand how to stay within the guidelines.

Understand the rules. Consider how your business can get the best out of SMS marketing. Then you are on track to deliver a game-changing marketing campaign.

 

Related articles you will find interesting: