Marketing strategies constantly evolve or change and businesses need to keep up with the latest communication tools and consumer mindset. Brands are always in pursuit to target moving or busy customers. These days, marketing budget assigned to the team are very limited which means that every single channel needs to have clear benefits and returns on investment. SMS is one of the most preferred channels of communication even today and marketers can now send out their marketing campaigns using simple text messages.
An SMS campaign is a type of marketing strategy that allows a business to interact with its customers via text. It is very similar to email marketing but it is much more precise and direct, not to mention faster. It is done to inform customers of new offers and promotions of a product or service. Marketers are now using mass texting to reach out to thousands of customers. These could include your favorite restaurants, airlines, carwash, megastore or any place you have visited. For example, Carl’s Jr. sent out a promotional SMS offer to customers in 2013. The offer was for a $6 burger combo for only $2.99. Not only did this promotion get a 19% saving rate, the fast-food chain generated $14 in new sales for every $1 they spent on this campaign.
Many organizations have this belief that SMS campaigns require large investments in applications and they do not permit personal and precise communication. However, mass texting has proved to be the most direct and effective method of communication with customers. Everyone owns a smart phone or at least a text enabled phone. Text messaging is secure due to two-way communication enabled only when consent is given or legal requirements for opt-in are fulfilled.
Research indicates that SMS is quicker and more reliable. Customer receive less text messages than they do emails and social media promotions or ads, resulting in marketing SMS messages being perceived less as ‘spam’ and still considered to be from a reliable source. Additionally, SMS messages are highly relevant to the recipient, since people tend not to give out their cell numbers easily, unless they are genuinely interested in receiving offers/info. Hence, marketers are bound by strict telecommunication laws to either have their own customer contact lists or provide subscription options to potential customers.
The benefits of SMS campaigns are endless; however, here are the top 5 from a personal perspective;
1. Direct and Cost Effective Channel
SMS is the most immediate channel of communication we have today; with a read rate of approximately 97% within a few minutes of delivery. Marketers can be reassured that time dependent messages are read almost instantly. Marketers are also aware of the limited budget dedicated to marketing so they need to devise a cost effective channel. From their perspective, the objective is to get maximum response or leads which results to customers or keep the existing ones engaged. Social media is unpredictable and email marketing usually ends up in the spam. Millennial generations are addicted to cell phones for most of their tasks and it only seems reasonable to reach them using mass texting. For example, Libraries are now after cutting back on Post services and now using SMS as a form of communication with their customers. Small businesses which cannot afford advertising agents or trade show campaigns can make use of SMS to reach out to their customers.
2. Brief and Improved Communication
One of the biggest perks of SMS is, “cutting to the chase”. Most texts consist of only 160 characteristics in the content. This ensures that the message is clear and concise. Getting straight to the point is important. Customers have a short attention span when reading marketing texts so it is important to tell them exactly what you want them to know and making it an easy read will benefit both the customer and your business. Effective communication leads to a strong relationship. SMS is a personal channel like email but unlike most of social media. One-on-one communication is smart and what makes SMS so effective is that they are very timely, personal and relevant. They also make the customer feel more secure as they would know what to expect and also enables marketers to learn more about their customer for future references.
3. Integration with Other Marketing Strategies
There are many forms of marketing with different methods and objectives. SMS campaigns can be integrated into most of them for optimum results. For example, research indicates that real time marketing is the most effective form of marketing which focuses on up-to-date events such as social trends and news. This is done to trigger the emotions of consumer and portraying a product or service in a way which suits their needs in that very time. For example, a desert bar can offer discounts via bulk SMS to their customers on their menu using the hot weather to trigger their interest. Chicago cabbie recently sent out an SMS campaign informing customers about free WIFI now available.
4. Reliability and Greater Reach
SMS Campaigns allow marketers to reach a large number of people at the same time with unlimited room to grow. SMS is an instant communication tool applied to marketing because it gets your message right into the hands of their segmented audience. Messages are delivered in minutes and chances of spam are next to none. Due to a competitive variety of mass texting providers and technological advancements every day, SMS campaigns are only getting better with time.
5. Limited personal information required
Majority of people do not like to give out their personal information which is understandable for security reasons. SMS marketing enables customers to provide as little or as much information as they please. This enables customer confidence and builds a positive relationship with businesses. Marketers often need only basic credentials such as name, contact number and city of residence for their information.
SMS campaigns can make you a fortune if executed properly so its time you give them a go. You only need a little investment to being with and steadily grow.