Text message marketing for small businesses is a very convenient approach, in terms of being effective but also because it’s cost-effective and doesn’t really dent the pocket. If used in the right manner, text message marketing can help small businesses acquire new customers and keep current ones happy. You can reach all your business goals, such as maximizing profits, increasing revenues, and satisfying the expectations of your customers.
How does SMS marketing work
The first step to making SMS marketing work is to build up a database of your customer’s mobile numbers after gaining their permission. This is done by persuading customers to somehow opt into an automated system by texting a shortcode, you should always be list building for sales. Once the shortcode is texted, the SMS marketing software stores the user’s mobile number. As a result, a database of subscribers is built, which is used to send promotional messages regarding a business.
SMS marketing is done primarily to achieve two goals – increasing the number of customers through higher conversion rates and retaining the current customer base. Even research backs the fact that SMS marketing is an ideal way of notifying people instead of using push notification application, i.e., emails.
Why text instead of sending an email
In today’s world, people always have their phones on them and are almost always on the go. Although, today’s smartphones have enabled users to send emails through their devices, communicating through emails doesn’t match the convenience of communicating through text messages.
This ease of communicating through SMS, combined with the unlimited marketing objectives text message marketing can achieve, makes this approach one of the best ones in terms of cost-effectiveness and efficiency.
Let’s have a look at the different ways through which SMS marketing can help your small businesses grow and exceed expectations:
Text messages allow you to provide the best customer service
You’ll be able to tend to your customer’s queries, concerns, and questions via two-way text messages. This will enable your customer service team to reduce their response time and exceed the expectations of your customers.
Texts reach customers anywhere, anytime
Through text message marketing, you can reach each customer without worrying about the compatibility of the device they own. Whether they own flip phones, an android device, or an iOS one, text messages reach every device in the same way. No apps must be downloaded, and no formalities must be undergone. Also, users don’t need to have an internet connection to receive a text message. These features allow SMS marketing to transcend all barriers of physical location and internet availability and make it extremely easy to reach customers.
For example, if a restaurant is open for two more hours before they close, they can send out a bulk SMS message to their list promoting a menu deal that is available for the next 2 hours to bring in more traffic to the restaurant. Similarly, a text can be used by schools to alert parents of an early school closing due to bad weather. We all check our emails, but in today’s world, most people keep their phone in their hand all the time. Text message marketing for small businesses is a clear winner, when you want to reach people faster.
Text messages make it easier to gather feedback without frustrating customers
Attaching long feedback forms with formal emails makes the customers think that they’ll have to take out time, sit somewhere in peace, and then fill the feedback form. Eventually, the customer forgets about it, and your efforts to gather feedback go in vain. The preferred situation would be to get the customer to fill out a feedback question right there and then – as soon as they receive it. This is precisely where text messages enter the game! Instead of complicating the feedback process, send a poll through text messages. This will make the process of generating authentic results much faster and easier. Plus, the number of results generated will also increase. You can then use these feedback answers to serve your customers in a better way.
SMS enable businesses to practice targeted marketing
Instead of bombarding customers with emails they don’t care about, you can use text messages to provide customers with the information they consider necessary. You can divide your customers into segments (based on custom data) and then design a text message marketing campaign relevant to the interest of customers in each segment. For example, if a business needs to notify the customers living close by regarding an event, it can send messages to the segment/list of customers living in the close range instead of disturbing all the customers with information that is irrelevant to them.
Automated text messages can save you from a lot of pesky work
You can automate text message campaigns by writing them in advance and scheduling them to be sent at a specific time. This will not only give a turbo boost to your engagement from customers and revenues but also save you from a lot of pesky work.
You can take SMS a step further and up your game by sending MMS
Well, you must be thinking text messages lack one thing, and that is visuals. You don’t have to worry, though! MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) this will let you send photos, GIFs, and even videos along with your text messages to make your campaign more attractive and engaging for the receiving audience.
SMS vs. email marketing
SMS marketing prevents your marketing campaigns from being buried down at the bottom of an inbox or fail to grab the attention of the target audience by being lost in the noise online. This is particularly important in cases where it is critical for customers to read your message – for example, when you have to send important promotions, alerts, and discounts related to your business. In such cases, SMS marketing outperforms email marketing, since they reach the customers wherever they are and no matter what kind of device they own. One such example is the apparel industry – if a clothing company has a 30% off sale coming up, it’ll be a much smarter move to aware the customers about the sale through text message instead of sending an email. This is because there’s a chance that the email might get lost somewhere in the inbox, the customer might end up not reading it (no matter how interested he/she is in the sale), and eventually you’ll have a smaller number of customers showing up at the sale. As a result, your profits will decline. A solid email marketing strategy in most cases is a good thing, but there are some situations were sms marketing has a clear edge.
SMS open rates vs. open email rates
All of us have been targets of email marketing campaigns ourselves. There’s no doubt regarding the fact that emails get ignored, and notifications for them are turned off, especially when there are too many of them. On the other hand, text messages are always read by people. There are some compelling stats as well, which back these facts. Have a look at them:
It’s been said the average open rate for SMS is 98%, while the average open rate for emails is 20%.
The average response rate for text messages is 45%. This shows that people don’t usually just open text messages. They read them, engage with them, and even reply to them. It’s like putting your warm marketing strategies on steroids.
The average click-through rate for text messages is 17%, while that for emails is less than 3%. This shows that businesses can trigger more traffic and conversion through text messages instead of emails.
This is precisely the reason why top businesses use text message marketing to reach their customers.
SMS marketing for retail
Text message marketing for small businesses make sense. Retail companies can put SMS marketing to good use by utilizing this approach as a tool to boost their sales, build awareness regarding their brand, and retain the loyalty of current customers. Since SMS marketing guarantees that the text sent will be read, retail companies can send customers their special offers such as coupons, discount codes, information about sales, etc. For example, a retail company can drive in more customers on a slow day by sending the whole list a message about a special offer/discount for that particular day.
Retail businesses can also use SMS marketing to keep the customers updated about a new range of products that just landed in your store or about the products that were previously out of stock, but since the inventory is replenished now, they’re back in stock.
They can also use the SMS platform for marketing their eCommerce website by sending a message with a link to the new product range on their website. Moreover, once the customer places an order on the retail website, retail businesses can shoot them a personalized text message consisting of the customer’s name, information regarding the confirmation of their order, and its estimated delivery date.
Text message marketing or SMS marketing is a cost-effective way for businesses to send promotional messages to their target audience. This is not merely an assumption – research agrees with this fact and endorses it through some compelling stats. Contrary to emails, text messages don’t get lost in the noise online and a guaranteed to be read and replied to.