Having a business is good but having a business that adapts to this new age of digital information where retaining customers seems more difficult than attracting them, is to be taken with the uttermost importance.
With so many businesses fighting to emerge out of an ocean of millions of others, strategic marketing has become essentials so as to enhance communication between customers and businesses; And SMS is becoming an increasingly essential part of effective multi-channel marketing.
SMS Marketing plays an important role in becoming a successful business and is way simpler than many popular believes.
What is SMS marketing?
SMS Marketing is sending promotional campaigns or transactional messages for marketing purposes using text messages (SMS). These messages are mostly meant to communicate time-sensitive offers, updates, and alerts to people who have consented to receive these messages from your business.
What are the rules and best practices for SMS marketing?
Make sure your contacts have opted in to SMS
Text messaging is a very effective and direct line of communication to the customer. But there are many rules that you should consider when planning your SMS marketing strategy. The first, and most important of these is receiving permission from your contacts to send them SMS messages.
SMS has an extremely high open rate, but this won’t help you if you’re sending messages to people who don’t want them. Not to mention opt-in is required in most countries.
Be mindful of the timing of your messages.
Unlike email, which is only checked a few times daily (at most), people open text messages almost immediately. This is great for urgent messages, but you don’t want to abuse this power by disturbing contacts at odd hours in the day.
Would you want to run out and use a coupon that just woke you up at 2 AM on a Wednesday night? Didn’t think so.
Include your company’s name in your messages.
When sending bulk SMS messages, most providers send them through a short code, which means your contacts won’t know it is coming from you. That is why you have to let your contacts know who is sending the message in the first place.
You don’t want to send a promotional coupon to customers and not have them know where to go, right?
Use SMS to complement the rest of your digital marketing strategy
The beauty of digital marketing is that there are so many channels that you can use to interact with your customers. All of these channels tie together to create a marketing communication system that enables businesses to build relationships with customers and leads at great scale.
SMS and email marketing are two channels that are very complementary. You can create campaigns through both channels, using email for including more detailed information and SMS to communicate more time-sensitive or urgent information.
Why is SMS marketing effective?
SMS is one of the most useful marketing channels at your disposal for several reasons:
Ubiquity of Smartphones: With 81% of adults in Africa owning a smartphone in 2019, SMS is an excellent way to these reach customers directly. By including a link in this text, you can drive engagement with your business online.
Closes the Email Marketing Loop: Although email and SMS marketing have many similarities in their strategy implementation, they work best in tandem. As mentioned earlier, you can use SMS to send instant notifications, while email contains more long-form content.
High Engagement Rates: SMS engagement rates are astronomical compared to email, with 90% of SMS messages read within 3 minutes of receiving them. This makes SMS very helpful in delivering critical information with a high success rate.
Great for Emerging Markets: If your business is trying to operate in countries where data is expensive and wi-fi is less common, SMS is a much better channel to communicate information.
How does SMS marketing work?
SMS marketing messages are sent from “short codes,” as opposed to full telephone numbers. These short codes are typically 5-6 digits, and can be associated with one sender, or shared across multiple senders.
Many countries do not allow sender information to be altered. This means your message will appear as a text message from whatever short code your provider used (not from your business). That is why it’s important to include your company’s name in the message.
There are two message types you can send with SMS marketing:
- Campaigns: Campaign messages are the classic “one-to-many” bulk text messages. They are typically used to communicate promotions (coupons, sales, etc.), or general information (event details, updates, weather alerts, etc.).
- Transactional: Transactional messages are “one-to-one” messages that are triggered by a certain event or behavior. An example of this would be an order confirmation or shipping notification for an e-commerce purchase. These messages communicate relevant and timely information to an individual.
SMS MARKETING - What is it used for?