SMS marketing is not new, but it feels novel. Email marketing has overshadowed most communication marketing methods since email’s inception, but companies are getting craftier and savvier by taking advantage of text messages.
It feels informal — and that is one of its many advantages. It surprises marketers every day because of its effectiveness and relevance in advertising. So, what are the realities behind SMS marketing tactics that would cause a jaw to drop?
3 Surprising SMS Marketing Facts
Texts Perform Better Than Emails.
It is easy to get disheartened by email marketing metrics. Read times and conversions are abysmal to the point where email benchmarks show the highest day for open rates is Mondays, with only a 22 percent chance of success. That is not including other email analytics, like bounce rates and clickthroughs for internal links.
Catchy subject lines and emojis are not capturing peoples’ attention enough. So, why are businesses funneling thousands of dollars into emails people do not read?
It is because that is the way marketers have always done it. Everyone has an email nowadays and ignoring it as an advertising gateway means missing a key audience in any strategy. The numbers do not do a great job of showing that, but it cannot be the only solution. Now, enterprises of every size are looking to SMS marketing to bump metrics up in a way that makes management and stakeholders smile.
Most customers do not mind receiving text messages from their favorite brands. They prefer the ease of access to receiving coupons and asking customer service questions. When they are at a register, they can quickly pull out their phone to find a record instead of rummaging through a bag or worrying they left their clipped coupon at home.
Customers are far more likely to open a text, whereas emails sometimes accumulate to the thousands left unread. Here are some ways to increase SMS marketing metrics even more:
- Use short links to boost the likelihood of converting a lead.
- Write urgent calls to action.
- Take advantage of impulse decision-making by sending well-timed texts.
- Focus on bulk SMS to reconvert repeat customers instead of cold texting.
- Send a mix of promotions, news and event messages to diversify communication.
SMS Marketing Equals Competitive Advantage.
Most companies are not using SMS marketing because they put all their marketing eggs into email and social media advertising. If your business adopts SMS marketing, you will be ahead of the curve with a competitive advantage to boot.
You will be an industry role model and hit customers’ text message inboxes without being inundated by competitors in your market. The open rates will be astounding and conversions are likely.
Other advertising outlets are adequate, but there is more ground to cover with text messages that give companies competitive advantages. The first is multimedia. It is easy for photos and videos to get muddled in social channel feeds when they do not autoplay and they are surrounded by other content. In a text message, the message is isolated from all the noise, allowing customers to shift 100 percent of their focus on your brand — albeit briefly.
You could use them for a competitive advantage to seal the deal for more reviews and word-of-mouth advertising. Customers are more likely to click a short link on their phone to complete a 60-second survey than follow a QR code or a link at the bottom of a receipt. It means more people will see positive feedback about your business, starting positive discourse around your brand.
Another advantage is customer empathy and honing in on your target audience. Market research is expensive and time-consuming to outsource. Sending text messages to opted-in customers is an easy, automated way to collect data about your target audience that could level up your policies and operations. Sharing these insights with team members across the business — not just marketing members — can increase wellness in every business aspect.
It Sets the Stage for Mobile Development.
With customers already being more likely to fill out surveys on their phones, it hints at why SMS marketing is so important — it is forcing advertisers and developers to optimize for mobile in more ways than marketing. Companies and individuals are more tied to their phones than ever, rendering desktop efforts less impactful. Resources have to be reallocated to mobile and fast.
Organizations have made websites on PCs for decades, crafting beautiful layouts for large monitors. Now, most people are surfing the web on their phone or tablet. SMS marketing demands a mindset shift for businesses to focus on translating assets for mobile compatibility. It will start a revolution for staff to expand their mobile UX and UI design skill sets while learning mobile apps and tools to increase efficiency and customer connection.
Setting the stage for mobile conversion also forces companies to engage in more informal yet constant customer conversations. Over 88 percent of buyers want text conversations with brands because it is a more accessible, low-stakes way to engage and get problems solved. It ignores long queue lines for online chats and wait times for email responses. Text messaging feels instantaneous.
Leverage SMS Marketing to Reach Customers
SMS marketing might not sound like a novel way to reach your audience, but it is one of the most effective strategies for staying in touch and learning more about them. Enterprises must try to connect more to their customers because identity resolution makes a more resilient storefront.
Jaded customers do not want to feel brands are buying their attention through advertising. With more conversational methods like SMS marketing, businesses can invest in a solution customers feel more comfortable participating in.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a prominent digital marketing agency prior to becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pup, Bear.