There are so many benefits to businesses using SMS marketing messages. One of the biggest factors is undoubtedly how cheap it is to use when compared to the alternative avenues of marketing. It has overtaken almost every other form of marketing communication currently available, and with an SMS open rate of 97%, you can see why. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s instant, direct, and unrestricted by spam filters.
Why is Business SMS more popular now than ever?
People do everything on their smartphones now, so businesses that are not tapping into them as a resource are at a serious disadvantage. Apart from our close friends and family, we no longer enjoy talking to other people more than is strictly necessary. It’s sad, but it’s true that we no longer have the patience or the time. We also have all the information we are ever likely to need about anything in the palm of our hands. With this in mind, by using SMS marketing messages businesses can pre-empt their recipient’s needs and interact with them via their favourite channel. In return, your subscribers really appreciate the ability to do business with you without a hard sell, a lengthy conversation, or another email clogging up their inbox. By fitting in with the people you wish to communicate with, they are far more likely to engage with you.
But there are many alternatives, so why is SMS sticking around?
There are many alternatives to SMS marketing messages such as email marketing platforms (there are so many of those around). Thanks to covid, video calls are now a common addition to business communications so employees, students, parents, and even consumers, depending on what you are selling, can get information in this way and still from the comfort of their own homes. Lots of organisations are using live web chat to engage with browsers and help to encourage them to act. App notifications are popular and often pop up on our phones daily. So why are text marketing messages still more preferable? Let’s take a closer look:
- Marketing emails – We already know that a large proportion of marketing emails go unopened and many are filtered or blocked by the provider.
- Video Calls – Not everyone is a fan and according to BBC WorkLife, they can really zap our energy. The bugbears include; awkward silences, uncomfortable body language, internet lagging, and everybody trying to talk at once. So, they are not an easy option for many and are likely to be unappreciated.
- Live web chat – A very useful tool, but has its drawbacks. Ironically many live web chats are disabled after working hours, which is the time when lots of people have finished work and are browsing for leisure. Being followed around a website by a live web chat icon or a waving bitmoji beckoning you in for a chat can be intimidating when we just want to browse, in the same way as being in a small shop with a needy assistant constantly bugging you.
- App notifications – These are perhaps the closest match for SMS marketing messages except for two key things that can determine their success or failure. Firstly, when downloading a new app, you automatically get to choose to accept or decline push notifications for the app, making it really easy to say “No”. Secondly, when app notifications appear on our phones, we can swipe them away and never see them again. They don’t then sit in an inbox of any kind and can be easily forgotten. A text message always requires some sort of action, even if that is to delete it.
What’s in it for businesses?
- Best ROI you will see – The traditional marketing methods are costly, not only from a spending point of view but also the time they can take to produce. SMS Marketing does not require a huge and dramatic input from a marketing team as there are no real graphics and a 160-character limit. It’s quick and easy and by using our powerful API gateway, you will be able to send them straight from your PC. There are no printing, postage, or delivery costs. Business telecommunications can come with a large price tag, but because SMS marketing messages are so cheap, businesses can make cutbacks on phone bills. Two-way SMS marketing communication can cut down the need for physical staff too. Highly efficient two-way SMS marketing messages and links to online forms could dramatically reduce the need for call centres.
- Reach the masses – SMS marketing messages can be sent to anyone with a smartphone, anywhere in the world, and to any network. You don’t even need to rely on a Wi-Fi connection. Bulk SMS can increase the number of people you can reach for such a small cost.
- Being at the heart of the action – Smartphones is where it’s all happening. Very few people are sitting around reading emails now. In fact, emails are four times less likely to be read than SMS marketing messages. This is because they are often lengthy, they can be filtered into spam or blocked by mail providers, and can be deleted without even being read. Paper mail is restricted to home delivery and is rarely delivered first thing. Most of us have left the house before the mail arrives and are in no mood to sift through it when we come home, so anything that remotely looks like marketing is likely to be heading straight for the recycling bin without even being read. Most cannot access even TV adverts and social media during a working day and pop-ups are blocked. SMS messages are delivered directly to the recipient, so they can engage immediately, without taking up too much of their time. Even when they are away from their phones, the use of smartwatches means that they can still receive and read SMS messages quickly.
- Subscribers want to hear from you – When you keep your database up-to-date, you can tailor SMS marketing messages to your chosen audience. Each target group can be segmented to focus on their particular interests. What’s more, is that they can choose to opt-out of communicating with you, which saves the embarrassment of marketing harassment. Also, you won’t be wasting time and money on people who aren’t interested.
- Texting builds trust – You can build a relationship with your subscribers with SMS marketing messages. Particularly if you are taking care to send them the things they really want. 64% of consumers said that they like to receive offers via text and that companies should contact them more often. Once you have a healthy connection with your engagers you can send them offers, news, and alerts. Personalising your SMS marketing messages can further help you to connect and engage with your audience. Most of the texts they exchange are with friends and family and are often personal. By including details such as the recipient’s name and specific times and dates, you can connect with your target audience on a deeper level.
When businesses get SMS marketing wrong
Even though SMS for business is a top marketing tool and is boosting ROI for companies all over the globe, some businesses are not using it properly, or to its full potential and they may tell you that it doesn’t work for them.
At Text Anywhere, our website is crammed full of top tips to help you to maximise the benefits of SMS Marketing, whatever industry you are in and we would like to start by letting you into a few secrets about how businesses can get it wrong:
- Bad Spelling and grammar – Check through texts carefully to ensure they are proofread properly. Imagine the embarrassment of a spelling mistake or worse still, you make an offer that you can’t deliver on. Mistakes like this threaten the integrity of the company and give your engagers the impression that they may not be in safe hands.
- Over sending – Some companies fire out text after text about their promotions with no clear direction or intended target. Separate your audience according to their marketing profile. What you send them needs to be relevant. Send out your most important promotions first. Plaguing your subscribers with endless offers is the quickest way to lose them.
- Poor timing – The best SMS marketing messages are those that are received when we are not too busy to read them. Work out the optimum time for your target audience to get their attention.
- No way out – Some companies don’t add an Opt-out action, which can leave subscribers feeling trapped and break down trust.
- Beating around the bush – Get straight to the point with your communications, clear and concise wins the day. Put your most important point out there and don’t overcrowd it with unnecessary waffle.
In the future, there are bound to be some advancements on SMS marketing messages and perhaps SMS innovation to improve on what is already available. It works so well that we can’t see it going anywhere for a long time to come and at Text Anywhere, we will endeavour to keep on top of all the changes that benefit you. As a progressive company, we are constantly striving to be the best and sit at the top of what we do. However, for now, SMS marketing messages really are the best that marketing has to offer and is still unrivalled.