SMS has been around since the 1980s, but it is only recently that people have started to take notice of its marketing power. It’s not just a way to send short messages to customers and prospects anymore – SMS marketing is now being used by businesses as a way to engage with their audiences and increase sales.
Defining SMS marketing
The term SMS is an acronym for “Short Message Service”, and it stands for the ability to send short messages from one mobile device to another. In SMS marketing terms, these short messages contain promotional content, and the recipients are potential customers.
How does SMS Marketing work?
Promotions via text work in much of the same way as email marketing. You grow a list of subscribers to whom you promote products or services through short messages. You could opt for long code messaging or short code messaging to get your communication across, but each comes with its benefits and drawbacks.
Long code messaging involves using a standard phone number with around 10 digits for person-to-person texting between your business and a customer, where you can directly reply to their texts personally. Unfortunately, it does not allow bulk texting, and it can be burdensome having to send texts one by one to a long list of customers.
Shortcode messaging involves hiring out a short set of about five numbers that potential customers can text to opt into. It allows bulk texting but does not give you the chance to reply directly to a single customer with the personal touch that long code messaging encourages.
Texting to whichever code you choose opts a potential customer into your list. From here you can then target them with frequent marketing campaigns through texts communicating updates or promoting offers, new products, or discounts.
Understanding the scope of SMS Marketing potential.
Close to 46% of the global population consists of smartphone owners according to market and consumer data publisher Statista. That’s about 3.6 billion possible clients just waiting for a well-prepared SMS marketing campaign. What’s more, the marketing news and statistics website Mobile Marketing Watch is just one of many that report a 98% open rate on SMS. That’s a near-complete guarantee that any SMS you send to promote your brand, products, or services will likely be seen by your potential customers! It is most likely in the best interests of your business to invest in SMS marketing for the amazing growth potential that it brings!
How do you even begin to build an SMS subscriber list?
SMS has been facing a decline as the main mode of text-based communication over the years. As the internet became even more widespread, more people have turned to social media as their main form of contact. Emails are internet-based, and building a mailing list from them is just a matter of persuasive content redirecting to a sign-up form. So how do you build an SMS marketing mailing list?
- Use your website to encourage SMS opt-ins
In the same way that you can encourage people to sign up to your email subscriber list, you can design a form that encourages sign-ups for SMS marketing. Promote the service to every website visitor and the sign-ups will depend on how persuasive your advertisement for it is. It would be ideal for people who would like to hear about new promotions, sales, or updates from your business.
- Recruit at your business location
If your business has a physical location such as a store or restaurant, you can encourage people to sign up to enjoy specific offers on their purchases. Pin up a board or put out flyers with the code that they can text to unlock these special offers. You can even print out the invitation with each receipt produced at the point of sale.
- Get your current customers to sign others up
You can also get your existing subscribers to help build your SMS mailing list. Merchant discount network Access notes in its 2018 customer engagement and loyalty statistics report that 60% of existing customers will tell their family and friends about a brand that they’re loyal to. Make an offer of gifts or discounts to them when they encourage people to sign up, and the referrals will likely increase significantly. You wouldn’t promote a product or service that you don’t trust, and neither would your subscribers. So let the quality of your brand speak for itself.
If you’re looking for another way to increase sales for your business, SMS marketing may be the answer. Remember to first build your SMS mailing list and then prepare an effective marketing campaign for it. How do you prepare a winning campaign for your growing SMS list? We can help answer those questions and more by partnering with you on the next step of this journey!