You know those text messages you get on your smartphone? This is SMS marketing, one of the most exciting ways to broadcast your message to a global audience. If you’re a startup, solo entrepreneur, or small business owner, you’re already an expert in using limited resources to achieve the most extraordinary things. SMS marketing can be a powerful tool to maximize your brand reach without investing a lot of money.
What is SMS Marketing?
Short Message Service (SMS) is a 160 or less character text message with no graphics. SMS marketing takes advantage of a device used by approximately 4.7 billion people worldwide—mobile phones. Using text messages to stay in touch with your customer base can vastly improve your outreach. Email marketing, for instance, depends on opens. But text messages are seen as soon as the user opens their phone. The ability to text is nothing new, but SMS marketing has become one of the hottest techniques used by brands today.
What’s the Difference Between SMS and MMS?
Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) is similar to SMS, except that you can also send media, such as photos, videos, GIFs, audio clips, etc. The amount of characters is generally unlimited; however, this varies depending on the phone carrier. Adding an engaging graphic to your text message could result in more opens, but MMS is more expensive. Furthermore, not every mobile device can receive MMS messages. Many people have not enabled this option in their mobile phone plans.
SMS may be more limited in terms of characters and content, but it’s more affordable. It doesn’t have the limitations that come with an MMS marketing campaign. Five billion people in the world can receive and send text messages. (TextMagic)
Why You Should Use SMS Marketing to Maximize Your Brand Reach
When you have limited resources, you want to be sure they’re well spent. SMS marketing is an affordable and relatively easy way to stay in touch with your consumer base, build brand loyalty, and increase sales or services.
If you’re an author or public speaker, using text messages to let your audience know about upcoming events is a highly effective way to build your following. You can use SMS marketing to increase your followers on social media channels.
The contactless shopping environment has grown considerably during the pandemic, fueling an upsurge in SMS technology’s effectiveness. This is unlikely to change soon.
There are many reasons why you should use SMS marketing to maximize your brand reach. But let’s take a look at the statistics.
- 6% of the total global population is connected via mobile phone, 5.22 billion worldwide.
- Social media channels make up more than 44% of the total time spent on mobile phones (App Annie)
- The average global mobile phone user spends 3 hours 24 minutes every day on their internet, more time than they spend watching television (GWI)
- Mobile phones make up 53% of the time that the world spends online. (Hootsuite)
- According to GWI data, 9 of 10 internet users access online services via their smartphones.
- In 2020, 23 billion texts were sent every day. (SMSeagle)
- The average American checks their phone 47 times a day. (Journal of Accountancy)
- SMS messages have a 98% open rate. (The Daily Egg)
When launching any marketing campaign, you first want to understand your target audience and then reach them where they are. Your customers are on their mobile phones. SMS reaches them where they are.
How to Use SMS Marketing to Maximize Your Brand Reach
There are unlimited ways to use SMS marketing to maximize your brand reach, bordered only by your imagination. Here are some examples:
- short promos
- transactional details
- reminders to read the latest email newsletter
- inform about upcoming webinars
- direct customers to new offers on your website
- announce a book launch
- create social events around national or international holidays
- launch a challenge or contest
- send birthday greetings
- thank you messages or quick follow-ups to check in after a transaction or appointment
- send an alert about a recent news item, such as “did you see …” in an area that is relevant to your brand’s product or services
SMS marketing is an excellent way to build relationships with your customer base. Your marketing campaign should be personal, not merely a platform for short advertisements. Build a community with your consumers. Think about how friends might text each other. Use language that resonates with the receiver.
Don’t Forget Your CTA
Your SMS marketing campaign is about getting your audience to do something. For instance, if you launch a contest, make it easy for your consumers to take action, with specific instructions on what to do. Provide a link to a social media channel, for instance. If it’s an upcoming sale, your CTA might be something like, “follow this link today to find out the latest on our sale rack.” Include a link to your e-commerce site. If you’re offering discounted consulting or other services, add “book now” with a link to your website to make an appointment.
The goal is to make the CTA clear, identifiable, and easy to do.
SMS Marketing is Working for Brands
SMS marketing has caught on with innovators, but brands not yet on board keep a close eye on this marketing technique. It’s a highly affordable way to reach your audience with proven success. Janna Land, the co-founder of FarmFoods, Inc, said that SMS marketing gave her “the ability to break through in a very noisy and competitive environment.” She said that they began texting customers who weren’t opening their emails. On a budget of only $60, they secured $4,000 of sales in under 24 hours.
TULA Skincare began an aggressive SMS marketing campaign at the beginning of 2020. Zack Abbell, VP digital, says they saw dramatic growth immediately after launch. He says they see the strategy as both a sales and customer relationship channel, driving engagement to increase sales and brand loyalty.
SMS marketing campaigns work best when they begin on your social media channels. Chipotle, for instance, launches competitions on all of its social media channels. Followers find the code on social media and then text it to enter the contest. You now have a fantastic way to collect all your followers across Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, increasing engagement and brand loyalty. You can secure a solid foothold in a larger audience.
Social media channel popularity is fluid. From year to year, one platform rises, and another one falls. Online users switch their social media preferences, but they never give up their mobile phones.
Be Sure to Follow the SMS Marketing Protocols
Spam is damaging to your brand reputation and illegal in most jurisdictions. Create targeted marketing content and integrate SMS marketing service providers. Be sure to follow the rules in the location wherever you are marketing and ask your customers to opt-in to receive messages from you. Failing to secure opt-in permission from your customers can lead to being barred from using the telephone carrier.
The online world has become increasingly crowded with many brands, both personal and corporate, vying for space and to be heard. To be successful today, you need an omnichannel approach. SMS marketing can play a pivotal role in helping you reach your goals. As with all things, you need to be consistent and have patience. Know your audience, and don’t be afraid to experiment. If you haven’t already jumped on board, you might want to start.