What is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing happens when a business sends a marketing message or marketing collateral to a potential or existing customer via text message. SMS stands for “short message service” and is simply another way of saying text message. This form of opt-in messaging requires consent, usually via contacts subscribing to receive these communications. This is different from social marketing where the marketer publishes public content, often called posting, that a customer can choose to follow, like, share, or interact with.
SMS marketing is widely considered the most powerful form of customer communication today. Why? Because 95% of SMS marketing communications are opened and/or replied to within the first 3 minutes of delivery. In recent polls by SMS Comparison, it was proven that 90% of people prefer to receive SMS advertisements over direct calls or email.
In fact, SMS isn’t only for reaching prospective customers. 90% of customers state they gained value from SMS loyalty programs. SMS is the preferred form of contact for your customers and if you want to delight them, you should do so on their terms. Think about how SMS has transformed the way you communicate with your friends, colleagues, family, and even your competitors.
Remember how email marketing revolutionized industries at large roughly ten years ago? Well here we are again. Things evolve and change. The newest cutting edge is SMS. And what’s better, You don’t have to worry about accidentally being thrown into a spam folder. People check their email frequently, but check their text messages religiously. The average customer will have an audible or physical (vibrate) alert for each message that comes in. The average customer may have thousands of unread emails in their inbox, but will have their text messages totally up to the minute.
SMS marketing isn’t just blocks of text. Digital marketers can personalize their SMS messages with rich media such as pictures, videos, GIFs, links, emojis, and memes. Again, think of how you people communicate on a day-to-day basis. You can mimic this communication and be much more authentic than your competitors. Well timed, personal messages have statistically beat out email marketing.
There are various kinds of SMS marketing communications that a business can explore. Personalized promotions are extremely popular, successful, and a great way to start. Personalization can be as simple as addressing the contact by name, referencing an interest they have shown, or mentioning a location that they are near.
Aside from being an inbound marketing generator, SMS marketing can also be used to communicate special offers or discounts like flash deals. SMS can also be used as a remarketing asset. SMS delivers useful, candid, and immediate feedback via surveys and follow ups. SMS can ensure your clients arrive on time for their appointment or ask them how it went when it’s over. Asking clients to leave a review with a link to Google (GMB), Yelp, Youtube, etc. is a great way to build a ton of reviews when your customer is happiest (right after the purchase).
Spreading awareness is key to the growth of any business. By texting, businesses make their content easily shareable with a much higher probability of information sharing. For example, texting an existing customer a promo code is a great place to start. If they’ve already purchased that product, or are not in the market for a new product, they often know someone who might. It is in human nature to associate ourselves with people of similar taste and interests. Now the customer who received the text can simply copy, paste, and send that promo to a new customer. And there you go, free and viral marketing growth without the use of expensive campaigns.
Customer service is being revolutionized by SMS. Things like order confirmations, delivery updates, dispatch notifications and tracking information are all crucial to the buyer’s journey. These frequent updates need to be relayed to the customer as quickly as possible. Moreover, customers that do not receive prompt updates and notifications on the status of their order make up a massive portion of 1 and 2 star reviews. Customer retention is directly related to customer experience. By delighting your customers with instant communication on their terms you ensure your business is addressing it’s audience on their terms.
SMS isn’t only used promotionally. Many teams use SMS for internal communications. With the meteoric rise of remote workers and the introduction of Gen Z to the workforce, communicating with your employees on their terms is just as important as communicating with your customers. Think of the franchisee who employs groves of younger workers at multiple locations. What’s the fastest and most efficient way to communicate a schedule change to their employees? SMS. How about a last minute reminder about a meeting? SMS. Want to poll peoples opinions and responses directly and discreetly after that meeting? SMS.
So why isn’t every company using SMS? Simply put, they’re intimidated. The market is flooded with SMS marketing tools and add-ons that provide everything except value. The truth is, SMS marketing is incredibly easy, especially when the only tools are the features you need. That’s where Helios has focused all of our energy. SMS marketing, when powered by automation, can do all of the heavy lifting for you. User flows, or multiple automations, will communicate with your users with all of your awesome pre-written content. Templates will allow you to store, reuse, and optimize your content. All it takes is uploading your contacts, writing a template, and connecting it to an automation. Then sit back and watch SMS work for your business.
Questions? Want to learn more, like SMS best practices? – Feel free to reach out to the author email@example.com. We’re constantly at work researching and writing about all of the best text message marketing tips, tricks, and facts. Be sure to stay tuned for other articles explaining the power of SMS marketing and how to harness it. Click to learn more about the best SMS marketing platform on the market.