Twenty years ago, SMS technology was in its infancy. People still made phone calls. The horror! But now, with the vast majority of Americans owning cell phones, SMS (text messaging) is the most popular form of communication. If your business isn’t using SMS marketing to communicate with potential customers, you may be missing out. We’ll show you why.
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS (Short Message Service) marketing is a digital marketing strategy that businesses use to contact customers. Also known as text message marketing, SMS marketing lets business owners leverage the popularity of cell phones to help them reach a wider audience. If you’ve bought anything online in the last few years, you may have received a text from the company that your product has shipped, or that another product you may like is on sale. That’s SMS marketing.
5 Benefits of Using SMS to Market Your Business
Here are 5 reasons why text message marketing is one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach customers:
The cost to advertise online, on TV, over the radio, or in the local paper can often be hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Most small businesses don’t have an unlimited budget to focus on advertising. Text messaging, especially with a business phone service that offers unlimited free text messages, is an affordable way to get in touch with a current or potential customer.
2. High Open Rates
SMS messages have much higher open rates than any other form of marketing communication. Open rates are defined as the percentage of people who open and read a text message out of the total number of recipients. For example, if you send an SMS to 100 prospective customers, and 80 open the text, your open rate is 80%. SMS open rates are superior to all other forms of communication. According to recent studies, email open rates are just under 35%, while the open rate for text messages is 98%. This means that a text message marketing campaign will be seen by almost three times as many people, which can lead to more customers buying what your business is selling.
3. Easy to Communicate
Most of us have our phones on us at all times. Text messages are a direct and personal communication channel. Instant communication is especially important if your business is having a limited-time offer, early access to a product launch, or needs to send a reminder or update on a customer’s order. SMS marketing doesn’t always have to be about making a sale. For example, a local plumber looking to bid on a project can use text messages to schedule meetings with potential clients. In fact, research shows that 78% of consumers wish they could communicate with businesses through text.
4. Builds Customer Loyalty
When a customer has a question or a concern, a quick reply from your business will show them that you value their time. A fast response can convert a question into a sale. Quick text responses can also improve your professional image by showing that your business is efficient, attentive, and dedicated to meeting customer needs.
5. Easy to Opt-In or Out
Customers get to choose whether they want to opt-in or out of receiving text messages from your business. Because of this, your SMS Marketing campaign won’t annoy a potential customer. By allowing customers to opt-in, you focus your marketing efforts on people who are interested in your products or services. This can lead to higher engagement rates and a more receptive customer base. It also keeps you from wasting your time or damaging your brand by spamming customers who aren’t interested in your business.
Do I Need to Hire a Company for SMS Marketing?
You can, but it’s not necessary. While there are SMS marketing platforms that can help with larger text campaigns, you can do simple and effective SMS marketing on your own pretty easily. For example, an Etsy store owner may use text messages to let a customer know their product is in the mail, or that return customers get 20% off their next purchase. A baker can text customers a photo of their holiday pies and cakes, along with pricing and order information.
The popularity and success of SMS Marketing shouldn’t mean you dismiss other methods of customer engagement. A good looking and informative business website coupled with a robust email campaign can also help your business thrive. However, the simple text message can be a powerful tool that your businesses can use to help it reach the customer directly.
For just $9/month you can send all the texts you want, with Northwest’s Business Phone Service.