SMS marketing is making promotional and transactional communication for marketing purposes using text messages. These messages are mostly meant to communicate time-sensitive offers, alerts, and updates to people who have acceded to receive these messages from your business.
In the modern business world, SMS marketing is a perfect way to stay in touch with your customers despite the advent of various messaging and social media apps. If this sounds too eccentric- don't worry. This article covers all the terms to give you a better idea of how this SMS marketing automation can reinforce your digital marketing strategy.
How SMS Marketing Impacts as a Form Of Permission-Based Marketing?
"Permission-based marketing is like dating, you don't start by asking for the sale at the very first impression. You earn the trust over time, bit-by-bit"- Permission-based marketing is a privilege, not a right.
It is an approach to marketing where you send SMS and provide services when a prospect has explicitly given consent to receive information. It is customer-centric, which means the customer is an active participant in generating the marketing message and not simply a passive recipient.
Source: Channel Futures
Why SMS Marketing In 2021?
- Omnipresence Of Mobile Phones - With almost more than half of the population owning mobile phones, SMS is a sure-shot way to reach customers directly. You also include a link in the text where the user can take action post landing. Thus, you can drive engagement for your online business.
- Effective For Emerging Markets - If you are trying to operate a business in countries where data is expensive and Wi-Fi is less common, SMS can be a much better channel to communicate information.
- Greater Engagement Rates - 90% of the messages read within 3 minutes of receiving them. This makes SMS very powerful and helpful in delivering critical information with a high success rate.
- Closes The Email Marketing Loop - SMS and Email marketing have many similarities in their strategy implementation. They work best in tandem. You can use SMS to send notifications instantly, while email contains long-form information.
How Does SMS Marketing Work?
SMS Marketing is a technique that uses permission-based text messaging to spread promotional messages. To receive text messages for special offers, new product updates, or product availability information, customers are usually required to opt-in to an automated system by texting an initial shortcode. And when that 5-digit code is sent, the user's mobile phone number is then stored by the SMS marketing software that is issuing the texts. A confirmation response is usually sent as a receipt for opting in, with an opt-out code included for potential future unsubscribing.
There are two forms of messages you can send with SMS marketing - First is Campaigns; these messages are classic "one-to-many" bulk text messages. They are used to communicate promotions (sales) or just general information (weather alerts, event details). The other type is Transactional; these messages are "one-to-one" messages that are triggered by a certain event. The best-suited example is an order confirming or shipping notifications for online purchase. These transactional messages communicate relevant and timely information to an individual.
What Is SMS Marketing Used for?
Source: Business 2 Community
SMS can be used in many ways. We are adding the most common uses to give a better idea of what you can do with SMS and how it may help you to enhance your business:
1. Increase Overall Engagement And Customer Retention
Sending SMS is an excellent way to drive more people to your store or website. If you are going to conduct a limited-time sale, you obviously want as many people who hear about it as possible. SMS is an amazing way to communicate these offers, especially if you want to let customers know what they are on the go.
This way, you can be sure that they don't miss out because they didn't get the message in time. Similarly, you can get higher visibility as compared to any other platform.
2. Provides Immediate Communication
A lot of cases require you to communicate urgent information with high accuracy and best-possible open rates. This becomes even more important in the case of transactional messages, and text-based communication is the most dependable way to do so.
3. Urgent Appointment Reminders
If your business runs on scheduled appointment times, then you might be aware that it gets really frustrating if your clients forget appointments times and show up late. It gets worse when clients fail to show up at all. Not only does this throw off your schedule, but it also wastes your time. Sending reminder text messages is the best way of making sure that people don't forget their appointments and show up at the correct time.
Types Of Automated SMS Marketing Campaigns
Automated SMS campaigns enable you to interact with your customers via text in a predetermined, calibrated manner. SMS campaigns are initiated from your side. You have to create a campaign, pick an audience of recipients, and schedule to send it to the list of individuals you have selected. SMS campaigns are of various types; some are mentioned in detail:
1. Promotional Deals
Here, a time-bound, discounted, or value-added offer is communicated to recipients over text. These texts help create a sense of urgency among your customers. The ultimate aim is to drive traffic to your website on targeted pages.
2. Birthday Wish Automation
This birthday automation program is the best way to establish personal relations with your customers and earn goodwill. No doubts, you can also include personalized birthday offers, but a simple wish is equally great.
3. Business Bulletins
Send business updates through texts to ensure customers, partners, and staff keep them informed of developments or changes that are taking place in your business.
4. Flash Sales
If you are planning to run a flash sale, SMS marketing automation can be a powerful way to drive traffic and alert your customers. It helps hype them up while also ensuring high visibility of such events.
5. Pre-Sale Marketing
Pre-sales marketing focuses on making customers take impulsive buys when receiving the main marketing material.
6. Coupon Codes
These SMS coupon codes are among the best ways to boost traffic for in-store or online purchases. They are also used for welcome offers as a person usually provides us with their contact details in exchange for freebies or discounts.
Benefits Of SMS Marketing
Let's dive into our five best reasons you should start using SMS messaging for your business.
- Improves Communication
Communication is the key to building any long-term relationship. SMS marketing can be used for a prime benefit when building relationships with your customers. Be it a simple thank you a message, the secret sale, when the delivery is ready, the possibilities with SMS are endless. SMS marketing is a fast, easy and reliable way to communicate with all of your audience.
SMS marketing is an inexpensive method of communication as compared to traditional marketing. It will help your business to both tighten and enlighten your budgeting belts. As a result, a lot of companies, private and public, cut costs every day by sending text messages instead of sending emails.
- Straight To The Point
Your message must be short, relevant, and concise, as only 160 characters are allowed when sending an SMS. Getting straight to the point is really important; telling your audience exactly what you want them to know and making it an eBay read will greatly benefit both the customer and your business.
- Time Management
As we know, "Time Is Money," and SMS marketing saves a lot of time, allowing you to concentrate on other areas of your sector. It is a simple and easy process, with which scheduling component of SMS you can simply organize your SMS marketing campaigns for a later date. This comes as a huge benefit as it allows you to manage your time efficiently and effectively.
Cell phones don't generally come with a spam filter, let alone a spam box. Mostly as cell phones, SMS messages are generally safer than email, which can deliver all kinds of messages. At worst, you might get your phone number blocked by the mobile network operator, but then that can be down to your message and your customers. You just need to avoid spammy phrases and cliche structure to continue sending SMS in a reliable manner.
SMS Marketing Automation Best Practices
There are some common characteristics that form the backbone of all successful SMS marketing automation campaigns.
- Obtain Consent
Proper digital marketing etiquette dictates that you should only send text messages to someone who has given you consent to do so. It's a subset of permission-based marketing, and this is critical to make text marketing campaigns successful. To entice your audience to receive text messages containing special offers or other valuable information, you can request the opt-in via an online form or ask them to text a particular keyword to a mobile number or shortcode.
- Provide Your Audience With A Clear Way To Opt-Out
Even if all your text messages are top-notch, there's no guarantee that everyone will always feel the same. To keep your audience happy with your brand, you must let your customers know that they can adjust the frequency or even unsubscribe whenever they want to. The user just has to text "STOP" to unsubscribe or any phrase that you have selected to opt-out.
- Blend Personalization Into Your Strategy
SMS marketing is different because it has the ease of mass marketing with the benefit of providing the feel of one-on-one communication. Successful SMS marketing campaigns capitalize on this. They just utilize features like custom fields and segments to send more attractive, smarter, and more relevant texts to their valued subscribers.
You can also use SMS integration to connect your existing software with your text marketing efforts, which will improve your text campaigns. This will allow you to send everything from abandoned cart text messages to SMS shipping updates.
- Watch The Frequency Of Your Texts
You should avoid texting more than your subscribers expect from you. Being over-texted as an audience is pretty daunting, and it does more harm than good. This will probably shatter all your expectations and leave you frustrated. The best practice is to send texts as appropriate and appreciated by recipients; your business might send multiple texts weekly or daily.
- Respond In Real-Time & Have A Conversation
By sending text messages, you are probably making a personal connection with your customers, giving them the opportunity to respond and provide you with their valuable feedback on your products. To keep them more engaged, you should use an autoresponder to instantly and automatically send personalized, follow-up text messages.
Remember SMS marketing is the best way to increase customer engagement, revenue for your business and promote loyalty but automating it can get tricky. As people are attached to their mobile phones more than ever, and SMS marketing needs to affect their user behavior and be in line with your brand persona as well. It is also recommended to implement 360-degree integration for best results. But for best results from SMS marketing, you need expert assistance and that’s where Winback makes a difference.
Winback makes SMS marketing easy for its customers and offers a variety of cost-effective plans. Hence, signing up for one of Winback’s plans won’t burn a hole in your pocket. In fact, you will receive up to 35X ROI on every dollar you spent on Winback.
Also, you can reduce your online store’s cart abandonment rates up to 34% with Winback. Go ahead and drop them a message through the live chat option on Winback’s website or send them an email to discuss how Winback can do wonders for your online store with SMS marketing. We hope this mini-guide adds to your knowledge on leveraging SMS marketing in 2021 and beyond.