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Marketing is rapidly evolving, and that includes marketing strategies, channels, and technology. There are now artificial intelligence-driven campaigns, automation software, virtual reality experiences, and other advancements that are now mainstream. In this new landscape, can SMS marketing really thrive?
Just because SMS marketing platforms are more “basic” and “old-fashioned” does not mean they couldn’t be an effective tool for your marketing efforts anymore. Sometimes the most basic tech can give you the best results, granted that you use it wisely.
Even in this age of social media and email marketing, SMS remains one of the best marketing channels. If you can collect phone numbers and SMS contacts, you can make the most out of text message marketing.
Keep in mind that even the most advanced marketing campaigns still use smartphones. Today we are going to discuss the benefits of SMS messages, and all the reasons you should be sending them.
Unfortunately, if you don’t use SMS marketing properly, it could backfire and cause you some problems. So we’re going to talk about how to avoid that as well. Let’s take a closer look.
What is SMS Marketing?
Before we go into the benefits of SMS marketing, we need to talk about what it is first. SMS stands for short messaging service. With an SMS marketing campaign, you can talk to your customers directly through their mobile devices. As long as you have their phone number, you can contact your SMS subscribers through text. But keep in mind that cold SMS is not allowed, so you have to get permission from your customers before sending text messages to them, especially marketing messages.
In an SMS marketing campaign, there are two types of texts that you can send: promotional SMS messages and transactional SMS messages.
Promotional messages allow you to put a spotlight on your latest products, services, promos, events, sales, etc. You can use this to build hype around your brand and generate some interest, which will inevitably lead to more sales.
Transactional messages, on the other hand, don’t promote anything. However, they keep customers informed about their recent purchases. It includes shipping updates, delivery updates, order confirmation texts, cart abandonment alerts, and other important notifications.
Done properly, SMS will increase brand loyalty and customer satisfaction. Text message marketing is a very powerful tool for marketers and entrepreneurs. Include it in your multichannel digital marketing efforts and you can enjoy all of its benefits.
Now you may be wondering: does it really work? Even with its 160-character limit, SMS is actually more effective than your traditional email marketing campaign. If you have email subscribers, you are going to want to get even more SMS subscribers.
Does SMS Marketing Really Work?
SMS has plenty of benefits. The lightning-fast delivery time alone should be enough to convince you to try this out. As soon as you hit send on a text message, it is delivered instantly to your SMS contacts. This is perfect for delivering time-sensitive messages like flash sales or event promos.
Phone users always have their phones with them, either in their pocket, in their hand, or somewhere close by. It is the first thing people check when they wake up. And before they can see their notifications for social media, or their emails, they will see snippets of the text messages they received overnight. You can reach anyone instantly.
It’s even more effective than phone calls since your customers don’t even have to pick up the phone to receive your message. Most people don’t like talking to strangers on the phone unless it’s absolutely necessary anyway. So despite being a direct line to your customers, it’s still not as personal as a phone call.
Another advantage of SMS marketing is that 90% of all texts are read within the first 3 minutes. Compared to email messages, texts get a much higher open rate. People don’t always check their emails.
Consumers already receive so many notifications and alerts from social media. The tendency is to just ignore them. The same goes for emails. They let them pile up unless the message is absolutely urgent. With SMS, they get notified right away, so they are far less likely to be ignored.
The thing about SMS marketing is that people have to sign up for it voluntarily by giving marketers explicit written consent along with their phone numbers. These people are interested in what you have to offer, so they want to receive updates from you. If they receive a text from a brand that they care about, those messages will not be ignored, unlike other marketing channel messages they might receive.
In 2018, SMS messages had an open rate of 98%. Traditional email marketing campaigns only had an open rate of about 20%. This is significant for marketers because customers aren’t checking your messages at all, you are basically wasting your time and resources.
SMS also has a higher response rate. These messages are not just opened more frequently, they also get more responses. The response rate is around 45% and the average response time is around 3 minutes. Unless you’re starting a conversation with customers, you don’t even need a huge response rate, you just want them to see your text. But it’s good to know that if you want to start a conversation with customers, SMS can deliver on that too.
You can use SMS marketing software to keep track of this data and see if your text messages are being well-received. If not, you can optimize your messages and send them again.
Finally, you want to use SMS marketing for conversions. 70% of customers say that texts are a good way for businesses to get their attention. It goes without saying that if you communicate with customers the way they want you to, your business will grow faster. You’ll get better responses, get more conversations going, and convert more customers.
The Benefits of SMS Marketing Campaigns
So we’ve covered the response rates and open rates of SMS marketing. If you want even more reasons to get an SMS marketing program and start offering SMS customer service, we’ve got you covered.
For starters, SMS is still the most used messaging platform today. It’s no surprise since people don’t have to install an app or download anything to get access to SMS services. It’s just built into their phones. You can even reach older demographics who may not be so keen on trying social media. Even younger audiences have not let go of SMS as a form of communication.
Additionally, SMS messages do not go directly into a spam folder as soon as people receive them. You can be confident that your text message will reach its intended audience.
But the biggest benefit of SMS marketing is the ability to build relationships with your most loyal customers. You need to cherish these customers who sign up for your SMS list because these are the people who are showing interest in your products and services. They want to stay ahead of your latest offerings and promos. You can incentivize them by providing exclusive deals to people who are on your SMS list.
SMS is such a personal marketing tool because it reaches customers directly. This means you have to use it responsibly, but it also means you get to establish strong connections with your customers.
It just so happens that SMS is also one of the cheapest ways to reach your customers, compared to other marketing channels.
Since some marketers think that SMS marketing is “dead”, you can capitalize on the fact that not everyone is taking advantage of this channel. Don’t miss out on this powerful marketing tool.
Before You Start Your Text Message Marketing Campaign
Although SMS marketing can be very effective, you need to use it responsibly, or else you can get in trouble with the law. This is because SMS is such a direct line to your customers. There are text marketing laws that protect consumers from spam and from unsolicited text messages.
Customers might get freaked out when they receive a direct message from someone they don’t know, especially if it’s from a brand. Most people want to avoid scams, so they are not likely to respond well to unwanted messages. This is one good way to annoy prospective customers and turn them against your brand. You might even get fined for violating these laws.
If you want to run an SMS messaging campaign, you need to get written permission from your customers before you send them a single text. They have to opt into your SMS services. You don’t want to violate any text marketing laws and regulations by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
You can set up a sign-up page on your website or landing pages so that website visitors can give you their phone numbers and permission to send them promos, sales, updates, etc. Like we said earlier, incentivizing them with exclusive promos and discounts should make this easier.
You might be surprised how easily you are able to get phone numbers legitimately from customers. With incentives and enough interest in your products and services, people won’t hesitate to sign up for your SMS list. In 2021, 62% of consumers have opted into texts from at least one business, according to SimpleTexting. In fact, 43% of consumers subscribed to up to three brands at once.
Once you have their phone number, it doesn’t mean you can start spamming them with texts. Remember, they can opt-out just as quickly as they opt-in. As a marketer, it is your responsibility to give them that option.
But there are many ways to avoid opt-outs while using SMS marketing. First, you need to keep your messages short, direct, and straightforward. You can just stick to the 160-character limit of SMS. Even with just 160 characters, you can get your message across. You can even squeeze your call to action in there. Also, make sure they know who is contacting them. Chances are, they won’t have your number saved in their phone even if they did sign up for your texts.
Texts are most impactful when they are used sparingly. Text customers too often and they will unsubscribe very quickly. Either that or they just start ignoring your texts the same way they ignore billboards and other branded messages.
If you text only once per week or only as necessary, your messages will leave a bigger impression. It demonstrates urgency, which is something you want if you are going for more sales.
You also want to send relevant content to your customers. Pay attention to what they buy and send them offers for products they actually care about. This increases your chances of converting them and catching their attention. It also shows your loyal customers that you care about them.
When using SMS marketing, remember that your texts should always bring value to your customers. It’s not enough to draw their attention. The direct nature of texts is enough to grab their attention. All you need to do is make your message worth their while.
Look for SMS marketing tools that will help you achieve your business goals. You don’t need to spam your customers to get results from this marketing channel. Find a tool that allows you to integrate your SMS marketing with your broader digital marketing strategy.
You want something that lets you schedule your messages so you can set up the perfect messaging strategy. This way, you can let the software handle the actual sending of the messages. Advanced SMS tools even let you analyze data from incoming text messages and see how successful your campaign is in real-time.
More than Sending SMS Messages: Use Kennected to Generate More Leads
SMS marketing gives your company the ability to reach leads, prospects, and customers through their mobile devices. But if you want to take this to the next level, use Kennected while you leverage SMS marketing. This LinkedIn automation tool simplifies your lead generation.
With Kennected, you can unlock the power of automated lead generation. This revolutionary marketing software taps into LinkedIn’s database of professionals, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and decision-makers to bring you the best leads for your business. Choose your target audience with ease and find your exact target customers.
Kennected lets you personalize your messages so that your leads are more likely to respond. This also increases your conversion rate significantly. If you want to find a way to stand out in your prospect’s inbox, personalizing your messages is essential. And just like any SMS marketing platform, Kennected does that for you automatically. It is the best tool to complement your existing SMS marketing strategy. This is why many clients have stayed on board for a long time.
Kennected’s Smart Inbox is integrated with your LinkedIn so you can manage all of your prospects’ communication. Imagine being able to send personalized messages to everyone in your defined area or town that has a LinkedIn account. You can craft an offer that is exclusive to LinkedIn. Whether the lead buys something off of your first message or just chooses to connect with you—you win. Once they connect with you on LinkedIn, you have access to their email, phone numbers, and other information that are publicly available.
Kennected can help you build up your SMS list as well as an email list for your email marketing campaigns. It’s about being everywhere your ideal potential customers are. Kennected can help you grow your business.
More than 17,000 clients trust Kennected to help grow their businesses. You can be one of them. Book a demo with Kennected today to learn more.