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Marketing is always changing and the changes in 2020 have been profound, mostly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve all had to adjust our work and home lives as a result.
With more consumers working from home and budgetary concerns at the forefront for most people, you might be thinking that mobile marketing isn’t as important as it used to be. After all, people aren’t spending as much time out and a lot of the advantages of mobile marketing don’t apply in the same way.
But guess what? I’m here to tell you that mobile marketing is more important than it ever has been – and you need to make room for SMS marketing in your budget right now. Here’s why.
SMS Marketing Statistics
You might not be convinced that SMS marketing is worthwhile, so let’s look at some statistics to give you an idea of just how popular, effective, and expected it is for companies to reach out to their customers via text.
- 75% of all consumers say they are comfortable receiving SMS messages from companies (with permission, of course).
- 75% of consumers also say that they like to receive special offers via text.
- 67% of consumers would rather text to schedule or confirm appointments than do it via the telephone.
- Text messages have a 98% open rate (compared to about 20% for emails.)
- 83% of millennials open SMS messages within 90 seconds of getting them.
- SMS messages have an average click-through rate of 36% compared to only 2% for emails.
- 50% of consumers make a purchase after receiving a text message with a coupon or discount code.
These numbers speak for themselves. Text messages are popular and effective. They also happen to be an affordable way to connect directly with your customers wherever they are.
How to Get Customers to Opt in for SMS Messages
While SMS messages are popular, you still need to get your customers’ permission to send promotional information via text message. There are two easy ways to do that.
- Send a text to the people whose mobile numbers you have and ask them to opt in. You can easily set up a text with a Y for Yes, N for No response. People who respond with a Yes can be added to a regular SMS list.
- If you haven’t already done so, start requesting mobile numbers from new leads and customers. You can then set up an automated SMS asking them to opt in for promotional offers.
Once customers have opted in, you can connect with them wherever they are.
How Expensive is SMS Marketing?
One of the biggest benefits of SMS marketing is that it is very affordable when you consider the high open and click through rates. The ROI on SMS marketing is extremely high when compared to email and other forms of marketing.
Business News Daily did an evaluation of the top SMS messaging services. SimpleTexting was their top pick. Their least expensive plan costs $25 per month and allows businesses to send 500 SMS messages. That comes out to a cost of $.05 per text.
By asking customers to opt in for text messaging, you can be certain that you are only paying to send text messages to people who want them. Given the high ROI of SMS marketing, it’s likely that you will recoup the money you spend quickly.
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Tips for Using SMS Marketing
Now, let’s talk about some creative ways you can incorporate SMS messages into your marketing mix.
- Put your call to action up front. While most text messages are only 160 characters or so, only the first 30 or 40 characters will appear in the preview screen on a subscriber’s phone. Since that preview may be the first impression they have of your message, it’s a good idea to put your call to action at the top of your message. A customer who sees “Redeem your 50% coupon” in a preview window is more likely to open your message than one who sees “Hi, it’s Joe from Company Name.”
- Send coupons and discount codes. As I noted above, 75% of consumers want to receive special deals via text. You’ll increase your sales and built brand loyalty by giving people what they want. You can offer a straight discount, run a buy one, get one promotion, or advertise special sale prices in a text message.
- Use triggers to send texts. A lot of companies use text messages based on triggers. For example, you can send a text message to notify a customer that an online order has shipped, that they’ve abandoned an item in their shopping cart, or that you have released a new product. These are all triggers that you can use to justify connecting with your customers via text.
- Personalize your texts. The more data you collect from your customers, the better able you will be to personalize the texts you send them. I’ve talked a lot about segmenting your email list, but I’d argue that segmentation is a must for text messaging. It’s a great way to make your customers feel seen and appreciated.
- Learn about your customers. Sending a short survey in an SMS message is an affordable way to conduct audience research that you can then use to improve your marketing. Just make sure that the survey works on mobile!
- Identify your influencers. How do you know which customers will recommend you to their friends and family? You ask them! Sending your subscribers a text message with a survey or even a simple yes or no question can help you identify potential influencers and brand ambassadors. When a customer tells you that they would recommend your company, you can follow up and offer a discount code if they’ll mention you on social media.
What I hope you can see is that SMS marketing is here to stay – and even with people staying close to home, it’s a good investment for your business.