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SMS Marketing 101 – Beginners Guide

SMS (short message services) marketing has gained popularity as a cost-effective way for organizations of various types to communicate in real time. You most likely are used to getting emails from various companies promoting a sale or their products. Or scrolling though social media and seeing various types of advertisements. Now, companies send text messages as another avenue to reach their desired audiences.

As a result, SMS marketing may be something your organization should consider adding as a component of your marketing/communications plan.

What is SMS Marketing?

SMS Marketing (or text message marketing) is the act of sending promotional material or communications using text messaging most likely using a mobile device or phone. SMS marketing should be used to communicate offers, news, confirming appointments/services and other important information. Draw the customer in with your text and make it catchy. Make sure it is an important enough message to go to your customer's phone and be sure you have permission to send text messages to your customers similar to email marketing.

Benefits of SMS Marketing

  1. SMS is designed for mobile commerce: mobile friendly marketing is important, because people do so many different things on their phone, including online shopping. Sending a message right to the customer with a link to the shop and information on the promotion is a great way to get customers to shop.

  2. Make the customer feels important: sending a personalized message directly to the customer's phone makes the customer feel like they matter to the company and let them know what is going on.

  3. High Open rates and conversion rates: compared to email or phone calls, text messages have the highest opening rates. SMS marketing rates have an open rate of 98% compared to the 22% average open rate for email marketing. This is the most effective way to get your customers to read what you have to say. Companies also experience better conversion rates compared to email and phone marketing. Companies are getting more customers to visit the website or participate in promotions with SMS marketing.

  4. Affordable Cost: SMS marketing can be fairly cost effective compared to other marketing avenues, such as advertising campaigns, outdoor billboards, print ads, etc.

  5. Fast Delivery: There is virtually no wait time when it comes to sending SMS marketing. Once you set up your campaign, hit send and your campaign is running! It is easy to get set up, there is not a lot of content that goes along with it. Now your customers are reading it in an instant.

Uses of SMS Communications for Business Communications:

  • Customer service: through SMS, businesses can chat back and forth with customers. Communicating via SMS is faster than email and gives a more personal touch.

  • Order and delivery confirmations: e-commerce businesses can send order confirmations and updates on deliveries. It eliminates the need for customers to track their orders personally and gives a sense of security that their order has been received along with its delivery progress.

  • Appointment reminders: business can text customers reminders of upcoming appointments, and even have them confirm their appointment. This helps reduce the number of no-shows and keeps service providers calendars as full as possible.

  • Internal messages: businesses can use SMS marketing within their business as well to communicate. If the office is closed due to an emergency or if a meeting must be rescheduled, they can instantly let employees know. Text messages are more immediate and visible than email.

  • Promotional: businesses use SMS marketing for promotional blasts. Businesses can immediately let customers know of sales, promotions, special offers, or updates on their business through SMS.

SMS marketing is not just for commerce businesses. Non-profit organizations can utilize SMS marketing to reach supporters, solicit charitable donations and offer thanks for support. Non-profits can also use SMS to send personalized text messages to increase level of interaction with their vital supporters. Non-profits can communicate with supporters, volunteers, staff and beneficiaries through SMS.

How to use SMS Marketing

  • Find the right SMS marketing system. Make sure they can meet your needs and goals. Over time you will grow your list so make sure to find the right partner that can handle the growing list. Request a demo of a tools functionality and talk to them to ensure it will be a good fit.

  • Grow your subscriber list. You need permission to contact a subscriber through SMS. You can launch various campaigns to grow your list. Add a pop-up to your website so people can sign up, add sign up form in website footer, include form in checkout, share via email, or post on social media. To entice people to sign up, provide a special offer (such as a discount on next or first purchase) to entice sign ups.

  • Launch first campaign: Now that you have a platform and are growing a list of subscribers, it's time to launch your first campaign. Find what works best for your business and what language to use throughout. Experiment with a small section of your list and different messages to see what gets best response.

  • Analyze the data: After each campaign review the analytics of the campaigns to see what is working. You can see how many people are coming to the website and making purchases through SMS. This will help you improve your campaigns and make each one better than the previous.

Is SMS Marketing a smart addition for your Marketing Strategy?

Today, SMS marketing can work for selling products and services as well as for non-profit organizations. It can become an important and effective part of how you reach and communicate with your customers or members.

If you have any questions related to implementing SMS Marketing, contact us today!


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