SMS Marketing (Still) Works - Here’s How To Do It

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SMS Marketing (Still) Works - Here’s How To Do It

Often laced with a link to an offer, SMS marketing hinges on the widely available SMS communication channel to communicate with customers. After over two decade

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This article takes you through the reasons why SMS marketing still works, along with the best route for you to start using it… correctly. Assuming you already have experience with the SMS platform, we’ll start with a few of its advantages as we plot a map of the rest of the read.

Advantages of using the SMS channel

Here’s a short list of the benefits you can expect from simply using SMS (aka text messages) for marketing:

  • High open rate that’s easy to monitor
  • High response rate
  • Simple to implement

Let’s revisit these as we further expose why SMS marketing still works.

Easy to monitor and high open rates

Fact: SMSs have a ridiculously high open rate, (98%!) Compared with email, (20%) it’s a mystery why we expect new emails before text messages in the morning.

Regardless of the channel you choose, keeping track of your campaigns is a prevalent theme. You need to strategically measure the effectiveness of your efforts. Luckily, SMS happens to be an effective tool for gauging the effectiveness of marketing campaigns (beyond itself.)

When running an SMS marketing campaign, or any text message based effort around a product, the response options are mostly binary. You either follow the link to a product, or you simply close the message. All this can be counted against the total number of recipients without too many assumptions.

SMS high response rate and time explained

The high response rate you’ll typically get with the SMS channel builds on top of the impressive open rates. The fact that a phone is always within reach is also a factor in both the open and response rates.

Consider these facts:

  • The SMS channel commands a response rate of 45%, while email fails to get 10%.
  • SMS communication gets responses in as little as 90 seconds. Expect to wait an hour or more for an email to get some response.

Once you pick up the phone and discover a personalized message waiting for response, chances are you’ll type something back. Let alone, some SMS campaigns don't even need you to write back. A simple click and you've participated.

To get better response rates with each campaign,

You can personalize with data with these parameters:

  • Demographic sectioning and custom customer profiles
  • Feedback and data from surveys
  • Customer purchase history
  • Wishlists and incomplete purchases

Permutations of these variables make up a lot of experimental space for your campaigns. Their names already known, leveraging on what they bought previously and how much they generally spend can be enough data mining to suggest their next buy.

With this suggestion out in the open, let’s explore a few more ways you can apply the SMS channel.

Several ways you can use SMS

What follows is a few campaign ideas you could execute using the SMS channel.

1. SMS feedback surveys

SMS is a perfect way to query your customer case for feedback on any part of your business. For one the open rate alone gives you enough coverage for a sample size that removes bias from any results.

Even when you have a complex survey set up, the warm introduction you make with a text message helps. Then you can drop the link for your loyal customers to provide some constructive criticism.

2. Confirmation messages

With the “order culture” on the rise, SMS confirmation messages are more popular than ever. One thing we fail to capitalize on is how incredibly easy they are to run. To start with, they go out when a customer has bought something - the best time to upsell. Then you have the almost 100% chance that the order might happen again if you deliver in time. A good shot at asking for referrals, or just checking their customer loyalty with a Net Promoter Score survey.

3. Two-way messaging

Of course, two-way messaging is also an option. This lets agents handle multiple customer queries at once while still getting into a good level of detail. It’s more expensive than automated messaging, but far cheaper than taking a call.

4. Customer self-service portal

Customers often call when they are sure that reaching out is the only way to communicate with your business. Surveys have proven that customers actually enjoy solving problems by themselves, and you could activate this using SMS self-service portals.

Does your custom need to change

Reduce call volumes

Increase customer confidence in your business

Getting started with SMS Marketing

  1. Consider the reasons you’re going the SMS routeInvest in Automation
  2. Invest in Automation
  3. Test & Implement

Your reasons for using SMS

Start by laying out the reasons you’re going the SMS route clearly for everyone to understand. This way you get their full attention and input when the project gets underway. While SMS marketing entails selling something through the platform, you could achieve the same effect internally without directly selling a product.

The consistent contact, and improved customer service have a good impact on customer retention. Studies have shown that retention efforts are cheaper than sales budgets targeting new customers. Include as many application areas to help you on this cause.

Invest in automation

You’re going to need some level of automation before you enjoy the benefits of the SMS platform the way we’ve discussed above. The easiest way to achieve this is through no-code automation platforms. This saves you a lot of time and money, all the while enhancing your contact center to function at new productivity levels.

When automated, most SMSs that go out in your campaigns will originate from triggers. Such triggers include the addition of a new product or service in your catalogue - which could trigger an SMS to shoot towards customers most likely to purchase and enjoy said product.