Absolutely Everything You Need to Know About SMS Marketing

As a marketer, what would you give to have a marketing channel that had a 98 percent open rate? Better yet, one that was read within three minutes of receipt over 90 percent of the time? And what if you could combine that channel with location-based campaigns to deliver valuable offers to leads and customers right at the point they’re most likely to make a purchase with you? Sound too good to be true?

Actually, you do have that channel right at your fingertips with SMS marketing, and for many businesses, it’s a major component of their mobile marketing strategy. If you’re wondering if SMS marketing is right for you, or how to get started if it is, this post is for you.

Who Should Use SMS Marketing?

There’s no hard and fast rule about which businesses and industries are best suited for SMS marketing, but SMS marketing is definitely better suited for certain marketing objectives than others.

Fundraising/Raising Awareness. Nonprofits do really well with SMS marketing, both with text to donate campaigns and getting people engaged in a cause to take action, such as sign a petition. Think Haiti Earthquake Relief fund, for example.

Customer Service. A whole lot of statistics support the use of SMS for customer service, such as:

⬥ Texting got the highest customer satisfaction rates for method of contact with service centers (90%).

⬥ Over half of all consumers would prefer SMS over all other methods of communication with a support center.

⬥ More consumers say they prefer to get order status alerts, and appointment and reservation confirmations via text than other methods.

⬥ 64 percent of consumers have a more favorable opinion of a company that offers SMS text as a customer service channel.

Reminders. This is an obvious use for SMS; think car dealerships texting owners when it’s time for routine maintenance, for example, or health care providers reminding patients of upcoming appointments to reduce no-shows. Businesses can take this one step further, in fact: Imagine having an opt-in list you can immediately contact in the case of a last-minute cancellation.

Customer Loyalty and Engagement. Texting is a great way to communicate with your loyal customers because they’ve already shown an interest in your business. Keep in mind that SMS is not the way to market your loyalty program; you’ve got to get the word out using other channels. But once they opt in, you can use SMS for exclusive offers or VIP content for your members.

New Customer Sales/Conversions. Here’s where an SMS campaign mixed with a location-based social campaign can be an extremely effective driver of new sales. Ask prospects to “check in” at your business using FourSquare or Yelp! to get a coupon or special offer sent to their phone they can use on this visit.

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