The mobile phone has become an integral part of our daily lives, with users checking their devices an average of 85 times per day! This makes SMS and text message marketing a viable option for businesses who want to effectively communicate with customers. What’s even more exciting about this method of advertising is that it’s extremely cost-efficient. Even smaller businesses will be able to access their own piece of the “mobile marketing” pie.  

According to popular web and marketing influencer, Neil Patel, SMS marketing works because, unlike an email campaign, most individuals do still read their text messages. In fact, he makes mention of Shift’s survey which concludes that 4 out of 5 (82%) Smartphone owners read every SMS sent to their mobile device. 

Back to Basics: What Is SMS Marketing? 

Before we delve into how to use SMS for a marketing campaign, let’s go back to the basics and touch on what SMS marketing is.  

Keeping our explanation brief, SMS or text message marketing is a marketing technique that allows businesses to communicate with consumers via their mobile phones. These messages are generally short, to-the-point, and often include links to further reading or a call of action. 

The Advantages of SMS for Marketing 

We wouldn’t be sharing this marketing strategy with you if we weren’t 100% sure that it’s going to be to your advantage.  

The benefits of text message campaigns: 

#1 It Has the Best Engagement Rate of Any Marketing Medium 

Emails can sit in your inbox for days before they’re read and most individuals don’t take calls when the number is unfamiliar. A text message, on the other hand, is typically read the minute it’s sent.  

Did you know that the average email marketing message only has a 20% opening rate?  

If you compare the scores, SMS marketing becomes a no-brainer. 

#2 You’ll Have Access to Invaluable Insights 

With the right SMS software at your disposal, you’ll be able to manage your campaign while collecting insights that can become invaluable to your business. 

You can use this data to study your customers and improve your marketing efforts with each course of action. Even just the delivery notifications can come in handy! 

#3 The Method of Communication is Short and Concise While Promoting Interactivity 

The mobile marketing statistics that we have shared indicate that audiences appreciate the prompt “to-the-point” approach of SMSes. But apart from being conveniently simple and easy to absorb, text messages also work well at inducing activity.  

For example, a message such as the following encourages customers to respond by clicking on the provided link: 

“Ready to save big? Get 50% off ALL shoes by shopping online today! Click for the best footwear deals!” 

#4 Delivery Is Immediate – As Soon As You Hit Sit Send, Your Message Is Out! 

A text message marketing campaign can reach thousands of individuals instantly, with 90% of SMSes being read in the first 3 minutes. There’s no need to put hours into the delivery of your strategy. Once you hit the “send” button, you have your audiences’ attention.  

Are There Any Disadvantages? 

A text message marketing campaign shouldn’t be associated with any disadvantages if it’s carried out correctly. With this in mind, we encourage all marketers to ensure that SMS adverts, updates, and reminders are: 

  • Short and concise. 
  • Compliant with privacy and data protection rules. 
  • Not spammy (make sure you have the recipients’ permission to send them marketing material using SMSes).  

How to Create Your First SMS Marketing Campaign? 

To create an SMS marketing campaign, you will need to use an SMS marketing tool. This type of software has been specifically developed to assist businesses and marketers to reach their audiences successfully.  

STEP 1 is to build a database of people to send to. It’s always best to send to an audience who knows who you are and who have willingly subscribed to your campaign.  

STEP 2 is to create your message. The text should be minimal yet concise enough so that readers absorb your message even if they speed read. An effective campaign typically also always includes a call to action.  

STEP 3 is to select your recipients and allocate a time for sending. What may be interesting to note at this point is that most mobile carriers do not permit marketing tests to be sent between 8 and 10pm.  

STEP 4 is to revise your content and make sure that all links are working. The best SMS software should allow you to administer a test campaign before making your communications official.  

STEP 5 is to HIT THE SEND BUTTON and anxiously wait for your customers to engage with your mobile marketing strategy. *Remember to collect and view insights so that your campaigns improve!  

Clever Ways to Use SMS Marketing 

With our extensive experience in marketing automation, we can emphasise that the following ways to use SMS marketing truly do work:  

  • Make your recipients feel like VIPs. Send your SMS audiences information and opportunities that are exclusive to them. This will help to generate new subscribers and it will encourage current audiences to stick around and keep an eye out for MORE.  
  • Advertise promotions and hold giveaways and competitions. Your customers decided to opt in to receive your text messages in the hopes of receiving something exciting in return. Fulfil their needs by creating a hype and connect them to your best promotions and giveaways.  
  • Text message coupons are always a hit! Everyone  loves a good saving, so why not entice audiences by SMSing offers that can’t be refused? Research shows that mobile coupons are 10 times more likely to be redeemed than coupons sent by email.  
  • Appointment reminders are ingenious! If your business runs by appointment, then send appointment reminders via SMS. This way, your clients are more likely to pitch, which means your “sale” has a better chance of being completed.  
  • Polls and surveys. Polls and surveys are an excellent way to gather feedback from your customers. Remember, feedback is what will drive your business to the next level.  
  • Announce new products. Has new stock arrived? Take a few pictures and give your SMS subscribers the first peek at your new inventory.  
  • Be personal. An SMS recipient is more likely to engage with a message that uses their name. For example: “Hi John, receive 25% off your next order at Perfect Pizzeria”.  
  • Say thank you. A quick SMS campaign to thank your customers for their support can go a long way. It will make them feel appreciated and they’ll be more inclined to repeat business with you.  

How Can I Send Bulk SMSes? 

Bulk text messages can be sent using the right type of automated software. While some mobile phones do provide this feature, the number of recipients you can send to at once is limited. When selecting an SMS marketing tool, remember to review the maximum number of text messages you’ll be able to send in one go.  

How to Automate Your SMS Process? 

Another reason why a mobile message service is favourably used for digital marketing is that it gives users the ability to automate their mobile messages and/responses. This takes a weight of work off of a marketer’s shoulders whilst still encouraging customer engagement.  

While the steps may differ depending on the marketing channel you’re using, the concept will remain the same throughout all text marketing software platforms. You: 

  • Create your SMS campaign 
  • Click on your preferred audience list 
  • Schedule a time for sending 

What about automated responses? 

Essentially, you will create time sensitive responses that are automatically sent to the cell phone of a recipient who replied to your SMS. These auto reply messages are typically generic in nature and can be compiled to 1.) answer a question 2.) direct a recipient to more information 3.) confirm that details/information has been received 4.) motivate a customer to further engage with you.  

Is SMS Marketing Legal? 

This type of messaging service is legal if an individual has willingly given you permission to communicate with them using their mobile number.  

A legal SMS message must also clearly indicate: 

  • Who you are 
  • That you are selling something 
  • An option to opt out if the recipient no longer wishes to receive correspondence from your business 

Who Can Benefit from Mobile Advertising?  

Whether you are a one-man-band, a small business or a massive corporation, this type of quick and direct marketing will work for you. From directing readers to your website to streamlining your customer service, there’s going to be something in it for you! 

According to The Next Web, the following industries generate a large return on investment by applying this type of marketing:  

  • Social networks such as LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook 
  • Travel and transportation companies 
  • Financial services 
  • Gaming industries 
  • Retail stores and ecommerce sites