Why SMS Should Be Part Of Your Marketing Strategy

Did you know that 19.4 million Australian’s have a mobile phone?

That’s a staggering number and we are fast-approaching New Zealand’s 100% mobile phone penetration rate (yes, there are more mobile phones in New Zealand than kiwis).

With almost every Australian owning a mobile device this flings the doors wide open on a marketing channel that is too great to ignore: SMS marketing.

Even though SMS is nearly 30 years old it is one of the most effective sales and lead generation tools available to businesses here in Australia.

So…what makes SMS marketing different?

  1. 1.     High open and response rates

SMS messages receive between 82% – 97% open rates, compare that to email (which is a commonly used marketing channel in business) receiving 20% – 40% open rates.

  1. 2.     Direct access to customers

Unlike a lot of current marketing methods there are no ad blockers or email spam filters to worry about, an SMS goes straight through to your customer’s phone unimpeded.

According to Smart Insights:

  • Over 97% of text messages are read within the first four minutes
  • 19% of people will click a link in a SMS campaign rather than just 4.2% for emails
  • 30% of SMS campaigns receive average response rates of 30%, compared to 4% for emails

Mobile Marketing Watch states that 75% of millennials prefer that you text message them for promotions and surveys.

  1. 3.     Permission based

Just like email people need to opt-in to receive your SMS messages which increases the quality of subscribers and further increases open and response rates for your campaigns.

  1. 4.     Be where your competition isn’t

Chances are you competition isn’t inside your prospective customer’s phone which gives you a powerful channel to:

  1. Strengthen your position inside the customer’s mind
  2. Pre-empt competitive initiatives by making offers before your competitors.
  3. Make it harder for your competition to see your marketing efforts. The SMS channel is a little harder to copy since it’s inside your customer’s phone and not publicly available.

SMS marketing services are typically cloud-based allowing users to send text messages from any device that has an internet connection and can even be sent from your email platform.

How to SMS marketing works in 3.5 steps

Text messaging doesn’t work if you have no one to send a message to so the first part of the equation is to build a list of customers or qualified leads.

Just like email, the money is in the list.

Step 1: Keyword and short code

Keyword: this is a short phrase that a prospect replies back with [e.g. 49dollar]

Short code: this is a short code that people text back to [9999]

Step 2: Irresistible offer

Pay only $49 per year for our SEO software (usually $197 per year) and save $1480.

This is how the text message would look:

Text 49dollars to 9999 and use our SEO software for only $49 per year
saving $1480 offer ends 48 hours

Step 3: Promote

For SMS to be successful you need to generate a list of qualified people which means you need eyeballs on your offer.

Simply integrate and promote this offer throughout relevant marketing channels like your website, social media, emails, POS etc.

Once people respond they are automatically added to a contact group inside your SMS dashboard and now you have a responsive list that you can effectively reach out to whenever you want to drive sales or build awareness around a new product range.

Step 3.5: Confirmation

This is a friendly confirmation SMS that is sent post opt-in.

The job of this SMS is to confirm to the subscriber what they have signed up for and to set a clear context for the relationship i.e. what they can expect from you.

Keep in mind that there are SPAM laws in place for text message advertising so buying mobile lists is a definite no go strategy – the highest quality lists are grown organically like in the example given above.

SMS Marketing Tips

Once you’ve built your list you can send targeted SMS messages (through segmented lists) to:

  • Generate foot traffic for your bricks and mortar store.
  • Recover abandoned carts for your eCommerce store.
  • Pre-sell products and services.
  • Improve the performance of other channels (send a reminder to webinar attendees to reduce no shows).
  • Promote other businesses and improve business relationships.
  • Drive bookings on demand for slow nights for restaurants and bars.
  • Keep customers updated on big news and events.

Every industry uses SMS in a different way.

Text message marketing can be used in many ways to grow your business, for more tips, here’s a great guide on how to use SMS effectively.

Who can benefit from SMS?

If your customers own a mobile phone then you have an opportunity to widen your sales and marketing funnel and reach them where there is a lot less competition.

According to Deloitte 88% of Australians have smartphones, also, 19.4 million Australians own either a smart phone or standard mobile phone which is getting close to 100% penetration opening up a new channel for any B2B, B2C or charity organisation to leverage.

Bohemian Guitars

For example, online retailer Bohemian Guitars managed to grow their sales by 98% by integrating SMS into their website sales process.

Ford Motor Company

Ford motor company increased their conversion rate by 15.4%) Health clinics are using SMS to reduce no-shows and keep patients updated.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts implemented an SMS promotion that increased their store traffic by 21%. Interestingly they found that 17% forwarded the offer to their friends and 35% of the subscribers also bought a latte and coffee.

Lifestyle Fitness

Lifestyle Fitness generated $41,400 in membership renewals with only a $200 spend.

Health clinics are using SMS to reduce no-shows and schools are using it to keep parents updated on sickness, closures, school outings etc.

If you’re in a practice or organisation where it’s essential that patients or clients read your messages or if you’re in a business that relies on lead generation and driving repeat business then SMS marketing should be considered as part of that mix.

 

 

 

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