Even though it is gaining traction as a marketing channel, SMS marketing still remains one of the most underrated. Companies now understand that SMS can be more than just that informal communication channel between friends. However, not many realize its huge potential when it comes to reaching the masses. Text messages have a high open rate, since nearly all text messages are read within the first few minutes of being received. They are a simple and independent platform, ideal for those short and sweet marketing messages. Depending on how they are composed, they are reliable since reception is almost always guaranteed. Furthermore, they can easily be integrated with other marketing channels. Here are five advantages of using SMS marketing;
An opt-in medium
While most of the traditional marketing channels rely on the law of numbers to succeed, SMS marketing is different. Most channels broadcast messages to as wide an audience as possible, relying on probability laws that the message will reach more people. With such a technique, you spend money without truly knowing the impact of the message. SMS marketing relies on customers opting in; legally, one cannot send messages without the customer first signing up. This way, SMS marketing targets customers that already have an investment in the company and its products, and one does not waste time and money bothering individuals who are not interested. It is important to note, though, that the audience will only want to receive messages if they offer some value. Most recipients will likely have received those spam messages, and will generally be wary of messages they receive. Even if they read them the first time, if there is little or no value, that sender will always be associated with spam.
The brevity of the SMS is one of its most attractive qualities. Unlike those lengthy email messages, the SMS delivers the message in just one line or two, sometimes inclusive of a link to a website or blog with more information. The fact that messages are so short makes it easier for customers to read them in their entirety, and at their own convenience, unlike other channels like web pop-ups and phone calls. Being so short, the marketer short on time can very easily plan and deploy an SMS marketing campaign.
The price of an SMS marketing campaign is relatively low, good news especially to small business owners. It is much cheaper than placing that full frontal ad on a newspaper. Different cell service providers offer different rates, but generally, one can send a text message for just a few cents. Many even have bulk packages with which one can send hundreds of thousands of messages per month for a relatively low flat rate. Considering its power and potential for returns, this is very good value for the money spent.
When a text messages arrives, most consumers normally cannot wait to read it. In fact, research shows that text messages in more than 90 percent of the case are read within the first three minutes. In contrast, having been accustomed to having their inbox filled with spam and unwanted advertising, many consumers do not check their email inbox as regularly. Your participants will therefore be willing participants in the campaign, almost always guaranteed to read the message as soon as it is received. The SMS probably won’t get the message to an audience as wide, but for the few recipients, you are guaranteed your messages will be delivered directly to an audience of engaged consumers.
SMS marketing is a way to make messages fun and engaging. Most companies only focus on growing a huge list of mobile numbers such that they can broadcast messages to many people, overlooking the two way capabilities of the SMS. There are several ways to make messages interactive. Setting the message up as part of a poll or questionnaire or poll encourages the recipient to be a more active participant. Companies have captured information like email addresses, Zip Codes, product numbers and survey responses through SMS. Including a link to pictures, websites or blogs with more information about the company, products or services encourages the recipient to investigate further. As cell phones become more mainstream, the ability to connect to the internet continues to grow, making it easy to include visual and interactive elements in the SMS. Do not concentrate too much on the outbound side to forget about the opportunity to gather valuable data and feedback from users.
SMS marketing is easy and convenient, and can be run successfully even without using short codes. Every phones comes with an inbuilt SMS feature, and there is no need to install any app, or worry about consumer app preferences. The messages are short and sweet, and with the growing popularity of mobile, will only deliver much more to the marketer.