The latest studies show that 96 percent of Americans own a cell phone, and 81 percent have a smartphone. This level of saturation goes beyond Internet usage, which is currently at 90 percent of the nation. In other words, although there’s no doubting the power of Internet marketing, it’s even more important to utilize text marketing campaigns.
How Does Marketing by Text Message Work?
Text message advertising is very popular with big businesses, political campaigns and charitable organizations. Many small to mid-sized companies haven’t caught on yet, but this is expected to change in the near future.
SMS marketing, also known as text message marketing, has quickly become one of the easiest ways to reach consumers. Connecting with a professional text messaging service has never been easier, and packages are relatively inexpensive.
So, how exactly does it work? In a nutshell, your business comes up with a promotion, coupon or other incentive to capture attention. Next, your bulk SMS service provider relays this message to every subscriber via text.
Unlike emails, which are being opened with less frequency than ever before, 98 percent of texts are opened. This figure includes business texting that contains an advertisement for a product or service. If you’re looking for quick results, text message marketing can also deliver a 90 percent open rate within the first three minutes.
Is Business Text Messaging Actually Successful?
A 98 percent open rate is impressive, but does it translate to sales? Studies have shown that the response rate to an SMS broadcast is 209 percent higher than Facebook, email and phone calls. Consumers are also 10 times more likely to redeem a mobile coupon than one received any other way. When you put these stats together, it becomes abundantly clear that SMS marketing services should be at the top of every company’s annual marketing plan.
Text Message Marketing for Small Business Owners
If there’s one thing that every small business has in common, it’s the desire to get as much bang for their marketing buck as possible. As pointed out above, the average response rate to SMS messages is off the charts. There’s currently no other marketing resource you can tap into that will achieve such high numbers on a consistent basis. Sure, you’ll have to ensure you’re sending out the right type of messages to get top-notch results. Fortunately, that’s where a professional text marketer enters the equation.
What Does a Text Marketer Do?
A text marketer, or text messaging service, provides a platform for reaching your consumers. This can happen in a number of ways, ranging from software that lets you schedule your SMS advertisements all the way to giving you a mostly hands-off approach. The type of service you choose will have an impact on your options and pricing.
How Does Text Message Marketing Software Work?
Each bulk SMS company has different platforms to offer. In most cases, you’ll be able to download software to your laptop or utilize a smartphone app. Some companies also offer online solutions that don’t require any software. Regardless of which type of service you choose, the basic platform is likely to be similar.
SMS marketing automation will save you a lot of time and money. Rather than paying an employee to manually send out SMS messages, you can use a platform to design and schedule hundreds or even thousands of messages at once. Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t mean you have to give up on personalization. In fact, most text message marketing software has the ability to add personal details to each SMS. For example, everyone who receives a 10 percent off coupon could have their first name in the text advertisement.
Passive Marketing Campaigns
Each contact with a customer is a form of marketing, even when it doesn’t seem like it. Using an SMS service provider will help your business stay on each customer’s mind without constantly bombarding them with coupons or sales pitches.
How does this work, you ask? It’s simple!
Merely schedule a variety of automated text messages that go out in response to certain applicable factors. For instance, customers could receive a text confirmation of every order. Other automated passive marketing campaigns include:
- Appointment reminders
- Thank you texts
- Delivery confirmation
- Birthday coupons
- Useful regional content
Choosing the Right SMS Marketing Company
Finding the best SMS marketing platform for your company doesn’t need to be difficult. However, you should have a good idea about what type of SMS advertisements you’d like to send out first. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to ask a professional marketing business for tips related to your company’s size and industry.
Other factors to consider include price, the type of support that’s offered, how hands-on you need to be and how intuitive the platform is to use. Be realistic about your needs; you don’t want to sign up for 500 texts per month if you have 10,000 customers. On the other hand, you probably don’t want to get 10,000 monthly texts to send to only 500 customers. Therefore, you should look closely at the package options and choose one that’s suitable for your business.
Striking the Right Balance
As you undoubtedly know, consumers can be very fickle. Despite the fact that people look at their phones 80 times per day, they don’t want to constantly hear from the same company. Many businesses stick with no more than one active marketing text message per week, and others send them even more sparingly than that.
To find the right balance, you must consider what type of content your customers will enjoy. Coupons are always a big hit, so sending one or two of these a month is probably safe. Even with this popular form of SMS marketing, you must steer clear of making your coupons too similar or too predictable. After all, if you offer 25 percent off a specific item every 15 or 30 days, people will learn to wait for the next coupon. This will bring you steady business, but it will always come at a discounted price.
Meanwhile, if you send coupons ranging from free shipping to 25 percent off a variety of items, you’ll encourage people to try new things. Consumers are also likely to keep buying their favorites at full price with this scenario.
Every Business Needs a Bulk SMS Service
You’ve seen the impressive stats listed above, but there are still numerous small or mid-sized business owners who miss out on the best marketing trends due to cost. We get it; even a minimal start-up fee can seem huge to companies that barely have a marketing budget. The reality is that an SMS provider can actually save you money over other popular advertising methods. You can also expect to make money off of your text message campaigns too!
Here’s a recap of the many top reasons that a text messaging service for business owners is a great value.
Text Messaging is Cheap
Using an SMS platform is much more affordable than you might expect. Combine that with the fact that most recipients will already be interested in your products, and you’ve got yourself a great inexpensive marketing method.
SMS Messages are Easy to Forward
Many people like sharing offers with their family and friends. Much like clicking forward on an email or sharing a post to their Facebook wall, consumers can easily forward a text message to anyone on their phone’s contact list.
Texts are Immediate
As previously pointed out, nine out of every 10 people will open a text message within three minutes. That’s an unprecedented level of quickness that you quite simply can’t get anywhere else.
Imagine you’re looking for a way to bring diners into your restaurant this evening. Let’s say that the dinner crowd typically comes in around 6 p.m. and you need to boost your numbers. Sending out a text with a discount somewhere between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. will enable customers to get your message, discuss their dinner plans with family or friends and then make it to your restaurant around dinnertime. No other marketing method works that quickly because no other form of advertising is seen almost immediately 90 percent of the time.
A 98 Percent Open Rate
Emails are only opened about 22 percent of the time. Text messages are opened by an astounding 98 percent of recipients, which makes SMS the undisputed king of delivering a message.
Texts are Received Anywhere
When you send a text, it instantly hits the pockets and purses of 96 percent of your customers. Emails aren’t even that instantly available since only 88 percent of people have a smartphone.
Embrace Text Message Marketing
It’s estimated that fewer than half of all businesses are harnessing the power of SMS marketing. This gap won’t last forever, but now is the perfect time to get ahead of half of your competition. For a relatively low fee, you’ll be able to reach out to your customers in a much more timely and profitable manner.