Did you get my last text?: Chatting About SMS Marketing Basics

Last Updated September 9, 2020

Is Text Message Marketing Worth a Try?

With about 96% of Americans owning mobile phones and with SMS available wherever there’s a cell tower (no WiFi connection needed), SMS marketing is definitely worth a try as an easily accessible channel for advertisers and users. 

While not everyone frequently checks their email or social media accounts, almost everyone with a mobile phone regularly texts. Even better, most people keep their texting notifications enabled. So while customers might “leave you on read,” there’s a good chance they will actually read your message. We like those odds.

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So here’s the gist of SMS marketing in a nutshell: You could be sending text messages to your leads and customers to increase awareness, boost engagement, and generate sales. Sign me up! (Or rather, opt me in!)

If you need some nudging and convincing to finally try text message marketing for your business, remember this: Your customers are always texting, so why aren’t you?

Objectives Most Suited For Your SMS Marketing Campaign

The line hasn’t been clearly drawn regarding which businesses and industries benefit the most from text message marketing. Depending on your goals, text message marketing may or may not be a good fit for your marketing strategy. The success of SMS marketing has less to do with your industry than it does your objectives.

Overall, text message marketing is generally well-suited for the following marketing objectives:

Fundraising

Nonprofits do well with SMS Marketing, both with text to donate campaigns and getting people engaged in a cause to take action such as signing a petition.

Customer service 

An increasing number of customers say that they prefer to get order status alerts, and appointment and reservation confirmations via SMS compared to other methods.

Customer loyalty and engagement

As texting is more personal than sending emails, it’s a great way to communicate and maintain your loyal customers. You can take advantage of SMS for sending exclusive offers to them.

Pros and cons of SMS Marketing

Pros

High conversion rates

SMS campaigns have an average click-through rate of 36% and a 17% conversion rate

Let’s break down that conversion rate. 17% is impressive by itself, and more so if we are to compare it from other digital marketing channels:

  • 3.26% for email marketing,
  • 3.17% for Google Ads, and
  • 9.21% for Facebook ads.

High open rates

SMS open rates were as high as 98% in 2018! A good open rate is vital to the success of your campaign as it determines whether your content — or your campaign in general — is something your customers would love to be presented with. If leads aren’t opening your messages at all, it probably means you need to go back to the drawing board to create messaging that catches your audience’s attention. 

Cost-effective

SMS Marketing is a cost-effective, direct communication channel that’s associated with two main costs specifically for sending messages and renting keywords. Vendors have their own pricing options, but you can expect to pay somewhere between $50 and $500 per month depending on your campaign and objectives.

Cons

Limited advertising space

Besides the maximum limit for text messages is at 160 characters, you also cannot add audio or animation effects to your messages when you send them out.

Ads cannot be repeated

Unlike other ads you run for other media platforms, each of your texts throughout your campaign has to be worded and presented differently. You can’t rely on your best ads being served to the same person multiple times, such as on Facebook or Instagram and you definitely shouldn’t spam your audience with the same content over and over again. 

How to Get SMS Opt-ins

Note: Do not send campaign messages to customers who haven’t consented to receive messages.

One of the beautiful things about text message marketing is that your audience has opted in to receiving messages. That means that they have, in some way, already expressed interest in hearing from you. 

Even better, there’s no awkward first meeting or blind date required to get digits 😉

Hunger Games

Here are the customary ways businesses collect customer opt-ins:

Keywords

Words or phrases that individuals send to a 5 or 6-digit number (a.k.a. short code) designated for your campaign. When leads text the keyword to your short code, they’re confirming that they want to keep receiving messages from your brand. Keywords can be used for different purposes, including but not limited to:

  • Offering limited-time discounts and flash sales,
  • Collecting feedback with Text-to-Vote polls, and
  • Gathering personal information for data collection.

Web forms

You can have your leads opt-in by placing web form/s on your site. Easily gather your customers’ names, phone numbers, email addresses, and more — all depending on what kind of information you need or want for your campaign. Just ensure you have a consent box that customers must check to opt-in for messages.

Shoot me a text

What do you thinking about sending marketing text messages? Let us know in the comments!

Jump on a call with one of our growth experts. We'll talk about your goals and create a strategy to get results. 

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