10 Unmistakable Benefits of SMS Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide
In a world where marketing tactics are continually evolving, one method that has held its ground is SMS marketing. With its direct and personal reach, it has proven to be a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. As technology advances, SMS marketing continues to flourish, providing an array of benefits for your business. This article explores 10 unmistakable benefits of leveraging SMS marketing for your business strategy.
1. High Open Rate
The most significant advantage of SMS marketing is its high open rate. Unlike emails that may end up in a spam folder, almost every SMS sent is read by the recipient. Industry statistics suggest that SMS has an astounding 98% open rate, with most messages being read within just a few minutes of receiving them. This virtually guarantees that your message will be seen, significantly increasing the effectiveness of your campaign.
Here's an example of an SMS message that adheres to the principle of "Keep It Short and Simple":
"Hi John, Spring Sale now on at XYZ store! Enjoy 20% off all items. Hurry, offer ends Sunday. Shop now: xyzstore.com/sale"
This message is simple and concise, and it communicates the necessary details within the limit of 160 characters. The recipient, John, knows there's a sale at XYZ store, the discount offered, the duration of the sale, and he's also given a direct link to make a purchase. All these details are provided in a clear and direct manner, making it a perfectly simple and short SMS marketing message.
NOTE: The message above includes a branded short link taking the user directly to the sale’s landing page. Such branded short links further increase the open and clickthrough rates as they are generally perceived as more trustworthy by the recepients. These links are easy to create, manage and track using Yohn.io custom URL shortener for SMS marketing.
2. Quick Delivery
SMS is instantaneous, reaching your customers at the click of a button. There is no delay or waiting period - your message lands straight into your customers' hands. This allows you to reach your audience in real-time, making it perfect for sending urgent or time-sensitive information.
Sending bulk SMS messages has become a vital marketing strategy for businesses, enabling them to reach a large number of customers simultaneously. Here are several ways you can send bulk SMS messages:
SMS Marketing Software:
There are numerous software solutions available that facilitate the sending of bulk SMS messages. These platforms usually come with a range of features like scheduled sending, personalization, campaign tracking, and reporting. Examples of such platforms include TextMagic, SimpleTexting, and EZ Texting.
SMS Gateway APIs:
An SMS Gateway API allows you to integrate SMS capabilities directly into your existing software, apps, or CRM systems. This way, you can manage your bulk SMS campaign from the platforms you are already using, ensuring a streamlined process. Examples of SMS Gateway providers are Twilio, Nexmo, and Plivo.
SMS Broadcasting Hardware:
For organizations with very large volumes of messages or specific security or privacy requirements, there are hardware solutions available. These are physical devices that connect to mobile networks and send messages independently of online services.
Directly from Mobile Operators:
Some mobile network operators offer their own solutions for sending bulk SMS messages. These services can offer the advantage of higher delivery success rates because they don't need to traverse different networks.
Remember, irrespective of the method you choose, you need to comply with regulations related to bulk messaging in your region and ensure you have the recipients' consent to send promotional messages.
3. Direct and Personal
SMS marketing is an incredibly personal form of communication. It goes directly to the recipient's personal mobile phone, the one item that people carry with them almost all the time. This directness enables you to establish a personal connection with your audience, which can help build loyalty and trust over time.
4. Wide Reach
Today, almost everyone owns a mobile phone, and practically every phone out there is SMS enabled. This offers businesses a vastly extensive audience to reach out to. Regardless of demographics or geographical location, SMS marketing allows you to communicate with a global audience instantly.
Analyzing the performance of your SMS marketing campaigns is crucial for maximizing their effectiveness. Yohn.io’s branded URL shortener for SMS marketing allows you to track the number of times the short link in your SMS was clicked, as well as learn some other useful details about every click - from the user’s country and city to things like browser, OS and more. This way you can track engagement and tweak your future SMS marketing campaigns accordingly.
Additionally, here are a few other software solutions that offer robust analytics for SMS marketing:
- Twilio: Twilio is a cloud communications platform that offers an SMS service with robust analytics. You can track delivery rates, response rates, and more. Its APIs allow you to integrate these services with your current apps and platforms.
- MessageMedia: This is an SMS marketing platform that provides detailed analytics about your SMS campaigns. It includes features like delivery tracking, response tracking, and the ability to measure the success of specific messages.
- TextMagic: TextMagic provides a comprehensive business text-messaging service. It includes detailed analytics and reporting features, allowing you to track sent messages, delivery rates, replies, and more.
- SimpleTexting: SimpleTexting is an SMS marketing tool that offers extensive analytics features, including link tracking, subscriber growth tracking, and list segmentation statistics.
- EZ Texting: This is an SMS marketing platform with robust reporting and analytics. It allows you to track text deliveries, responses, and clicks, and provides visual data representation.
- ClickSend: This service provides SMS marketing with analytics features that let you track SMS delivery status, responses, and conversions.
- Mozeo: Mozeo provides SMS marketing services with straightforward reporting that lets you see who has received and responded to your messages.
- SlickText: SlickText provides analytics on sent messages, subscriber growth, link clicks, and more. Their visually friendly dashboards make it easy to understand your campaign's performance.
Before selecting software, make sure it fits your business needs and budget. Most of these services offer trial periods, so you can try before you commit.
5. High Conversion Rate
SMS marketing has shown to produce high conversion rates. Whether your call to action is to make a purchase, visit a website, or participate in a survey, customers are more likely to perform the desired action when the request is delivered via SMS. This can be attributed to the personal and immediate nature of SMS communication.
Improving the conversion rate of your SMS marketing campaigns involves a blend of strategic planning, compelling messaging, personalization, and continual optimization. Here are a few recommendations on how to increase the conversion rate of your SMS mailings:
- Personalization: Personalized messages are more likely to catch a recipient's attention and make them feel valued. Use the recipient's name and tailor your messages based on their preferences or previous interactions with your brand.
- Clear Call-to-Action (CTA): Ensure your SMS contains a clear and compelling CTA. It should be obvious what action the recipient should take after reading your message. Whether it's visiting a website, redeeming a coupon, or calling a number, make the action you want them to take crystal clear.
- A Link to Your Website: Add a custom short link taking the SMS recipient directly to the landing page of the advertised event, sale or special offer. The landing page can also contain all the additional information you need to communicate - keep it all there instead of trying to fit everything into one SMS message. Yohn.io is a helpful tool for creating such custom short links.
- Provide Value: Make sure your SMS provides value to the recipient. This could be in the form of exclusive deals, important updates, or helpful information. If your messages are consistently useful, recipients are more likely to engage.
- Timing is Key: Send your messages at a time when recipients are likely to be free to read and act on them. Generally, late afternoon and early evening are considered optimal times for most audiences, but you should experiment and use analytics to determine the best timing for your specific audience.
- Utilize Urgency: Messages that instill a sense of urgency can motivate recipients to act quickly. Limited-time offers or deadlines can be effective in driving immediate action.
- Segment Your Audience: Different messages resonate with different people. Segment your audience based on factors like their buying behavior, demographics, or preferences, and tailor your messages accordingly to increase relevance and conversion.
- Maintain a Consistent Brand Voice: Your SMS messages should reflect your brand's personality and voice. Consistency in your brand communication helps build familiarity and trust with your audience.
- Test and Optimize: Run A/B tests on your SMS campaigns to determine what works best for your audience. Test different aspects like message content, CTA placement, landing page, timing, personalization, and more. Use the insights gained to continually optimize your campaigns.
- Keep it Simple: Complicated messages may confuse your audience and deter them from taking the desired action. Keep your messages short, simple, and easy to understand.
Remember, SMS marketing is permission-based. Always ensure you have your customers' consent before you send them SMS messages. Moreover, always provide an easy opt-out option in every message to respect your audience's preferences.
When compared to many other marketing strategies, SMS marketing is cost-effective, making it an excellent option for businesses of all sizes. With affordable SMS packages available from providers, it offers a high return on investment. Even small businesses can use SMS marketing to reach their audience without breaking the bank.
Return on Investment (ROI) is a critical metric for any marketing activity, including SMS marketing. It helps determine the effectiveness of your campaign by comparing the investment made to the return gained.
Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to calculate the ROI for your SMS marketing campaign:
- Identify Your Costs: This should include all expenses associated with the SMS marketing campaign. It typically involves the cost of the SMS marketing platform, any cost for purchasing or renting a subscriber list (if applicable), the cost per text message sent, and any labor costs associated with creating and managing the campaign.
- Track Your Revenue: Determine the amount of revenue that has been generated directly from the SMS marketing campaign. This could be from product sales, service subscriptions, or any other conversions that have monetary value to your business. It's essential to have tracking measures in place (like unique discount codes or dedicated landing pages) to accurately attribute revenue to your SMS campaign.
- Calculate ROI: ROI is calculated using the following formula:
ROI = [(Revenue - Cost) / Cost] * 100
The result is expressed as a percentage. A positive ROI indicates that the campaign has generated more revenue than the cost, while a negative ROI implies the costs exceeded the revenue.
Let's take an example: If you spent $500 on your SMS campaign and it resulted in $2000 in revenue, the ROI would be:
ROI = [(2000 - 500) / 500] * 100 = 300%
This indicates that for every dollar spent on the campaign, you made three dollars in return.
Remember that not all returns can be measured monetarily. SMS marketing also contributes to customer retention, brand awareness, and customer engagement, which are harder to quantify but provide significant value to your business. Therefore, while ROI is an essential measure of a campaign's success, it should be considered along with other key performance indicators.
7. Easy Opt-In/Out
SMS marketing respects customer preferences with easy options for opting in and out of receiving messages. This flexibility ensures that the people who are receiving your messages are interested in your business, leading to more targeted and effective campaigns.
Allowing your subscribers to easily opt-out or unsubscribe from your SMS messages is not only a good practice, but it's also a requirement under many regions' regulations, like the CAN-SPAM Act in the U.S. Here's a simple guide on how you can set up an unsubscribe feature for your SMS marketing:
- Opt-Out Message: Every SMS campaign message you send should include a simple way for recipients to opt-out, usually by replying with a specific word such as "STOP" or "UNSUBSCRIBE". For instance, you might include a line at the end of your messages that says, "Reply STOP to unsubscribe."
- Automatic Recognition: Your SMS marketing platform should be set up to automatically recognize and process these opt-out requests. This means that when a recipient replies with "STOP", the system should automatically remove their number from your marketing list. Many SMS marketing software platforms have this feature built-in.
- Confirmation Message: After a recipient has opted out, it's a good practice (and sometimes a requirement) to send a final message confirming their unsubscribe request. This message should reassure them that they won't receive any more promotional messages. However, it's important to check local regulations to confirm if this step is allowed, as in some regions, sending an unsubscribe confirmation via SMS is not permitted.
- Respect Their Decision: Once a recipient has opted out, make sure you respect their decision. It's essential (and legally required) to maintain an up-to-date do-not-contact list and ensure that you don't send further marketing messages to numbers on that list.
- Regular Updates: Regularly update your marketing list to remove any numbers that have opted out. This step will be handled automatically if you're using an SMS marketing platform with automatic unsubscribe features.
By providing an easy opt-out process, you show respect for your recipients' preferences, which can help to maintain a positive image of your brand.
8. Real-Time Marketing
The speed at which SMS messages are delivered and read means that you can reach your customers in real-time. This is especially beneficial for time-sensitive offers and updates. You can send flash sale notifications, appointment reminders, or last-minute event updates, knowing your audience will receive and read them in a timely manner.
Urgent offers in SMS mailings are a proven strategy to elicit quick responses from customers. By creating a sense of urgency, you can motivate your subscribers to take immediate action. Here are a few types of urgent offers you could consider:
- Limited-Time Discounts: Offering a significant discount for a limited time can push customers to make a purchase. For instance, "50% off all items, today only!"
- Flash Sales: Similar to limited-time discounts, flash sales offer significant reductions for a very short period. Example: "Flash Sale! 30% off everything until midnight!"
- Early Access: Provide your SMS subscribers with early access to sales, new products, or services. This not only makes them feel valued but also encourages prompt action. For example, "Get exclusive early access to our Summer Collection! Available to our SMS subscribers for 24 hours."
- Last Items Alert: Informing customers when stock is low can also spur them into action. For instance, "Only 10 left in stock! Get yours before it's too late!"
- Deadline Reminders: If you have an ongoing offer or event, reminding customers of the approaching deadline can prompt them to act. Example: "Just a few hours left to enjoy our weekend sale!"
- Bonus Incentives: Offering an additional bonus for prompt action can also be effective. For example, "The first 50 customers to order today get a free gift!"
- Exclusive Events: Invite your customers to limited-seating events. This creates a sense of exclusivity and urgency to secure a spot. For instance, "Exclusive VIP event this Friday. Only 20 spots available. RSVP now!"
Good to know: Don’t leave it to the SMS recipient to figure out where to find you and how to purchase the promoted product or service you’re offering, especially if the offer is time-sensitive. Always include a direct short link to a web page with more information. We at Yohn.io help create exactly such short links - like, yourbrand.com/sale or yourbrand.com/book-now, for instance.
SMS marketing can easily be integrated with your existing marketing strategies. This seamless integration helps you create a cohesive and comprehensive multi-channel approach. Whether it's social media, email marketing, or offline marketing, SMS can enhance the reach and visibility of your campaigns.
SMS marketing can work in conjunction with a variety of other marketing channels to provide a comprehensive, multi-touch marketing strategy. Here are a few ways SMS marketing can interact with other marketing channels:
- Email Marketing: SMS and email can work together to improve open rates and engagement. For example, if you've sent an important email to your customers, you could follow up with an SMS to alert them to check their inbox. Alternatively, if you have a low response rate to an email campaign, a follow-up SMS might boost engagement.
- Social Media: You can use SMS marketing to drive traffic to your social media profiles and vice versa. For instance, you can send an SMS to alert customers to a new post or live event on your social media channels. Alternatively, you can use social media to encourage sign-ups for your SMS alerts.
- Website: SMS marketing can be used to drive traffic to specific web pages using custom branded short links, such as the ones Yohn.io is offering. An example of such a page could be a new blog post, a specific product, or a special offer. You can also use your website to promote sign-ups for your SMS marketing campaigns.
- Event Marketing: If you're hosting an event, SMS can be used to send reminders, updates, and follow-ups. You can also encourage event attendees to sign up for your SMS list.
- Offline Advertising: If you're running print ads, billboards, or TV/radio commercials, you can include a short code that people can text to receive a special offer or to subscribe to your SMS marketing list.
- Direct Mail: If you're sending physical mail to customers, you can include an SMS short code for them to take advantage of special offers or subscribe to future updates.
- Customer Service: SMS can serve as a channel for customer service. After resolving a customer's query or problem, you can send an SMS survey to ask about their experience.
- Push Notifications: For businesses with mobile apps, you can coordinate SMS and push notifications to reach users both inside and outside of the app.
Remember, the key to successful multi-channel marketing is consistency and alignment. Make sure your messages are consistent across all channels, and align your SMS strategy with your overall marketing strategy to ensure all efforts are working towards the same goals.
With the trend leaning towards a mobile-first approach, SMS marketing is perfectly suited for today's consumers who are always on the go. With your messages directly reaching your customers' phones, your brand stays within reach no matter where they are. Moreover, you can also leverage the widespread use of smartphones to incorporate website links or social media handles in your SMS messages, which recipients can instantly access.
Embracing SMS marketing in your business strategy offers a multitude of benefits. Its high open rates, instant delivery, and personal touch create a powerful combination for any business seeking to establish a robust communication channel with its audience. Additionally, its cost-effectiveness and high conversion rates make it an attractive option for businesses aiming for a high return on investment.
Further, the versatility and ease of integration of SMS marketing allow it to blend seamlessly with your existing marketing efforts, amplifying their reach and effectiveness. Its respect for user preferences, allowing easy opt-in and opt-out options, ensure you're engaging an audience that's interested in your offerings, thus making your campaigns more targeted and impactful.
Lastly, with the world moving towards a mobile-first approach, SMS marketing offers a mobile-friendly way to connect with your audience, ensuring your brand is within their reach, always. Considering these compelling benefits, SMS marketing undoubtedly holds a significant place in a comprehensive, multi-channel marketing strategy.
We at Yohn.io are glad to support all brands in their SMS marketing endeavors by providing a simple tool for creating, managing and tracking the short links for your SMS marketing campaigns. Want to incorporate it into your strategy? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!