SMS marketing response rates are the highest of all forms of push marketing, yet many businesses still do not include SMS in their marketing mix. SMS or text marketing messages have average open rates of 99%, compared with average open rates for email of 28% to 33%. Click-Through Rates (CTR) reflect similar engagement levels with CTR for email marketing campaigns between 6% to 7%, whereas the average CTR for SMS or text messages is a colossal 45%.
Why business don't use SMS or text messaging
Many businesses feel text or SMS messaging is spammy, yet 75% of people say they would like to receive offers via SMS, and 66% of people who are already subscribed to a company's text message marketing list made a purchase after receiving a single message. Another reason companies may not use text or SMS messaging is that they believe that older customers don't use smartphones. Over 70% of people over 50 have smartphones, with the majority of those using text messaging on a daily basis. The reality is business text and SMS messaging offers are welcomed by most customers.
What do I need to start an effective SMS or text marketing strategy?
The bare minimum you need to start effective SMS or text marketing is a list of your customers' first names and mobile/cell numbers. Even if only a small number of those on your customer databases have mobile numbers, you can still create effective campaigns. Once you start to see results, you can begin collecting more of your customers' mobile numbers through targeted email and social media campaigns.
Understanding SMS or Text messaging
To maximize the value to you and your customers of SMS or Text messaging, you need to understand the medium. The answer to how to use this medium is in the average engagement levels. The average Click Through Rate (CTR) for an SMS or text message is more than 50 times higher than the average Facebook ad CTR. The average response rate to an SMS marketing message is also under 90 seconds. What this tells us is that text and SMS marketing messages have much greater attention and engagement levels than any other form of marketing. For this reason, you should use it more sparingly than other forms of marketing that demand lower engagement levels.
How should I use SMS or Text Messaging?
As Marketers, the temptation may be to focus your attention on the medium that delivers the best outcome, but this would be a mistake. What all the statistics tell us is that SMS or text messaging is the ideal marketing tool to use when you have a very personal or timely message to send. By targeting a segment of your database, with a personalizing message, and placing a time limit on an offer, you can drive high conversion rates and improve your customers' experience. The same is true of timely information that has a direct impact on your target audience and their decision making (e.g., New or limited stock).
Other effective SMS or text messages that work
Highly targeted and exclusive offers (invites to events, experiences) are also effective. For a professional service business, important legal and tax updates that directly impact a segment of your database can also be an effective strategy. Offers based on time since the last transaction (e.g., previous haircut, car service, teeth cleaning, eye test, business equipment service) can also be an effective strategy to increase revenue and retain customers, even during times of crisis. There are even ways to link your SMS marketing to your CRM or service portal, automating campaigns based on existing customer engagement data. Use SMS to drive on-page activity on your website, eCommerce site, or collect more customer data. No matter what your business type, there are effective ways to use SMS or Text marketing.
SMS or text messages in the marketing mix
SMS or text marketing works best when in the mix with email and social campaigns. Imagine if you could create a campaign to a customer segment with a personalized email, SMS, and channel-specific social media posts in under 5 minutes. It's possible with XL.Today™. With XL.Today™ you can create any combination of these channels in a single, agile marketing campaign. Alternatively, you could just send a targeted and personalized SMS or text message campaign, then use your XL.Today™ at-a-glance dashboard to measure ROI in near real-time. This agile approach to marketing will allow you to learn, adapt, and improve. XL.Today™ makes SMS marketing so effortless and straightforward, your business can start benefiting today.