What does SMS marketing mean?
Technically, SMS marketing is how brands and companies send transactional messages or promotional campaigns for marketing purposes via SMS text messages. These text messages are usually intended for communicating alerts, updates, and time-sensitive offers to those who have agreed to receive the messages from an organization or company.
It is no secret that developing trust and building brand value with customers is a difficult task. If you wish to reach out to your prospective customers, you cannot just wait and watch. You need to be proactive and make sure that you go where the customers are.
It is, of course, not expected that you will go and knock on all your prospective customers’ doors, but you could surely try sending them text messages. Since people are now increasingly becoming attached to their mobile phones, text messaging has become one of the most popular means of contact.
It is the reason why businesses now consider SMS marketing or text message marketing as probably the most efficient way of communicating with their customers.
What are the best SMS marketing practices?
1. Ensure that your contacts have agreed to receive SMS:
While planning an SMS marketing strategy, you should take some rules into account. The first rule is taking permission from your prospects to send them text messages. Although SMS messages have a high open-rate, they will not be useful if you send them to people who do not intend to receive them.
2. Be aware of the time you are sending your messages:
Text messages, unlike email, are checked almost immediately. It is necessary for urgent messages. However, you should misuse this power by sending promotional messages and disturbing your contacts at odd times during the day or night.
Some countries like France have imposed restrictions on sending marketing text messages on holidays, Sundays, and anytime after 10 in the night.
3. Include your organization’s name:
When sending bulk text messages, most of the providers do so using a shortcode, meaning that your contacts will not know that the SMS messages are coming from you. Therefore, letting your contacts know the name of the company is important in the first place.
4. Use SMS along with other digital marketing strategies:
There is a wide range of digital marketing channels that can be utilized for interacting with customers. These channels work together and comprise a marketing communication system, enabling businesses to strengthen relationships with their customers and leads at an even larger scale.
Email and SMS marketing are two of the most popular channels that are complementary. You can easily create marketing campaigns with both channels, as email helps in including detailed information while SMS allows you to send more critical or time-sensitive information.
What are the benefits of SMS marketing?
Here are some of the reasons why SMS is considered one of the most useful digital marketing channels:
1. Closes the email loop
Although SMS and email marketing have several similarities in their application, they work the best when used in tandem. As stated earlier, you can utilize SMS marketing messages to send notifications instantly, while email consists of more long-form content.
2. Compatibility with smartphones:
Since more than 80% of the Americans own a smartphone, sending SMS is an excellent way of reaching the customers directly. You can just include a link in the text, which helps in increasing engagement online.
3. Useful for emerging markets:
In countries where WiFi is not so common, and data is expensive, SMS marketing is a better medium for communicating information.
4. High engagement rates:
The engagement rates of SMS are phenomenal as compared to email. About 90% of the SMS messages are viewed and read within 2-3 minutes of getting them. Therefore, SMS proves to be more useful in sending vital information with high success rates.
What is an SMS marketing software
An SMS marketing software includes a collection of applications and tools designed to help businesses create and then control subscriber lists, send a large number of text campaigns, and finally automate customer engagement.
Here we share some of the most common SMS marketing software that is used by businesses and companies around the globe:
It is the first SMS marketing software that has been providing a feature-rich SMS API (since 2017) for sending/receiving text messages through local as well as toll-free numbers. It allows software development organizations, service providers, and enterprises to communicate with their customers and create applications necessary for modern-day communications.
It is a free customer relationship management system and SMS marketing software that is used by more than 4 million companies throughout the world. It is available in both cloud-based and on-premise-based systems, giving you access to open source code. While individual SMS messages can be sent on the free plan, SMS marketing automation and bulk SMS facilities are offered to commercial users at $39 per month.
It helps you in leveraging text messaging so that you can maximize the channels you use for connecting with your audience. Including text messaging in your marketing campaign will help you in engaging the audience at the right time.
Used by several NGOs, universities, and charities, this SMS marketing software helps you interact with communities you need to reach out to. The marketing tool has been helping millions throughout the world, be it a wheelchair user or a farmer. It has helped people in collecting research and reaching out for several campaigns. One of its key features is that it responds to missed calls and SMS automatically.
It is a free SMS marketing software that can rapidly create text messages for data collection, group coordination, and organizing complex workflows. Initially designed for dealing with the challenges faced by government and non-government organizations, the RapidSMS marketing tool has been modified and used in different causes like nutrition surveillance, remote health diagnostics, community discussion, and supply chain tracking.
How do SMS marketing services work
The text messages are usually sent from “shortcodes” rather than full telephone numbers. Those shortcodes generally consist of 5-6 digits, and are either linked to one sender or shared across different senders. Many countries (such as the USA) do not allow the sender’s information to be modified.
It means that your message will look like a text message, whatever be the shortcode used by your provider. It is the reason why you should include the name of your company in the message.
The two kinds of messages that can be sent with SMS marketing include:
- Campaigns: These are the usual “one-to-many” text messages that are sent in bulk. They are used for communicating promotions (such as coupons, or sales), or general information (like weather alerts, event details, or updates).
- Transactional: These include “one-to-one” messages triggered by a specific event or behavior. An order confirmation for an online purchase or shipping notification for the purchase is an example of this type of message. They are used for communicating timely and relevant info to an individual.
One thing is evident from the above discussion. Text messages are an excellent addition to your marketing efforts, irrespective of what kind of business you have. They help you in communicating essential information in possibly the most reliable way.
Certain businesses have to include SMS in their digital marketing strategies. These are:
SMS serves as a great tool because it helps you send promotional campaigns as well as order/shipping confirmations.
SMS is also a useful communication system for travel companies since they can send real-time information to their customers, which includes flight time info, gate changes, weather alerts, and more.
Whatever be the strength of a company, internal communication plays a crucial role. However, in a large company, it can be challenging to communicate with each employee. Texting messages for internal communication is perhaps the best way every employee can get information the company wants to send them.