SMS marketing is a great way to reach your customers through their cell phones. But you don’t want to abuse it!
What does SMS stand for? SMS means Short Message Service. Most people call it Text Message, though.
So to market with SMS… you guessed it… means to provide value and offer discounts and specials to your subscriber base by sending them text messages right to their cell phones.
It’s an incredible service, and incredibly effective compared to other forms of marketing (which we’ll get into below). But you can’t just send texts to people’s phones without their permission. This is a sure way to get complaints of spam.
Let’s look at a brief history of marketing and the technology we can employ.
With the inception of new technologies and new platforms the world of marketing has really cranked it up a notch.
It wasn’t long ago no one carried around small, handheld devices which could change their world with a few touches or swipes of their finger.
Few could foresee the overtaking of technology in every aspect of our lives.
The fact is it happens on such a massive scale yet from such a small, seemingly less than capable machine is even more astounding to contemplate.
We went from having to be home to take calls, having to actually go stand in line at the bank, actually watch 10 different news stories we didn’t care about on mass media news outlets, to literally being able to do everything but have our phone take out the trash (I feel this is coming too).
It has been wondrous to witness the massive changes in the way we live and conduct our lives over the last decade(ish). I can remember a time not too long ago when what can be done in simply minutes now used to take all day. Your days off were filled with runs to the bank, grocery store, post office, etc. You can literally accomplish most tasks related to those things from your couch in your pajamas now.
Pretty wild right?!
Text messaging has actually been around since 1992. Herb Robertson received the very first text message on his Vodafone a friend sent him from his personal computer on New Year’s Eve that year. And the rest, they say, is history!
Text messaging didn’t really take off until the mid-2000’s though as a viable means of communicating. It was still used as a secondary means of communicating. First being an actual phone call to the person you are trying to reach.
It didn’t take long for it to take the world of communications by storm. It is now used as one of the primary means of communicating with one another. What started out as a fun way to send silly messages with an endlessly growing form of abbreviated language and little colon-dash-right parenthesis smiley faces.
Because of this massive shift away from long “accepted” forms of communication, it didn’t take large companies long to catch on. They were doing it themselves too!
The business world, and thus the marketing world, operate in our capitalist system. Of course! So when you see an opportunity, go for it!
Don’t get left behind on a growing trend or you will be left behind. Companies have to stay on the cutting edge of marketing communications and keep ahead of new forms of or outlets for better marketing strategies.
How SMS marketing is beneficial to your business.
Text marketing has just begun to make a big splash in new marketing endeavors. Why would they text people? Isn’t this invasive?
People don’t or can’t always answer their phones. When a company calls people to try to elicit some sort of marketing gain, they are often screened by caller ID first and never actually get the customer on the phone. I know I never answer my phone if the number is an (800) or (888) number, do you?
The only time I do is to tell them to remove me from their call list.
The biggest difference with text messaging is the message is seen nearly every time! Nearly 100% of people check their incoming texts within minutes of receiving them. This is a massive conversion rate which simply can’t be ignored.
To use an example from real life, let’s pretend you and your wife are having a baby. You are at the hospital. It is the most beautiful and important day in your lives! What is the first thing you want to do after the baby is all snuggled up to momma? TELL EVERYONE, right?!
Before the early 2000’s you couldn’t even call every person directly on your list of people to share with. You had to call them at home and hope you got a few people. Even when cell-phones became an unshakeable part of our lives, you still might have some trouble getting through by calling.
Text messaging was the answer. You could express everything in detail you wanted to share with every person on your call list. And all at the same time now!
Just think of companies as a new dad or mom who just wants everyone to know about this brand new awesome thing they made! Now they are able to tell people instantly via text marketing.
You may or may not have gotten one yourself yet, but they are pretty simple in nature. Just a short message (less than 160 characters) which informs the customer of a deal upcoming promotion with information or a link in the message the person can follow to learn more about a product or promotion.
SMS marketing also builds loyalty and can be used to offer rewards to customers. Send out an SMS blast with rewarding offer or discount to all your subscribers to get an influx of people into your business on the slow days.
SMS marketing is proven to increase sales and existing customers’ spending.
There are rules for this type of marketing, of course, and they can be slightly confusing for some companies. This is mostly due to the fact both the FCC and the CTIA have come up with 2 different sets of rules for companies to follow.
This fact makes it a little more complicated for companies trying to navigate through this new-found means of marketing. One important rule they must abide by (and there is little to no confusion on this rule) is they must give the customer an “opt-out” option at regular intervals (at least once a month).
They do this by including in the message instructions for the customer to text “Stop” to a number given if they do not want to receive text messages about their services. They can also include a link for them to follow (similar to an “unsubscribe” option in email promotions) which will remove them from future communications.
Companies are only just beginning to really ramp up their text marketing efforts. They would be foolish not to. With many eyes seeing their messages on a regular basis, and given the cost for sending SMS messages is literally pennies, they are most certainly going to see a return on their time investment.
Give us a call today to learn more about what SMS marketing can do for your business! Call (888) 510-9871 or visit RedFynn.