Many businesses focus on the use of email marketing, social media marketing and traditional marketing methods. But what about SMS? Is SMS effective?
The answer is yes, SMS is extremely effective for communicating with customers. Here are a few interesting statistics from text marketer that back this up:
98% of SMS gets opened in comparison to 20% of emails, 22% of Facebook posts are read and 29% of tweets are read. These statistics show a significant difference between SMS, email, and social media with the open rates at their highest with SMS. If a business is using SMS as a form of customer communication, this means the brand is getting more recognised and engaged with in comparison to using other channels for communicating with customers. Businesses can use SMS to communicate promotional offers, updates, and general information with their customers.
More interesting facts from text marketer are that 23 million twitter users are estimated to be bots which means that less people are probably seeing tweets than people may think. 49.7% of all email is spam which may turn users off checking emails since their inboxes are crowded with spam. On Facebook, 3.3 million posts are put up daily meaning that people are exposed to an extremely high amount of social media content each day, this makes it harder for certain communication to get noticed or stand out from others.
In terms of response rates, SMS generates around 45% of responses (Gartner), this is relatively high. Businesses can almost guarantee a positive outcome from SMS communication. This can be supported by a statistic from marketing charts that states 50% of people surveyed who received an SMS from retailors made a purchase as a result.
People are constantly on their phones, scrolling, texting, and communicating daily by the use of their screens. Forbes stated that 95% of all text messages are read within three minutes. SMS can generate instant results as open rates can be tracked and communication is received instantly.
It is wise for business to send out their marketing communications via SMS as people are usually on their phones at the time the message is sent or are bound to check their devices shortly after. Everything nowadays takes place by phone, for example, online shopping is carried out on a phone most of the time. When a business sends out an offer via SMS, the offers are redeemed 10x more frequently than print offers (e marketer), this is because it is more convenient to click on and utilise the offer on the one device with minimal effort required.
Pros of SMS
No Wi-Fi is required to send or receive a text message which makes it more accessible for customers to receive.
There are high levels of engagement with response and open rates higher than other channels.
SMS involves real time direct connection with customers receiving communication instantly and instant tracking of responses is available.
With SMS business can be almost guaranteed reliable delivery with no worry of communication getting lost in the post or lost in a crowded inbox.
Cons of SMS
SMS requires phone numbers for customers to opt-in to communications sent by businesses. In some cases, this may be tricky to obtain.
This from of communication is more expensive for businesses to carry out in comparison to social media.
There are rules surrounding SMS marketing surrounding customer protection that restrict telemarketing activities.
It is permission based and if a customer opts out once, it can be difficult to get them to opt back in again.
Due to the limit of 160 characters, businesses must put in more effort to try get their message across in a shorter version.
How to implement.
Firstly, businesses must make sure they are following rules and regulations regarding SMS marketing. Phones are personal devices and receiving unwanted information from an unknown sender can make people curious as to how such businesses obtained their personal data, this can result in the brand being perceived in an unfavourable manner. Businesses must receive consent before any communication is sent.
When communicating via SMS, it is important to provide value and personalisation in the message so that recipients remain engaged. It can be as simple as mentioning their name or sending relevant offers that they are interested in.
Call to actions must be clear and straightforward. This can be done by inserting clickable links or short codes providing incentives for the customer. The business must explain the value of the call to action to the customer such as cost savings or booking confirmations. Call to actions also allow the business to track responses which is why they should be straightforward for the customer.
Businesses should consider looking into the optimal times to send a text message and discover which times and days work the best. For example, if a message is sent in the middle of the night its more than likely not going to do as well.
Text messaging software should be chosen carefully with research carried out before choosing which one that best suits the business.
Why is SMS marketing so important?
Looking at the statistics it can be concluded that SMS is extremely beneficial to businesses. 75% of people said that they would like offers sent to them via SMS (text marketer) which is why it is important to include it in marketing plans.