SMS (Text Message) Marketing

SMS (Text Message) Marketing

Businesses looking to take advantage of various digital marketing channels shouldn't neglect text message marketing, also known as SMS (short message service) marketing. For starters, SMS has a 98% open rate, and up to 90% of those who open a text will read it almost immediately (within 3 seconds). This is significantly better than the average 20% open rate for email marketing, where emails might not be read for hours, days, or even weeks (if they're read at all). Much of what is done in email marketing can be done with SMS marketing as well. It just involves more concise messaging.

There are various SMS marketing platforms available for you to choose from. A few of these platforms are free to use or have a free version available (such as Marketing360, MessageBird, Intercom, SendPulse, etc.), while some platforms aren't free but offer free trials or demos (such as SimpleTexting, Textedly, TXT180, TapMango, Avochato, etc.), and other platforms you can't use until you pay for their services or set up payments (such as Twilio).

These SMS marketing platforms offer features such as 2-way messaging, contact management, message personalization, scheduled massaging, mobile coupons, a text-to-win feature, polls/voting, reporting/analytics tracking, and more.

Which platform you need and use will depend on what features they offer and how they fit with your business' marketing campaign strategy. If you're planning to run a sweepstakes, you'll want the text-to-win feature. If you want or need to respond to recipients individually, you'll want the 2-way messaging feature. If you want to tell recipients to text a single word to a particular number (known as a "shortcode") to receive more information, you'll need the shortcodes feature. This is why it's important to figure out your SMS marketing strategy before you set out to use any SMS platforms.

Tracking key analytics such as who opened/read a text, when they read it, and whether or not they clicked on the text link is imperative in order to know how well your SMS marketing campaign is performing. It will help you make changes where necessary in order to improve that campaign's overall effectiveness.

You are legally required to have an opt-in and an opt-out for recipients, just like you would be with email. When you send a prospect the first text, allow them to respond in some way – i.e. with one word (Yes, No, or another word) or one letter (Y or N) – to clarify that they would like to begin receiving texts from you. Allow the same for the opt-out if a recipient wants to stop receiving texts from you (with one word, like "STOP" or "END").

Does this mean that you shouldn't also use email marketing? No. In fact, email marketing can be used in conjunction with SMS marketing. Those who don't open their email is more likely to read a text and click on a link within that text.

The same goes for other digital marketing channels. The best and most effective marketing makes use of multiple marketing channels all pushing out the same message or complementary messages.

If you're unsure about which SMS marketing platform would be right for your business, or you have questions about executing an SMS marketing campaign, visit our Contact Us page for more details.

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