SMS Marketing Services for Business Enablement
How many people do you know without a mobile phone? Chances are, you can’t think of many (likely, any) who don’t. Whether it’s an old-school flip phone or a smartphone with the latest features, the majority of Americans – 97%, in fact – own a mobile phone these days.
This is a generation with a mobile device within reach at all times. According to a 2021 survey, nearly 70% of respondents said they spend three to six hours on their mobile devices. That doesn’t include work-related usage, sending the number even higher.
Smartphones can indeed handle many daily tasks, from placing orders, booking accommodations, making payments, and tracking sleep patterns. Regardless of the type of phone, mobile devices have at least one thing in common: they send and receive text messages. It’s no wonder that SMS marketing services are gaining popularity in the business world.
What Are SMS Marketing Services?
If you haven’t started texting your clients, you may not know where to begin. If hearing the term “SMS marketing services” has you imagining a team of people furiously typing text messages to your customers, we have good news. Incorporating text into your workflows is much easier than that.
SMS marketing services are software platforms to enable SMS communication. This powerful tool makes it easy to craft, schedule, send, and track text messages to your audience. SMS platforms save you time (and your thumb muscles!) by offering a straightforward way to send and receive messages.
Empower Your Business Communication
When it comes to reaching clients, there are many avenues to take. A professional website sets the stage, creating a persona for organizations to share their offering and personality. Email newsletters can share information and invitations to those who have subscribed. Social media presence offers a chance to post updates, encourage engagement, and reach new people through paid efforts.
While each of these avenues has evolved over time, there is a challenge: the competition is fierce. Newsletters and promotions get buried in inboxes, and social ads can be hard to craft consistently and accurately target customers on their own. These approaches have value in some scenarios, but they often get lost in the crowd.
Americans check their phones 47 times per day on average. Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they feel uneasy without their mobile device. If you want to reach a friend with an essential piece of information or a time-sensitive message, you don’t email them. You text.
Businesses that use SMS marketing services are meeting customers where they are. Sending short-and-sweet, actionable messages via text ensures they’re seen.
Comprehensive Marketing Strategy for the Modern Era
Reaching customers with SMS marketing services changes the game. The open rates for email sit at about 20%. That means your well-crafted email newsletter is not likely to be seen by four out of five of your recipients. As marketers try new subject line tactics, creating intrigue and even adding in an emoji or two, the reality is that many emails get buried in the inbox.
How does SMS compare? A dramatic increase, text messages have a whopping 98% open rate. For messages you want to be sure are delivered, received, and opened, SMS is vital.
Now, we’re not suggesting you scrap your entire marketing plan and go back to the drawing board. There’s no need to depend on SMS as a single communication method. If you’re not using an SMS marketing service to supplement your strategy, though, you’re missing out on some significant opportunities.
Get Started with Business SMS
Before you get started with sending text messages to your customers, you’ll need to build your subscriber list. You can’t simply scrape your database and begin texting the phone numbers you have on file. Before using your SMS marketing service to start texting, make sure you get consent first. Legally, you have to.
Of course, you’re not going to have your Marketing manager use their personal number to send business texts. You’ll need a short code for that. A short code is a dedicated five- or six-digit number that shows the sender in your recipient’s SMS inbox.
Your SMS marketing service will help you secure a short code, saving you peeling through mountains of paperwork. Start with getting your short code set up, then get the word out that you’re ready to send valuable messages via SMS. For that, you can use your traditional marketing methods: email, social, a website landing page, and in-store signage (if you have a physical location).
Don’t be shy about promoting your text message offering. Studies have shown that more than half of consumers want to receive texts from brands. You still have a chance to make an early impression: only 11% of businesses are sending them.
Ways to Use SMS Marketing Services
Once you have an audience of people who have subscribed to receive your text messages, it’s important to text wisely. You don’t want to lose subscribers by sending SMS just for the sake of sending them. Your messages should be succinct and add value. After all, you’re reaching a captive audience.
There are a lot of ways you can use an SMS marketing service as a value add for your customers:
Who doesn’t love a deal? Customers will be happy to receive offers and promotions sent from your SMS marketing service.
Promotional offers can include announcements of in-store or online sales. You could also make your offer a bit more exclusive, providing a discount code for SMS subscribers. If you choose to offer special prices or send advance announcements of upcoming sales to your SMS audience, make sure it’s a well-known approach. You’ll see your subscriber list grow if customers know they can save money by opting in.
Contests are another great use for your SMS marketing service. Send links to encourage participation and create a buzz. Want to take it one step further? Try using MMS with an eye-catching image to capture attention and create intrigue.
Opening a new location? Launching a new product? Discontinuing a popular item? Send an SMS to give your customers a heads up. Your customers will be glad to be kept in the loop, and not to miss out when changes are coming.
SMS is also effective for increasing participation in events. Craft a message in your SMS marketing service platform to send an invitation to events. Make it easy to RSVP, and take advantage of follow-up messages to those who haven’t yet responded, and to those who may need a nudge to ensure it’s on their calendar. SMS works for both in-store and online events. You can also send a message afterward thanking those who joined or providing further information.
Checking order status is a manual process for customers and one that can be a bit frustrating. A great opportunity to add value is by using SMS marketing services to automatically send status updates.
Send a message to confirm the order receipt and thank a customer for their purchase. When the order ships, send a message with tracking information to make it easy to follow along. Many customers have orders delivered to their homes, and many packages arrive while they’re at work or out of the house. A message to confirm delivery lets them know the item has arrived.
Feedback from customers themselves helps take the guesswork out of how you do business and provides an opportunity to get in front of your customers. Rather than making assumptions or getting a surprise (either positive or negative) by seeing Google Reviews pop up, ask customers for their honest feedback.
You may opt to allow customers to provide anonymous feedback, or choose to collect their details as well. If you’d like to add some testimonials to your site, SMS is a great way to give your client base an opportunity to sing your praises. If they have complaints or issues, stay in contact and let them know you’ve received their insights. No matter the nature of the information you collect, it will help you fine-tune your business and offerings.
The Time is Now
An SMS marketing service is a great business ally. You’ll be able to effectively reach your prospective and current customers and add value to their experience of doing business with your company. SMS helps you to build brand trust and loyalty and lets you communicate with your customers in a way that feels comfortable for them.
When you’re ready to get started with SMS marketing, TrueDialog is here to help. Our feature-rich platform offers all of the tools you need to build smart and strategic SMS marketing campaigns. Craft, send, and report on your SMS communications with ease. Give us a call to learn more.