One question looming large in the minds of many clients approached by marketers is, after all, what is SMS marketing?
A sizable section of businesses, especially small and medium type, are yet to understand the latent gravity and utility of SMS marketing as a cost-efficient marketing tool.
SMS marketing is primarily based on permission or consent from the recipient. They are of 2 types–promotional and transactional.
Promotional messages are bound by regulatory rules on how, when and to whom it should be sent with the cushion to opt in or opt out from receiving the messages.
SMS based marketing is the best tool in close range marketing where text messages appear as push-notifications updating news and information on products, services or events.
Companies that engage in SMS marketing draw many benefits. SMS is great for building loyal customers plus faster promotions of information on businesses need. The importance of SMS marketing is that it keeps customers in the loop while appreciating their aspirations by giving constant updates.
Cost-Effective: The highly inexpensive nature of SMS compared to traditional marketing tools makes SMS marketing a favorite and do not make budget overruns
Triggers word of mouth publicity
Hiring bulk SMS service answers the big question on how to do SMS marketing. Text marketing or SMS is effective in engaging not only existing customers but also for wooing new prospects.
Any SMS that conveys value to customers will have a ripple effect by triggering word of mouth publicity that will radiate through members of family, friends, neighbours and colleagues.
Fast and Effective
Regarding the poser, who can benefit from using SMS marketing, the advice is any time-sensitive business should take advantage of SMS as a top marketing tool.
Among the advantages Of SMS marketing, the prime one is the transmission of a message in a few seconds to reach a large number of people.
It is an instant marketing tool that hits the right audience. The rising number of mobile phone users makes it endearing as the cheapest mode of communication.
Bulk SMS Marketing
The SMS technology targeting a large volume of customers is very effective in bulk SMS marketing. Nothing works better than bulk SMS in reaching potential customers.
There are many factors, other than cost effectiveness and speed that grace bulk SMS as a favorite of businesses.
Open Rates: The high success rate of SMS text marketing comes from 98% open rates vis a vis the 20 percent open rates of emails.
Even in the 20% e-mails that are opened, the lead time ranges from one hour to 48 hours. But SMS messages are opened quickly, within five seconds. Only in SMS marketing, there is the luxury of a marketing message being received by a big chunk of the target market in a few seconds.
Speed and Flexibility: The need of businesses for communication solutions to address the dynamics of modern business makes text marketing a chosen mode of instant marketing.
Why SMS marketing is effective must be seen at the zero lead time in bulk SMS campaigns that add more footfalls even on a slower business day.
Main Advantages of SMS Marketing
Low Cost and High ROI: TV commercials, print media ads or any outdoor advertising tools need high costs. This is unbearable for small and medium businesses.
Here bulk SMS is a great relief for businesses thanks to the low set up and minimal running costs. Execution is also easy. At a fraction of the costs of traditional marketing, bulk SMS campaigns give optimal results.
Is it not amazing that a business enterprise reaches out to 1000 customers in a few seconds at a meagre cost of $30?
The high degree of cost-effectiveness and huge RoI has made bulk SMS marketing indispensable.
There is also a vast scope in inducing greater personalization in SMS messages using data from demographics and buying patterns.
Select the Right SMS Marketing Services Provider
In the success of a bulk SMS campaign, the choice of service provider matters a lot.
The client must verify the routes used by the SMS service provider. Else, it will negatively impact the business. Normally most providers use Tier 1 Connections and SMS will pass through bonafide connections of mobile networks and delivery rates will be effective and satisfactory.
In case the provider is using “grey” routes, chances are that the messages will be bouncing from network to network.
The tactic is used by providers in evading connection payment. This will create larger lead times and delivery of message to the targeted customer will be delayed. Sometimes, customers may not get the message.
Also the messaging campaign must be rich in many tools with the following capabilities.
- High deliverability
- Set up for contact group management
- Facility to send Bulk SMS with a mere click
- Option for sending long messages
- Brand SMS marketing messages
- Unicode for messages in many languages
- Availability of Analytics
- Mechanism to schedule campaigns
Measure the Campaign Performance
That SMS in digital marketing campaigns is common place shows the power of SMS technology. As in all other marketing campaigns, in SMS too, measuring the performance of the campaign is important.
No matter of how great the SMS campaign was, only the metrics can reflect how it is working out.
A campaign’s success is assessed by its ability to offer the best return on investment (ROI). A HubSpot study says marketers who are transparent and reveals the ROI has the chance of hiking the marketing budget substantially.
Therefore, business must demand the key ROI metrics from providers of SMS campaigns to see what is working and implement suitable changes.
Click through rate: On how does SMS marketing work click-through rate shows the percentage of subscribers who initiated action by clicking links in the SMS.
It also gives insights on how people are engaging with the content and showing interest in the brand’s offerings.
Tracking and analytics
Using Google Analytics it is easy to track the number of unique clicks for SMS campaigns. The actual CTR or click-through rate is derived by dividing the number of the clicks with the total SMS delivered and then multiplying it with 100. More the CTR higher will be the ROI.
Conversion rates will tell how users as a percentage have taken valuable action in response to a call to action. They include answering a phone call, making a purchase or visiting the business web site.
One targeted outcome of SMS marketing is the query on end beneficiaries. Regarding what is SMS marketing used for, the answer is that the campaign has immense potential to increase subscriber base and ROI drastically.
A growing list of subscribers speaks of the widening of reach, audience and better positioning in the market.
Rules and Best Practices for SMS Marketing
As for the rules and best practices for the SMS marketing industry, be aware that the liberty to send text messages to customers gives no license to send anything at any time.
Abusing the power of SMS text message marketing will do more harm than good. First of all, a client must cross check himself whether SMS marketing is right for a business or he should avoid it.
SMS marketing is best for time-sensitive messages. That is why interrupting someone’s attention with an SMS is unfair if the message is not time sensitive.
Also, the message must pertain to what has been opted in. If it is flash sales the information must be about that only and not talk about a new product launch coming up at the end of the month.
Case Study of Kiehl that Expanded Store Sales
The success of an American cosmetics brand retailer Kiehl in its 6-month SMS campaign is an inspiring case study. During the campaign, the brand invited customers to opt-in for messaging and share location with Kiehl’s.
Location-based SMS was sent out thrice every month whenever a customer was within the periphery of the brand’s store. At the end of 6-months, Kiehl found that 73% of customers who signed up for SMS alerts had done shopping at its stores.
The campaign gave a real boost to the brand’s premium products for body care, skin, and hair. It is also one of the great SMS geofencing case studies.
Kiehl had notified the mega SMS campaign in other channels including emails and social media and signage to build up a hype and it shows the extreme efficacy of SMS marketing.