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What is SMS Marketing?

It seems like everybody with a cell phone is texting now but how about texting for your business? Here are some things to know about SMS marketing.  

What Is SMS Marketing

SMS (short message service) marketing is the use of text messaging to send promotional messages to the people who have opted-in to receive them. SMS lets you leverage micro-moments. Your message is right there on the phone when somebody looks at it. If they have push notifications enabled, your message even prompts them to look. As smartphone users, people have been conditioned to respond to the dings and vibrations from their devices. SMS also works well with other channels like email, helps you connect with people, and move them through your sales process with seamless interactions. Here are a few more reasons you should be using SMS marketing.

  • Most people always have their phones with them
  • People open texts faster and more frequently than emails
  • SMS marketing get a higher ROI
  • It’s designed for mobile which accounts for at least half of all internet use
  • Allows you to reach multiple demographics
  • Creates engagement
  • Gives people the power to opt-in (or out) 

SMS marketing has two basic categories, transactional and broadcast. 

  • Transactional SMS - A text message is triggered after an action. Examples include:
    • A welcome SMS to complement email
    • Order updates after a sale
    • Automated date-triggered messages, such as appointment reminders, birthdays, and abandoned cart messages
  • Broadcast SMS - These are scaled marketing messages that are still relevant to customers. Some examples are:
    • Announcing new products or services
    • Promoting flash sales that create urgency
    • Customer experience-enhancing content
    • Renewal or restocking messages
    • Alerts and crucial updates
    • Seasonal updates
    • Referral programs

How To Do SMS Marketing

If you’re sold on the benefits of using SMS marketing, the next step is figuring out how to do it. Let’s start with some basics.

  • Define Your Goals - Start by determining what you want to accomplish. Understanding your goals, such as increased website traffic or product awareness, tells you who to target and what messages to send.
  • Find A Service - Find an SMS marketing service that fits your budget and offers what you need to meet your goals.
  • Grow Your Subscribers - Never just send random texts, you need permission from people before you text them. Ask people to sign up while checking out at your online store, or offer something of value, like a free download or coupon code, in exchange for their mobile phone number and permission to text them.
  • Segment Your Subscribers - Use data analytics to understand your subscribers so you can segment them into groups and send them relevant messages.
  • Review Your Results - Review the results of your SMS messages to see what’s working and what needs improvement. Test new messages, sending schedules, and deals to find what works best for your business.

You’ll also need to craft effective messages. Here are some guidelines.

  • Get Permission - Don’t spam people! People don’t want it, it’s bad for your brand, and it might even be against the law. Ask for permission to send SMS text messages. Respect the time and potential text charges of your subscribers by only sending messages that are relevant to them. Being respectful and relevant is also the best way to keep people from opting out of receiving future messages. 
  • Use A Tool - Typing out a bunch of text messages on your mobile phone isn’t convenient or cost-effective and can even lead to serious compliance and privacy issues. A better approach is to use an SMS marketing tool that lets you manage lists and send messages from a computer or mobile device. Good tools will help you manage list compliance, schedule messages, and understand who opened or responded to what you sent. 
  • Provide People Value - When you reach out, have something valuable to offer like:
    • Unique sales offers
    • Time-sensitive deals
    • Necessary information for people to participate in an event
    • Early access to new products or services
  • Keep It Brief - People are reading these messages on small screens and might be paying a texting surcharge so be concise and try to avoid sending a thread of texts. 
  • Personalize Your Campaigns - Use your brand voice whenever possible, and make the effort to personalize your messages. Use segmented lists and texting groups about the things that your subscribers are interested in and include people’s names in their message with data automation whenever you can.

SMS marketing can be a highly effective tool for business but only when it’s done right. Check out Ellipsis SMS Marketing Program starting at $181/month!

Tags: SMS marketing

Geoff Strauss

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