It is estimated that there are 2.08 billion smartphone users in the world! That’s over two billion people you have the potential to market to with SMS marketing and mobile strategies. In Canada, 2/3rds of Canadians owned a smartphone in 2014 and that number may have risen going into 2016. Wireless data usage has also gone up, with the average person using about one gigabyte of data. On top of this, Canadians send about 10 million messages an hour! That’s equivalent to about 227 million per day. Pretty much everyone in Canada is texting and they are doing it a lot.
With these numbers, it would be ridiculous for a business not to have a mobile strategy, especially one that includes SMS marketing. But, you can’t just determine you need to start using SMS marketing and then start texting potential customers. SMS marketing is a great way to strengthen your mobile strategy, basically because this form of marketing goes everywhere with your potential customers.
People take their phones with them to work, to the washroom, on dates, and even to bed with them. To say that people and their smartphones are attached at the hip, is just, well, the truth. People literally have their smartphones attached to their hips (or in their pockets anyway).
Why is SMS marketing so important?
What’s great about SMS marketing is that it is purely cost-effective. Sending texts to your customers is one of the cheapest ways you can advertise to them and the quickest. Compare that to creating a billboard, television or radio commercial or any other type of visual marketing strategy. The creative design alone can take months. With SMS marketing, you need just a few great lines of content to draw potential customers to your website and to buy your products.
On top of being cost-effective, SMS marketing is eco-friendly. It is an important step towards being a more environmentally-conscious company, which is definitely something you can brag about to your customers.
Why do customers love SMS marketing?
Most people believe that text advertising would be annoying and a way to anger customers with what could be seen as a spammy text. In fact, SMS has an open rate of 98%! That’s more than any other form of marketing. People don’t want to leave texts unread, even if it isn’t from a friend. Texts are short and easy to read, which can be in direct contrast to emails. Rather than giving them too much information, SMS gives them just enough information to move forward and find out the rest of your message.
But, once they open the text, do they click through? Yes! Studies show that the click-through rate from a text message is about 36%.
Another great thing about SMS marketing and what could be seen as the most important, is that customers have to opt-in to get text messages, which means that they’ve literally asked for you to message them. Because they’ve asked you to send them messages, they are more likely to read them and do something with them (i.e., buy your products).
You can easily personalize your texts as well, so your customer feels as if you are speaking just to them, not just sending out a blast to everyone on the mailing list.
What should SMS marketing include?
Obviously, you need a reason to send these short bursts of text to your customers and you want them to see the value in what you are sending. Customers need incentives to open and click through, so coupons, exclusive sales and exclusive events are one way you can keep your customers interested in what you are sending them. Smartphone users often want to feel like they are part of an exclusive group, so by sending them text-only incentives, it will give them that validation.
Appointment reminders are also a great way to use SMS marketing and give value to your customers. Not only will they show up to the appointment thanks to your reminder, they may be grateful for the reminder, which they’ll instantly get, even if they were on their way somewhere else. By getting your customer to opt-in to receiving texts with appointment reminders, you are now able to send other messages that you think they might find valuable.
Customer surveys are also a great way to increase customer engagement and to get that valuable information about your business. These should be done sparingly, considering many people don’t want to have anything to add to their to-do list.
SMS marketing should be a large focus in your mobile marketing strategy, if it isn’t yet. You really don’t want to miss out on those smartphone-obssessed, text-messaging and text-reading customers.