SMS Marketing: 10 Reasons Why You Should Use It

SMS marketing is no longer the impressionable young upstart it was 15 years ago.

It’s matured, and the use of SMS has grown and continues to grow at a steady rate.

Consumers are no longer surprised to receive offers from venues that they’ve opted into. In fact, they have come to expect them.

According to research by SAP, 70% of people feel that SMS is a good way for an organization to get their attention.

If your business hasn’t yet taken the plunge, there’s a whole opportunity to generate eyebrow-raising response rates that will impress even the most cynical of marketers.

Here are the top 10 reasons, to roll up your sleeves and dive into the world of SMS marketing.

1. Killer Open Rates

No direct response marketing channel can compete with the astonishing read rate of SMS.

90% of all SMS are still read within the first 3 mins (mobileSQUARED).

Despite the explosive growth of messaging apps and in-app notifications, SMS still has the power to make us stop what we’re doing and check the SMS inbox.

Even among millennials, SMS is still the messaging app that they use if they want to be 100% certain that a message will be opened and read.

Despite the onslaught of instant messaging apps, SMS marketing can still make a greater impact,

It makes some sense when was the last time you ignored a text?

2. SMS has the highest response of any communication channel

If only email response rates could match those of SMS.

According to Helloworld, SMS can boost response rates that are 6-8 times higher than email.

Email open rates have been on the decline for years and marketers are finding it increasingly difficult to grab our attention and make us act.

The rise of the pop-up email box that plagues the user experience of so many websites is putting us off ever giving away our email address.

Compared to any other way of getting your message across, SMS open and response rates are one of the marvels of the marketing world.

3. SMS is here to stay

Every week I read a new article telling us how SMS is on the verge of meltdown and will soon be swept aside as messaging apps take control.

In fact, when messaging apps first appeared around 10 years ago, many industry pundits reckoned the writing was on the wall for SMS.

While it’s undeniably true that messaging has rapidly overtaken SMS for person to person use, the use of SMS in business is still growing steadily and is predicted to do so for another few years.

According to Zion research, the A2P messaging market (application to person) will grow by 4% a year until 2020 when it will reach a global total of $70 billion.

4. SMS is still the only universal messaging platform

Zero learning curve.

Nothing to download, no web connection or data issues.

Every mobile phone ever built can send and receive texts. SMS dates to 1995 and it’s likely to be with us long after some of the current messaging apps have decreased in popularity.

We understand SMS, we don’t need to learn it and we still get a buzz from receiving them.

5. There’s a low spam rate

Just a few years ago, I used to receive dozens of junk texts a week?

It was infuriating, to put it mildly.

Spam SMS seems to have almost completely dried up. In large part due to the implementation of stringent new rules around the sending of marketing texts.

In the EU, since GDPR became law in May 2018, regulators have increased powers to punish the rule breakers.

They can and do hand out large fines to organizations who break the rules. The new rules mean that our SMS inboxes remain largely spam free.

6. SMS marketing is trackable

Every mobile marketing text sent receives a delivery report, letting you know whether the message has been delivered or not.

Dead numbers can be removed from your list so that no further effort is made to text them.

Links in your texts can be shortened and click-through/engagement tracked. That way you can measure exactly how your campaigns are performing.

7. Uncompromised by advertising

Messaging apps offer far more flexibility than SMS which is so basic and clunky in comparison. You can’t for example, create groups or send pictures easily.

The issue with messaging apps is that the platform must generate revenue through in-app advertising.

The business model depends on advertisers seeing a return on their ad spend, users need to click away from the messaging to view the ads.

So, ads are a necessary distraction that encourages users to move away from the messaging app and visit an advertiser’s website.

By contrast, SMS operates in a cocoon. You’re either viewing or sending texts with no tempting exit doors.

8. Your competitors are using SMS marketing

“If you’re not using mobile marketing to attract new customers to your business, don’t worry – your competitors are already using it and are getting those customers instead.” – Jamie Turner, 60SecondMarketer.com

Whatever sector you operate in, it’s likely that other companies will be using SMS as a way of communicating with their customers.

While it’s not a smart idea to get too obsessed with what competitors are up to, you don’t want to let them dominate one of the most responsive communication channels.

9. You can get up and running fast

One of the joys of SMS is that you don’t need to involve every department in your company to get a campaign off the ground.

There’s no artwork to get bogged down in, or media buying agency to consult. You can simply extract the mobile data, then compose your text. And your message can be landing on customers’ mobiles within the hour.

10. Low, low costs

SMS has the advantage of being an incredibly low-cost way of getting your message across to your customers and prospects.

Unlike traditional forms of advertising, you don’t have to appoint an expensive agency to come up with options for artwork. Or to say spend thousands on placing the ads themselves.

Most SMS providers offer a simple pay as you go service that allows you to buy a block of text message credits that’s an exact match to the number of prospects on your database.

This means that you have no wastage and won’t end up with an unused allocation of test credits after your campaign has run. If you’re running your business on a budget, then SMS marketing should definitely be part of your plans.

Costs per text vary quite dramatically from country to country. So make sure you get a quote for the country in which you’ll be sending.

Conclusion

Most companies are perfectly placed to take advantage of the humble text. And many businesses have been doing so for over 20 years.

But if you haven’t yet got involved, it’s not too late to start. When it’s done well, like this example from Photobox, the benefits can be genuinely transformative.

Henry Cazalet
Henry is a Director and founder of The SMS Works, a low cost and reliable SMS API for developers. He’s been involved in SMS and mobile marketing since 1999 and helps companies of sizes get the most out of SMS. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Henry Cazalet

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