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Five reasons why brands should use SMS Marketing

Mobile Marketing - Member Content

Kalin Kassabov, CEO of ProTexting looks at the power of text messages as a customer acquisition and engagement tool for brands. 

More and more businesses are discovering the advantages of SMS text message marketing. As email and other marketing methods get saturated, text messaging is emerging as a fast and reliable way to engage with your audience. Since almost everyone uses mobile phones, it's a strategy that works for any industry. Mobile marketing offers businesses many useful features and plans to reach customers on the devices that they’re most comfortable with. Let's look at the five top reasons to use SMS marketing to grow your business.

It’s the most reliable way for people to see your messages
In the United States, around 97 per cent of the population owns a mobile phone. Most are smartphones, but even flip phones can receive text messages. Furthermore, people usually take their phones everywhere. You can reach your audience wherever they are, whether at home, work, school, shopping, or anywhere else.

It's getting more and more challenging to engage with audiences using methods such as email, social media, or even phone calls. Research indicates that email open rates have consistently declined over the years. Consider your own inbox and how many messages you probably delete without opening them. Open rates for email vary by industry, but average at about 20 per cent. By contrast, around 98 per cent of recipients open their text messages.

Social media is another type of communication where it's hard to know if your message will be read by many people. Even if you have a large following on Twitter or Facebook, with crowded timelines and complex algorithms, your message can easily be missed. Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn't use social media as it's still valuable for branding. However, sending a text message is a far more reliable way to reach people.

Mobile marketing lets you reach people at any time and any place

Timing is crucial for reaching your audience and getting them to take action. Marketers who send email and manage social media do painstaking research to identify the optimal times and days of the week to send their messages or post their content. What sets text messaging apart is that you can be confident that most of your recipients will see your message almost instantly.

Text messaging is especially useful when you have a timely message that you want the recipient to open fast. Research shows that not only do most people (around 98 per cent) open their text messages, but they do so within seconds of receiving them. When people open email at all, it's often hours after the message was sent. This doesn't help you if you want to tell them about something timely, such as a flash sale or an event coming up soon.  A text message is the best way to send messages that you want people to see right away.

It's cost effective
Every type of marketing costs something, even if it's measured in time rather than dollars. It's important to calculate that cost, which is why businesses track metrics such as CAC (Customer Acquisition cost). Mobile marketing is an economical way to reach your audience compared to many other methods. When you sign up for mobile marketing plans, you have the ability to send large numbers of messages to your contacts. You can also send emails in bulk, of course, but remember once again that open rates and engagement are much lower for email.

When calculating the cost of a campaign, you have to consider engagement and responsiveness. Text messages are relatively cheap to send and they have a very high engagement rate. Mobile marketing lets you send customers timely offers, and other content that is likely to increase engagement.

You can target customers by location
Location-based marketing is very powerful, especially for brick and mortar businesses, those that provide local services, and anyone that depends on foot traffic. We mentioned that one benefit of mobile marketing is that people take their phones everywhere. This fact, combined with the latest geo-fencing technology, means that you can send targeted messages to people based on their current location. This can be very useful for physical businesses, which can reach customers who may be in the same mall or driving in the area.

For example, if you have a store or restaurant, you can send messages to people who are nearby and entice them to stop in. It's much more likely that someone within five minutes of your business will visit than someone hundreds of miles away.

Many apps to increase engagement
SMS marketing has evolved quite a bit in recent years, allowing you to do way more than just send basic text messages. There are now many apps that let you increase engagement in many ways.

  • Send images and videos – MMS (multimedia messaging service) now makes it easy to send visuals such as photos, infographics, and short videos along with text. Multimedia messages can also be forwarded, allowing you to reach more potential customers.
  • Text Message Autoresponders – Send your contacts automated messages after they send you a keyword requesting whatever you're offering.
  • Mobile Coupons – Send out exclusive coupons and promo codes that customers can redeem online or in person.
  • SMS Polls and Surveys – Everyone loves to give their opinion. You can collect important information by polling your audience while also getting them engaged with your brand.
  • Contests and Sweepstakes – Create contests that your contacts enter by texting a keyword.
  • Virtual Business Cards – Deliver digital business cards via text message. These are more convenient and shareable than printed business cards.

These are just some of the apps and capabilities offered by leading mobile marketing providers. As the industry is quickly evolving, new features are added all the time. The main point to keep in mind is that SMS and MMS messages give you many options to immediately get the attention of your audience.

Many ways mobile marketing helps you grow your business
Mobile marketing has been growing quickly, partly due to the massive popularity of smartphones. It makes sense to reach out to people in a way that's consistent with their lifestyle. Most businesses use a variety of marketing strategies to promote themselves. Mobile marketing doesn't need to replace other methods such as email, social media, blogging, and so forth. However, it has distinct advantages that make it a great choice to connect with customers for almost any purpose.