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What Is SMS Marketing? & How Can Your Business Use It

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SMS Marketing involves sending promotional campaigns or transactional messages for marketing purposes using text messages as the medium of communication. Did you know that the average person checks their phones 85 times a day? With more than half of those uses lasting less than 30 seconds.

Nowadays, SMS open rates are as high as 98%! And as many as 45% of people reply to said SMS messages. Even armed with these figures, 65% of brands are still not taking advantage of the time people spend on their mobile devices.

In this blog post, we are going to dive into the basic structure and components of SMS marketing, its advantages and disadvantages and the best SMS marketing tactics.

The Basic Structure/Components Of SMS Marketing

There are two core components to an SMS message- the keyword and shortcode. An example of this is:

Text “Website” to “444444” to get information on starting your free VEVS trial!

In the example above, “Website” is the keyword and “444444” is the shortcode. Once someone replies with that keyword, they are opting into your campaign and are now available for you to send them further messages.

There are other ways they can opt-in, such as checking a box on an order form or submitting their phone numbers online stating they wish to be contacted. Remember, even with these other ways of opt-in, the numbers still need to be confirmed, which can be easily done by sending a simple text, saying: Respond with “Yes” to receive info on your free VEVS trial. When it comes to SMS marketing, consent is very important, so make sure to always confirm numbers if they opt-in through one of the methods just mentioned.

It is also good practice to set up some sub-keywords such as “Stop” to allow people to opt-out if they wish to. Other keywords such as “open times” or “offers” allow people to further interact with your business and gather more information.

The Advantages Of SMS Marketing

One of the biggest advantages of SMS marketing is that it receives such high open rates. Emails can sit unread for days upon end, whilst SMS messages are almost read immediately. The average click-through rate for PPC is 2%, so with SMS marketing bragging up to 98% open rates, the proof is in the pudding!

SMS marketing is easily trackable. You can very easily monitor who opened the message if they clicked on any links and also if they ignored the message. Being able to track each step in the conversion process is vital in order to create a successful campaign, so the ability to monitor critical analytics will be extremely useful in your SMS marketing efforts.

Another advantage is that SMS messages go out almost immediately. Once you press send, your message is instantly sent to the relevant recipients. Depending on how well crafted your message and campaign is, you could have hundreds of clicks within minutes to an offer on your website, a social media profile or whatever other calls to action and conversion you are optimizing for.

The opportunities with SMS marketing are endless. You could develop an automated sequence that guides a potential customer through the buyer's journey, an interactive FAQ, or even a simple way to remarket to those that initiated checkout but didn't purchase.

The Disadvantages Of SMS Marketing

We believe in giving you a well-rounded view of topics within our blog posts, so we have also highlighted some of the disadvantages of SMS marketing.

The first disadvantage is that your messages must be short. There is not a lot of space for you to write, so messages need to be clear, concise and straight to the point. We recommend using a URL shortener when putting links in your messages because this will leave more of the word count for the rest of the message, allowing you to pack as much information into it as possible.

Another disadvantage of SMS marketing is people sometimes respond negatively to unwanted text messages. Now, this mostly becomes an issue when you send an SMS to those that haven’t opted in or came across your brand before. We always recommend that you make sure you have people's permission to send them texts and that your SMS marketing complies with privacy and data protection.

Finally, SMS marketing can be difficult to personalise, because of its nature and structure. With short messages and mostly one-word responses from the recipients, you really need to craft a great offer and peak the recipient's interest if you want to receive responses or clicks on your link.

The Best SMS Marketing Tactics

So, now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of SMS marketing, it is time to cover some of the best SMS marketing tactics, and how you can make the most out of every campaign.

Send offers or coupons. It is a well-known truth that offers and coupons help encourage a potential customer to become a paying customer. Simply create a unique code just for the subscribers within your SMS list and direct them to your website. You could also advertise elsewhere that SMS subscribers get “x” amount of their next order or 20% off “x” products. Some common marketing offers include:

  • Buy One Get One Free
  • % Off
  • Free Delivery
  • $ Off
  • Free Trials
  • Price Match

Another tactic is to take advantage of Drip Campaigns. A drip campaign is an automated sequence where you create triggers or tailored responses depending on each individual’s status. For example:

A subscriber signs up to the SMS list, and right after they do, they receive a 5% discount. They could then click a link within the message that will give them a 10% discount if they follow your business on Instagram. This would then trigger another message with their new 10% discount code. There are infinite ways that a drip campaign can be structured.

You could also set the triggers to be time-sensitive, meaning the longer the subscriber stays within the list, the higher the discount they can receive. So, as soon as they sign up, they could receive a 5% discount. Two weeks later they could receive a 10% discount, and 2 months later, they could receive a 20% discount. If you want to take things a step further, you could add a certain amount of time that they have to redeem that discount, so as the discount rises, they are still making purchases.

Need to collect some feedback from your customers about a new product launch or their experience purchasing from you? Send them a poll! You can very easily send a message asking them to rate their experience out of 10, or ask them to respond with a number that correlates with a specific statement, such as:

  1. Great
  2. Good
  3. Okay
  4. Not Good
  5. Not Great

You can then use these results to further excel your products or services, and even offer a discount to those that took part in the poll and had a good experience.

How We Can Help

We can provide SMS notifications for your brand new, fully-fledged VEVS website.

All of our reservation or online ordering systems have built-in automated notifications- including both email and SMS. SMS notifications can be activated by using the SMS sending service. We also deliver custom SMS notifications, as per our client needs. These notifications can be used as reminders about reservations, to send updates to your customer base or as short messages to all admins of a new reservation or cancellation.

You can both receive SMS notifications and send them, allowing you to not only inform admins but also customers about reservations. You may also send custom notifications with current offers and discounts, invoice reminders and much more! With multiple plans to choose from, we are confident that we have something that will fit your needs.

Find more information about our website SMS notifications.

Conclusion

So, are you going to take advantage of up to 98% open rates and the power of SMS marketing? Remember, make sure to always get consent as part of the opt-in process and continuously test different messages and offers to see which ones perform best for you.

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Have you read our blog post on What Is Duplicate Website Content? & Why Does It Matter?

If you are interested in finding out how VEVS and our team of experts can help your business when it comes to marketing, please visit our digital marketing page for more information.

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