By Genia Stevens, Huffpost Business
Businesses of all sizes are discovering that they can effectively integrate SMS marketing into a larger marketing strategy. With the help of SMS marketing automation, brands can create, schedule, and automate smart targeting campaigns.
According to a study by Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS), 91% of millennials are text messaging during a typical week. Fifty-one percent of millennials are willing to share their mobile number, if given an incentive.
Jamie Tolentino, contributor at The Next Web, says “SMS is the most effective way to reach users, with a 90 percent read rate in minutes. When it comes to timeliness of delivery, SMS maintains the highest engagement rate in comparison to emails and over-the-top (OTT) apps.”
Ken Rhie, CEO of Trumpia says “SMS marketing is a proven channel that allows marketers to effectively reach consumers. Email and direct mail are just too slow, and social media is too inundated with spam. With a 90% open rate, SMS gets your messages read faster than any other channel.”
An OpenMarket article states a majority of millennials prefer businesses use text messaging, instead of calling, for customer service because they don’t like to talk on the phone.
Additional research suggests that SMS can be an essential part of an organization’s multi-channel marketing strategy. Implementing effective SMS messaging between brands and mobile device users is a great way to engage customers throughout the buying process. SMS marketing is also great for lead generation.
#1. Direct and Immediate Message Delivery
SMS is the most immediate marketing channel available to marketers. Ninety-seven percent of text messages are opened and read and most are read within 3 minutes of delivery.
Direct communication with consumers can help stimulate an immediate purchase. The faster the communication, the sooner consumers can make a purchase. The use of this direct communication can also cultivate lasting relationships between brands and their consumers.
#2. Quick Feedback from Customers
Research shows that 31% of consumers will respond to a survey via smartphone. Brands can initiate surveys via SMS and receive results in relatively short amount of time. The average response time is less than 6 minutes.
Customer feedback is valuable information for businesses. This data helps the company improve its products. Customer feedback also helps the company learn more about market trends and gain a better understanding of what customers like and don’t like.
#3. Instant Deliverability
Text messages are usually delivered within seconds. Average SMS delivery time for most mobile carriers is less than 10 seconds. Brands can deliver time-sensitive messages instantly.
IDC data indicates 62% of smartphone users check their phones immediately after waking up, while 79% check theirs within 15 minutes of waking up. With brands struggling to increase email deliverability, the astonishing SMS deliverability leaves no question that SMS marketing is a worthwhile investment.
#4. High Open Rate
Higher open rates make a marketing campaign more effective. With a 90% open rate, the SMS open rate is almost triple that of the average email open rate. Brands don’t have to worry about crafting great subject lines that will encourage the recipient to open and read a text message. The buzz going off in a mobile user’s pocket is all the motivation they need to open a text message.
#5. High Conversion Rate
SMS has a very high conversion rate. Mobile users respond to call-to-actions in text messages more than any other marketing channel. Time Warner has used SMS to boost late bill collections by 49% and Kiehl’s saw over 73% of their opted-in customers make a purchase as a result of receiving SMS product alerts.
The reason conversion rates are higher in SMS is the simplicity of the marketing message. Text messages are short, they don’t include a lot of links, and they are not bogged down with a lot of images. The call-to-action is clear and concise.
#6. No Spam Filters to Deal With
Marketers don’t have to worry about their promotional text messages ending up in the spam folder. The filters that email marketers have to battle with do not exist in SMS land. When someone opts-in to receive SMS marketing messages, marketers don’t have to remind them to whitelist their short code so their messages don’t accidentally land in a spam folder.
What’s really great about SMS marketing is even people who don’t own a smartphone can send and receive text messages. This makes SMS marketing one of the most accessible and effective tool marketers can use to deliver promotional messages to consumers.
If you’re ready to get started with SMS marketing, John Boitnott, contributor at Inc.com, provides a useful list of 15 tactics that will help you succeed with your SMS strategy.