Do you remember the beep sound of Nokia phones, for incoming messages in the 90s? It’s called ‘special,’ and it was Morse code for ‘SMS’! Interesting, right? Today let’s not talk about Morse code, instead, let’s discuss SMS and benefits of SMS marketing.
SMS or Short Message Service is one of the primary functions that you look for in a mobile phone.
But do you know that SMS is an integral part of mobile marketing, and you can use it for direct marketing?
Yes, you read that right!
According to a survey published in Mail Online, in the year 2010, SMS earned $114.6 billion globally! SMS was considered then a massive commercial industry.
But where does it stand today? Is it still as effective as it used to be in 2010? What are the benefits of SMS marketing?
Let’s find out.
Despite the fact that SMS is continuously being challenged by messaging services that are Internet Protocol-based, such as WhatsApp and Messenger, SMS is still growing!
According to a survey by Transparency Market Research (May 28, 2015), enterprise SMS-messaging (2-way SMS or application-to-peer messaging) is growing steadily at 4% annually.
Enterprise SMS applications’ primary focus is Customer Relationship Management (CRM). It mainly focuses on delivering highly focused service messages like appointment confirmations, real-time notification or confirmation of debit/credit card purchase as a safeguard against fraud, and parcel-delivery alerts.
The second primary reason behind the growth of application-to-peer messaging is 2-factor authentication (also known as two-step verification) processes. The 2-factor authentication processes involve delivering one-time password over SMS, which the recipients enter online to verify users’ identify or authenticate the purchase.
How does SMS marketing works?
SMS marketing is a technique or a strategy that uses text messages (permission-based) to spread promotional messages.
To receive new product/service updates, updates on new discounts/offers or any information, your users need to text back some of their details, by messaging one initial shortcode, to the automated system.
When the user texts back the five digit code, the SMS marketing software/tool that is issuing the texts stores his/her phone number.
Building a reliable subscribers database to increase customer loyalty is the primary objective of SMS marketing.
SMSes are an excellent way to notify users within your geographical limit. It is also an open communication channel and can be reached out to anyone with a basic mobile phone.
You can inform your users of any upcoming deals, offers, sale dates, etc. Additionally, you can also send your users reminders for events. Further, you can also use SMS to engage your users by polling their choices or opinions.
Benefits of SMS marketing
Some benefits of SMS marketing makes it different from the other advertising platforms or strategies.
SMS marketing can help you in driving users to action. It will help you build a relationship with your users that will be distinct from the other marketing forms.
The following benefits of SMS marketing will convince you why SMS marketing should be in your digital strategy.
When you send a text message to your subscribers, the text messages reach them almost immediately.
The text messages are delivered even to cellular coverage places that have no internet connectivity.
Given below is an SMS that I received.
You can see the time when it the sender sent the SMS and when it got delivered.
You can see that it got delivered instantly.
Frost and Sullivan did a survey in the year 2010, where they found out that almost 91% of SMSes are received and read within three minutes!
When you know that your text message will reach your users’ inbox instantly, you can rest assured that the promotional or acknowledging message has reached its destination!
Moreover, once a text message is delivered, recipients are more likely to read or at least view the text message. Therefore, the chances of your users engaging with your brand also increase!
High open rates
According to a study by Frost & Sullivan, 98% of SMSes are received and read!
When it is only about open rates, SMS trump even emails.
When you send promotional text messages to your users, it will be seen and read by the majority of them. Therefore, your message will get your readers’ attention and the chances of engagement with your brand increase significantly!
High adoption rates
A recent data from Pew Research Center revealed that in the year 2018, 95% of the total adult population have cell phones and 77% of adults have smartphones!
The number of cellphone users in the U.S. (United States) has always been higher than smartphone users.
Almost all the cellphones have the SMS facility, which means you can reach nearly all of the cell phone users by text.
Even in a vast and developing country like India, there are places where there are no reliable and fast internet services. However, there is hardly a place where there is no cell service.
When you combine the said factors, you will realize that you can reach more adults with the help of text messages than channels of advertising!
With SMS marketing you can make sure that you reach almost all your users anywhere you want.
One best example for this in the Indian context is Ola. Ola knows that the internet may not be available every time for all people. And also to push its limits towards people who don’t own a smartphone it launched a feature called Offline booking.
Instant Opt-out and Opt-in
SMS services are instant! It is a benefit to you and your users.
Unlike other opt-out or opt-in options, your users will have to go through just one step.
With SMS marketing you can make the opt-out and opt-in quick and straightforward. The simple process can make your users’ opt-in anytime and anyplace.
Furthermore, it helps in building trust and makes your users more comfortable with you and your services as you have given them a chance to opt in and opt out even though there is no internet connection.
Take a look at the example given below. You can see how simple and easy the process of opting-out is!
Did you know that SMS inspired Twitter?
The idea of keeping a limit of 140 characters was only to keep Twitter accessible and straightforward to all people, precisely like text messages.
The character length limit of 160 of SMS can be considered an advantage for marketing. It will compel you to write a concise and clear message.
There will be no beating around the bush, and your message will be to the point.
Take a look at the example given below.
The message is clear and concise.
You can see there is no unnecessary or additional content, just to-the-point message.
When you deliver a clear message, your users will know exactly what you expect of them.
Forbes published an article and spoke about a survey conducted by SAP in it. The purpose of the study was to find out the growing acceptance of SMS among a group of consumers.
Given below are some of the findings:
- 76% of them confirmed that they would usually read a message or a text sooner if it is a text message/SMS than if it is an email.
- 70% of them felt using a text message/SMS is an excellent way for a business/organization to grab their attention.
- 64% of them thought that organizations/businesses should use text messages more than what they were currently doing.
- 62% of them reported that they would prefer text messages/SMS more to interact or communicate with businesses/organizations
- The benefits of SMS marketing are many. However, that depends a lot on your understanding of the benefits and features of SMS!
You can leverage SMS marketing in your digital marketing and explore endless possibilities.
Just imagine the total number of mobile phones out there! The amount will be ridiculously large, and the opportunities that SMS marketing could bring will also be many. It is another reason why SMS marketing is so effective!
Tell us what you think about the benefits of SMS marketing and the SMS marketing examples in your comments.
It will be great to hear more about your opinion on the advantages of text messaging and how it helped in your business.
Keep typing folks!
Also check out The 5 benefits: Why You Absolutely Need Email Marketing Now!