How SMS Marketing Complements Your Email Marketing
SMS marketing is proving to play an incredibly vital role in many marketing strategies.
It’s not often you find a marketing channel that the audience opens messages from within 90 seconds of receiving them.
Not only does text messaging have a broader reach than any other form of direct marketing, it uses an immediate path of communication directly to a device nearly 92 percent of Americans have in their pocket.
SMS messaging presents businesses unique opportunities and challenges to keeping customers engaged and informed.
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Why Add SMS Text Messaging?
SMS marketing is instant.
It immediately connects with your customers and can be more effective than print, radio, TV, and even email marketing when implemented well.
In fact, OpenMarket says consumers are more likely to open a text message before any other form of mobile communication.
SMS marketing is extremely useful for your business and branding, and here’s how:
You probably have friends who check their text messages every five minutes but haven’t responded to an email you sent two weeks ago.
Other friends may check their email several times throughout the day.
People have their own preferences for interacting, and sometimes, you have to cast a wide net to get their attention.
In marketing, SMS messaging helps you do that.
Text messages must be short, but they can include links to special offers on your website or remind subscribers to check their inbox for an important email.
You can also use text messaging to cross-promote your social media marketing campaigns.
Some retailers use SMS messages to promote time-sensitive deals.
Between 70 – 80 percent of in-store on-demand coupons are redeemed by consumers.
You can text subscribers to tell them about a “Today only!” deal and provide them with a code to enter when they make a purchase online.
(Tracking the number of people who use that code will tell you whether this strategy is working for you.)
Small businesses with a local client base may find this strategy really pays off.
Especially when businesses don’t have a fully developed website or don’t offer online ordering, special offers via SMS messaging can get more customers into the store.
SMS marketing costs much less than direct mail, print, radio or TV advertising.
It also improves your ROI, as SMS is considered to be 10% more effective than newspaper ads and 5% more than direct mail. Pairing it with other forms of advertising can make you reach out to a wider audience and gain new customers.
SMS helps you target customers who you know are most likely to spend on your products.
It lets you promote your business instantly by sending time sensitive information.
SMS helps you create a personal communication with your customers.
The one-to-one relationship you have with your customer makes your message highly reliable and has more chances of being read and acted upon.
SMS is swift.
It reaches your customers seconds after it’s sent.
94% of all SMS messages sent are read, making it highly effective.
Easy Opt-In and Opt-Out
SMS gives your customers the ease to opt-in to receive discounts, promotions, coupons, special offers, etc.
There are no cumbersome steps involved and it does not require any other information than your mobile number.
With SMS marketing you can send messages to a group or to your entire customer list.
Since mobile phones are used by all, there is no end to your reach.
SMS are short, not more than 160 words.
This helps you create a clear and concise message.
Your customers enjoy “to the point” messages because it saves them from going through pointless information.
Easy to Set Up
With SMS marketing you can set up new campaigns in minutes.
You can keep changing your messages to suit your customer’s needs.
Who Should Use SMS Marketing?
Just like any new marketing channel you consider, you need to determine if SMS marketing is right for your audience.
SMS marketing is really not much more different, and can be used by a variety of different industries and businesses:
- Fundraising groups
- Home repair services
- Auto repair
- Support centers
- Doctor appointments
- School closings
- Community meetings
Customer Loyalty and Engagement
- Retail stores
- Restaurants and bars
- Coffee shops
- Food trucks
How SMS Marketing and Email Marketing Can Work Together
Think about it: Both SMS and email are two-way communication channels for you and your customers.
Send out a text for time sensitive messages like a flash sale, and then follow up with an email for similar products the customer purchased from the sale.
To send to your SMS subscribers in Delivra:
Send automated SMS campaigns or incorporate a combination of both email and SMS messages in a campaign.
Flag event to evaluate if a contact is subscribed to SMS. This will allow you to continue targeting contacts that not subscribed to SMS (or update fields).
What You Need to Know Before Adding SMS Marketing
If you’re thinking about adding SMS messaging to your marketing mix, good for you. It can be a powerful way to connect with consumers.
But before you hit “send” for the first time, take a look at the following tips to help you avoid regulatorily and marketing mishaps:
Read the rules
The Federal Communications Commission requires marketers and advertisers to follow specific guidelines when sending SMS messages to consumers.
The law states that messages sent to a mobile device for commercial purposes must:
- Be clearly identified as a solicitation or ad for products or services
- Include a method of unsubscribing to future messages
The law also requires companies to keep a record of a subscriber’s permission to send texts.
If you mistakenly violate those rules, you could end up the subject of a formal consumer complaint, filed with the FCC, as well as suffer financial penalties.
Getting permission is, of course, required by federal law, but it’s a point so important, we decided to talk about it some more.
If a person subscribes to an email newsletter, that does not mean they’re also agreeing to receive text messages.
A second opt-in process is necessary for SMS subscribers.
Best practices suggest that when a person signs up online to receive text messages, the first message they receive should give them the option of responding with “YES” (to continue receiving messages) or “HELP.”
Once the subscription is confirmed with a “YES,” all future messages should allow for a response of “STOP,” to unsubscribe.
Get the timing right
Some subscribers may have a cell phone plan that charges them for exceeding their monthly text message limit.
Include a disclaimer in the initial welcome message that reminds them of that fact, but more importantly, don’t shower subscribers with messages.
Usually, between two and four messages are adequate – more than that might be annoying.
SMS campaigns should send no more than four messages per month, so ideally, you should plan to send messages on the same day, at the same time, each week.
Beyond that, there’s no hard-and-fast rule about when to send SMS messages.
Getting your timing right depends on your audience, and the product you’re hoping to sell. For example:
- A pizza delivery chain might want to send promotional offers sometime around 4 p.m. on a Friday. It’s a night when many people don’t want to cook, and if the recipient already has dinner plans, that promotional offer is still easy to recall on Sunday, when cooking takes a back seat to pre-work week chores.
- People who earn a bi-weekly paycheck are usually paid on Thursday or Friday. So a Monday special-offer message might be long forgotten by the time payday rolls around.
- If you have subscribers nationwide, schedule your messages in accordance with local time zones — a New York subscriber might appreciate a 9 a.m. SMS alert about free coffee, but a West Coast subscriber might take offense at being woken up by a 6 a.m. smartphone alert.
Get Started With Delivra!
Now that you’ve seen the value of tying your SMS marketing and email marketing strategies together, Delivra can be the platform you use to drive engagement and increase revenue.
SMS can be used to promote a new product, provide a loyalty or volume discount, to announce a special event, etc.
But while it may appear easy to implement, thoughtful planning should go into your SMS campaigns.
Delivra has helped companies create and implement successful SMS marketing and email marketing solutions.
Learn more about Delivra’s SMS marketing capabilities!