The average person will check their phone 150 times each day. If you own a smartphone you might think that estimate is a little low. We depend on our phones for virtually everything and they go everywhere we do. That’s why text message marketing has become such an important part of most businesses’ marketing strategies. If you own a business, you’d be wise to look into text message marketing (SMS marketing).

The new frontier

Text message marketing has changed the way businesses advertise to their customers. It used to be the goal of marketers to reach as broad an audience as possible. With text messages, you’re paying for each text you send; that means you have to be more selective about your target audience. Evidence suggests that text message marketing is most effective when “narrow-cast” methods are used. Consider these statistics about the effectiveness of SMS marketing:

  • 98% of text messages are read (compared to just 12% of emails). If you think about it, it’s much easier to ignore junk mail and emails that it is to ignore a text message
  • Coupons sent via text are ten times more likely to be redeemed compared to print and email coupons
  • The average click-through-rate (percentage of people who clicked on the embedded link) is approximately 19% of texts compared to 4.2% for email and .05% for Facebook ads

sms vs mms

Getting started

Launching an entirely new marketing campaign might sound a little overwhelming. Once you get started however you’ll find that of all the digital marketing channels, SMS marketing is one of the easier ones to learn. Here are a few tips for getting started:

  • Make sure customers opt-in. SMS is regulated to protect consumers from receiving persistent, unwanted text messages. As a result, it’s crucial that all of your customers opt in to receive your texts before you send them. The rules are very specific and change from time to time so make sure you have the current information regarding SMS regulations
  • It’s not always about the sale. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that every text has to push a customer to make a purchase. Think outside the box when it comes to designing your text message marketing campaign. While you can use it to send mobile coupons and to keep customers informed of new products and specials, you can also use it to wish your loyal customers “Happy Birthday” or to send appointment reminders, shipment notifications, and transaction confirmations. This shows your customers you care about them
  • Timing matters. Make sure you’re not sending texts in the early morning hours or late at night. Furthermore, pay attention to the times at which your text messages are most successful. If your business is a restaurant for instance, your texts may be particularly effective just before lunch and dinner hours
  • Keep it simple. Texts don’t need to be long and elaborate. In fact it’s better if they’re not. Your text messages will be the most effective when they are simple and concise