SMS marketing is growing and it's easy to see why.
It's low-cost (only a few cents per SMS if you're buying bulk) and it's easy to analyse the return on the investment.
What's more attractive is that most people read text messages when they arrive (around a 95% read rate), making SMS marketing difficult to ignore – especially when so few businesses are marketing to mobiles.
SMS marketing is still fairly new, and for most people giving up their mobile number seems more personal and less “throwaway” than an email address.
But that's where it is effective as a marketing channel. Customers are protective of their phones, and when they invite you in and allow you to send them messages, they are less likely to ignore your message than they do with email marketing.
Using SMS marketing to drive business
Although SMS marketing, like email, isn't very good effective at converting cold customers, it is extremely effective at driving repeat business.
Let's use a restaurant as an example. Customers may travel from across the city to visit once in a while. The restaurant would like those customers to come back and to do so more often.
They collect customer mobile numbers with the promise of sending occasional messages with new specials or the meal of the month. They could even sweeten the deal by allowing an option to reply to receive a discount code for their next visit.
There are plenty of other uses for SMS service-type messages:
- notification of a requested product or service availability
- appointment reminders
- news of recommended new products
- reminder of renewals or servicing
Making it easy for the customer to give you their number
When there is a clearly defined benefit to the customer, it is easy to get them to exchange their number for that added service.
People generally find these kind of messages useful, and they are happy to provide you with their information.
However, if you have collected a mobile number to send out reminders, you will need to ask for direct permission to send those same people SMS marketing messages.
Once you've got those numbers, it's time to start sending. Consider bulk SMS services that offer “texting on the computer” to save your thumbs from sending messages from the business mobile.