Many small businesses overlook SMS marketing when planning their marketing strategies. One of the main reasons is that there are strict anti-spam laws, and marketing strategies must meet certain requirements. For example, American organizations must comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act so they might pay from $500 to $1,500 in fees for every unsolicited text message. When you’re using a variety of marketing techniques, such rules can become a huge problem.
Although text spam can become a very serious issue for your company, you don’t need to violate the TCPA to create and implement an effective SMS campaign. We recommend that you don’t forget about this means of marketing because it can be extremely effective. For example, emails have an average open rate of 20%-30%. For SMS campaigns, the open rate is about 98%. Besides, people react to SMS quickly: as much as 90% of recipients open their SMS in the first three seconds. Obviously, marketers shouldn’t ignore such a great potential ROI.
Benefits of SMS Marketing for Small Businesses
- Flexibility and Speed
SMS communication allows you to create and deliver messages quickly, within a few minutes. Therefore, it’s a flexible solution that enables you to immediately react to your competitors’ promotions and to adjust to any changes in the market.
- High ROI and Low Cost
Almost all types of marketing require you to invest a lot of money into your ads. This is one of the main challenges for small businesses. Compared to other channels, SMS is cheap and extremely cost-effective, considering its strong impact.
- Quick Surveys
According to research, 31% of consumers use their smartphones to respond to surveys. Small businesses need to know what their customers think about their products, and SMS allows them to save time. Text messages are a great survey tool, and they can help you build strong long-term relationships with your customers.
- Well-Targeted Communication
Most business owners understand the importance of proper targeting because it to a large extent determines the success of marketing efforts and helps minimize the cost of communication. Since SMS marketing is usually permission-based, you can speak to an audience of people who are interested in your products or services.
- Automation Opportunities
Adopting SMS as a part of your marketing strategy allows you to use automation much more effectively than when dealing with emails and phone calls. On the one hand, emails and calls are quite effective as notifications. On the other hand, they are much more likely to be ignored than SMS. In addition, SMS can be fully automated, which is great if you need to send many messages or to re-send messages to make sure that the audience will read them.
Tips for SMS Marketing
- Know the Rules of Sms Marketing
Once again, you should be familiar with the TCPA regulations and you must make sure that you follow these rules. First of all, you should only send your text messages to people who have explicitly agreed to receive them. This is the biggest difference between email marketing and SMS marketing. You can start sending emails to everyone who downloads something from your website or creates an account. This is not the case when dealing with SMS campaigns because your recipients should opt-in by clicking a checkbox or subscribe personally by sending you a text message with a specific keyword.
2. Don’t Forget That Timing Is Important
We’ve already mentioned the fact that people open SMS quickly. Therefore, you should use it to your advantage, sending your text messages at the right time. Timing is also important because SMS doesn’t allow you to enforce visual recognition of your brand. You should study your target audience and determine the best time to contact them. For example, if you own a pizza delivery, the best solution is to send your messages during lunch hour.
3. Create High-Quality Content
It may seem like SMS is easy in terms of content because they are short. However, such a statement couldn’t be farther from the truth. Given that you only have 160 characters, you should make sure that your SMS is perfect. Here are some basic tips that will help you write effective text messages:
- Keep it simple. Avoid abbreviations, complex terms, acronyms, and other elements that can make your text difficult to read.
- Start your messages with your business name.
- If you really need to emphasize certain words, you can write them in all caps. However, make sure not to overdo it.
- Get straight to the point and be as specific as possible. If you’re promoting your sale, make sure to mention specific items and categories, as well as prices or discounts.
- Use a call to action.
4. Include a URL or Phone Number
Many marketing campaigns are based on calls to action. Unfortunately, when sending SMS, you cannot use anchor links or beautiful buttons to make your CTA stand out. With that said, including a CTA is a great idea because even the simplest CTA will still work. A good practice is to include a URL or phone number at the end of your messages. In this case, the only problem is the length of your URL because you have a character limit. Therefore, you can use Bitly or other URL shorteners.
5. Use Other Channels to Promote Your Shortcodes
Given that your recipients must opt-in manually, growing a list of your SMS contacts is a more difficult task than when dealing with email campaigns. In addition, the size of this list has a huge impact on the effectiveness of your campaign. Therefore, we recommend that you promote your opt-in keywords or shortcodes using as many channels as possible. Include them in emails, on your website, etc.
Text messages have been around for thirty years but their effectiveness didn’t decline with time. SMS marketing relies on native apps that are installed on every mobile device so your audience doesn’t need to do any actions to communicate with you. Text messages are extremely effective and they have incredible open rates. Even though SMS campaigns are associated with certain challenges and require you to follow strict rules, we recommend that you don’t forget about this approach and use it to your advantage.
Rhonda Martinez is a marketer, blogger and writer at LegitWritingServices.com. Being a former marketing student at University of Pennsylvania, Rhonda likes to write on topics related to digital marketing and social media. She has authored more than 200 articles about marketing communication, psychology and modern education.