SMS is a nearly universal communications channel, and that makes it ideal for marketing.
SMS messages (AKA text messages) can be an important part of personalized customer service. They’ll usually include a link to some kind of deal, and an intriguingly worded offer entices customers to find out more…
On the other hand, there are newer and more dynamic channels like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or even email. Aren’t they better options?
SMS marketing is better than email
SMS is often compared to email. But in reality, SMS performs far better!
These facts will male you think twice about the value of SMS marketing:
- SMS has an open rate of 98%. For email it’s just 20%
- SMS has a response rate of 45%. For email it’s just 6%
- The response time for SMS is 90 seconds. For email it’s 90 minutes!
Does email perform better than other channels?
We can see that SMS does far better than email. But what about more up-to-date options?
Even compared with these, SMS comes off quite well. Surveyed consumers reveal that they prefer SMS over Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and WhatsApp.
Does that surprise you? It actually makes a lot of sense. New tools may be more versatile, but most people trust SMS more. After all, we’ve had 20+ years to develop trust for SMS. It might take years before any new rivals have a similar level of trust.
How can SMS marketing help you?
It’s easy to track the outcomes
Marketers struggle to measure the effectiveness of their work. They badly need tools that make this easier. SMS is that tool.
Why? Because your target audience either follow the link or they don’t. Whatever happens, it’s completely visible to you.
It’s easy to create and send SMS messages
SMS messages are short.
Writing a successful email takes a high level of craft, for copywriting, design, HTML, subject lines and more.
But you don’t need a huge creative team to write SMS. Sending it is easy too; you just need an SMS platform or an API integration. (More on that below!)
You’ve almost certainly sent a text message before. There’s really no difference between sending one message and sending 100,000.
SMS messages actually work!
The only thing that really matters is SMS marketing’s proven track record for success.
Consumers clearly find it hard to resist opening text messages. Ask yourself, how often do you leave one unopened?
As we’ve seen already, SMS messages have a very high open rate and response rate.
SMS marketing is good for customers too
SMS makes offers more accessible
If you have something valuable to offer customers, everybody wins.
The most important thing is that you present them with offers in a way that they can access.
Over 90% of US adults have access to SMS, and that’s far more than any other channel. For example, WhatsApp only has around 20% of US adults.
Test messages are easy to personalize
The best SMS campaign doesn’t bombard people. Instead, it targets them based on their behaviour.
If they show interest in a certain product they may be offered a discount. And it may be your highest value customers who receive your best offers.
However you choose to set it up, the important thing is that your offers are tailored.
People trust SMS messages
Text messages have been with us for a long time, and they’re widely trusted. There’s also a lot of legislation in many territories which prevents bad actors from scamming your customers.
In addition, it’s simple to connect your messages to your company. That makes you messages as trustworthy as your brand!
How can you personalize SMS marketing?
At the most basic level of marketing personalization, there is always an if/then scenario.
For example: if the customer is high value, then send them priority product updates.
So how do you actually set that up?
We’ve already mentioned API integration and that’s a common approach. Basically, you use APIs to link data systems to the systems which store and send messages.
Your CRM system is a good example of this. The CRM contains your customer’s phone numbers, as well as important profile data about them. Connecting this data with the system that sends a message is the core of your marketing campaign.
You can get very granular with how you use CRM data to determine which messages go to which customers.
Personalization uses data like:
- Purchase history
- Customer Lifetime Value
- Survey data
- Wishlists or incomplete purchases
- Customer profiles
You can use almost any data you have.
I say ‘almost’ because it’s possible to go too far with personalization.
In an Accenture survey, shoppers found it ‘creepy’ when a business sent them notifications based on their actual proximity to a real store.
At the same time, the survey also discovered that 91% of shoppers will buy more from brands that can provide specific offers based on their interests.
Transparency is really important here. Consumers will let you use their data but they want you to treat it responsibly. (And it should only be data that they’ve provided knowingly!
The final ingredient is automation. The cost of personalization spirals out of control if you can’t automate almost every part of it.
No-Code automation is the fastest and easiest route for sales and marketing teams who want to create campaigns quickly.