Is SMS Marketing Still a Good Way to Market Your Business Online?

People love to text, and with good reason. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 84% of consumers have communicated with friends about products and services via SMS messaging. And when it comes to consumers and friends, texting is the way to go.

In a nutshell, SMS marketing is cheap, simple, and accessible. Unfortunately, not all businesses are equipped to take advantage of the power of SMS.

The good news is that the rules haven’t changed. If your business is still committed to using SMS to attract and retain customers, then this article is for you.

Why Are Consumers Committing to SMS Marketing?

Over the years, businesses have shifted to online and social media marketing. However, not all customers access the internet the same way, and mobile phones remain a significant part of the population’s everyday lives.

Because of this, marketers have turned to text messaging as a way to connect with customers who might not always have access to the internet.

From a product recall campaign to sharing store discounts and special offers, text messaging allows businesses to connect with consumers when and where they’re most likely to act on brand messages.

SMS Marketing: Tricky Issues To Consider

While there are many benefits to SMS marketing, like the ability to connect with consumers when and where they’re most likely to act, there are also some serious drawbacks.

One challenge is getting consumers to actually pick up their phones and engage with your marketing messages. In a world where internet connections are being locked down and data charges can be extremely high, getting someone to text you is not easy.

Another challenge is making sure your text messages aren’t spammed. Just because a consumer has given you their phone number doesn’t mean they want to receive marketing messages from all kinds of businesses.

Last but not least, online review platforms like Yelp make it really easy to discover what other businesses are saying about your competitors. With so much information available online, consumers have the ability to learn about your business quickly and easily through social media and search engines.

For those reasons, it is paramount that you address these challenges and ensure that your SMS marketing plan is as effective as possible.

How Can You Make the Most of SMS Marketing?

To make the most of your SMS marketing efforts, it is important to have a clear understanding of how text messaging works, what features consumers want, and how businesses can engage with customers through this channel.

For example, do you know what makes for the perfect SMS pitch?

  • Short
  • snappy
  • to the point
  • Actionable

With so much competition, it’s essential that you stand out from the crowd. The last thing you want is to send an uninspiring text message that doesn’t catch consumers’ attention. Your message should match the style and tone of your business. Think of every other marketing campaign you’ve ever seen and how you want yours to stand out. Is there something you can do to make the text more unique and intriguing?

After you’ve got your message nailed down, it’s time to apply the theory and practice of marketing to your specific business goals. Once you’ve established an SMS marketing plan, you can move forward with the following steps:

1. Collecting Phone Numbers

You’ll need to have a pool of phone numbers to enter into your marketing database. This is where you store all the cell phone numbers you collect. You can either use a tool like Benchmark to get the phone numbers of existing customers or reach out to friends, family members, and coworkers to get a pool of numbers.

Ideally, you want to have at least 100 numbers in your list.

2. Choosing The Right Platform

You’ll want to choose a texting app that’s easy to use and has all the features you need. Depending on how many customers you have, your choice in texting app could be narrowed down to a couple.

At this point, you need to determine how much you’re willing to spend on text messaging. Are you looking to maintain a free account or do you want to make annual payments?

Also, make sure you have all the necessary equipment and software to run your program. This includes an SMS marketing tool such as Short Text, an email marketing tool, and a phone with an internet connection. If you don’t have the budget for these items, then consider outsourcing the function or hiring individuals with the necessary know-how.

3. Designing The Text Message

Once you’ve collected a significant pool of phone numbers, it’s time to start designing the text message.

To make the text stand out, you can add in a few unique elements like a gif, a video, or a drawing. Are you displaying special offers and discounts for products or services? You can also include a hyperlink to your website or social media profiles so that interested customers can easily find more information about your business.

Short Text’s automated tools can help you make the message concise and easy to understand. You can also use tools like HootSuite to schedule out a series of text messages, so that you don’t have to worry about composing the message yourself.

4. Testing The Text

Once you’ve got the text message drafted, it’s time to test it. To do this, you’ll need to apply for a free trial of Short Text or another similar service and run the text through a few rounds of testing.

Depending on how much you’re willing to spend on text messaging, you can choose to do this periodically or once the campaign is live. Testing is extremely important because you may discover that the text doesn’t perform as well as you’d hoped. In these cases, it’s important to determine why this is and find a fix.

Once you’ve determined the success of your text messaging campaign, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the results.

Now that you’re equipped with the basics of SMS marketing, you can get to work making your business more approachable and accessible to potential customers. And for those that are already part of your sphere, you can use the messaging platform to provide special discounts and bonuses.