Definition: SMS marketing

An in-depth overview of the definition of SMS marketing and the benefits of building brand awareness with SMS marketing

More than ever, people today use their smartphones to access information regarding brands, services, and businesses. That's why SMS Marketing has become such an important facet for brands looking to launch promotional campaigns or build relationships via text message. 

SMS bridges this vital gap by allowing you to share updates, alerts, or even time-sensitive sales offers for people already invested in your brand. To help you better understand how this can be used to your digital marketing benefit, we've created an easy-to-follow guide to get you started.

The essential basics

Every brand owner should know that establishing strong, trusting relationships with customers is how you get them to keep coming back. And few things provide a more direct and proactive approach than texting them and sharing what's going on in your world.

It's an opportunity to reach out and make one-on-one contact in real time; something that's invaluable for growing and established brands alike. And with more and more people relying on their phone for everything from texting to shopping to working on the go, text message marketing, or SMS marketing, is a pillar for your future success.

That said, there are a few rules you should follow to properly employ SMS marketing.

Opt-in required

While a direct text message is a really great way to communicate directly with customers, it's important that they want to hear what you have to say. That's why you should always seek out permission before sending them SMS messages and have a way for them to opt-out easily if they aren't happy. While open rates are super high, it can negatively impact your business if people are angry with your messaging. 

Timing is everything

How many times have you got a random text at 3AM and thought, "I hate this person for waking me up."? Right. You don't want to be "that guy". People generally respond to text messages in real time, which means you only need to send them information when you want them to take quick action or there's something they can actively do with it. And remember, many countries do not allow SMS marketing on certain days or after specific times. 

Rep your brand

"New phone, who this?" Yeah, nobody likes to get a text from a stranger. It's weird and you're just going to hit the delete button and move on. When sending out a message, let people know who sent the message. It builds trust, certainly, but it also helps people remember your brand and build your reputation.

Complementary marketing

Digital marketing is a revolutionary way to interact with customers and turn them into true brand advocates. And when you're tying SMS messaging into your other social channels, including websites, social media, and email marketing, you're able to develop a much stronger and cohesive sales strategy.

What's more, when you're able to utilize SMS and email marketing together, you can ensure your delivery valuable information with more effectiveness.

Fast, efficient, and effective

The ability to connect in real-time makes SMS marketing one of the more crucial ways to target customers, especially because of how reliant we've become on smartphones and the immediacy of the connection. 

  • Generation smartphone: Like we said before, people rely on their smartphones for pretty much everything they do. In fact, nearly 75 percent of people in the U.S. alone have one, which means people are always connected.
  • Play the short and long game: Email marketing still has its place but adding SMS marketing to the mix helps enhance both avenues by providing short bursts of info in real time and longer content when required.
  • Unimaginable engagement: People today are always connected to the world with their smartphone, which is why the standard SMS message is read within 3 minutes. That's a 90% engagement rate. Yeah, they're a big deal.
  • Smarter, more affordable solution: Some areas of the world have slow or inaccessible internet speeds or expensive services, which makes SMS messaging even more vital to staying connected with customers.

SMS marketing made easy

Almost every business in any country is given a "short code" for the SMS marketing messages instead of a telephone number to help differentiate them and streamline the sharing process. These are generally created by your provider and cannot be altered by your business. As such, it makes it vital your brand name is included with the message.

Here are two types of messages that can be send via SMS marketing:

1. Direct campaigns: A classic "bulk text", use these to share things like sales, coupons, limited-time offers, or general updates or messages.

2. Transactional messages: Trigged by an event or behavior, these are "one-to-one" messages that occur to communicate things like shipping confirmations, times, or updates.

Crafting the right message

While every business has different goals, the same ideas can be applied when it comes to utilizing SMS text messaging effectively. Here are just a few ways it can be implemented to help your business or service thrive:

Ecommerce or retail promotions

People still are quick to respond to a good deal, especially when they feel like it's only available for a limited time. Use SMS messaging to share coupons, promotions, or limited-time sales to get people "in the door". Just remember not to oversaturate this angle or people will begin to think it's all a ruse.

Real-time updates

If you're hosting an event, providing a service, or want to share important information to keep customers or clients in the know, SMS messaging makes a great way to communicate general information, changes, policies, cancellations, or other important data to help everyone stay on the same page.

Important reminders

Many businesses require scheduling to keep everything organized and flowing smoothly, so when you have a client, patient, or customer who is late or doesn't show up at all, it can make things challenging. Sending out appointment reminders through text message helps people show up, pay on time, or stay on schedule.

Company-wide alerts

The bigger your business gets the harder it can be to talk to each and every one of them. And while emails can be sent out, not everyone has an internal email system to manage. That's why SMS text messaging is great for a quick way to send out things like office closures, emergency info or updates, or even to say a quick thanks and build morale.

Benefitting your business

No matter the size or scope of your brand, SMS text messaging can play a vital role in your long-term digital marketing success. The real-time communication, ability to provide customers valuable information, and accessibility to messaging makes it a smart, reliable way to grow.

That said, there are a few businesses who should be utilizing SMS in the marketing strategy from day one to ensure they're meeting the needs of their customers and strengthening their business.

  • E-commerce and online stores: If you don't have a brick-and-mortar business and operate solely online, SMS can help you maintain better contact with customers regarding promotions, orders, shipping, and more.
  • Travel and vacation businesses: Traveling is stressful, and customers want to feel comfortable and confident when on the go. Being able to update them on flight times, cancellations, gate changes, or weather is important to their trust.
  • Appointment schedulers: If you run a business that relies on structured scheduling, such as dentist offices, trade skill services, or even house cleaning, save yourself time and money by avoiding late appointments or no shows.
  • Large corporations: The bigger your company gets the harder it is to reach everyone; especially when speed is essential. Utilizing SMS messaging for internal communication can help everyone stay on the same page.

Start implementing SMS today

Now that you better understand what SMS marketing is, why it's important, and how you can implement it into your daily marketing strategies, you know that you should be missing out on these vital opportunities. 

When you choose SMS marketing, you can ensure:

  • Real-time customer interaction
  • Fast, reliable delivery and engagement
  • Streamlined marketing campaigns
  • Stronger customer relationships
If you've been looking for a smarter, more effective way to reach customers without adding a convoluted path to make a connection, it's time you tried SMS marketing. Enhance your performance across all your social platforming efforts by signing up today with Textedly and start building a stronger, more engaged brand.