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Connect with Customers and Boost Your ROI with SMS Marketing Services

By Alba Ramirez on Jul 15, 2021

Text messaging is second nature to people today. Unlike direct mail that can end up in the trash or marketing email that can get lost in an inbox, text messages are quick and easy. They add a level of convenience that customers crave.

With so many brands and businesses fighting for customers’ attention, your marketing efforts need to be strategic and targeted. Short message service (SMS) is a significant marketing opportunity but is often overlooked as an effective marketing strategy. In reality, SMS marketing services are simple, cost-effective and can boost your return on investment (ROI).

How Text Message Marketing Works

An SMS campaign involves two key elements: a keyword and a short code. The keyword is usually a word or phrase that recipients need to text to opt into future messages. A short code is often used instead of a full telephone number and is generally four to five digits. An example of this is when an advertisement says text “events” to 53334.

When users text the keyword to the short code, they are opting in or choosing to receive updates regarding this SMS campaign and future campaigns. When users have to opt-in you know you are building an audience that has an interest in your offerings and is ready to learn more. This element adds to SMS marketing’s overall effectiveness.

Unlimited Messaging Possibilities

Now you can use SMS to send targeted messages to customers or potential customers, making the message opportunities endless. Messages could focus on:

  • Sales or one-day offers
  • Promotions
  • Customer service and support
  • Company news
  • Product or service announcements

Better Client Management & Retention

Text messages can help increase product sales for retail businesses, but they can also increase brand awareness and influence customer retention across all industries. Regardless of your products or services, 85% of smartphone users prefer receiving text messages over emails or calls. When your customers can contact you by their preferred method, it creates a more positive experience with your business.

Better ROI

SMS marketing services enable you to easily reach your audience and provide them with valuable information. When you combine the popularity of mobile usage with the fact that 95% of texts are opened and read within three minutes of being delivered, it’s clear why SMS is an obvious choice for businesses looking to boost their return on investment. Meet their customers where they are the most active – on their phones.

According to Business News Daily, “As with any marketing endeavor, the more information you have on hand and the more specific your customer segments are, the better. Similar to how Facebook ads target people within a certain area, by age, and by interests, the best text message marketing is highly customized and geared toward a specific target audience.:

Beyond the financial cost, other marketing efforts can cost more time and resources. Depending on how often you are texting your customers, a business can run a successful SMS campaign by only investing an hour or less per week.

It’s no wonder that worldwide mobile advertising spending increased by 263% from 2015-2020 and that number is only going to continue to rise. This staggering increase shows the effect mobile devices have on the way users buy and interact with businesses.

The Importance of Timing

Similar to email marketing, timing is a significant component of SMS marketing services. You want to be strategic about what time and which days you message your audience. Businesses should be mindful of time zones and not send marketing messages too early or too late in the day to avoid disrupting or annoying users.

When you start SMS campaigns, you should test sending messages at different times across different days. This will help you get a sense of what works best for your audience. For example, you might think that 10:00 a.m. on Monday is the best time, but your data might show that your best open rates are at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. Leveraging your data to adjust your strategy can increase your SMS marketing effectiveness.

Best SMS Marketing Practices

You always want to consider the user experience. Text messages should benefit customers, not annoy and frustrate them. Some basic guidelines to consider are:

  • Less is more. Like emails, flooding a users’ phone with text messages will overwhelm them and turn them off your brand.
  • While there are many factors to consider, most brands send marketing-related SMS messages no more than once a week.
  • Focus on delivering value to customers. Sending text messages just to “get your name out there” can feel insincere to customers and may create a negative association with your brand.
  • Make unsubscribing easy. Like email marketing, you will want to include an unsubscribe option with each message. Something as simple as “Reply STOP to no longer receive messages” puts the customer in control.

The Right Message

Writing for text messages is different than writing an email or blog article. With a limited number of characters to engage the user, you don’t want to waste space with filler copy or errors.

 

Always make sure your message is clear and include your company name when appropriate to avoid confusion. Keep the tone of the message conversational and use language that your audience understands. Adjust your tone to your audience. If your SMS campaign is B2B, you probably want your tone to be a bit more formal than in a B2C campaign.

SMS Marketing Success Metrics

You need to track and analyze your efforts to understand the true return on investment. When calculating the ROI of SMS marketing, metrics to consider include:

  • The cost of your text message platform (per month or per year)
  • The number of mobile subscribers (an up-to-date, organized, and detailed list can help you create more personalized and targeted messages)
  • The number of campaigns/messages you send (per month or per year)
  • The average read rate of your text messages
  • The conversion rate of new sales/customers generated by SMS marketing
  • The average cost of your products or services

While these metrics may vary by business or industry, SMS marketing is trackable, easy to analyze and adds value to your bottom line.

SMS Marketing for Your Business

SMS marketing services enable you to connect and communicate with your audience – anytime and anywhere. As a cost-effective solution, text messages can increase brand awareness, improve customer retention and satisfaction and boost your business’s return on investment. Contact Umbrella Local to learn how we can turn your business landline into a conversational business texting platform.

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