Short message service marketing – or SMS marketing as we call it, is exactly the kind of marketing channel that will help you absorb your users’ attention in this bustling online world.
The Oldest Trick in the Book is New Again: Two Important Points
The first is a misnomer we want to clear up: SMS marketing is no longer restricted to mobile text messages. You can apply SMS marketing to any platform with messaging capabilities, like Facebook, or to any device that allows push notifications like mobile or desktop.
The second is a critical rule that you must always keep in mind when building an SMS marketing campaign: send your messages with extreme strategic intent.
This seems like the obvious answer for anything you do in marketing, but in this case it’s of prevailing importance that you do not flood, interrupt or annoy your users. Keep your message short, powerful and tactical.
Now we can dive into the tips and tricks that make SMS Marketing actually work. Whichever forms of SMS marketing you start getting involved in, your three core goals will be:
- Increase brand awareness
- Boost engagement
- Generate sales
You may ask - aren’t those the same standard goals you apply to any marketing strategy? Of course they are. But SMS marketing is unique because the goal acquisition is instant, the effort you put in is minimal and the cost is highly effective for ROI.
There are dozens of reasons for you to send out an SMS campaign (and creativity will always be rewarded) but here are a few of the most common reasons for short messages:
- Coupon offers
- Abandoned cart reminders
- Sales and promotions
- Festive season updates
- New product or inventory update announcements
- Notifications (for example delivery progress)
- Customer feedback
Plenty of strategists are incorporating these same messages into their email campaigns already and might think that’s good enough. It’s not.
The average open-rate for email is 20%. The average open-rate for SMS is 98%. If reading that wasn’t enough to convince you, then we can add that only about 2% of links within emails actually get clicked, whereas almost 20% of links through SMS get clicked.
We’ll never tell you to stop email marketing. It has its own powerful, somewhat irreplaceable advantages (as we highlight in our article on email marketing for ecommerce stores,) but it definitely doesn’t fulfil all the same objectives as SMS marketing. It’s highly recommended that you incorporate both into your budget and strategy if you want to see proper impact on your customer engagement.
Now that you understand what sort of communication short messages are used for, we can start looking into where exactly they are used and why, because your strategies and outcomes will most certainly differ across platforms.
SMS Marketing for web push notifications
We’re using PushOwl as an example to explain the benefits of SMS marketing on mobile and desktop. It also has a 5-star rating from Shopify and is trusted by over 10k Shopify stores worldwide. So we can say with great confidence that it shows results for any industry, product or service!
PushOwl allows you to send push notifications straight to your customer’s screen, giving you the opportunity for direct and instantly visible marketing.
Here’s how it works:
1.Install the app onto your online store. You can even start with a basic package, which is free, and move onto a more advanced package later once you see results for yourself.
2.When users start browsing your store, PushOwl will ask their permission to send web push notifications to their devices. From visitor to subscriber in just one click!
3.Set up automated notifications for anything from discount notifications, flash sales, product promotions and back in stock alerts to simple greetings, festive updates, review request and abandoned cart reminders (the list goes on).
4.Customise your notifications to suit your brand’s own style and voice. You only have a few characters at your disposal so bring out your best content crafting skills and creativity here!
5.Include captivating hero images onto your notification to catch users’ attention and interest even more. Content with compelling images receives 94% more views than ones without pictures.
6.Gain in-depth knowledge of your campaign performance with highly insightful data and analytics. This will reveal which promotions are generating sales, help you uncover market opportunities, and identify areas of revision to help steer you in the right direction for even more successful campaigns in the future.
Another exceptional advantage that PushOwl offers is the ability to integrate extended apps and further enhance your notification strategies.
We loved this functionality so much, we even developed an app of our own! Now Back in Stock by Eastside Co allows you to send automated alerts to you customers when their desired items are back in stock. This way you can recapture lost revenue and build a stronger relationship with your consumers through thoughtful communication. Plus, it’s the only app available that lets you send SMS notifications straight to their phones - which we’ve already mentioned has a 98% open-rate. Success you simply can’t refuse!
Be sure to check it out, or reach out to us for expert advice on getting started.
SMS marketing for text messages
SMS marketing may be old-school, but to this day it’s mighty powerful.
Tech Jury is a team of software experts that test and review software and other online products to give the public transparent reviews and answers. They’ve gathered over 35 compelling facts and stats about the success of SMS marketing today, and we’d love to bring some of their findings to your attention:
Nearly 6 billion people will be able to send and receive text messages by 2025, and a whopping 61% of the world’s population will have access to mobile internet. This means mobile marketing will continue bringing success in the future. So even with web push notification capabilities, standard text marketing will live on strong.
The average American checks their phone approximately 47 times a day and state that they will open a text message within 15 minutes of receiving it. In fact, 90% of SMS are actually read within 3 minutes. That’s quite a lot faster than an email lingering in the dark depths of a spam folder!
Just last year there were over 7.9 billion mobile subscriptions across the globe, which helps explain why as many as 23 billion text messages are sent each day worldwide. Yes, each day. That’s insane.
On average it takes a person about 90 seconds to read and reply to an SMS message but over 90 minutes to respond to an email - when they eventually get to reading it, that is.
So why these facts specifically?
Well because it serves as a subtle reminder that SMS marketing holds a massive part of the market and if you’re not getting involved, you’re losing out on the potential to reach thousands – or even millions of people as you grow your business.
The reason SMS marketing has such high success rates is simply because of how time-efficient and affordable it is as a marketing channel. Things like event-related promotions and flash sales require instant delivery for lightning-fast reach and interaction. Text messages allow you to do just that with a cost that’s next to nothing.
More so, you get to spend minimal time working on the campaign itself, giving you more freedom to focus on other marketing areas that require manpower and close attention. Much like PushOwl, you can use automated text messaging capabilities to follow up with contacts, set exact delivery times, send text messages triggered by particular behaviours, or even bring customers back to an abandoned cart.
If all this sounds too good to be true, it’s because there is a very fine line between successful SMS marketing and downright annoying spam. To be part of the growing success of it all, there are a few rules you need to follow:
Never send a marketing SMS without valuable intent. Remember, users can see snippets of an SMS on their screen before opening it. If they can tell by the first few characters that you’re sending out nothing worthwhile, you will damage your open-rate and waste a good opportunity.
Personalise your messages to the best of your ability. Simply using a customer’s name isn’t always good enough – you should also consider elements like location, past activity, recent purchases and other behavioural cues when tailoring your messages.
Keep it as short as possible. You have about 160 characters to work with, but that doesn’t mean you have to use all of them. It can be tricky to make such a short message compelling, so don’t rush the process – rather refine and perfect!
Getting an SMS from a business in the late hours of the evening – or even first thing in the morning - is highly invasive and can turn a customer off instantly. Consider time zones when setting up your automation and try stick to the general marketing rule of sending out a message between 10:30 and11:30, or 14:30 and 15:30.
Of course you already know that you can’t send a marketing SMS if the user didn’t opt-in for it. If you do, you’re breaking strict Data Protection and GDPR laws and you never want to do that! You also need to include an opt-out option in every one of your text messages. Don’t worry, opt-out works in your favour because if people choose to opt-out, you at least know that you’re keeping your database clean of uninterested subscribers. This will give you more accurate performance results and reveal where you should be placing more focus.
Are you ready?
Now is the time to start building on and improving your rounded marketing strategy. With so many tools and functions at your fingertips, you can start immediately and grow exponentially. Let us know if you want us to jump on board. We’ll kit you out and guide you all the way to success.