If you’re a small business owner, an SMS marketing strategy can help you reach customers on their mobile phones in a personal way. Mobile phones have become the preferred method of communication for many people, and they’ve also made shopping easier than ever before. That’s why it’s important to use modern marketing tactics like text message marketing to connect with customers and grow your sales. In this article we’ll cover what SMS marketing is, how it works, and why businesses should consider using it to grow their customer base (and profits).
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is a form of direct communication with customers. It uses text messages (also known as Short Message Service, or SMS) to connect with your customers’ mobile phones.
The practice is also called mobile marketing or cell phone marketing and can be used by businesses of any size in almost any industry.
SMS Marketing Tools
SMS marketing tools are the software that enables you to send text messages. There are several different types of SMS marketing tools, including:
- Business SMS platform – This type of tool allows businesses to send out bulk SMS text messages to their customers. It can also be used for automated texting and customer service purposes.
- API integration platform – An API integration platform enables developers to build applications on top of an SMS messaging solution for businesses. For example, you could use this kind of tool if you wanted your website visitors to receive text message alerts from your website when new products were available or in-stock.
- Marketing automation platform – A marketing automation platform allows marketers and salespeople within an organization (such as a store) to automate tasks such as sending out bulk texts at certain times during the day or week, following up with prospects after initial contact has been made via phone call or email outreach efforts etcetera).
Text Message Integration with CRM Software
Integrating SMS with CRM software is a good idea for businesses looking to make their customer experience more seamless. By integrating your SMS number into your CRM, you can provide customers with a way to give feedback and reach out to you without having to leave their inboxes or call centers. And if this sounds like something that could be useful for your small business, here are some tips for getting started:
- Take advantage of tools that make it easier for you to integrate SMS messaging with other applications. Many SaaS-based CRMs offer integrations through third party services like Zapier or IFTTT that allow you to connect different platforms together automatically based on specific triggers. For example, if a new contact signs up in Salesforce but doesn’t have an email address listed in their profile—which would normally prevent them from receiving automated emails—you could use one of these tools as an alternative means of delivering those messages (such as by sending them via SMS).
- If there’s no CRM available yet but there are plans in place for future implementation within the next year or two, consider starting small by building an external database where all relevant information gets stored outside the platform itself until such time comes when integration becomes possible later down line when budget allows it.
Email Marketing vs. SMS Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to reach your audience, but it’s not as effective when it comes to getting customers to take action. SMS marketing is more effective because of the immediacy and personalization that come with an SMS message.
Automated Text Message Campaigns
SMS Marketing campaigns can be automated in many different ways.
- It’s cheaper than email marketing. Your messages are delivered straight to the phones of your clients, so you don’t need to pay for expensive software or infrastructure for sending them (like email servers).
- It allows you to reach people via multimedia channels such as SMS and voice calls. You can send text messages with images, videos or audio files attached; this way you can market products in a personalized manner that increases customer engagement and retention rates significantly
The Pros and Cons of SMS Marketing
While there are a number of benefits to using SMS marketing, the biggest downside is that it can be expensive. A standard text message costs an average of $0.20 per message, so depending on how often you send messages and how many people opt-in to receiving them, your monthly bill may end up being hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Another potential con is that not everyone has a smartphone with text messaging capabilities. In fact, according to Pew Research Center, only 71% of Americans own smartphones (that number drops even lower among older adults), meaning that there’s still a significant portion of your audience who will never receive your messages unless they sign up for them explicitly.
The final major drawback to SMS marketing is that because most people use their smartphones as their primary source of communication—and because every business has its own approach—it’s difficult for marketers to test different messages without sending out multiple texts over time and potentially making some customers annoyed by repeated solicitations from different companies.
SMS marketing creates a direct connection between your brand and your customers through text messages. Instead of emails going to an inbox where they can be easily overlooked, your message will be delivered straight to the mobile phones of your customers — where they’re already communicating and interacting with friends.
Text messages are a great way to reach customers while they’re on-the-go because most people check their phone every 15 minutes or so. You can use text messaging for many things like:
- Introducing yourself or introducing new products or services
- Reminding existing customers about an upcoming event (like engaging them in a sweepstakes)
- Promoting deals that are only available for short periods of time
Receiving an SMS from you is likely going to generate more interest than receiving an email from you because it feels more personal, especially if you add a personal touch by including images or videos.
We hope this guide has helped you understand how SMS marketing works and why it can be a valuable tool for your small business. If you’re ready to get started, we recommend looking at our comparison of some of the best SMS marketing platforms on the market today.