Sms Marketing
Reasons why you should consider text message marketing as part of your customer communications

Sms Marketing

As more brands look to target customers on the move, SMS is becoming an increasingly essential part of effective multi-channel marketing. However, with few digital marketing agencies featuring SMS as a core offering, their clients are potentially missing out on communications with customers and increased ROI.

Organisations mistakenly believe that mobile marketing requires heavy investment in apps and does not allow for personalised, targeted communication and lacks strong analysis to support ROI. The reality is that access to mobile communications is far easier than perceived and gaining access to mobile consumers (smartphone and non-smartphone) can be as simple as sending a personalised, targeted text message. The means to instigate two-way SMS messaging between a company and their mobile users is essential to building a brand in households around the world provided consumer privacy is protected through legal requirements for opt-in.

In this post we will summarise the key findings from our latest whitepaper which we explain in our webinar on The benefits of using SMS in your marketing mix and discuss why SMS should be used in a communications mix as well as looking at how it can be used as part of a multi-channel strategy for engaging with customers across the customer lifecycle.

1. It’s a direct, immediate channel

SMS is one of the most immediate channels available; with a read rate of 97% within 15 minutes delivery, you can be reassured that your time critical messages will be read almost instantly. A significant 45% of SMS campaigns generate a successful ROI, reaching over 50% when combined with other popular channels such as email and social media.

2. You can use shortcodes to simplify response and build your database

Have your customers make the first move by adding a shortcode or keyword to print collateral, advertisements and advertising boards as well as social media. This strategy means that customers soon become familiar with a brand’s code and keyword and are therefore more likely to interact and respond.

3. It can support and integrate with other channels

It is important that all channels work well together within the marketing mix and SMS is no exception. SMS is a great standalone channel, however it also has the ability to enhance and support other marketing mediums, such as social media and email.

As well as being great on its own, SMS can also function to enhance and support other popular mediums among consumers, such as social media and email.

For example they can serve to remind customers to read an email sent by a brand hours or even days before. A simple follow up SMS asking “have you read our email?” can help increase email open rates by 20%–30%.

4. You can learn more about your customers

SMS is a great channel to get feedback from your customers via surveys. Research shows that on average 31% of consumers will respond to a survey via SMS with the average response time for users being just over 5 minutes. Meaning you can get great results in a short period of time.

5. You can increase customer engagement

Think of SMS as a way to enhance how your brand engages with your customers across the entire customer lifecycle. Businesses should remember to vary the type of content they send out – while customers may value updates and news on forthcoming developments within the brand, this information is best delivered via email where longer, more creative messaging is more appropriate.

Although marketers may feel that texting is invasive, many consumers are now familiar with text from when using local services like dentists, garages or hairdressers or public services like the NHS. This is a great example of how the NHS is engaging its audience in an admittedly high-engagement occasion!

SMS-example

Additionally, brands can use texting for more immediate, expected sales-related offers such as vouchers, discounts, promotions or even birthday messages.

6. Response data enables you to monitor, track and improve

Tracking meaningful ROI, identifying customers engaging via text message and monitoring delivery rates are all possible through SMS revealing the realities to the misconception of SMS being an untrackable channel and bringing it more in line with what has been possible with email for years.

By using these analytics, businesses can create further targeted campaigns and continually build a better understanding of their mobile database. Not only does it mean they save money and improve ROI but by profiling and segmenting out numbers that are least likely to respond, SMS allows a company to target those customers via email or another channel.

Email Marketing
Email Marketing

“More than 34% of the people worldwide use email. That’s about 2.5 billion people. It’s predicted to increase to 2.8 billion email users in the next 2 years. Yup, email’s popular. The Radicati Group, who came up with that info, also reckon that the world sends about 196 billion emails daily. Out of this 196 billion emails the majority, 109 billion, is business email.

Let’s put it simply. Email marketing is a vibrant and powerful way to connect with people. Bringing it home, think about your own experiences. Do you even know anyone who doesn’t have an email address? You probably receive a number of HTML emails each week (I sure do). You read them, get inspired by them and even look forward to the next one. Email is a big part of our lives. A very big part.

Email marketing is also a very personal way of reaching your target customers. Messages from your friends and family are sitting next to email updates from your company. That’s why email marketing works at it’s best when it is personalised. Email can be tailored to customer actions so that every communication is relevant to their interest. You can cover topics like changes in your company, victories, request feedback to your customer – this list is virtually endless. With 2.5 billion users, email isn’t going anywhere.

Still thinking Email Marketing is not something for your company? Let us give you 6 reasons why Email Marketing is a channel you should not be ignoring.

1. More effective than social media (for customer acquisition)

Don’t get us wrong, social media is an extremely important component in any business’ marketing strategy. Social Media is a great channel for interacting with your audience and strengthening your personal relationships with them. And because of that, it is an important first step towards reaching your ultimate goal – the conversion.

But when it comes to converting people into members, customers or supporters, email marketing is the way to go.

A study by Custora from 2013 found that customer acquisition via email marketing has quadrupled in the four years preceding 2013. Email marketing then already accounted for nearly 7% of all customer acquisitions that occurred online.

Digital Tactics that Drive Customer Acquisition vs. Retention According to US SMB Retail Professionals, March 2016 (% of respondents)

And that growth only kept on growing. In a study done by emarketer in March 2016:

81% and 80% of respondents, respectively, said email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention. Email’s usefulness was followed by that of other digital tactics like organic search at 62% for acquisition and social media at 44% for retention—both rated effective by far fewer respondents than chose email.

2. Economic and Cost Effective

It’s easy, effective, and inexpensive. Email marketing allows business owners to reach a large number of consumers at a rate of nearly nothing per message.

For small-business owners on a budget, this makes it a better choice than traditional marketing channels like TV, radio, or direct mail. You don’t have to take our word for it. A joint study from Shop.org and Forrester Researchfound that 85% of US retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics.

Even with the explosion of all sorts of new technology and social networks, marketers keep coming back to email.

Average ROI per $1 in Ad spending

The reason is clear–for ten years in a row, email is the channel generating the highest ROI for marketers. According to research by VentureBeat as well as the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $40 in ROI

Compared to traditional marketing efforts where printing, postage etc. can take up a lot of cost for your direct mail campaigns. With emails, you are still able to create the same imagery with the added benefit of having follow-up information instantly available with one click to your website.

Perhaps just as importantly, with the correct maintenance of an email list, the cost benefits increase as does the ROI through the closer relationship established with the recipients. Together with the higher response rates that email marketing attracts, you, therefore, get more positive responses, more quickly and at a lower unit cost! Win-win situation!

#3 Personal and Customisable

In email marketing, what you’re really doing is segmenting your audience into lists, and sending each list a tailored email message that resonates with your reader and can provide them with something of value (segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue according to DMA, and marketers that use segmented campaigns, have noted a 760% increase in revenue, according to Campaign Monitor).

When you write a post for one of your social media channels, you address your audience as a whole (“To all of our fans, we would like to say..”). But by using your email marketing software correctly, it allows you to address people individually by name, split certain topics only for certain members of your list and eventually arrive privately in their personal inbox.

According to research from Campaign Monitor, emails with subject lines that include the recipient’s name are 26% more likely to be opened.

eConsultancy even goes as far as stating that 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement.

Email does not have to be SPAM – and it should never be! It can be used thoughtfully to build loyalty and trust in your brand.

Email marketing is important for building relationships with prospects, leads, current customers, and even past customers because it gives you a chance to speak directly to them, in their inbox, at a time that is convenient for them. Be friendly and personable. You are not invading their space if you have chosen your message and your recipient wisely.

#4 Action Oriented

Whether you realise it or not, everybody is trained to do something with an email -reply, forward, click-through, sign-up, or even straight buying.

Think about this!

Email is transactional by nature and you can use it to direct traffic to your website and ultimately drive sales.

As you develop your small business or startup marketing strategy as a whole, using email will allow you to see results straight away.

This means not just sending out newsletters, but also using email automation based on triggers of your customers.

Transactional emails have 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email and can generate 6x more revenue according to Experian.

#5 Measurable

There’s no guesswork in email marketing. When you use any email marketing software, you can track who opened your email, which links were clicked, and how many people unsubscribed.

You can easily get a picture of how your email campaigns are performing, make adjustments and improve your effectiveness. Email marketing metrics are important to remember as you monitor and measure your internet marketing strategy as a whole.

If you want to know how successful your email campaigns are compared to other people in your industry, have a look at the below chart by Constant Contact:

Constant Contact Average Email open and clickthrough rates by industry

Almost all major Email Service Providers (ESP’s) are providing these kinds of statistics. Others include GetResponse, and the one we are using; MailChimp.

A lot of email marketing software allows for split testing of your emails. As A/B testing comes from direct mail, it should go without saying that A/B testing in your email marketing campaigns is essential. A/B testing can reveal a great wealth of data about your subscribers. Do they generally respond better to tempting subject lines such as “Free”, “20 percent off”, or “Now on Sale”? Or, are they more open to a softer intro, maybe informing them of what to expect in your email. All these things can be tested, measured, learned from and improved upon.

#6 Mobile devices allow people to check their email constantly

Because mobile devices have become so common, people are checking their emails all the time—in line at Starbucks, during their office commute, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, at the grocery store, everywhere.

Some people think that with the growing popularity of social media platforms, email should be forgotten and may be pushed to the side.

daily-activities-on-smartphones-and-tables (1)

A study in 2014 from Exacttarget reports that 91% of people use smartphones to access their email. This compared to 75% of the people who use their smartphones for social networking. Not using email as part of your internet marketing strategy means you are missing out on a channel that a majority of the world uses!

If we can do it, you can! Start with a few simple steps and find out why email marketing is important in your small business internet marketing strategy.

Get out your list of people who want to hear from you (keep in mind that you don’t want to be a spammer!), use an email service that works, write a crafty email message that is friendly and helpful, and hit SEND!

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