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!
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.