5 Reasons to Keep an Eye on SMS Marketing

In 2015, mobile marketing is expected to grow more than ever, particularly SMS marketing. While many forms of mobile marketing such as e-coupons require the use of a smart phone, SMS texts can be sent to any mobile phone. And of the 6.8 billion people on earth, 4.2 billion own a toothbrush, yet 5.1 billion own a mobile phone.

SMS marketing is a way of engaging and interacting with customers to increase sales, foster customer loyalty and build brand recognition. A well-executed SMS marketing program can help regulate the flow of business, keeping seats filled in restaurants, hair salons, spas, tours, entertainment venues and any other sort of on-demand, appointment based businesses. Here are five good reasons to consider SMS marketing in 2015.

1. It’s Effective

Got a coupon? Research by eMarketer shows that Mobile offers are redeemed 10x more frequently than print offers. Not only that, the open rate for an SMS text is 98 percent, compared with a paltry 22 percent for emails, according to Venture Beat. And 90 percent of SMS texts are read within five seconds of receipt.

Compare that with an average of 90 minutes for most people to respond to an email, with some taking hours or days, or even sending it straight to the spam folder. People are more likely to read a text as soon as it comes in and respond right away, especially if it’s simply a matter of clicking a link and downloading a mobile coupon.

2. Customers Love Their Mobile Apps

Customers love their smart phones, and they really love their mobile apps. Studies by Apigee shows, 85 percent of smartphone users would rather give up drinking water than delete their mobile apps. Things like loyalty programs and VIP memberships, that provide electronic notifications of this-day-only or this-hour-only discounts, specials and giveaways are a great way to get customer interested. They want to feel as if they’re first in line to get a shot at these special deals, and being part of your SMS marketing campaign helps build customer loyalty and brand recognition.

3. It’s Interactive

According to Responsys, 43 percent of customers are more likely to make a purchase when mobile offers are part of an orchestrated campaign that unfolds over time across multiple channels. SMS marketing can be combined with print, email and other forms of marketing to hold contests, conduct surveys and foster customer participation and engagement with your business. Texts can be used to offer clues, solicit votes and opinions, and be part of an overall story designed to pique your customers’ interest.

4. It Promotes Customer Loyalty 

Customers love loyalty programs. The grocery store shopper who spends $200 on groceries and gets a coupon for $5 off the next visit is sure to come back. SMS marketing is an effective way of promoting and managing a loyalty rewards program. According to Zoomerang, some 90 percent of consumers participating in mobile loyalty programs report feeling they have gained value from them.

5. Time and Place

With print and even email marketing, it’s impossible to control when the customer gets the message. But since most mobile customers read a text message as soon as it comes in, timing becomes everything. What if you could offer a terrific lunch special just as someone is thinking about where to go for lunch? Or a happy hour special just as your customers are getting off of work?

Better yet, what if you could send someone a mobile offer as soon as they got within a certain radius of your business? Imagine someone has pulled into a strip mall to pick up their dry cleaning. Suddenly she receives an SMS text with a 15% off discount at the dress shop two doors down. Isn’t she likely to stop in and check it out?

SMS marketing not only lets the business owner determine when to send a text, but to target by location as well. Like with everything else, there is a certain amount of strategy involved to successful SMS marketing. Read all about sending effective SMS texts in our previous post.