Should I Use SMS Marketing for My Local Business?

With some 77 percent of the world’s population using cell phones today, mobile marketing is becoming more and more important as a way for local businesses to connect with their customers.  Websites that are not optimized for mobile devices may be slow-loading, difficult to read or are often not accessible at all on smart phones.

With so many potential customers increasingly relying on cell phones and tablets for all of their Internet browsing and communication, it only makes sense to leverage this technology wherever possible to expand your local business customer base.  One very effective way to do this is through SMS marketing.

What is SMS Marketing?

Also known as mobile text marketing, SMS marketing is the practice of sending text messages to customers that have signed up to the business’ messaging service. Messages can be anything from announcements of special discounts and promotions to contests and general advertising campaigns.

Contacting customers via mobile text is cheap, easy and instantaneous.  Customers are enticed to sign up for the mobile texts via any number of incentives, such as exclusive information or free gifts.  The two most common methods of signing up customers are through a website link to an online form, and through a call to action for customers to text a specific message or code to a phone number provided.

What Do the Texts Contain?

Local businesses can use SMS Marketing to promote new products and services, increase the frequency of customer visits, acquire more information about their customers and more.  Here are some popular tools used in SMS marketing:

  • Mobile coupons offering special deals and discounts make your customers feel part of an elite club or organization, and illustrate for them the value of belonging to your SMS service.
  • Mobile e-cards can be sent on the occasion of a customer’s birthday or other anniversary (loyal customer for six months), and give the business owner an opportunity to get more information about the customer, as well as to entice them in with a special discount or service.
  • Contests and opinion polls can be used to determine the success or failure of a new menu item, product or service being offered, and give your customers a feeling of being part of the decision-making process.

What are the Benefits of SMS Marketing for My Local Business?

SMS marketing is a long term business strategy, one that will help you develop a close personal relationship with your customers, resulting in long term brand loyalty.  When customers get texts from your business announcing immediate, short-term specials, discounts and perks, they feel as though they are part of your inner circle, privy to benefits that outsiders may not receive.

Texting is instantaneous and timely, so that any time your business hits a slump you can immediately increase sales by offering special discounts and promotions, to entice customers to visit your establishment during off-peak periods.

Local businesses can widen their customer bases by leveraging Yelp, social media and local directory listings to promote their SMS service.  The larger your mobile list, the greater number of customers you can reach instantaneously with a tantalizing offer they just can’t resist.

In this increasingly mobile society, businesses who fail to take advantage of this new, inexpensive form of marketing are likely to be left by the wayside, while those who embrace it and use it to best effect can realize a treasure trove of benefits!