SMS (text message) is an underutilised form of marketing, even though it can be really effective when done right. According to an article by MessageDeck only 39% of businesses use SMS to communicate with their customers. 

Not including SMS in your marketing comms strategy is a missed opportunity taking the fact we spend around a third of our waking day (4.8 hours) on our mobile. (bbc.co.uk

If you’re not using SMS marketing, here are five reasons why you should be. First, here’s a summary of what SMS marketing is. 

SMS marketing explained

Really simply, SMS marketing is sending marketing / business messages by text (for the purposes of this article, we’ll count WhatsApp messages as SMS marketing). 

For a company to send a text to someone, they must have opted-in to receive it. Sending unsolicited texts to people could land you in trouble! 

SMS marketing can be used to send a range of messages, including: 

  • Promotions
  • Offers/discounts
  • New product launches
  • Surveys
  • Order confirmatiions
  • Tracking/delivery informatiom
  • Appointment reminders
  • Change to business details

5 reasons to use SMS marketing

SMS marketing, while not used as much as email or social media, is growing in use. Some of the reasons why you should be including SMS marketing in your marketing strategy are: 

1. Speed of SMS marketing

One of the advantages of sending a text over other methods is the speed of deliverability. A text is typically delivered in 10 seconds or less. That’s fast! 🚀And as we carry our phones everywhere (even the loo!), messages are read much sooner. MobileSQUAD, a mobile research company, has found that 90% of people read a text within three minutes of receiving it. 

Email, while also delivered quickly, may sit in the receiver’s inbox for hours before being read. That’s to say it doesn’t go to spam. 

This shows that SMS marketing is the go-to method for delivering time-sensitive content, like limited offers. 

2. Directness of messages

A text message is limited to 160 characters. You can exceed this, but it means it’ll be sent as two messages (costing you more!). The limited character count doesn’t give you space to be flowery with the words you use, i.e., get to the point quickly. 

Need help doing this? Here are some tips you can follow as a guide: 

💭 Limit each message to one topic

👁️ Put the benefit first, e.g., Free delivery when you download the app 

🤷‍♀️ Use clear language; not everyone is familiar with text speak 

👇 Include a clear CTA, e.g., Download now, Get app 

3. Cost-effectiveness of SMS marketing

The cost of sending a text message depends on several things, including the service provider you use, how many people you’re sending the message to, the content of the message, etc. There are similar costs involved in email marketing, but the difference between SMS marketing and email marketing is the ROI -Return on Investment. 

Text Anywhere, an SMS service provider, states that SMS has an average open rate of 98%. Very impressive. 💪 This is compared to only 21.5% for email (Campaign Monitor). Likewise, the average click-through rate for SMS is 6.1% compared to 2.6% for email (WebFX). 

4. Personalisation of messages

The nature of SMS marketing (sending a message directly to a person’s phone) means you can be more personal in your tone. In fact, people prefer to receive messages that aren’t corporate sounding. 

Personalising messages could be addressing someone by their first name, referencing details that are personal to them (a product or service they’ve bought/used), or adopting a conversational tone in your message e.g., using everyday language and avoiding technical terms. 

Personalised messages help customers/potential customers trust your brand and build a relationship with you. 

5. Engagement of SMS messages

People will engage with you when they feel you ‘get them’. This can mean understanding their needs and desires. It’s possible to do (even with a limited character count) with hyper-personalisation. 

Hyper-personalisation uses real-time data to send content (offers, discounts, product news, etc.) that is relevant to the receiver. You can dig even deeper and send content based on behaviour. Food delivery apps, like UberEats, Deliveroo…, do this very well. For example, if you tend to place an order on a Saturday, they may send you an offer on a Saturday morning – encouraging you to place an order. 😋

Examples of hyper-personalisation in a text message is an offer or discount on a product that’s similar to something they’ve previously bought or inviting them to take part in a survey on a recent purchase. 

Ping…🤳

That’s what it sounds like when a text sent by you is delivered to your audience. Sounds good doesn’t it? If you need help writing your text messages get in touch and we can chat about your needs. Or, look through my blog for great copywriting and content marketing tips.