You’ve seen them on the subway. You’ve seen them in the two-hour company meeting that runs about two hours too long. You’ve seen them at the mall, in the grocery store and on the plane before takeoff. They’re texters, and they’re taking over.
These days, it’s statistically true that more people use their smartphones to send a text message than to actually call someone. While this fact might have sent our grandparents’ heads spinning, the truth is that instant communication is the way of the world now. It’s how we expect to receive our news, get our retail discounts and promotions, and keep up with our friends. As such, brands attempting to maintain legitimacy and a leg up amid stiff digital competition are turning to SMS text messaging to reach their target audience as quickly and conveniently as possible.
Gone are the days when a mass email blast was enough to alert your followers of an upcoming sale. Nor do consumers want to be inundated with paper flyers or generic mailings that let them know what’s in stock at your store. Rather, if you allow them to opt-into your messaging, they can receive all of this valuable information in the form of a quick and simple text message. How they choose to respond is up to them, of course, but as studies reveal we’re more likely to open a text than an email, chances are high that you’ll remain top of mind for at least a while.
To that end, let’s discuss four reasons why SMS messaging just makes sense for your business and why you’d be remiss not to consider its benefits when creating your next marketing campaign.
1. It’s direct.
In other advertising channels, your brand is competing against the clatter of others clamouring for your audience’s attention. This is true in magazines, on television and even across social media channels.
On the other hand, an SMS message goes directly to their mobile inbox, popping up briefly to notify recipients that they have something new waiting for them. In this way, it is the most simple and streamlined way to communicate in a personal manner with your followers who are truly interested in what you have to say.
2. It integrates with other channels.
SMS messaging is an ideal way to reach your interested audience as a standalone tactic. Yet, it becomes even more valuable when integrated into your overall content marketing strategy. From your social media presence to your print advertising methods, SMS messaging can be designed to simply act as an extension of your brand. Thanks to advanced software, it can even be customized to be as visually dynamic and interactive as possible, meaning that you can upload your logo, colors, font and more to your text message so every time you send a notification, everyone knows it’s you.
For instance, have you ever sent an email to your community and wondered how it was received? Have you tried to gauge follow-up and conversion rates? If so, you can follow-up a few days later with a simple text that asks “Have you seen our email? Click here for more information” to encourage action.
3. It encourages customer engagement.
Compared to other forms of audience outreach, SMS messaging is one of the most personal and meaningful form of engagement. With smartphones literally attached at the hip of your most valued and important customers, understanding how to best reach them where they are and when they want to be contacted is critical to conversion. This way, you can send alerts when they’re at the gym, in the office, at home or in a restaurant and they’ll have the option to open it immediately or read it when they’re ready.
It can also be an ideal tool to gauge customer interest and gather important feedback. From simple, one-question surveys and polls to links to more in-depth questionnaires, you can send an SMS alert that allows your audience to quickly share what they think and how they feel with the click of a few buttons. Relying on them to come into your brick-and-mortar store and share the same feedback could leave you waiting for a while.
Above all, remembering to vary the kind of content you deliver via SMS messaging is key. While recipients might love to hear about a new product development in the works in one message, they may get a little bored if that’s all your sending out. If in doubt, save the longer-form information for an email or online newsletter. Then, stick to sending out the personalized, informative and engaging texts your customers crave.