How to Grow Your Small Business with Text Marketing

October 29, 2021     •     Blog

Stefaan De Vreese

By Stefaan de Vreese

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pink envelope with the words message marketing

Text Marketing, or (Short Message Service) SMS Marketing, is a great way to promote your business on a small budget.

 

No longer just a convenient way to chat with friends, texting has also become a powerful mobile marketing tool for small businesses.

 

But many fail to see its potential. In fact, SMS campaigns are cheap, easy to use and provide a ton of value.

 

It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your product or service through mobile devices. It helps build brand awarenessincreases reach, and is easy to implement. You can send personalized messages and reminders to your customers, along with special offers, which encourage them to contact you back. It’s a perfect way for small enterprises to connect with a larger audience and build relationships with loyal customers.

WHAT IS SMS MARKETING?

SMS marketing, or text message marketing, refers to the method by which businesses and organizations send out promotions, specials, coupons, alerts, news, updates, and more through targeted text messaging on mobile phones.

 

SMS messaging’s real-time format makes it ideal for small businesses and side hustles because they’re short, direct, and easy to digest. Moreover, mobile phones are always at arms-length, making them a constantly available marketing channel. If you aren’t using SMS marketing, you’re not only late in the game–you’re missing out on a large chunk of the market.

 

Today’s target audiences are digital natives — zoomers and millennials who grew up with mobile phones. That makes text marketing the perfect complement to email and social media messenger marketing.

WHAT DOES SMS MARKETING ENABLE YOU TO DO?

This atypical and underused channel offers businesses a unique opportunity to build a relationship with their prospects FAST.


But…


SMS is intimate, immediate, and overt in getting your customer’s attention. So, you better get it right from the start.


Some fast rules:

 

  • Like you do with email, get permission & provide an opt-out.
    Once you have permission, don’t abuse it. Overusing this channel is the fastest way to kill it for your customers.

 

  • Before you send, always ask:
    How will this text message add value to my customer’s life?
    If you can’t answer that question, you don’t have a good reason. Put the phone down.

 

  • Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.
    Include links for more detailed info if/when necessary.

 

  • Personalize and make sure you’re sending at the right time. Remember, most people leave text message notifications on, so if you send a text at 3 am, you’re going to make someone very grumpy.

WHY USE SMS MARKETING?

So why should small businesses adopt SMS marketing? Because they work, for a number of reasons.

 

  • The potential is enormous as there are currently 5.27 billion mobile phone users worldwide, sending and receiving 23 billion text messages every day.
  • Research shows that 75% of consumers prefer receiving brand offers via text message.
  • One in three SMS recipients generally engages with calls to action.
  • Of the engaged recipients, 47% will make a purchase.

 

Here are other factors that make SMS marketing such a potent method to communicate with your existing and potential customers:

 

Mobile phones are always on-hand

6 out of 10 people own mobile phones and spend at least 3 hours and 15 minutes a day on them. Even when they’re not on their phones when a text is received, their device is likely within reach.


SMS notifications grab attention

Text marketing is particularly suited for time-sensitive offers because mobile phone users put urgency on SMS notifications. As such, a majority of messages are read 1–5 minutes after being received.


Texts are more effective than emails

Compared to 20% for email, SMS marketing’s open rate is an astounding 98%. According to research, customers respond more positively to texts than emails, which often go unopened or ignored altogether.


SMS marketing is cheaper than online advertising or social media marketing

Digital advertising costs grew by 37% between 2020 and 2021. It’s continuing to rise significantly as more and more businesses turn to social media to promote their products and services, driving up prices in the process.

HOW TO START WITH SMS MARKETING

When you’re ready to give SMS marketing a go, you need to get three things in place.

1. SMS Engine

The first step is deciding which SMS platform to use. When SMS first emerged as a marketing tool, mass texting was the norm. Since then, SMS platform options have grown considerably.


Consider the following when choosing an SMS platform:

 

  • Functionality — Look for a service that can perform other tasks such as MMS, two-way email, and shortcodes. While you’re at it, check out SMS solutions that offer list-building tools and automation.
  • Metrics — An excellent SMS marketing platform should furnish data for assessing impact and identifying trends. As well, it needs to integrate seamlessly with your existing marketing software.
  • Price — The cost of sending a text message depends on the recipient’s country of residence.

2. Dedicated Phone Number

Mobile carriers require businesses to invest in their own unique virtual phone numbers. Dedicated numbers build brand recognition and provide a single point of contact between you and your customers, so acquire one.


Here are your options:

 

  • 10-Digit Long Code, or 10DLC, is a standard-length virtual phone number for worldwide business-to-consumer two-way messaging and voice calls.
  • Toll-free numbers help improve customer service and satisfaction by allowing your customers to reach out to your brand without any cost.
  • Shortcodes are more recognizable and memorable than standard phone numbers. They’re four, five, or six-digit phone numbers that permit businesses to send thousands of time-sensitive messages simultaneously.

3. SMS Marketing List

Telemarketing to non-consenting customers is unlawful and unethical, and thus, can tarnish your brand’s reputation. You can have your target customers opt-in to your SMS list by leveraging your email, website, and social media contacts to expand your list.

WHEN TO USE SMS MARKETING

As with any other marketing strategy, the goal is to engage with prospects. With SMS marketing though, communication is faster with your target audience.


Here are some ways you can use SMS Marketing for your business:


1. Offer Well-Timed Deals
In business, timing is everything. Because text messages can be precisely timed, you can inform your target consumers about special sales and deals when they’re most inclined to make a purchase.


2. Run Contests
Carrying out contests and giveaways incentivizes people to join your SMS marketing list and builds an engaged community around your product or service. You can boost your offers by timing contests around calendar events to drive more sales.


3. Enhance Customer Service
A survey found that half of all consumers prefer text messaging as a customer support channel. The most common complaints they have with conventional customer service platforms are long wait times and multiple transfers. Through two-way texting, SMS customer support resolves issues faster and more conveniently.


4. Share Tips and Advice
SMS marketing communications shouldn’t be limited to promotional and transactional messages. Sharing tips, advice, and other worthwhile information advances the business-customer relationship. For instance, a grocery business can send shopping tips, recipes, or kitchen hacks.


5. Remind Appointments
If you own a service-based business, appointments and schedules are your lifeblood. Missed appointments are essentially lost revenue and wasted resources. Remind your clients about their appointments by sending them an SMS reminder a day or two before the scheduled date.


6. Personalized Offers
Sending uniform blanket messages to thousands of people has its advantages, but personalization is just as vital for your SMS campaign. A personalized text message uses your subscribers’ data such as name, age, gender, buying habits, purchase history, interests, etc., to deliver more relevant and targeted offers.


7. Gather Feedback
With higher response rates than voice calls or emails, SMS surveys generate instant feedback about your product or service. Moreover, consumers are more inclined to give honest answers on SMS surveys, which allows you to measure customer satisfaction accurately.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

These basics are a quick guide to help you figure out how to use SMS Marketing specifically for your business and niche.

 

Just make sure you know your target audience. They’re the focus and guiding force for your marketing message.

 

You need to know why you’re sending messages because if there’s no goal, you’re just spamming.

 

Make the intention of your message clear, and your CTA should let them know exactly what you want them to do and why they should do it.

 

Once you work out the kinks, SMS has HUGE potential for growing your business, especially if you’re inside a particular niche. Site traffic from mobile has been increasing, and this trend is expected to continue.

 

But this rise in popularity comes with a catch — a rise in spam messages.

  • 60% of SMS users today receive spam messages once a week
  • 28% receive one a day

 

With those numbers, SMS marketing will face many of the same challenges as email marketing soon enough.

 

So whether SMS or email, it’s your approach that needs to be savvy.

 

Pay attention to how you use your voice to represent your business because it’s the message itself that can make or break your business.

 

That’s the pain point.

 

On a side note, you can apply SMS messaging tactics to direct messaging on social media platforms.

Discover how to better handle SMS/DM conversations and master the art of crafting messages that sway with messaging wizard Dylan Gigliotti.

But if you really want to possess Ninja-Jedi-Master-level wordsmithing and learn how to blend Jungian psychology and CIA precision to gather intel on prospects like it's nobody's business, be sure to check out Dylan's Titan Community Sessions Training. 

 

Join https://titanology.world/ — it's free — and grab the full video training & messenger framework! 😉

 

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