With 82% of people admitting they open every text message they get, it’s impossible to deny that text messaging is a perfect medium for marketing. People check their phones throughout the day, so text messaging is something that’s readily available at their fingertips.
If you don’t yet focus on SMS marketing, 2021 is the perfect time to get started. This targeted marketing practice aligns with the modern world of on-the-go customers who want convenience and instant gratification.
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is a type of marketing tactic that involves sending text messages to customers. The texts can be for a variety of purposes, including sharing promotions or special discounts, providing customer support, and gathering customer feedback, all of which benefit a brand’s marketing goals. Typically, customers opt into receiving SMS messages from brands by signing up for their service, creating an account, or signing up with a pop-up form.
The Benefits of Using SMS Marketing
What’s the draw toward SMS marketing? There are many benefits to using this form of advertising in addition to traditional marketing techniques, like paid ads, social media marketing, and email marketing. Here are a few advantages of SMS marketing:
- It’s tailor-focused to your customers. SMS marketing software lets you personalize text messages with your customers’ names and information, like their order number, so every text feels personal.
- It targets your customers at any point of the day. Social media and email tend to have specific times that are better for engagement than others. SMS messaging isn’t as finicky. You can send texts to your customers throughout the day for them to get on their phones instantly.
- It has several uses. There are many ways to use SMS marketing in 2021, from sending reminders to customers to asking for their feedback in a survey. In other words, you can use SMS marketing in whatever ways make sense for your business.
- It’s immediate. Your text messages go through as soon as you hit the send button, so you can let customers know about discounts, sales, and events as soon as they’re live. Unlike email, many phone users have text notifications on, so they’ll know when they have a new text from you.
- It can be interactive. You can choose to automate your messages or use your customer support team to provide interactive messages to your customers. Chat with them in real time, offer customer service, and ask for feedback through text messages.
Ways to Use SMS Marketing to Your Advantage in 2021
If you plan to leverage SMS marketing in 2021, here are some top ways to use it along with examples from companies who are doing it right:
Promote a New Sale
One of the most common ways for brands to use SMS marketing is to promote an upcoming or current sale and entice people to click over to their website to shop. Open rates for text are about 98%, versus about 20% for emails, meaning that you’ll have a much higher chance of getting your sale in front of your customers with text messages.
Williams Sonoma taps into the power of text weekly to share its newest sales with customers. One text from December said: “New items added, WINTER CLEARANCE, save up to 75%! Shop now.” Simple, but effective.
Give Customers a Discount Code
Another way to get customers shopping is to share exclusive discount codes with those who’ve opted into text messages from you. BuyBuyBaby shares regular discount codes with text subscribers, either for specific products or for sitewide savings. One recent text from the company included a coupon along with a quick reminder for customers to use curbside pickup for convenience.
SMS marketing shouldn’t solely focus on selling. Instead, mix in other perks for your customers, like giving them reminders about their billing, appointment, or booking. For example, Delta offers a helpful service for people flying their airlines to sign up for its Delta Messenger program, which sends text notifications when a flight gets delayed, cancelled, or has other important changes.
Asking for opinions from your customers via text could result in you getting more feedback than you would if you sent email reminders. Lowe’s makes sure to send a follow-up survey to customers who use their home delivery service. It’s quick and simple for customers to fill out with just a few questions that they can respond to through text, such as, “From 1 to 5, how satisfied were you with the appearance and courtesy of the delivery staff?”
Invite Customers to Special Events
Use SMS marketing to let your subscribers know that exciting brand events are happening in their location. Pep Boys uses this technique to remind customers of special events going on in its stores, like a promo offering the 4th tire free plus a free install when buying a new set of tires.
Offer Customer Service
Give your customers yet another way to contact your company that’s convenient for them, and you’ll probably have customers for life. SMS customer support is perfect for being there for your customers and having instant conversations. Sprint does this well, giving customers a number to text through their Sprint phone to get answers to questions about their service or orders.
SMS marketing is even more convenient than live chat for many because there’s no need to visit a website or use an app to use it. SMS marketing is where you want to be in 2021.
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