SMS is was and still is the most effective way to stay in contact with not just friends and family but especially your customers, clients, patients, members basically anyone who has a mobile phone – which in 2023 is almost everyone.
While most businesses today use email to reach customers (some of the small businesses even use their mobile phones to text their customers) more and more businesses are starting to use SMS services to streamline their communication processes.
What is an SMS Service?
An SMS service like SMS Papa use an online platform that allows the user to send bulk text messages or even single text messages to anyone with a mobile phone, of course you need their mobile number, it’s not a mobile scraping tool – it’s an inbound marketing tool like email where people must subscribe into your SMS list so you can contact them.
It’s online, but it’s not online
Even though you are using the internet to send the SMS the message itself is moving through an SMS gateway so it is still using mobile phone technology. The benefit of this is that if you are in an area that has weak or no mobile coverage but you do have internet you can still use an SMS service to text message people.
Benefits of using an SMS Service
Just like email, once you hit the send button your SMS is delivered to the recipient’s handset almost instantly.
It gets attention
While a lot of people are signed up to email subscriptions, push notifications, etc. SMS is probably the only communication channel that will get top priority (the other being a phone call). There have been plenty of studies that show the open and read rates of SMS messages being anywhere from 82-98% which is incredible!
We live in an overcommunicated world and businesses are paying boat loads of cash to pay for that attention for example, with our AdWords campaigns we are paying $15+ per click! An SMS service will guarantee you get attention for 1 or 2 cents – that is a no brainer.
More and more businesses are using online marketing and this naturally pushes up the costs for everyone else which ultimately means it is costing you more and more every year to get the same conversions. There will be a time where online advertising will be just too expensive for businesses who have a small budget.
SMS is the opposite, not only is it not going up in price it is actually getting cheaper due to the number of competitors in the SMS service space which naturally brings down the price for products and services.
How to get the most from your SMS service
Suppose you were to jump onboard with using an SMS provider there are some tips and tricks for squeezing the most from a service like this.
Segment your customers
This is generally a good idea because it makes things easier in terms of coming up with promotional ideas and making sure your messaging resonates with each particular group. Some of the best ways to group your subscribers is by gender, purchasing behavior, prospective buyer, buyer and inactive customer, geography, etc. This creates a little work in the beginning but keeping everyone organized will pay dividends.
Use SMS’s strengths against marketing weaknesses
Every marketing channel has it’s own unique strengths and SMS’s strength is definitely its ability to get a person’s attention – in fact, the weakness of most other marketing channels is to get people’s attention so by matching SMS strengths (high open rates) with say your email marketing’s weakness (low open rates) you can dramatically increase the performance of your email efforts. Use SMS to boost your trade shows, sales meetings, webinars, company newsletters, etc.
Use an Opt-Out
Some businesses would rather not give their subscribers a way out but this is bad thinking for at least two reasons:
- You want to get rid of people who aren’t going to buy
- You can get into legal issues
The more people you have on your list gives you more chances to make sales but the more people you have on your list increases your overall campaign costs since you are paying for every send.
This isn’t so bad with email since you can send as many emails as you like but with SMS you are paying for each send. You want to keep your SMS list lean and mean, you want to have a way for people to remove themselves and leave just the best customers.
This reduces your campaign send costs while increasing your ROI. The second reason why you should have an opt-out is to keep yourself free of any legal headaches, the penalty for SPAM SMS messages is too high depending on where you are it can be $5000 per contact.
Personalization is essential to increasing not just conversions but also the average conversion value – that is how much a person spends with you. Personalization is more than just leading a text message with a person’s first name it is matching your content and offer to the desires of that person.
This is why segmentation is a critical part of any successful SMS marketing strategy and is why I placed in #1 on my list. For example, if you are running a health and fitness club and you have an SMS group called “women’s weight loss 10kgs” then you know that all of your messages and offers should be to focused on helping them lose 10kgs this means you can send them workout routines, women’s weight loss supplement offers, etc.
On the other hand if you hand if you had everyone on the same list you would be sending out offers and content that would be hit and miss which would lead to unsubscribes and ultimately reduced ROI. This highly targeted approach to sales will always pay dividends.