SMS Marketing: Why It’s Here to Stay

One of the things RPM offers is mass text messaging — which we also call SMS marketing, SMS for business, and many other things. Text messaging is a technology that’s exploding lately, and the best marketers are taking advantage of all its opportunities. It’s instant, it’s affordable, it’s highly effective at reaching people. There’s nothing else out there that can really compete. The days of traditional marketing using snail mail, radio and TV ads, and printed advertisements are over. Even email can’t compare. In case you’re not convinced, here are some concrete reasons why you should be incorporating SMS into your business’s marketing efforts. And when you’re ready to start, just give us a call.

People always have their cell phones on them.

According to last summer’s Conversational Advertising report conducted by Single Point for mobileSQUAREd, we all spend about 16 hours a day with our cell phones. Hell, I even sleep with mine.

Voice is dead. SMS is on the rise.

According to Nielsen Media, even with cell phones, voice spending has been trending downward, and text spending is expected to surpass it in the next three years. Why? Phone calls seem rude and intrusive, always catching us at the wrong time. Many people also consider them awkward and just prefer to communicate in text form, where they have time to contemplate everything being said. Think about this for a second: 8 TRILLION text messages will be sent in 2011. That’s HUGE!

Just check out this visualization of data from the Pew Research Center on smartphone usage if you’re still in doubt:

SMS is quickly becoming a well-accepted form of advertising.

Consumers are increasingly proving to be willing subscribers to opt-in services — as long as the message is relevant and some sort of value/incentive is provided. In fact, A2P SMS (application-to-person, like with bank alerts and offers from retailers) is expected to overcome person-to-person SMS by 2016.

Just take a look at these recent infographics. For example, YouGov recently conducted a study that revealed that 65% of people actually like offers on their mobile phones, and that the most effective mobile marketing medium for eliciting response is SMS:

And Promotional Codes compiled data to show the growth of the mobile advertising market, which is expected to reach $3.1 billion by 2013. Mobile coupon redemptions alone are expected to bring in $6 million in 2014. Examine the closeup for a breakdown of what consumers want to receive on their smartphones (grocery coupons, scannable barcodes, movie theatre promotions, retailer advertisements, etc.):

SMS is highly convenient.

Unlike the phone calls mentioned above, text messages are convenient. Both parties don’t have to be available at the same time, and your recipient’s phone doesn’t even have to be on. If your customer (or potential customer) receives a coupon, promotion, or event reminder from you, they can see it once they turn on or look at their phone, and reference back to it at any time. You don’t need their undivided attention or active response right when your message goes out; they can come back to it when it suits them best, like when they’re shopping online or passing your store.

The open rates for SMS are incredible.

Close to 98% of all text messages are read, and 90% are read within the first three minutes of being received. Compared to emails, which — according to MailChimp — usually only have about a 1-in-4 open rate, that’s incredible.

The redemption rates are also incredible.

Redemption rates for text message marketing range between 20% and 70%. Before you think 20% is low, compare it to the 1.5% average for TV, print, radio, and direct mail.

It’s instant — both to send and receive.

You don’t need to spend extensive amounts of time creating an ad and then waiting for it to go out. Just compose a short, relevant message, click send, and it should be received by your audience in a matter of minutes. No one has to wait anymore!

It’s short, it’s simple, it gets the point across.

At least if you do it right. Your customer doesn’t need to sift through tons of material or useless information to get to what they want. It drastically increases the chances that they will actually act upon the information you give them.

The results are measurable.

You can track the responses you receive, how often a certain promo code is redeemed, etc. I know there are few things more frustrating to a marketer than not being able to track ROI, so you can rest easy here.

Texts are cheap.

You pay very little on a “per contact” basis relative to other direct media, and the recipient essentially pays nothing.

SMS campaigns can be extremely targeted.

You’re not just blasting your message out at anyone and everyone, wasting time advertising to people who might not even be interested in your products or services. SMS campaigns reach people who have opted in to receive your messages, meaning they’re already interested. They can also be further segmented by specific needs, maximizing redemption rates — and thus profits — after each text blast.

No, it’s not just for teenagers.

Over 72% of adults are text messaging, and nearly 65% of mobile users in their 40s and 50% of users in their 60s regularly send texts. And those are last year’s figures, which are rising with every year.

Just take a look at this data from a Tatango poll on text message advertising. The group that’s most likely to opt into text message campaigns is actually between 25-35:

SMS is great for interactivity.

It’s easy for customers to text in a reply, or text-to-win, or text-to-donate, or click-to-call, or click on a link in a message they receive, or any other of a million interactive actions. And when it’s easy, they’re much more likely to do it.

You’re not limited to just text anymore.

A simple SMS message can contain links that smartphone users can open to go to your site, view a picture, watch a video, etc. — making it much more powerful than just a 160-character bit of text. And these capabilities are sure to increase astronomically, which brings me to my last point…

It’s the cutting edge of technology.

At least in the business world. Companies that are implementing SMS into its marketing campaigns are seen as tech-savvy, hip, and highly involved with their customers. That’s a good image to have.

SOURCE: CallFire.com

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