A Small Business Guide To SMS Marketing

SMS Marketing

These days, the realm of digital marketing is experiencing supersaturation. By the time a business creates a unique strategy to shine through, many marketers have already reused, remixed, and replicated the same tactic you thought to be unique.

When people receive communication from a business, they often prefer convenience and speed over everything else. This is where short message service (SMS) marketing comes into the spotlight. It’s one of the most powerful and trusted forms of engagement that has been delivering outstanding results for years.

On top of that, SMS marketing is dynamic, direct, and personal, boasting an open rate of around 98-100%. This is considerably higher compared to the 20% open rate of email marketing. And this is why more and more businesses are totally into it. 

However, did you know that SMS marketing can still be improved despite its high open rate? Advanced technology, particularly ringless voicemail and text marketing solutions, can boost the performance of your SMS marketing, making it even faster and easier.

Do not be misled into thinking that SMS marketing is a simple trick for small businesses. There are plenty of things you need to learn to ensure the success of your SMS campaigns. This guide will provide all the essential information to help you master the craft of SMS marketing. Read on to get started.

What Is SMS Marketing?

Small Business

SMS marketing is one of the forms of mobile marketing, aside from email marketing and push notifications. It enables small and large businesses to deliver text messages to prospects and existing customers. These messages range from exclusive deals and discounts to appointment scheduling and order notifications.

In addition, SMS marketing offers several advantages compared to other mobile marketing techniques. Here’s one: text messages achieved an open rate of almost 100%. This means that your target audience will more likely see your messages than your emails. 

Hence, SMS marketing is a smart way to reach and connect with your audience using a clear and relevant message. For example, you may inform your customers through text if you plan to run a promotional sale over the weekend. Or, if you own a fast-food chain, you can deliver text messages to inform your customers about your daily specials.

However, be careful of SMS marketing mistakes that may ruin your campaigns. These include spamming, sending repeated messages, skipping a welcome message, and neglecting calls to action.

Types Of SMS Marketing Campaigns

There are different types of SMS marketing campaigns, ranging from simple and spot-on to complex. Here are some effective forms you might want to know:

  • Promotional Campaigns

Promotional campaigns are one of the most popular SMS marketing techniques. These are designed to create interest in different products and services. Also, these are directly delivered to customers in the form of discounts, deals, coupons, and special deals.

Promotions are an excellent way to encourage more and more people to visit your social media account or website. This is especially true when combined with a powerful call to action. Here’s an example of a promotional SMS campaign you might want to try:

Floral Bloom: Hey there! We’re offering our Floral Bloom community 30% off with the code BIGTHANKS. This is our way of showing our utmost gratitude to you for standing with us all this time. Shop now at https://floralbloom.net/lj/4gnBd/shop.

  • Transactional Campaigns

These are messages delivered as a response to an action or event. They offer details that are time-sensitive and highly important to the customer. These campaigns include shipping notifications, appointment scheduling, and password resets. 

Since transactional SMS campaigns are relevant and timely, they have incredibly high open rates and can be effective in encouraging conversations. A good example of this campaign is a confirmation message after placing an order on an eCommerce website. Here’s an example for your reference:

Thank you for your order from The Baker’s Merchandise. We will inform you once it has been shipped out of our facility. Check your order and other important details in your email or view order 0tlc.com/l/GhLP7. 

  • SMS Coupons

SMS coupons, which feature exclusive offers and discounts, are similar to promotional SMS campaigns. They often include deals regarding a specific product or service offered by businesses. You can provide incentives to get people to sign up to get these text marketing messages.

In most cases, such coupons have longer expiration dates. Many businesses improve the appeal of their campaigns to customers using graphics or quick response (QR) codes that can be easily scanned. Also, this type of SMS campaign is a great way to drive traffic and increase online revenue. 

Here’s an example of a basic SMS coupon campaign without any multimedia effect:

Have a great spa-cation this weekend with your family and friends. Shop this coming weekend from 10th to 15th of August and get 40% off for orders above USD$200 with this coupon https://couponfun.link/code40. Don’t miss out!

  • Text-To-Win Or Sweepstakes Campaigns

This type of SMS campaign allows your customers and prospects to enter a competition where they can win different prizes. These include a monetary prize, gadgets, a trip-for-two travel package, exclusive discounts, gift certificates, and many more. All they need to do is respond to your message. Once the contest has ended, a winner will be selected using a random generator.

Below is an example of a text-to-win SMS campaign you can try for your small business:

The Travel Guy: Hey there! Are you in for an all-out vacation this summer? The Travel Guy is here to offer you a raffle contest and a chance to win a trip for two to the tiny island nation of Fiji. To enter the competition, reply GOFIJI. Rules: https://ttg.com/rules/Fiji.

Benefits Of SMS Marketing For Small Businesses

Did you know that more than 50% of subscribed customers prefer receiving SMS marketing messages from brands? This marketing strategy allows you to reach your target audience by sending timely and relevant details that can drive engagement and boost brand awareness. 

Here are some ways your small business can benefit from SMS marketing:

  • Connect With Your Customers Faster

If you have timely details to share with your customers, SMS would be your best option. Almost all SMS messages are opened within five minutes once received. For example, if you have limited-time exclusive deals and discounts, you may use SMS to let people know about them.

  • Empower Other Marketing Tools

Although powerful on its own, an SMS marketing strategy can help improve the performance of other marketing strategies. For example, you can use SMS to promote your exclusive offers on social media. Or, you may try including a link that redirects your customers to a newsletter in your SMS messages. 

  • Establish Customer Loyalty

SMS marketing is an effective way to build customer loyalty. It allows you to send them personalized offers and messages. With this, you’ll be able to make them feel valued and more inclined to purchase your products and services in the future.

  • Boost Your Revenue

SMS marketing is a great way to boost your revenue by driving traffic to your social media account or eCommerce platform. You may use SMS to send offers and events with a call to action that compels customers to take action. You may also use it to remind customers about the items left in their shopping cart, encouraging them to place their orders right away.

  • Increase Response Rates

Unlike other marketing tools, text marketing enables you to reach your target audience directly through their smartphones. Because of this, SMS campaigns have a higher response rate compared to other marketing strategies. 

To boost it up, you may include a call to action in your SMS messages to drive customers to proceed to the next step. Here are some examples: ‘Click this link to learn more’ or ‘Reply GO to proceed with your orders.’

SMS Marketing Practices That Small Businesses Can Implement

Are you ready to take your SMS marketing to the next level? Here are some of the most effective and creative SMS marketing practices to help you get started:

  • Send Welcome Greetings To New Subscribers

Once a customer opts in to receive your SMS marketing campaigns, it’s an excellent idea to greet them with a warm, welcoming message. This will inform them that they’re subscribed, giving you a chance to interact with them as soon as possible. Also, it sets the mood for future conversations.

Welcome greetings don’t have to be long and complex. A simple ‘thank you’ message will do. You may even include exclusive deals and coupons to make them feel valued. 

Here’s an example of a welcome greeting you may try for your small business:

Welcome to Big Black Pan! We’d be happy to inform you when you get a reward. Click the link for account information https://bit.ly/45nGT5d. Text STOP to opt-out.

  • Send Details About Your New Products 

Another great use of SMS marketing is to keep your customers informed about new products to be released. So, if you have a new product you’re excited about, let your subscribers know before it’s out on the market. This will help generate interest in your latest offering and encourage those who haven’t ordered in a while to come back and see what’s new.

In addition, you may try boosting traffic to your storefront or eCommerce site by adding a link in your SMS campaigns. For example, type ‘Check out our newest shoes!’ and add a link to your online site. This will drive traffic to your site and give customers a reason to visit.

Here’s an example:

Hello patisserie owners, here are the different types of coffee available for delivery from the 8th to 15th of July. Please make your selections online at https://caffeine.com.

  • Follow Up On Pending Shopping Cart Items

Did you know that the average shopping cart abandonment rate for most eCommerce platforms is around 70%? Now that’s a lot of potential sales left unattended.

Fortunately, there’s SMS marketing to help you save some of the sales lost in the process. This can be done by sending SMS to customers with pending items on their shopping carts. Here’s a sample message you can use as a guide for your growing small business:

Thomas, Churchill, & Hobbes: Did the rustic coffee grinder catch your attention? Complete your order now. Your coffee den will surely welcome the addition. https://tc&h.com/cart/1cD4g.

  • Let Customers Know When Some Items Are Back On Stock

Customers are extremely frustrated when some items they want to purchase are out of stock. But with SMS marketing, you’ll be able to inform them as soon as out-of-stock products are back in stock. This allows them to buy the items they want before they go out of stock again. You can also inform them when such products will be on sale.

Here’s an example you might want to try:

Dear loyal customer, good news! The product you want to purchase, Arabica First Class, is back in stock at our branch in New York, NY, as of 16 December 2021. Since stock levels may change without prior notice, please check out https://caffeine.com for product availability before visiting our stores. Thanks for purchasing Screamin’ Beans! 

  • Collect Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is crucial for businesses to know the areas where they’re performing well and those where they need improvement. With SMS marketing, you can create surveys and collect feedback quickly and effectively.

You may use online survey platforms to create short and simple surveys. Then, send a link to these surveys through text messages. Or, you may simply ask a customer to respond to your text with a rating scale of one to five. 

Here’s an example to guide you:

How was your dining experience at The Italian Gastro-Bistro? Please reply with a rating of Very Unsatisfactory (1), Unsatisfactory (2), Neutral (3), Satisfactory (4), and Very Satisfactory (5).

Final Words

SMS marketing is a powerful tool that can help you reach and engage with your target audience. By advertising where customers are most likely to be active, you increase your chances of getting their attention. 

Don’t be afraid to explore different SMS strategies. Some customers may prefer receiving exclusive deals and discounts, while others may look for excellent customer service. That said, you may A/B test your campaigns to determine what works great for your target audience.