4 Simple Steps to Leverage SMS Marketing for Small Business

10 Min Read

Out with the old and in with the new? Don’t be so quick to disregard the power of SMS marketing, especially when it comes to growing your small business.

There are more than 5 billion people worldwide using mobile phones. There’s really nothing stopping SMS marketing from empowering businesses to connect with consumers. Small businesses are adopting a mobile-first strategy to keep up with customers’ ever-changing behavior and demands.

Simply stated, SMS messaging enables businesses to communicate with target audiences and build brand loyalty. Often, this involves sending customer satisfaction surveys, offering discounts, giving the latest on deals and promotions, and even soliciting feedback.

Investing in SMS messaging to boost the growth of your small business is definitely worthwhile as it delivers exceptional results. For one, people aren’t ignoring SMS marketing messages. Statistics show text messages have open rates that can reach as high as 98%.

Additionally, SMS marketing is among the fastest and most cost-effective ways to reach your consumers. It helps get them excited about your products and services. Engagement rates for SMS marketing are about six to eight times higher than that of email marketing.

By integrating SMS marketing with other online channels, you’ll be able to reap positive outcomes for your small business. Startups and small businesses can benefit greatly from SMS broadcast services that enable companies to send messages to thousands of people quickly and easily. Such solutions are great options when it comes to being efficient, since texts can be scheduled or automated for optimal delivery times and they can also be personalized for a deeper connection with clients. You can also develop a strong and stable relationship with your customers. Just like any other marketing platform, SMS messaging requires careful planning for it to perform well.

Is SMS Marketing Right for My Business?

Here are some essential guidelines you’ll want to adopt before taking the big leap into SMS messaging.

Play by the rules.

Among the most important factors to consider when implementing text message marketing is the opt-in requirement. This means that small businesses must first get permission before sending any SMS marketing messages. Unsolicited messages are not allowed. An opt-out option must also be provided.

Transparency is key to ensuring that your SMS messaging campaign gets off to a good start.

Research and become familiar with the regulations and best practices to avoid the risks associated with non-compliance. There are various ways to encourage audiences to opt-in to your SMS marketing messages. You can try using shortcodes or keywords to having them sign up on your website or other online channels. 

Understand your audiences, goals, and key metrics.

Take the time to thoroughly study your target audience’s behavior, desires, expectations, and lifestyles. Find out the products and services they are most interested in. Pick the best time to engage with them through text. This way, you can build a mobile database and grow your subscribers.

You can get more customers to subscribe to your SMS marketing campaign by providing value. Value can be seen as reminders for bookings, updates about events, or discounts and sales.

Keeping consumers engaged and building brand loyalty are your overarching goals. However, you still have to clearly define your objectives and measure the success of your SMS efforts. Key benchmarks may include response rates, order confirmations, list growth rates, and return on marketing spend. 

Choose the right SMS marketing provider.

An effective SMS provider will help you and your small business comply with all the data regulations. They should also provide you with text message analytics. You’ll gain insights and use the relevant information to improve your SMS messaging campaign and conversion rates. Work with an SMS provider that can accommodate your needs and stay on top of creating templates, segmenting audiences and messages, and managing workflows.

Get Started with Your SMS Marketing Campaign Using 4 Easy Guidelines

Here are four simple rules of thumb by which you can begin your winning SMS marketing campaign and grow your customer base.

1. Keep it short and sweet.

You only have 160 characters to work with, so make the most out of your message and keep it concise and compelling. Get to the point by giving the latest and most relevant details that will keep your audiences curious and excited about your products and services.

2. Time your messages carefully.

Timing is everything when it comes to SMS marketing. Study your audiences so you’ll be able to send text messages at a time when they are making important purchasing decisions. Restaurants, for example, should try to send marketing messages about limited menu offers or discount deals two or three times a day — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — when customers are most likely thinking about what they would like to eat.

3. Include a strong call to action.

Catchy, direct, and purposeful call-to-action in your SMS marketing message will encourage your recipients to act on your offer and engage with your business. Use a branded link or a shortened URL to direct your customers to your products and services and promptly let them know what to do next. CTAs will help you develop brand trust and improve click-through rates.

4. Segment your audiences.

Don’t make the mistake of overdoing your SMS marketing campaign and sending loads of messages to your recipients. If you do, you run the risk of recipients unsubscribing to your list. Segment your lists to ensure that you only send them relevant messages that appeal to that niche.

Strategies and Best Practices to Leverage SMS Marketing

Here’s how small businesses can make the most out of SMS marketing and stay on the path to text marketing success in 2021 and beyond. 

Personalize, personalize, personalize your SMS marketing.

Personalizing the SMS marketing experience goes a long way toward connecting to your recipients and raising your chances of converting them into avid customers. Go beyond addressing the recipient by name and maximize other opportunities to increase engagement. Take a deeper look into a particular subscriber’s specific interests and past purchases so you can tailor your messages, content, and promotional materials.

Focus on exclusive deals, promos, and offers.

Nothing can be more enticing than offers, discounts, and deals exclusive to those in your SMS list. Text messaging is one of the best ways to let your customers know about limited-time promotions, flash sales, special menu offers, customized discount coupons, birthday rewards, or special access to events and performances.

Promote new products and services.

Use SMS messages to keep your customers in the loop about your new products, services, and events. Get creative and generate buzz around your new product or service announcements by giving your SMS subscribers access to new offerings, coupons, and sales.

Solicit feedback on your messages to improve customer service.

What better way to learn more about your consumers than to use text messaging to gather feedback. Use polls and surveys to communicate with your audiences personally and ask their opinions about your products and services. You gain valuable insights to help enhance your small business and take customer satisfaction levels to new heights.

Send reminders for appointments.

SMS marketing enables your business to keep cancellation rates low by reminding your consumers of their appointments. It’s best to send a reminder and ask for confirmation a day before the scheduled event, meeting, or service. Not only will you be able to get your consumer’s attention, but you’ll also maintain a good and effective flow of communication with your existing clients.

SMS: Short Messages for Success

Excited to craft an SMS marketing campaign that will win the hearts and minds of your audience? Building high-quality SMS marketing campaigns is no easy feat.

However, when used effectively, SMS marketing will empower you to connect with your consumers on a more intimate level, solidify your brand presence, improve your small business bottom line, and achieve your goals.

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Khia Cerezo is the Marketing Officer for Mobile360, an SMS gateway service provider in the Philippines. She is a strategic thinker and takes pride in providing the best marketing plans at work. Khia is a health and fitness enthusiast. She loves to travel and explores each destination to try their food and culture.