What is SMS Marketing, and how can you do it better?

For many small businesses, SMS marketing can feel daunting.

Getting the required prior consent (“opt-in”) from your customers isn’t easy, text software seems complicated, and promotions can frustrate customers.

However, done correctly, SMS marketing can actually strengthen relationships by inviting responses. With well-timed messages and relevant content, it feels more intimate than other marketing messages and encourages continued engagement in a way only text can. The key is knowing how to message the right way.

Podium’s recent Australian SMS Marketing 101 Guide has revealed some new data and key tips to help you learn more about how to use text messaging in your promotional strategies.

As a consumer yourself, you’re probably aware of just how much consumers are inundated with marketing materials  every day. This has consequences, which include desensitisation. Research has shown that consumers aren’t as receptive to traditional marketing methods as they used to be.

The average open rate for emails is 18 per cent. Engagement is even lower, with a click-through rate of 2.6 per cent.

In the modern Australian consumer marketplace, we expect to be reached where it’s convenient for us. And that means text messaging.

94 per cent of Australians say they read texts. 78 per cent say they read every text. Even more importantly, 75 per cent of consumers say they are OK with receiving SMS messages from brands after they’ve opted in.

Those stats are hard to ignore and shouldn’t be! Text messaging is an avenue most Australian SMBs are underutilising.

But if you’re interested in trialling out SMS Marketing, here are some tips:

  1. Use conversational language. A text message is not an email, and nor is it an excuse to shout. Don’t write “BUY NOW!” And “OFFER ENDS TODAY.” Instead, keep it light-hearted, casual, and relevant.
  2. Send during business hours. Nothing will annoy a potential customer more than being woken up at 4am to a glowing phone screen.
  3. Use simple messages. Remember, most texts should be under 140 characters. Try not to use any complex messaging.
  4. Provide value. And relevance. Offer promotions that are relevant to the customer you’re targeting. Don’t send a 20-year-old student in Sydney a promotion for carpet cleaning from your Newcastle location.
  5. Address customers by name. Just because it’s not 1:1, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t sound like it. Use your messaging system to address each customer by their name.

Podium’s SMS Marketing 101 Guide has more facts and figures about SMS marketing, along with plenty of best-practice examples for you to review before you get started. And if you don’t have an SMS Marketing tool, make sure you check out Podium Campaigns and see if it’s right for your business.