What Is SMS Marketing and Why Should You Use It?

by Jon Lawton

It’s scary when you think how long mobile phones have been a staple of our lives now. If you’re mature enough to remember handsets like the Nokia 2140, then their launch date in the mid-90’s > now is the same as the end of World War 2 > Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. If that feels like a lifetime, then that’s because it is. 

And that’s not to say mobile phones were invented in the mid-90’s either. Their history goes even further back from there with Yuppies carrying around their ‘brick’ phones in the 80’s and first commercial calls in the 70’s.

But the reason to highlight the early to mid-90’s is that’s when SMS truly got popular. (There were even TV programmes dedicated to SMS messaging) And it still is popular, but whereas the vast majority of our personal socialising has switched away from Text to services like WhatsApp and messaging services in Facebook and Twitter, SMS now plays a different, less personal role in our lives. 

Email is not the once guaranteed success it used to be as people’s Inboxes and Spam folders become clogged and overloaded. As a marketeer you’re really going to have to fight to get attention there. And you wouldn’t dream of encroaching on safe personal spaces like WhatsApp and DMs. SO, how can you make yourself stand out from the crowd? Well, with the right permissions, the answer might be SMS!

And just to quickly reassure you, recent research shows that;

  • SMS has a 98% open rate
  • Text Messages have a 209% higher response rate than phone, email or Facebook
  • 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes
  • Customers redeem SMS-delivered vouchers 10x times more than any other type of coupon
To expand on that a bit more, here are some data on why we think you need to consider SMS as part of your strategy

sms marketing

1. Low Cost/High ROI

All businesses should operate with a healthy marketing mix, utilising various techniques and platforms. But whilst there are multiple platforms to connect with consumers, they are not all equal in price! TV advertising, national newspaper adverts and celebrity PR campaigns are just three examples, but are also three examples of incredibly expensive entry points that all but eliminate SMEs from taking part.

But SMS is extremely accessible for any budget and remembering the 98% open rate and 90% being read within 3 minutes, can you name another tactic that will cause an ‘instant notification’ where the user opens/reads the message, all for just a small pence per message cost?

2. Engagement

To put it briefly, we touch our phone A LOT! Recent research has suggested that even the average user touches their phone on 76 separate occasions.

phone sessions

3. Open Rates

There are no Spam filters for SMS to get caught up in, no noise from other ads on social media…when was the last time you DIDN’T open a text message? 

4. Cross Channel Promotion

On its own SMS works. But consider using SMS to highlight other channels you may have? Got a catalogue at the printers that is going out in a few days? Use SMS to build up excitement! A customer’s order has been delivered? Use SMS to gain feedback?

text message marketing

5. It's Really Easy To Set Up And Use

Both marketeers and the consumers find SMS simple. Simple to write as it’s only made up of a few lines, and simple to read as it’s generally to the point. There are also no graphic distractions and like with all things, when you want to make something as effective as possible, you usually simplify it. It doesn’t get more simple than a text message! 

Want to chat through how we can get SMS working for you? Get in contact with us at iocea! Our digital marketing agency Lincoln can offer support with seo and smm services, ppc, Facebook social media marketing and much more.

Visit our website here.