10 Ways to Use SMS Marketing to Drive More Revenue
Modern businesses are busy trying to improve SEO and other digital marketing techniques to stay on top of the competition. As the battle for digital marketing supremacy rages, a powerful yet traditional tool often gets ignored. That tool is SMS marketing.
Smart businesses aware of the power of SMS marketing are investing heavily in it. According to statistics, by increasing their annual SMS campaigns by 75%, businesses have experienced a boost in conversions by 106%.
Your attention should definitely be on SMS marketing. But how can you use it when most customers are on social media and reading emails?
Here’s all you need to know about SMS marketing and how to leverage it in the modern era to drive sales.
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is a form of direct marketing where a business uses text messages to send promotional updates, offers, and news to its customers.
It’s one of the easiest and most convenient ways to communicate with customers due to the positive reception of SMS messages and faster relative engagement speed.
The uses of SMS marketing transcend simple promotional needs. You can use text messages to get customer reviews and improve customer experience.
Most businesses also use SMS marketing to share reminders and time-sensitive updates, such as updates on order delivery.
The Basic Concept of SMS Marketing
A typical SMS marketing campaign has two components. These are the keyword and the shortcode. Take this example:
“Text TRAVEL to 143441 to get our list of weekly destinations.“
When responding to this message, the customer acts based on the keyword and the shortcode. “TRAVEL” is the keyword they’ll use in their response. 143441 is the shortcode that the customer will send the reply to.
This format is the most common for opt-in messages into your SMS marketing subscriber list. After responding to this, customers get an automated message stating what they should expect next from your brand through the campaign.
Alternatively, you can start sending well-timed and automated marketing messages based on the nature of your campaign.
Customers can also opt in by filling out an online form with their phone numbers. The form should have a checkbox that confirms their consent to opt into your SMS marketing campaign.
Confirming the number provided is good practice when using online forms since customers may enter their phone numbers incorrectly.
You can send a message such as “Type YES to confirm receiving weekly offers.” The customer will confirm the number they provided by responding to that message with a “YES.”
You don’t have to include a response shortcode in your SMS marketing messages.
Customers can respond directly to the shortcode you send them messages through or the one they opted-in using. For such, they’ll respond using sub-keywords to trigger automated texts and responses.
For instance, they can text “HOURS” to receive an automated text detailing your business’s operating hours.
The keyword “STOP” often removes the customer from your SMS subscriber list.
Sub-keywords add excellent interaction to your SMS marketing campaign, making it more engaging and easier for the customer to source essential information.
Why is SMS Marketing Important?
What makes SMS marketing stand out in the era of social media, massive search engines, and email?
It’s reception, engagement, and open rate.
According to research, 98% of text messages are opened by users. Compare that to email, with an opening rate between 6% and 20%.
Even better, these text messages are opened almost immediately after the customer receives them. Conversely, emails can sit unread for days, phone calls can go unanswered, and the customer might scroll past your social media ad.
Another research shows that over 95% of smartphone users send or receive over 40 SMS messages daily. The level of engagement through this medium is phenomenal.
Email records worse levels of engagement. PPC ads are even worse, recording a click-through rate of 2%.
However, nothing comes for free. Strict laws and regulations govern how you can use SMS for marketing. Users must provide a written opt-in to receive your SMS marketing messages.
Therefore, sending unsolicited SMS marketing messages is illegal.
The Benefits of SMS Marketing
Here’s a list of benefits that make it compelling for businesses to adopt SMS marketing.
It’s Cost Effective
Compared to other forms of marketing, SMS marketing is one of the most affordable, with one of the highest ROIs. It’s easy on the budget and impressive with the bottom line.
Data shows that 57% of smartphone users spend over 5 hours on their phones. The average person stays awake for about 15 hours, which translates to about a third of their day glued to their phone screens.
SMS marketing lets you directly communicate with this active audience and drive sales.
Data shows that 90% of SMS are read within the first three minutes. This makes SMS a great medium for sending hyper-time-sensitive marketing messages to an already active audience.
Moreover, most smartphones retain text message notifications at the top of the screen until the user reads them, ensuring the message is passed across as soon as possible.
Excellent Selling Ability
Research shows that about a third of recipients click the CTA in SMS marketing messages. Out of that group, 47% will complete the requested action.
For instance, SMS marketing is one of the most effective media during the holiday season. Research shows that during Black Friday 2021, the number of promotional SMS messages sent increased by 39% over 2020. Consequently, there was a 9% increase in orders compared to 2020.
This “slight” increase can translate to tens of thousands of orders and potentially tens of thousands more in profits.
10 Ways You Can Use SMS Marketing to Boost Revenue
Here’re clever ways to use SMS marketing to boost your business’s revenue.
1. Build a List of Subscribers
A subscriber list is the most valuable asset in SMS marketing. That’s because you can’t randomly send marketing text messages to random numbers. Instead, the law requires that these recipients have filled out a written opt-in to be part of the campaign.
The goal is to get quality subscribers, genuinely interested in engaging with your business. You can use a wheel of fortune or gamified popups to encourage signups and build a robust subscriber list at scale.
Alternatively, you can use the “text to join” option, pairing the offer with an exclusive discount or coupon to incentivise the signup.
2. Use an SMS Marketing App
You need a cohesive SMS marketing strategy to get the most out of your campaigns. Using SMS marketing software helps refine your strategy by managing your messages at scale and tracking compliance data and requirements.
SMS marketing apps will also help automate the messages, allowing you to send several simultaneously, leaving time for other business activities. You can also use these apps to build a multichannel strategy that’s doubly effective.
For instance, you can add email automation to your workflow to save time and money and improve the overall engagement of your campaigns.
3. Identify Yourself in the SMS
You will probably lose a lot of business if you send marketing text messages without specifying who you are. Without knowing the sender’s name, the customer will most likely delete the message and forget about the deal, no matter how enticing it may have been.
This can also hurt your business’s reputation since your text messages will be mostly treated as spam.
In every text, ensure you’ve mentioned your business so the customer knows who the message is from and put more urgency and relevance to it.
4. Ensure Your Messages Are Short, Sweet, and Concise
SMS messages are limited to 160 characters. You have very limited space to write your message to the customer and persuade them to act on the CTA. This means that your messages should be short, sweet, and concise.
You should get to the point of your marketing message straight away. And if you include a link, you should use a link shortener to trim the URL since a full link can take more than 160 characters on its own.
Also, cautiously use special characters such as emojis as they often come with a considerable character penalty. A single emoji can reduce the character limit from 160 to 70.
5. Use Exclusive Offers to Nurture Relationships
The key to boosting sales in SMS marketing is nurturing engagement and relationships. For instance, if a customer opts into your SMS campaigns, you can reward them with an exclusive offer to cultivate and maintain the relationship.
These discounts and special offers create a bond and increase customer loyalty since they feel that these discounts are specially offered by the business and not to everyone else as a thoughtful gesture.
6. Bring Awareness of Upcoming Sales and Offers
Opted-in clients can also be the first to know about upcoming sales and offers. These promotional text messages will also build a sense of urgency and prepare them to spend on your business.
For instance, you can inform them a few days or weeks early of a flash sale, holiday sale, or anniversary promotion. You can provide a link to your website where they can begin shopping once the sale or offer commences.
Your text should be direct and concise, telling them how much they’ll save or gain from the sale or promotion and how they can participate.
7. Use SMS Marketing to Cross-Sell or Upsell
SMS marketing is an excellent medium to retain existing customers, often a cost-effective and profitable strategy. Research shows that improving customer retention by 5% can boost business profits by more than 95%.
Also, if you lose a customer, it costs 25 times more to gain a new one than retain the existing one.
Using SMS marketing to cross-sell or upsell to the existing customer helps improve the Customer Life-Time Value (CLTV). This marketing metric helps track your customer experience, brand perception, and contribution to your brand.
The more you upsell and cross-sell, the more reputation, brand equity, and brand trust you gain, retaining more customers.
8. Gather Testimonials and Reviews Using SMS
SMS marketing provides a fast and direct channel to gather customer testimonials and reviews. Customer reviews and testimonials boost brand loyalty and drive revenue and sales.
Data shows that at least 80% of buyers get encouraged to buy a product from positive reviews.
You can run a customer experience poll directly through SMS or encourage the customer to visit a link and leave a review concerning the product, service, or overall experience buying from your business. You can share these testimonials on your website or social media for social proof.
9. Run Drip Campaigns
Drip campaigns are automated marketing messages sent based on various factors, such as how long someone has been your business’s customer. It’s another form of marketing automation that can be delivered through SMS.
For instance, if your business uses coupons, you can issue a 5% coupon on signup, a 10% coupon after three weeks as a subscriber, and a 20% coupon after two months.
Such a drip campaign incentivises the consumer to continue being a subscriber to your SMS marketing list, rewarding them more for staying subscribed for longer.
You can also provide tailored responses for a more personalised marketing campaign based on an individual’s response.
These drip campaigns can be automated to ensure you can capture more customers at scale.
10. Use SMS to Run a Sweepstake Contest
You can use SMS marketing to encourage customers to opt-in to your campaign and participate in sweepstakes by typing a particular word. This is a standard promotion tactic.
Out of those who opt in, you can select a few winners and give out a smaller prize to everyone who texted the keyword.
Sweepstakes also offer an excellent avenue for cross-promotion, allowing your business to strategically partner with another to boost user growth and sales.
Find a Great Copywriter to Curate Engaging SMS Marketing Copies
SMS marketing is a powerful tool that can transform how your business engages with its customer base and deliver great financial rewards. However, you need to use suitable marketing copy.
Consider the services of a copywriter to optimise the 160-character limit and send impactful SMS marketing messages that get results.
Over to You…
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