Every business has a goal when it comes to marketing. They want to obtain the best results while keeping overhead costs as low as possible. This is extremely true when the economic downturn and competing businesses continue to make it frustratingly difficult for small company owners to make ends meet. This is where SMS marketing becomes the saving grace for companies that desperately need a way to reach out to their target audience.
Why SMS works
91% of the world’s population owns a mobile phone, as well as the children, also learn how to use a cell phone before their first year of school. In fact, having a cellular device in your pocket or purse is as common as carrying your keys or ID. With this in mind, it really shouldn’t be much of a surprise to hear that text messages are the go-to method for mass customer outreach.
Isn’t text messaging outdated?
Yes, it’s true that SMS is somewhat outdated compared to more modern forms of mobile marketing. After all, smartphones and tablets have made it possible for marketers to incorporate images, videos, social media feeds or even interactive games into the mix. One may think that standard texts cannot compete with this. However, you have to be mindful of the statistics. There are nearly 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide regarding the estimation of The International Telecommunication Union. It means that the penetration rate per capita stands around 95.5% at the time when this article is being published.
Also, a lot of countries in the world (Hong Kong for example) are way past the 200% mark of mobile penetration rate per capita by now. One thing is common for sure in all of the devices of these subscriptions: 100% of them are able to send and receive SMS texts. The saying “out with the old, in with the new” is a common quote but should not be taken too seriously when it pertains to mobile outreach.
How to utilize text messages in a creative fashion
On the surface, it may not seem like there is a whole lot of room for creativity when it comes to SMS. However, many marketers have discovered ways to use text as a way to create a funnel of customer engagement that drastically increases ROI. Need inspiration for a good SMS campaign? Consider the strategy utilized by Walkers, a UK-based company known for its crisp snacks. Walkers launched a campaign where they gave away iPods to lucky winners who happened upon a bag of crisps with a winning text code.
The campaign went further and collected feedback from non-winning entrants, one of whom made the masterful observation that the winning packages came in uneven proportion from a particular flavored bag. The comment was made public, which in turn skyrocketed the sales of that specifically-flavored crisp. The Walkers campaign is just one example of how you can make creative use of your SMS campaign, especially if you combine it with other marketing tools. You can also consider these following methods that invite customer engagement:
- Broadcast a message to invite your followers to take part in an online survey in return for a redeemable discount.
- Encouraging your customers to “like” your social media page in exchange for a free item through SMS.
- Send a text message to remind your customers to sign up for your newsletter, automatically enter them into sweepstakes.
Send bulk SMS message to consumers to like your page in exchange for a free item – Tweet this!
These examples all come with an incentive because customers will respond favorably in far greater numbers if there is something in it for them. These days, SMS marketing is often overlooked, much the same way a child ignores an old toy the minute he gets a new one. However, remember that even in the generation of the iPhone, SMS still has tremendous, untapped potential that far too many businesses fail to take advantage of.