It’s 2021. By now, you’ve likely signed up to receive text messages from a business you regularly support. But, if you’re reading this, you’re probably not utilizing SMS marketing for your own business.
Maybe you’re nervous because you think texting will only work with millennials. Or perhaps you’re worried that texting your customers will be too intrusive or too costly for your small business.
Whatever your reason for hesitating to adopt this method of marketing, we’ve come up with 8 benefits of SMS marketing that may just change your mind.
1. Your SMS Recipients Will Almost Certainly Read the Messages
Did you know that, on average, 98% of text messages are opened? That means that whether you text your customers about an upcoming appointment or an exclusive offer, your messages are almost guaranteed to be read. And that’s just the beginning. Text messages that include an attachment—like a link or photo—boast an impressive 36% click rate.
No other digital marketing channel is capable of delivering such high engagement metrics. In fact, email marketing, which is often touted as the best way to directly engage with customers, has an average open rate of just 18% and a click rate of 3%.
2. Text Messages Have Virtually Zero Lead Time
SMS marketing doesn’t just reach almost all its recipients. It also drastically reduces the amount of time it takes for a recipient to respond.
According to recent research, the average amount of time it takes for someone to open and respond to a text message is just three minutes. Not only does the typical smartphone user keep their phone close by at almost all times of day, they also interact with their device about 2,617 times every day. That’s 2,617 opportunities for your text messages to be seen, opened, and engaged with.
Emails, on the other hand, typically sit in a recipient’s inbox for at least 90 minutes before being opened. And even then, there is no guarantee that the recipient will open the email at all—around 55% of people report ignoring marketing emails altogether.
3. SMS Marketing Reaches a Wide Target Audience
There’s no denying the popularity of email and social media as marketing platforms. And it’s easy to see why—an estimated 4 billion people around the globe utilize email, while 3.6 billion use social media.
But did you know even more people utilize SMS texting? As of early 2020, more than 5 million people across the world were sending and receiving texts every day.
Whether you’re hoping to build a community around your brand or planning to send sales offers to your customers, text messaging will allow you to reach the widest possible audience.
4. There’s No Beating Around The Bush: Texts are Direct and Concise
One of the reasons texting is such a powerful way to connect with customers is because it’s simple and direct. Things like character limits restrict text messages to only the most important information, which increases the likelihood of recipients taking action after reading the text.
Recent research shows that human beings have an attention span of just 8 seconds—that’s shorter than a goldfish. By focusing only on the necessary details, text messages increase the likelihood that customers will follow through after you contact them.
5. Text Messages Are Helpful For Collecting Customer Feedback
While SMS marketing is widely praised for its success in lead nurturing and driving conversions, that’s not all it does. Just like email marketing campaigns can help achieve different marketing objectives, text messages are also versatile enough to adapt to a wide variety of objectives.
You can, for instance, use text campaigns to collect feedback from your customers. Research has shown that approximately 31% of consumers respond proactively to surveys sent via text, so don’t be shy about creating and sending a survey for your existing customer base.
6. Text Message Opt-Ins Generate Warm Leads
One reason text messages are so effective is because many governments have taken steps to protect user data and privacy. Within the United States, for example, the CAN-SPAM Act requires marketers to obtain explicit consent from recipients before sending them a text message. This allows people to subscribe and, perhaps more importantly, unsubscribe, at any time.
By requiring an opt-in, these laws actually help save marketers like you a lot of time and effort. Rather than sending your messages to both cold and warm leads, your messages will only go to warm leads, i.e. people who have opted in and want to hear from you.
With that knowledge, you can focus your messages on providing value and driving conversions, rather than spending time nurturing cold leads.
7. SMS Engagement is Deeply Personal
Text messages tend to feel more personal than email messages and social media posts. While people predominantly use email accounts for professional engagements, service subscriptions, and file sharing, text messages are home to private chats and personal interactions. You can think of a contact’s opt-in to receiving text messages from you as an invitation into a private, personal space—their phone. That’s why it’s important to write in a conversational tone and personalize your messages before you send them.
Shout comes with a variety of personalization capabilities built in. Not only can you segment all of your contacts into groups, you can also tailor individual campaign messages based on recipients’ profiles. As you strategically piece together custom message sequences for your target audience, you can personalize by location, demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.
8. Text Message Marketing is Highly Affordable
Another great thing about SMS messaging campaigns is they don’t necessarily require a large budget. Even social sellers and sole proprietors with little to no marketing budget can leverage the benefits of text message marketing.
One of the best tricks is to take advantage of free SMS marketing tools before choosing a premium paid plan. Shout offers free platform-to-platform messages within the app. That means you can start messaging your customers, leads, or team members without paying a dime.
And when you’re ready to upgrade, Shout also offers a variety of premium packages that will allow you to text your customers outside of the Shout app, send invoices, automate follow-ups, and much more. Shout’s plans cost between just $12 and $22 a month—click here to learn more.
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