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What is SMS Marketing? Definition, Best Practices, Examples

While SMS marketing has been experiencing a revival in the business application, it has still left many confused about approaching the subject.

Dec 29, 2021 - By Adomas Sulcas

While SMS marketing has been experiencing a revival in the business application, it has still left many confused about approaching the subject.

After all, other channels dominated digital marketing for the longest time, with SMS marketing serving, at best, an auxiliary role.

Once in-depth statistics started rolling out, it gained some notoriety. It seemed to have an exceptional ROI, potentially one that’s better than nearly any other channel.

Text message marketing also seems to get the message across effectively as the read and open rates are unmatched.

You probably want to get into SMS marketing as well. We’ll do our best to catch you up to speed in such a way that you can start building an SMS marketing strategy right after closing the browser tab.

What Is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing is the process of creating promotional SMS campaigns and sending text messages, usually through the help of automated software.

These messages have an in-built urgency (similar to a phone call), so they are often used to communicate important updates, sales, Etc.

There’s technically no cold SMS marketing possible. Most countries have enacted laws prohibiting sending text message marketing to people who haven’t given their explicit consent. Opt-in forms are therefore a necessary part of the process.

You’ve likely seen an opt-in form for marketing and transactional SMS messages. They are often simple website pop-ups with a small offer (say, a discount) that becomes available after providing a phone number—inputting the requested data counts as an opt-in (often stated somewhere).

SMS marketing has been rising in popularity for multiple industries. There’s a good reason it would. Even bulk SMS messages with little personalization have open rates that can reach 99% without much effort.

Click-through rate, a metric more directly tied to profit, can reach up to 19%. For comparison purposes, an average email CTR is 2-5%. However, response rates are still crucially important.

Bulk SMS marketing might seem like the thing of yesteryear, but, as the statistics above and the industry knowledge shows, it’s impressively effective at doing its job. It’s equally easy, however, it’s possible to miss out on all the benefits if it isn’t used correctly.

Also read: SMS Marketing Campaigns

5 SMS Marketing Examples

SMS is an invaluable tool for many brands to reach customers, build loyalty, and promote offers. Text messages have a 98% open rate making them one of the most effective marketing channels.

Also, having a tool to help you manage your SMS marketing is crucial. With Sender your SMS marketing will be childsplay. Easy automation, link shortening and more!

sms_marketing

With that in mind, here are five examples of SMS marketing:

1.  Welcome Offers

The welcome offer is one of the first messages a brand will send when it starts SMS marketing. A welcome message greets new subscribers and helps them settle in with the brand’s offers. 

When sending a welcome message, be sure to include:

  • How often you’ll be sending messages to y our recipients;
  • What kind of content your subscribers can expect;
  • How to unsubscribe.

Here’s an example:

sms_marketing

Image source: Lovepop

Here’s a text template you can use:

Hi (customer name),
Thank you for signing up for our updates. We’ll be sending [product updates] once or sometimes twice per week. 
Text STOP to unsubscribe.

2. Special Time-Sensitive Offers

Text messages are ideal if you have a time-sensitive offer and want your customers to participate. Add a bit of urgency or the fear of missing out (FOMO) for an effective promotion campaign.

Here’s an example:

sms_marketing

Image source: SwimOutlet

Here’s a template you can use:

Hi (customer name), 
Our [Product] is finally here and you’re the first to know. Check it out at [Link] and grab yours now before the discount ends. 
Text STOP to opt-out.

3. Sales and Promos

Most brands use text messages to send promotions and sales since it’s one of the most engaging and cost-effective ways to engage potential and current customers.

Here’s an example:

sms_marketing

Image source: Schutz

Here’s a template you can use: 

Hi, (customer name)
Our [Holiday] sale starts in [X] hours! Are you ready? Check out our gift guide now and get some great discounts here: [Link]
Text STOP to opt-out.

4. Status Updates

SMS is the most effective way of sending time-sensitive messages since it’s used by almost everyone — regardless of their mobile device or where they live. As a result, SMS is ideal for sending status updates and urgent messages.

Use SMS to update customers if appointments are being rescheduled, canceled or moved.

Here’s a shipping update example:

sms_marketing

Image source: Frey

Here’s a template you can use:

Hi (customer name),
Your [Package] has been shipped and will be delivered soon. You can track your order here: [Link].

5. Events 

Events are an engaging way to stay in touch with potential and current customers.

Use SMS to send event invitations to subscribers and tell them when and where the event will happen and how to sign up for it.

Here’s an example:

sms_marketing

Image source: Urban Decay

Here’s a template you can use:

Hi (customer name), 
Join us for a live webinar on [Date] at [Time]. 
Reply Y to RSVP or STOP to opt-out.

SMS Marketing Best Practices

sms_marketing

A promotion text message might seem like nothing more than just a few lines of words and a link. They are deceivingly simple. While you will always get results with automated SMS marketing, minor inconsistencies and inefficiencies can make the entire endeavor more costly.

Introduce Yourself

You never know how a person interacts with SMS. They might be a loyal customer, so you’d think sending them an SMS message without an introduction won’t do any harm.

Since you’re constantly sending bulk SMS messages, there will be people who have deleted their inboxes. Others will have changed phones. Finally, some may feel tricked if they initially thought the message was from someone else.

Putting in your brand name at the beginning of the end of a message takes just a few characters. These few characters might have more impact on ROI than most of the remaining words.

Here is an example of SMS introduction:

Hi {FirstName}! Thanks for signging up with {website}! Take 20% off for your first order with the code: NEW20

Time Your SMS Messages

Email and SMS marketing have something in common – the effectiveness is highly dependent on proper timing. Therefore, the timing for SMS messages could even be more critical.

Text messages have a lot of urgency, which means some people maintain their notification sounds 24/7. Sending a promotion text message to a customer in the middle of the night might not be the brightest idea. It’s the best time to opt out, after all.

The timing might be a little tighter for international audiences. Segmenting them according to appropriate areas and delivery times would be wise. It’ll often be better for the ROI of bulk SMS marketing if you sacrifice speed for timing.

Use SMS Marketing In Conjunction With Other Channels

While SMS can serve as a powerful marketing channel on their own, they’re best combined with others. Popular options include websites, emails, Etc.

Primarily, text messages work so great with other channels that they can be a little limited on their own. For example, SMS can only support 140 characters and no images (otherwise, they are converted into MMS).

Additionally, SMS can be a little jarring if they arrive completely unexpectedly, especially from an unknown number. As such, they are best tied to some other channel or website event so that there’s an expectation being built beforehand.

Also read: What’s the Difference Between SMS vs MMS?

Always Allow The User To Opt-out

Providing an opt-out option at least once is not just good manners. These options should be clear and visible as law mandates in many countries.

As such, avoiding or hiding opt-out possibilities might cause some troubles. They are unlikely, but there’s no benefit in not providing an opt-out option. Users can otherwise block your marketing number.

Here are few examples of unsubcribe text in SMS:

  • Reply STOP to cancel.
  • Text STOP to end.
  • Reply STOP to opt out.
  • STOP to unsub.

Deliver Personalized SMS Messages

Use the data at hand to tweak each message a little bit. Usually, you can include several dynamic fields, such as the first name, into the message. That way, you’re not sending blanket SMS that may be seen as spam.

Additionally, personalization has been shown to have immense importance. There’s a sizable audience of people willing to switch to another brand if they are currently buying from sending messages without personalization.

Here are few examples of personalized SMS messages:

  1. Hey, [Name]! It’s been a while! Show us this text at the store to get [%] off!
  2. Hey [Name], it’s time to get even more involved. Refer a friend and you both will receive [%] off! To find out how this all works click [URL].
  3. Hi, [Name]! Your order has been confirmed and began processing on [date]. You can find out all the details here [URL].
  4. Hello, [Name]. This is agent [Name] from [Company]. We are currently working on your order [#] and have changed its status to [Status]. Text back if you have any questions!

SMS Marketing Benefits

SMS marketing can be separated into two different types – campaigns and triggered (or transactional) messages. While we will primarily refer to the former, triggered messages can still deliver impressive results.

Few businesses can’t benefit from SMS. However, these will primarily be in the B2B sphere, where marketing and sales might take other routes and where customer journeys are long. 

Other than that, it’s almost always wise to implement SMS marketing. E-commerce businesses, whether large or small, are the ones that can gain the most. Many shoppers keep their mobile phones close to them during their journey.

Additionally, e-commerce customers are always looking for better deals. So as long as your text message ads deliver some kind of discount or special deal, they will always be willing to opt-in.

Finally, most automation providers know how important these text messages are to e-commerce. As such, they include lots of integrations into popular platforms (e.g., Shopify), making text message marketing for small businesses easy. Larger companies usually have no problem developing proprietary solutions to these issues.

Other ventures that can use SMS marketing include:

  • Hotels and accommodation;
  • Travel companies;
  • Restaurants ;
  • Real estate;
  • Schools
  • Nonprofit organizations;
  • and many others.

In short, if a business has something urgent to say, deals to market, or updates to share – SMS marketing is the way to go.

Sender’s hustle-free marketing automation allows you to deliver far-reaching messages via two separate channels – Email and SMS. So leave no stones unturned by supplementing your email automation sequences with text messages. 

work_flow_example

How To Do SMS Marketing?

Any hopes for successful SMS marketing will require finding a software provider. Since you’ll be sending bulk messages, doing so manually will be nearly impossible. Additionally, there won’t be few personalization or optimization opportunities.

Our SMS solution will help you get everything off the ground. Starting from our Standard plan and above, we’ll enable SMS marketing features and all the support you need. We have done our best to make the user experience as intuitive as possible, but we’re always there if any help is needed.

You’ll also get all the email marketing features we have. As a result, combining two compelling channels will be possible right off the bat. So you get the most optimal results out of all campaigns.

For starters, creating an SMS campaign is as easy as shelling peas – pretty much every necessary feature is conveniently placed and easily manageable. Compose required text, add personalization elements, such as name, order id, Etc. and continue by sending the SMS blast. 

edit_sms_campaign

How Much Does SMS Marketing Cost?

Prices will depend on the carrier, destination country, and software provider. It can be a little harder to estimate international audiences due to many countries.

As a general rule of thumb, a single SMS message can cost anywhere from 1 to 4.5 cents from our pricing. Of course, many variables may impact pricing. You can, however, use our handy pricing tool to get an estimation of how much SMS marketing would cost you.

Step-up and Improve SMS Advertising Efforts

As you can see, SMS marketing is woefully underrated. While nearly every business can benefit from it in one way or another, few have taken full advantage of the channel, which is good news for you because you’re way ahead of the curve and can harness as many profits as possible.

Also read:

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