SMS as a Marketing Channel: Why It Still Works in the Digital Age

Marketing professionals, listen: It’s time to abandon your bias against text marketing. Sure, the name sounds old school, like something from a bygone era rendered obsolete in this age of social media apps and messaging platforms. You might be thinking that while everyone’s busily TikTok-ing their way into stardom, who’s got time to read text messages?

However, that line of reasoning is, at best, uninformed and, at worst, unimaginative. After all, a diverse promotional strategy is what you need to shoot for. Stop relying exclusively on what’s familiar or popular. Explore other avenues to get your product or service noticed. 

Here we’ll discuss what makes SMS marketing a viable addition to your marketing portfolio.

SMS Marketing in 2021

In the past year, ecommerce grew by 30%. That’s staggering growth, in part due to the unanticipated health crisis we all faced, and which is still ongoing. People had to stay home. Work and study from home. Shop from home. 

Ecommerce growth coincided with SMS marketing’s increased relevance. In 2021, this tandem is poised to become even more of a power couple. That’s logical, given the urgency required by eCommerce in terms of communication with customers, and overall ecommerce customer service

Order receipts, shipping updates, and delivery confirmations need to change hands in real-time and without inaccuracy. You can’t get more direct and urgent than a text message.

However, ecommerce is not the only industry that benefits from SMS marketing. It’s not a one-trick pony. 

Travel agencies can maximize SMS marketing for managing the delivery of critical messages, such as delays or cancellations, upgrade opportunities, gate changes, and security alerts, among others. The same goes for events management, where information on last-minute logistical changes might be needed to reach stakeholders via a channel they can’t ignore. 

Lastly, businesses like salons and medical clinics can use SMS marketing to remind clients about appointments or other pressing information. 

Businesses operating in third-world countries where internet connection might be limited in certain areas should take advantage of SMS marketing, as well. Even in places where the data signal is spotty, text messages will reach their intended recipients. 

6 Reasons to Use SMS in Business Marketing 

Have we piqued your interest yet? Not quite? Maybe these reasons why SMS marketing for businesses is an excellent idea will have you listening in earnest.  

1. High open rate

There are five billion people with a mobile phone worldwide. Wherever you are, you have a large market to tap. SMS messages have a 98% average open rate. Within three minutes of delivery, 90% of these messages will be opened. There’s very little chance that your efforts go to waste. 

2. Ease of opt-in

Sending unsolicited marketing messages to customers is improper. SMS marketing allows easy opt-in, so you don’t rub your audience the wrong way. You can compose a value proposition that ends with giving your recipients a choice to either continue receiving your messages or not by simply replying with Y (Yes) or N (No).

3. More personal and friendly

Over 65% of customers use their mobile phones to shop online. In a single day, they are bombarded by all sorts of brand messages. While these are predicted by algorithms based on search history, among other stealthy ways, they come off impersonal. Sending a message straight to your customers’ text inboxes makes the interaction more intimate and friendly. 

4. Get interactive

You can’t go wrong with interactive marketing. Customers don’t want to be passive witnesses to your marketing efforts. For instance, you can incorporate a link to your text message that directs the recipient to a promotional game where they can win cool prizes or compose a text survey where your customer can spill the tea.

5. Retention marketing

While eCommerce gave businesses a more manageable and lucrative sales platform, it also allowed customers to become more discerning or even wishy-washy. Their options abound, and they can switch allegiances anytime. This is where retention marketing comes in, and that’s something you can pull off via SMS. Send exclusive deals and loyalty offers straight to your existing customers’ inboxes.

6. Localization

Compared to other marketing channels—online content, for example—SMS marketing is easier to localize. You can tailor your messages to the culture of your target locality via language use, among other tactics. You can even respond to specific social realities endemic to a particular place.

SMS Still Works in the Digital Age

We’ve been hearing the word diversity quite frequently in the past couple of years. The progressive consensus is that it’s essential. The same principle can be applied in the competitive industry of business marketing. 

To promote your business aggressively, you need all available tools. If you’re already delivering a robust online presence via optimized content, for instance, supplement your efforts with SMS marketing. Consider it your way of reaching your customers by claiming your rightful place in their phones’ text message inbox. 

The best part, SMS platforms offer ways to track the performance of your marketing efforts.