With so many people being ‘connected’ everywhere they go, there’s never been more opportunity for businesses to get their marketing communications in the hands of target customers – literally.
Whilst technology has opened up an array of new marketing channels, the well-established medium of SMS is showing great ROI in terms of open rates and lead generation. More and more SMEs are switching to an omni-channel strategy to talk to their customers.
With this in mind, here’s the how and why SMS can work to boost your marketing strategy.
It’s easy to get started, it’s cost-effective and it cuts through
You don’t need a big budget to get started. For small businesses with limited marketing budgets, SMS marketing is one of the most cost-efficient solutions, outperforming social and email when it comes to open rates (up to 98%) and conversion.
Individual SMS messages can be sent for as little as 5c per message, and both CPS (cost-per-send) and CPC (cost-per-click) are lower than many other marketing platforms.
Plus it’s easy – an SMS only includes 160 characters of text while any mobile phone in the world can send or receive them without relying on a data connection.
SMS marketing works well with email
Your business will probably see value in sharing stories, tips and advice or details of offers and promotions via email, so an SMS can be used to encourage existing or potential email subscribers to act. SMS can prompt customers to sign up to newsletters or simply notify them that an exciting new email is waiting in their inbox.
SMS is a logical add-on too. If your business has been sending emails to customers for some time, you’ve probably already got your email database categorised by things like demographics and purchase behaviour. When you bring in SMS, you can immediately use this insight to develop messages that hit the mark with every type of customer.
If email marketing isn’t on your radar, SMS can be a perfect alternative for time-poorSMEs. Writing short, sharp 160 character messages is and easy and efficient way of reaching your customers.
Direct traffic to your website
As the seasonschange, your business website is more than likely mentioning offers and promotions, whether it’s for EOFY or to mark key holidays like Christmas and Easter. But that doesn’t mean your customers have your site in their list of bookmarks. SMS is an effective tool to drive website traffic and engage customers while they’re on the go.
Use SMS to grow your social media following
Generating excitement around your brand on social media is great for driving engagement. One of the most common ways to quickly increase your following is to hold competitions and prize-draws which are promoted through platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
With so many people choosing to check their social channels ‘on the go’, your business can make it easier for followers to enter social media competitions by creating text-to-win campaigns. What’s more, you can use your growing list of SMS contacts to let even more people know about competitions and campaigns you’re running through social channels.
Drive app downloads
As smartphones become more widely used, so are apps. It’s not surprising, then, that businesses are finding all kinds of ways to use apps to promote their products and services, as well as facilitate easy sales. But how do your target customers know you have an app?
Rather than relying on people to search your app in the app store, a simple SMS can alert your contacts of its existence (or shiny new features) with a quick link to the app store to download it.
Organise marketing events and refine your multichannel efforts
Depending on your type of business, you might hold a few offline events such as networking or one-off sales at a retail store. With SMS, you can create surveys, polls and questionnaires to inexpensively scope out interest in different types of events before committing to the investment. Once you’ve got the green light to go, SMS invites and RSVPs can accurately confirm your list of attendees. More general SMS surveys can also gather important data to refine your marketing campaigns through other channels.
There are many benefits to incorporating SMS with your overall marketing strategy, and they’ll only become more obvious in future. So, get ahead of the game – after all, your customers are already everywhere, so it’s probably wise for your business to be in as many places at once too.
As CEO of Live group, Reuven Barukh has seen the company grow from payment technology provider to a collective of six SME-focussed tech and marketing brands. Creating his first business at the age of 15, an eCommerce mobile phone retailer, Barukh achieved eBay’s Titanium PowerSeller status in just one year. Today, Barukh has extensive experience in internet marketing and is passionate about technology – his mantra is to “create simple solutions to help people grow their businesses.”
Live group, one of Australia’s leading payment and marketing service providers for small businesses, has launched a new SMS communication platform geared specifically for Australian SMEs.