Businesses are continuing to utilise SMS as a channel to drive the engagement of their customers and to expand their databases. Text messaging is an extremely effective manner in which to reach vast audiences instantly. Furthermore, this form of communication allows businesses to reach any mobile phone user, not just those who own a smartphone. There are a number of strategies and campaigns which can help capitalise on the opportunities that SMS messaging provides.

#1: Send promotional codes & discounts

If a business has a special promotion or discount currently available then SMS messaging provides them with the ability to instantly notify their customers, or potential customers of the new offer. Because text messages have such a rapid and consistently high open rate, subscribed SMS recipients will be the first to be rewarded and offered these deals. SMS marketing allows businesses to instantly send coupon codes or discounts directly to their customers’ handsets, which more often than not are within arm’s length.

#2: Raise charity awareness

SMS messaging also allows businesses to inform customers about charities and provide them with an opportunity to donate. Charities relevant to the business’ sector or to a particular campaign that is currently running can be supported by letting customers know about a good cause that they can contribute towards. For example, if the business is part of the food sector, consumers subscribed to SMS messaging could text a registered short code using a unique keyword followed by the amount they wish to donate to a homeless shelter charity. This is extremely simple for the customer to carry out as their donated amount would automatically be added to their mobile phone bill, thus eliminating any hassle of having to input card details.

#3: Enter a competition

In order to boost a business’ SMS subscribers, it can offer an incentive in the form of a prize after entering a draw via SMS. The prospect of winning a reward could motivate potential customers to subscribe to the company’s SMS program and would provide the business with a growth in their mobile number data base, which would in turn help them drive further SMS promotion to a larger audience in the future. Competition rewards could include prizes relevant to the business, for instance a travel company could offer an all-expenses paid holiday or a music related business could offer free tickets to a festival.

#4: Promote social media platforms within the company

Companies can also utilise SMS messaging to boost their social media presence by encouraging subscribed customers to “Like” their page on Facebook or “follow” them on Twitter. They can be encouraged to do so by offering rewards upon subscribing to their social media pages, for example by receiving a free delivery promotional code or a free trial for a service the business provides. This not only increases the businesses social media presence, it also benefits the customers making their appreciation for the business grow.

#5: Send holiday and birthday messages

SMS messaging allows businesses to develop their relationships with customers on a more personal level by texting them on special occasions such as birthdays or holidays, perhaps offering them a one-off discount relevant to the particular event. This idea could also be used by reminding customers of days such as Mother’s Day and also within the same text notifying them of a particular product they can purchase as a gift, for instance a florist may send a text announcing a special bunch of flowers they have exclusively for the occasion.