SMS balcony

More and more businesses are beginning to realise the potential of SMS messaging. Despite the growth of smartphone messaging apps like Whatsapp, the simple text message is still one of the most reliable,  and universally adopted mobile technologies out there. The thing is that many businesses are reluctant to take advantage of SMS for fear of investing in a technology they haven’t used before. But if used correctly SMS can bring a brilliant return on investment. Which is why many companies have run such successful SMS campaigns in the past.

In Ofcom’s Communications Market Report in 2013, it was stated that 94% of British people own a mobile phone. That means almost every one of your customers is reachable by SMS. But why should this mean SMS such a good way to communicate with customers? Well, it’s not just about the fact that most people have access to and are familiar with SMS. It’s actually the perception of an SMS message in the eyes of the consumer that makes the real difference.

What makes text messaging a good choice?

SMS open rates are high. Very high in fact. Businesses can generate 6 to 8 times more responses to their SMS messages than they can when targeting their customers via Email marketing. And this is because SMS is not perceived by the consumer in the same way as an Email or other communications. SMS is quite unique in that the consumers pays a great deal of attention to the received text message. And we all know that SMS is very much a technology that’s used on the move. Which means you have access to your customers wherever they are. It’s easy to image a time where calling a customer might not mean you get through because they are in the wrong environment to take a call or are preoccupied. But in such situations customers can be much more receptive to text messages.

Mobile messaging is discrete, and it hasn’t been abused by spammers like other channels such as Email. These are some of the reasons why SMS can bring real benefits to businesses that use them correctly.

How can you know if SMS is a worthwhile investment?

The key here is that SMS doesn’t have to be much of an investment at all if you want to try it but have not used it before. If a business is still unsure about whether SMS marketing is suitable for them and worthwhile investing in, there is no better solution than to trial it on a small scale and analyse the results before implementing it throughout the business. If the results are positive then maybe investing in SMS marketing will in fact greatly benefit your business, like it has many others. But the key is to establish the right SMS strategy.

Monitor the results

Businesses can keep track and measure the success of their SMS campaigns by including a unique URL link to their website in their text messages, thus allowing them to monitor how many users have visited the site by clicking the link through the use of website analytics. This will give you a much better idea of how engaged your customers are and whether your SMS investment is paying off. Similarly, businesses can offer discount codes and other offers in text messages, which allows them to attribute the customers that use those codes to the SMS messages. If you see a flood of customers taking up your new SMS offer, you know you’ve got your SMS marketing right. If you’re looking to gain more customers, you can display an opt-in advertisement on other channels, allowing you to widen your audience by letting customers send a text message to you. This again, is an easy way to monitor the response to your SMS campaigns.

All in all, if you can use SMS in the right way, it has real potential to generate more profit, but there is a lot to be said for carefully formulating an SMS campaign plan, testing it out on a small scale, perhaps with a subset of your customers, and then monitoring the results using the methods discussed.