The role of SMS in digital marketing

The capabilities and reliance on smartphones continue to impact our everyday lives.

They have removed the “I wonder what…” from the conversation, influence many of our purchases and are an integral way to keep up with what is going on around us.

SMS image

And it isn’t just personal use.

They have become a very strong tool when it comes to business. Increasing customer engagement drives revenue, as every multichannel marketer knows. SMS provides the modern marketer with an opportunity to spice up their marketing campaigns in fresh and compelling ways, via the most popular channels.

Mobile phones and SMS have been around for decades and as a form of direct communication, is showing no signs of slowing down. Forbes reported recently that there are over 4.8 billion mobile users globally in 2015. It is this exponential growth that is presenting all sorts of opportunities for marketers to get right into the head, and palms of their customers.

So what makes text message marketing such an interesting and effective way for businesses to capitalise on the smartphone culture?

Information overload

Email marketing was once one of the marketers most effective tools, the novelty of receiving an email made it quite easy to capture the reader’s interest. All you needed was a valuable offer, and customers were receptive and excited. As with most things, once people realised, inboxes became flooded with offers and promotions, and the excitement died. Rest in peace email marketing.

Enter SMS marketing

Short message service (SMS) marketing is a common technique used by many businesses to advertise their products. Additionally, SMS marketing is popular in the political world, too. With services like Tatango and many more like it, campaigners can send out mass texts in order to communicate with their supporters. Similarly, businesses use SMS marketing as it employs permission-based texts to spread promotional information to its potential customers. Customers are required to text an initial shortcode to opt for occasional messages from an automated system. There’s also an opt-out code sent to the recipient and they can use it if they no longer want to receive any promotional messages from the company. As such, only those interested in your campaigns will be the target of your future texts.

Ninety-five per cent of people read text messages, on average within 3 minutes of receiving them. Text messages are concise and to the point and when it comes to a marketing message you want your customers to get the gist pretty quickly, otherwise they lose interest. SMS has allowed businesses to send strategically timed and well-informed messages straight to the customers who want to receive them.

SMS & the web

Along with the typical uses of SMS marketing, i.e. promotional messages, delivery updates and appointment reminders, advances in smartphone technology mean you can get customers directly to your website by prompting them with a simple URL in a text message. Perhaps you have an offer on your site, an interesting blog, a new product or service or maybe just want customers to see your site. Adding a short URL is a simple and effective way to get people to hit your site.

And in case you missed it Google’s latest mobile search update means websites will be ranked on their mobile-friendliness. Even more compelling, within the next five years, it’s predicted that the majority of internet use will be device-driven. And when those searchers are looking on their devices for information, Google wants to give it to them in the most user-friendly manner possible. Another example of the smartphone era taking over.

Finally, SMS marketing for businesses is much cheaper than you would think, and who doesn’t love saving?

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