The Rise of SMS Marketing and Why You Need It
Text message marketing—or short message service (SMS) marketing—is on the rise as an effective way for your business to connect with a receptive audience in real time. As an essential marketing strategy with a high consumer response rate, SMS marketing allows your business to increase client engagement now that personal communication is more critical than ever.
Research indicates that 60% of millennials prefer two-way text engagement due to convenience, speed, and ease of utilization. The same research found that open rates for text messages used in marketing are 98%, compared to 20% for marketing emails. Additionally, receiving a text message instills a sense of urgency to read it right away. In fact, 83% of surveyed millennials report that they open a text message within 90 seconds of receiving it.
As a result, SMS marketing should be included in every business’s marketing toolbelt. But what exactly is SMS marketing? Let’s find out.
What Is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is all about sending valuable text messages to qualified leads on a regular basis. A text message is a piece of electronic data with a size limit of 160 characters. However, most modern phones and networks will segment and rebuild messages up to 1,600 characters by sending a series of interconnected texts.
These messages can include:
- Updates on orders
- Personal messages
- Information on current events
- Other types of communication
Qualified leads are potential clients who have opted in to your SMS marketing services, similar to providing consent in email marketing campaigns. Once they provide their personal information, including their mobile number, your business has permission to send them text messages.
The Benefits of SMS Marketing
Effective SMS marketing has quickly emerged as one of the most cost-efficient and successful ways to increase client engagement and generate qualified leads. With SMS marketing, your business can send personalized messages directly to your audience on their mobile devices.
An outreach campaign that relies on SMS marketing to reach potential and existing clients must be structured and legal with measurable results. The benefits of SMS marketing are enormous, but some of the best ones include:
- Reaching your audience in real time.
- Achieving a higher open rate than emails.
- Retaining your target audience’s engagement with your brand.
- Generating leads and gaining clients.
Additionally, when used properly, SMS marketing is a channel that your business owns and that you can leverage to drive recurring, predictable, and lucrative outcomes.
SMS marketing allows your business to connect directly with your leads and loyal clients on devices with which they have personal relationships. Once your business has permission to join these personal spaces, you’ll have an intimate way to nurture real-time conversations with your clients.
Tip: Use words like “you” and “your” to draw people in and build their interest in your business’s SMS marketing campaigns.
As with any marketing campaign, the more data you have on your leads and the more segmented your clients are, the more effective your campaign will be. Your SMS marketing can be highly customized and relevant to potential customers by targeting people based on geography, age, and preferences.
Reaching a particular audience in real-time, when and where they are consuming information—on their mobile phones—allows your marketing messages to cultivate more meaningful connections and interactions with qualified leads.
Tip: Include a call-to-action—CTA—in your messaging that drives readers to your website’s contact or landing page.
Every business knows that it’s less expensive to keep existing clients than to find new ones. As a research study revealed, increasing client loyalty by 7% can add 85% to a business’s profits per client. Because SMS marketing engages your clients in conversation, it allows your business to send repeat and follow-up messaging and retain client interest and trust.
Simplicity and Low-Cost
SMS marketing provides your business with a low-cost and straightforward way to connect with your clients. While anyone can text, the key to an effective text message marketing campaign is engaging communication that adds value. Brief messages featuring relevant content and calls to action help move potential leads through your sales funnel quickly.
Tip: Include your phone number or other access code on your social media, email, and website pages to entice consumers to opt-in to your text marketing campaigns.
Most SMS marketing services use platforms that provide measurable and trackable results. Similar to other web-based marketing platforms, you can manage your SMS marketing campaigns directly from your service provider’s dashboard on your desktop.
How To Leverage SMS Marketing Best Practices
Leveraging the benefits of SMS marketing involves regularly engaging with your qualified leads and loyal clients with content that builds a back-and-forth conversation. As a health and wellness professional, it’s important to remember that text message marketing should be an integral part of your overall marketing campaign but not a stand-alone strategy.
A large portion of your fitness and wellness audience prefers to receive business information and offers via text. That way they can respond quickly and take advantage of time-sensitive deals and opportunities. Your business can use four main features to increase two-way communication with your potential and existing clients.
Sending exclusive deals, such as coupons to leads and loyal clients, is an inexpensive and straightforward way to drive new business. Like most consumers, fitness and wellness clients enjoy a good deal. They will stay loyal if they feel they’re receiving value from your texts. Likewise, coupons are an effective way to bring new clients into your space and get them spending money.
Polls and Surveys
Polls and surveys allow your studio to gauge what your clients are looking for—whether you want to know what fitness equipment or wellness classes they would like access to or what deals they wish to receive via text messages.
Both polls and surveys can provide valuable feedback for your business so you can continually improve and provide your clients with exactly what they’re looking for. In addition, these tools are highly effective in nurturing a two-way dialogue that enhances your service and marketing efforts.
Tip: Include a “reply” button or a link to a landing page in your text message. Short text messages can direct recipients back to your website so they can quickly interact with your brand.
Contests and Referrals
Running contests through SMS marketing is an engaging way to drive sales. From offering small deals to existing customers who refer your services to a grand prize to one random new subscriber, a SMS marketing contest is a popular tactic that drives a lot of traffic.
One of the most popular options is auto-responses. It lets you set up in advance, so you don’t have to respond to each customer individually. You can program auto-response messages to send only when specific criteria are met, such as:
- When new clients opt-in to start receiving messages.
- A current client participates in a survey or uses certain keywords in their text message replies.
SMS Marketing Do’s
For SMS marketing to work, you need to develop trust with your leads and existing clients who’ve opted in to receive your texts.
Do: Limit Your Monthly Texts
No one wants to receive too many marketing texts as they are difficult to ignore and quickly become annoying. However, if you overdo your SMS marketing efforts, you run the risk of losing your credibility. Even worse, recipients may ignore or unsubscribe to your messages.
As a good practice, send no more than four texts a month to avoid annoying your clients. Schedule texts only when necessary and limit how many you send to a specific number of members.
Do: Keep Texts Short and Sweet
If you continuously send lengthy messages, recipients may choose not to read them and instead opt-out of receiving future messages. Instead, texts should be short and to the point.
Attract, engage with SMS marketing
Whether you’re launching a global marketing campaign or engaging local customers, the use of SMS marketing is a highly effective and proven way to communicate with your customers. Research shows that a large percentage of consumers prefer interacting with businesses via text.
However, while texting is straightforward, getting the tone and volume of an SMS marketing campaign just right can be tricky. If your marketing resources and budget are tight, or you’d rather concentrate on the business aspects at which you excel, consider bringing in outside experts to manage your text message marketing campaigns.
At WellnessLiving, we keep your clients connected to your business by using comprehensive SMS marketing tools, including our new two-way SMS. This new feature allows you to send pre-set messages and custom responses to your clients. Our software and automated marketing suite can help create custom text messages that target your audience with just the right amount of relevant and valuable content. Contact us today to book a free, no-commitment demo to learn how we can increase your customer base, drive sales, and ultimately grow your business.