How effective is text message marketing?
Text message marketing or SMS marketing may not sound sexy in 2019. But it has some unique characteristics that make it relevant in the age of digital marketing.
Thanks to their immediate nature, text messages can be used to prompt users to take action (for example, purchase an item on sale or recover an abandoned shopping cart) in the moment. They create a sense of urgency crucial for maximizing conversions on limited time offers. More than 80% of consumers have notifications turned on for native SMS apps: their phone will alert them as soon as they receive a text and trigger them to engage with the sender right then and there.
Texts also allow companies to meet their customers where they spend their time - on their mobile devices. The average time that an adult spends on their mobile device is 3 hours and 23 minutes per day. In October 2016, mobile internet usage surpassed desktop worldwide for the first time ever and it’s gaining more ground year after year. It’s clear that if companies want to reach customers on their preferred devices, they need to optimize their websites for mobile and focus their marketing efforts on mobile channels like messaging apps or text messages.
Text message marketing vs other mobile marketing channels
We’ve seen that SMS works because it reaches people immediately on their mobile devices. But what are its advantages compared to other mobile marketing channels?
Firstly, 2.29 billion of the 5 billion cellphones in the world are non-smartphones, which means that using text message marketing gives you access to the nearly 50% of cellphone owners that you can’t reach via other mobile marketing channels. If you’re striving for developing markets, this is something you shouldn’t ignore.
Secondly, people don’t receive nearly as many promotional text messages as they do emails. Texts are generally perceived as more personalized and less spammy, which may explain why text messages have an extremely high open rate. 82% of this survey’s respondents said that they read every single text message they receive. Other studies have reported a 98% open rate for SMS as opposed to only 20% for email.
Of course, there are differences in how different generations use messaging (texts are more popular among younger audiences). However, 66% of customers prefer to communicate with brands via messaging over any other means.
Text message marketing best practices for increasing conversions
Before you start sending text messages to your customers, make sure your database is GDPR-compliant. Just as the regulatory framework requires people to opt-in to receiving marketing emails, it also obligates businesses to get permission from their customers for sending them other types of communication like SMS.
Get straight to the point
When it comes to writing an SMS, you only have 160 characters to shine. This is not the time to beat around the bush: make sure your messages are as short, simple, and straightforward as possible, and always include a call-to-action. The more focused and concise your copy, the more likely you’ll get a conversion out of it.
Send the right type of content at the right time
In order for your customers to convert, the message you’re sending them has to be useful and relevant – and it has to arrive at the right time. Carefully time your messages and only send content that can help you make the most out of the SMS format, like deals and promo codes; retargeting triggers and reminders; account updates and security alerts; important information about your brand; etc.
Drive traffic to your website
You can use text messages to send your customers (shortened) links to your website. If you want them to take immediate action, you have to make sure that you’re minimizing the effort required to take that action. Don’t expect customers to look for your summer sale or their abandoned carts on your website: hand it to them on a silver platter.
Use a smart text message marketing platform
When it comes to sending text messages to thousands, potentially millions of customers, smart automation is your best friend. An advanced text message marketing platform will allow you to send eye-catching personalized messages in large numbers. Carts Guru has a built-in text message feature – drop us a message if you’d like to find out more.
Track your results
If you don’t measure the effectiveness of your SMS campaigns, you’ll never know how much traffic and how many conversions you’re getting from your texts. You also won’t have anything to go by when you’re trying to optimize. Use Google Analytics or other platforms to keep an eye on how your campaigns are doing, make adjustments based on data, and ultimately maximize your ROI.
If you’re still wondering whether you should make text message marketing a priority, read our case study on how SMS compares to email when used as a part of a retargeting strategy.