SMS Marketing – A New and More Effective Way to Engage

If you’re like most people even though you have no doubt seen it (maybe even have engaged in it) you are wondering, “What exactly is SMS marketing?!” Short Message Service (SMS) marketing is a relatively new marketing technique that focuses on the use of text messaging to spread a marketing message. The process involves preparing one or more text messages offering such things as specials, new products, or new information about a product. These may be done in house or by a professional marketing group. This new media marketing concept is catching on in a variety of different fields after originating in the wireless industry!

There are many reasons why this type of marketing is beneficial and at many times trumps the previous ways of marketing:

  • Global penetration of mobile phones will surpass 3 billion users by 2012
  • There are 5.3 billion cell phone users (77% of the world’s population)
  •  Text messages have over a 95% percent read rate (compared to 8% for email and 2% for print) Of the 350 billion text messages sent monthly, 15% are for marketing purposes
  • A recent Jupiter Research report showed that 30% of consumers want coupons sent by text
  • SMS is the king of mobile messaging: 6.9 SMS trillion messages were sent in 2010. SMS traffic is expected to break 8 trillion in 2011.*
  • 249 billion MMS were sent, in 2010.*
  • 480.6 million users of mobile email in 2010, expected to quadruple by 2015.*
  • By 2016, application-to-person (A2P) messaging will overtake person-to-person (texting) messaging, being worth more than US$70bn.*
    • A2P messaging includes messages to or from an application to or from a large number of customers in financial services, advertising, marketing, business administration, ticketing, television voting etc.*
I think we can all agree that these are startling statistics! Thinking further ahead there is also another concept that one should keep in mind about SMS marketing.  More and more cellular phone holders are investing in smartphones.  This is important to take note of!  500 million people accessed the internet via mobile worldwide in 2009. Usage is expected to double within five years as mobile overtakes the PC as the most popular way to get on the Web.  Many mobile users are mobile-only i.e. they do not, or very rarely use a desktop, laptop or tablet to access the Web. Even in the US 25 percent of mobile Web users are mobile-only.*   SMS Marketing would be an ideal way to get consumers to your website!
SMS Marketing is a great way to get new business but its also a great way to keep current clients and engaged.
  • Let’s take a look at why we would want to target current business:
  • Discounts encourage customers to spend MORE money.
  • It costs six times more to sell something to a prospect than to sell that same thing to an existing customer**
  • 68% of customers will stop patronizing your business if they feel unappreciated. Conversely, they will patronize more if they feel appreciated (Think about the TV show, Cheers, “…want to go where everybody knows your name!”

Well??!! How does it work?

Let’s say you on a restaurant and Monday night is the slowest night of the week.  A good idea for you would be to develop a sms marketing campaign that encouraged customers to dine at your establishment via discounts and promotions.  When your Wednesday night customers come in you have them subscribe to your SMS account and perhaps your response to all subscribers might read:

“Thanks for joining our VIP list! Bring this text in on Monday night from 5-7 to receive complimentary wine with any entree order.”

Below is a more detailed example:

Step 1: Customer texts “keyword” to 55469

Step 2: Customer’s phone number gets stored in a confidential database

Step 3: Customer receives customized response (See sample text to the left)

Step 4: In the future you can keep these customers abreast of all events & promotions

Are you starting to get a better idea of this hot new marketing tool? If you have a product or service you’d like to market using SMS Marketing, contact DIGITALGIRL

*Source: http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile-stats#mobilemarketing

**Source: http://marketing.about.com/od/relationshipmarketing/a/crmstrategy.htm

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