Smartphones are one of the most used and most liked methods of communication in the United States. According to Pew Research Center, the substantial majority of Americans - ninety-seven percent - own a cell phone, and eighty-five percent have a smartphone. Of these cell phone users, eighty-one percent use text messaging on a regular basis.
With the vast majority of Americans relying on their cell phones daily, text message has become a powerful, dependable tool for businesses to get in touch and stay connected with their customers. Text message marketing is especially valuable for small business owners, because it allows for personal connections with a large audience, and it doesn't require extensive resources.
If you are a small business owner looking to gain new customers, engage with existing clients, and increase revenue, then text message marketing might be the perfect solution for you. This article aims to give an in-depth overview of text message marketing for small business so that you have all the knowledge you need to decide if it's right for you!
What is Text Message Marketing?
Text message marketing is essentially using text messages to build your client base and promote your business' products or services. By using an SMS marketing service, you can create personalized messages for your customers that are sent directly to their phone numbers and received as a text message. These text messages are sent either from a business phone number or a short code, which is a specialized five or six digit number.
There are two main methods of using text message marketing. The first is two-way texting, which allows for back-and-forth conversations between a small business and their individual customers. Aspects of the conversation can be automated messages, but customers can usually reply however they want and receive a direct, personal response. This creates a feeling of authenticity and a genuine connection, which is important for small businesses building customer loyalty.
The second method is SMS broadcasting. This type of SMS marketing is when one message is sent to multiple recipients on a contact list at the same time. The marketing message is created, scheduled, and then sent out in a batch by a single sender. Each recipient only sees the text message that came from the sender. They do not see any other recipients or any other conversations, so it can seem like an exclusive message just for them. Although not quite as personal as two-way texting, it is fast and efficient and allows your small business to reach a large audience in only seconds.
Text Message Marketing vs. Email Marketing
Text message marketing can be closely compared to email marketing, as both are common digital marketing tactics. It starts with your audience agreeing to receive messages from your small business and providing their contact information. If your small business has a physical location, this can be done by a salesperson or signage, or it can be done on your website or advertisements. Once they have opted-in to receive messages, you can deliver your marketing content directly to them.
A significant difference between email marketing and text message marketing is their performance. Email certainly has its place for small businesses, but it should not be the sole strategy for marketing campaigns. This is because emails only have a 20% open rate. Of those opened emails, only 2% of links are clicked on. However, 90% of SMS messages are opened and read within the first three minutes of being received.
The likelihood of your text messages being received and read by its recipients makes text message marketing a powerful engagement tool that can deliver results for your small business.
What is an Example of Text Message Marketing?
Imagine a small, locally-owned women's clothing boutique with both an online store and a physical location. How does this everyday retail shop use text message marketing?
The owner first starts to advertise a 20% off discount for a future purchase if customers opt to receive text messages. All they must do is text the keyword "SAVINGS" to a specified number, and they are signed up. This promotion is advertised in-store, on their website, and on all their social media pages.
The incentive encourages many new and loyal customers to join and builds the store's SMS contact list significantly. The customers receive a discount code via text message along with a welcome message. When they begin using their discount, it generates more sales for the store.
Now that there is a growing contact list, the boutique can begin text message marketing campaigns. They use mass texting, or an SMS broadcast, whenever there is an event, a special sale, new product launches, or promotions that their customers would want to know about. This increases customer engagement and helps to build customer loyalty, resulting in buyers returning more frequently.
The boutique isn't limited to marketing messages. Through their text message marketing provider, they can send text messages to customers with order updates, restock alerts, shipment tracking, or curbside pickup information. It can be used for customer service and feedback as well. When customer satisfaction grows, so does business revenue.
Why Should Small Businesses Use SMS Marketing?
Text message marketing is effective and efficient, but there are many more ways that it benefits a small business:
Increase Customer Satisfaction
Seventy-eight percent of people state that they like corresponding with businesses via text message. Compared to all other methods of communication, texting is the highest rated for customer approval, and people perceive a business more positively when they offer text messaging as an option. Your business profits when your customers are happy.
The open rate for SMS messages is ninety-percent, and the response rate is nearly fifty-percent. Compared to email which only has a six-percent response rate, text message marketing is highly successful at engaging your customers. It allows your business to build long-lasting relationships with your customers and maintain those connections.
No matter where your customers are at, they most likely have their cell phone in their hand, which means you can reach them anywhere and anytime. Whether they are watching TV on their couch, shopping at the mall, or attending a sporting event, they can receive your text messages and stay aware of your business.
Target a Large Audience
Using text message marketing gives the opportunity to reach more people than you'd be able to otherwise. You're not limited to a small local area like a billboard would be. Not only this, but you can narrow down your target audience and personalize messages especially for them. This ensures that your marketing messages are impactful and relevant to everyone who receives them.
As a small business owner, your resources are more limited than a large company's would be. Using text message marketing can help you save valuable time and money. With just a little bit of strategizing and a few clicks of a button, you can reach multiple people at one time. Using a text message marketing service will save your business money as well because you won't need to employ a large team of people to manage your marketing, and you won't require an extensive advertising budget.
Making a sale or having someone use your service once is great, but turning them into a repeat customer is better. When your customers are loyal, engaged, and aware of your business, it increases the probability of them becoming repeat customers, and you will see a steady rise in revenue as a result.
Is Text Message Marketing Right for My Small Business?
SMS marketing works for any and every type of business. From salons to restaurants, it's used by many different industries and is valuable to all.
Fitness centers and gyms typically see a huge increase in memberships at the beginning of each year, but it slowly dwindles as resolution-makers give up on their goals. Marketing text messages can keep at-risk members connected and encourage them to keep coming back.
Real estate agents rely heavily on relationships, and communication is key. Text messages can help busy realtors follow up with leads and update clients on listings. With SMS marketing, they can also use mass texting to quickly alert potential buyers of new listings on the market.
Schools and universities must stay in constant contact with both students and parents, and reliable communication is necessary. Text message marketing can send information about financial aid, registration deadlines, closures, special events, and more. They can even send out emergency alerts in seconds.
In recent years, the medical field has started relying heavily on text messages as a form of communication. Hospitals, doctor offices, pharmacies, dentists, and veterinary clinics often use text messaging to send patients appointment reminders and important information regarding protocols and paperwork.
These are just a few examples of different businesses that can use text message marketing. No matter what industry your small business operates in, it will be highly beneficial. You can use SMS messages to send discounts or deals, give exclusive sneak peaks, send alerts about orders, remind customers about appointments or reservations, or target past purchasers with similar products. The possibilities are endless and effective for whatever needs your small business has.
How Do I Use Text Message Marketing?
Sending SMS marketing messages is not quite as simple as picking up your personal phone and sending out texts. Text message marketing requires the use of an SMS marketing service. These services provide text message marketing software along with other features necessary for running successful campaigns and managing communications.
As a small business owner, it's important to work with a quality, reliable text message marketing service. Salesmsg provides an award-winning, user-friendly text message marketing platform that is trusted by thousands of businesses, both large and small.
With Salesmsg, you gain access to support and multiple features to help your small business simplify, streamline, and succeed in SMS marketing. It offers two-way business texting, which enables you to send, receive, and manage text messages all on one dashboard, allowing for faster customer engagement. It also offers SMS broadcasting. You can upload an unlimited number of contacts, filter through them to identify your target audience, create your personalized message, and either send it in seconds or schedule it for later.
One of the most valuable features of Salesmsg's text message marketing platform is the ability to gain insights from your campaigns and conversations. You can track deliveries, see how many recipients click on links, and download reports. This is crucial for a small business because the feedback can show how your SMS marketing is performing, and you can strategize better and keep scaling as it improves.
Salesmsg outperforms its competitors in many ways, and it is especially beneficial for small businesses because it has transparent pricing that you can cancel, downgrade, or upgrade anytime, depending on your budget. For many small businesses, revenue can sometimes fluctuate, so it's important to know exactly how much SMS marketing will cost upfront. In addition, it offers a free 14-day trial and a 30-day money back guarantee.
Ready to Get Started with a Text Message Marketing Service?
SMS marketing is an ideal solution for small businesses seeking to connect with customers, grow their engagement, and increase revenue. As cell phone usage in the United States continues to rise, text messaging has become the most popular form of communication. Because of this, text marketing is a powerful tool that you can leverage. Building customer loyalty can be as simple as sending text messages!
To experience the full benefits of SMS marketing, consider implementing it with Salesmsg. It is one of the best text message marketing services that is proven to deliver results. No matter what industry your small business operates in, their platform will enable you to communicate with your customers in the most effective and efficient way.
Contact Salesmsg today to start your free 14-day trial, and see for yourself how your small business will benefit.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I advertise through text messages?
Advertising through text messages is easy. If you already have a marketing campaign in place, be it through email or print, all you need to do is convert that campaign into a text message. For example, if you have an email being sent out to your customers about a 50% off sale, you can create a text message that says something along the lines of: Hurry! 50% all products happening now. You can make it even more enticing by including a photo.
How can I promote my business through SMS?
Utilizing SMS in your business practices is a great way to promote your products and/or services. With a high open rate, SMS puts your business in front of your customers more often than a lot of other marketing avenues. You can promote your business through SMS by sending messages about current promotions, business updates, or sending simple thank you’s to your loyal customers with a special discount code.
How much does it cost for text message marketing?
Text message marketing is very cost effective and has a great return on investment. Contact Salesmsg today to start your free 14-day trial, and see for yourself how your small business will benefit.