As more businesses are looking to target customers that are on the move, SMS is becoming an essential and highly effective type of multi-channel marketing technique. Many of today’s businesses mistakenly believe that marketing to mobile phones takes a large investment into complicated apps and does not allow for the customization of targeted communication. The truth is that mobile marketing is now extremely easy and it is becoming a core component of communicating to building brands. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn about several different types of SMS marketing that will increase your return on investment.

SMS Marketing Message
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Promotional Deals and Discounts

SMS messages regarding promotional deals and discounts are one of the most widely-used marketing techniques in today’s world. These are messages sent directly to customers on deals, discounts, clearances, and special sales on products and/or services. In most instances, these promotions create a high-level sense of urgency due to the fact that they are time-sensitive.

When mobile users sign up to receive texts from your company, they are mostly looking to have instant access to discounts and promotions that are highly exclusive. These types of SMS promotions will instantly drive sales and lend to your overall success.

SMS Coupons

SMS coupons are messages that are often sent in Multimedia Messaging Service or “MMS”, for short. These types of messages are quite similar to promotional deal and discount messages.

They include a discount on either a product or a service that is offered by the business that they signed up to receive SMS marketing messages.

In most instances, SMS coupons have a longer expiry date. Many companies will enhance the appeal of these to customers by including visually-stimulating graphics and including QR codes that can be instantly scanned. These types of messages are very advantageous in boosting traffic and increasing online sales.

Text Messages
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Text-to-Win Competitions

In this form of SMS marketing, a campaign is initiated where customers have the capability of entering a contest – simply by responding to a text message your business sends. Once the contest deadline occurs, a winner is then selected by a random generator.

Many businesses use this type of SMS marketing to provide winners gift cards, free gifts, or even complimentary services. Not only is this one of the easiest SMS marketing strategies, it is also considered to be one of the most entertaining – for both businesses and customers.

Flash Sales

This is a type of SMS marketing promotion that holds its level of activity for only a short amount of time. In most instances, it features a limited quantity of a service or a product that is offered by a business.

The time element is what makes this type of promotion different from that of a traditional sale. Traditional sales offer promotions and/or discounts for longer periods of time. The flash sale is known for its intense level of urgency.

Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are designed to encourage customers to make a purchase or to engage in recommending referrals for the purpose and intent of obtaining free products or an assortment of discounts when certain “milestones” are reached.

These are very effective in cultivating relationships for a long amount of time. Customers feel valued. In turn, they spend more time and invest more money with the business that is offering the program.

Alerts & Notifications

There are many types of alerts and notifications that may be sent through SMS. These include standard updates pertaining to business hours, special events taking place with the business, new arrivals of products, new services, restock alerts, sales, standard company updates, and even emergency alerts.

In most instances, a short message is delivered along with a shortened URL that may be clicked on by the recipient in order to learn more about what is being offered or stated in the alert or notification.

What is the Basic Terminology Used in SMS Marketing?

If you have an interest in pursuing SMS marketing with your business, it is imperative that you understand as much as possible about the topic – including the terminology. The following outlines the most basic terms associated with the topic and the associated features:

  1. Opt-In and Opt-Out – These terms refer to the customer’s ability to subscribe to and unsubscribe to your mobile messaging list. These terms are referred to as standard “keywords” in the industry that are well understood by those that use mobile devices.
  2. Keyword – A keyword is a term that is used to either describe your business or is directly relevant to your business. In most instances, this is a word that may be used in a shortcode for users to opt-in to the messaging list that you manage. If you specialize in home improvement projects, for example, your keyword could be “WOOD” or “HOME”.
  3. Shortcode – A shortcode is a phone number that is created for your SMS marketing endeavors. In most instances, it includes either 5 digits or 6 digits. It is often used in conjunction with your business SMS keyword so that individuals may opt-in.
  4. Auto-Reply – This is a type of automated text message that goes directly to a customer once they have used the keyword and the short code in order to subscribe to your messaging list. This just informs the individual that their subscription has been received and confirmed. When creating this message, there are several best practices. First, the confirmation should be included. Next, a “perk” should be outlined for joining the list. Next, information on how often messages will be sent out. Finally, directions for opting-out of the subscriber message list.
  5. Promotional Message – This is sent to increase sales and to build your brand. Remember, written consent must be received to send these types of messages to your subscribers.
  6. Transactional Message – This is not a type of SMS marketing message. It is an informational message that outlines how to use the services and/or products that your company offers. It also includes appointment reminder messages, order confirmations, and even updates pertaining to products and/or services that are purchased by the subscriber.

What Are the Benefits of SMS Marketing?

There are several unique benefits associated with SMS marketing. The following outlines the many ways that this marketing strategy will benefit your business:

  1. Text messages have a very high open rate. In fact, most studies indicate that the opening rate of text messages ranks in at about 98%! That’s AMAZING! Remember, place your focus on getting the subscriber to actually ENGAGE with your messages. Make your messages conversational and focus on the recipient and their needs – not your business and your needs. If you take this step, you will find that SMS marketing is exceptionally effective.
  2. You can reach your customers in an instant and directly. Long gone are the days where you send an email and HOPE the subscriber finds time to open it and engage with it. Everyone usually has their phone on them at ALL times. Most studies have estimated that 90% of all cell phone users open the text messages that they receive within THREE MINUTES!
  3. While email messages and social media posts and messages DO allow for personal engagement, texting actually creates a deeper, more personal level of relationship cultivation with subscribers. You are reaching your subscriber on a more intimate level. Remember, though, the messages that you send should reflect this fact. By sending personalized messages and exclusive offers, you are sure to experience a higher return on investment.
  4. SMS marketing is an immediate and highly direct marketing channel. Studies indicate that 45% of all campaigns will result in success when it comes to return on investment. This is more than 50% successful than email campaigns and social media marketing campaigns – COMBINED!
  5. Once subscribers come to know the shortcode and keyword combination that is associated with your brand, you will find that they are more likely to interact with your messages and respond to you!
  6. SMS marketing messages not only support other marketing channels, but can integrate them, too! You can easily use many other mediums – such as email and social media – into your SMS marketing campaigns. For example, you could post a promotion on your social media channel and then follow up a day later asking if the subscriber saw the promotion on that social media platform. The same holds true for email messages. Simply follow up with a text message!
  7. If you are attempting to get to know your customers, you can send out a survey through a SMS message with a link for completion. This will allow you to know who you have attracted and even why they are attracted to your business. This is – by far – one of the most productive means of gathering demographic data and psychological profiles of your customers.
  8. SMS is a wonderful and highly effective means of actively engaging with those that keep your business going! You may send out birthday wishes, personal recommendations, and other helpful information through promotions and flash sales that are exclusive to THAT particular subscriber. You will find that this instantly builds loyalty!
  9. The information that you receive from your SMS marketing messages will allow you to monitor and track what works and what does not. As you gain this insight, you can easily improve all of your marketing campaigns – be it email marketing, social media marketing, OR mobile marketing!
  10. The messages that you send through SMS are short, sweet, and to the point. You no longer have to write long, keyword-rich, SEO articles to rank in search engines to be seen. You simply gather your opt-ins and you have instant access to customers that are interested in the products and/or services that you offer!

It’s time to make your move to SMS Marketing!

SMS marketing is a wonderfully productive and super simple tool that will have your business experiencing higher levels of success than you ever imagined possible! It is important to learn the ins and outs of all types of marketing campaigns. If you don’t have the time for all of this, there is no need to fret. You simply need to establish a partnership with a company that knows all of this information and is capable of ensuring your online business experiences the highest level of success!