If you’re involved in mobile marketing and are not utilizing SMS text messaging campaigns, you’re missing out on one of the most effective ways to boost customer retention and loyalty.

Over 91% of adults in the U.S. have cell phones and over 61% of cell phone activity consists of sending text messages. A recent study by Nokia suggested that people with smartphones check their devices around 150 times per day, and those with less sophisticated phones check them a few dozens times per day. Most importantly, text messages have nearly a 100% open rate. This addiction to mobile justifies why businesses should consider SMS for their remarketing efforts.

The Benefits of SMS Text Messaging

There are over 5 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, and all modern devices have text messaging capabilities.

Most people check their text messages more frequently than email or snail mail, meaning you can deliver timely information more effectively than traditional tactics.

Text messaging is here to stay, and remains second only to voice calling in terms of popularity among digital communication methods. SMS usage among phone carriers has held steady, even with the rise of email, instant messaging and social media.

SMS allows the transfer of digital content such as ringtones, pictures, logos, wallpapers, animations and coupons/vouchers. This opens up a wide range of possibilities and allows businesses to get creative with SMS campaigns.

Cheaper than physical mail:
For corporations that send high volumes of physical mail, SMS can be a cost cutter. Verizon, for example, sends text notifications to remind customers of monthly payments and usage. They have been pushing paperless billing in order to wean customers off of physical mail and save on overhead from postage and mail courier services.

SMS Marketing 101: Building a Campaign

Develop an opt-in strategy
Market to consumers via on or offline advertising, and offer short codes that trigger the opt-in. Automatic confirmations should be sent to those who sign up.

Compile an opt-in database
Creating an electronic database of opt-ins can be useful for future repeat correspondence or new outreach campaigns promoting new services, sales or promotions.

Segment Your List
If you’re running various campaigns that target different types of customers, you’ll need to segment your list accordingly. For example, new customers should be separated from existing ones, as they will be marketed to in a unique way.

Time of day
People’s response rates vary depending on the timing of text messages. Perhaps you’re running a promotion that relates to a holiday or big event. Or maybe you notice that sending texts in the mid-afternoon generates a better response than early morning. The only way to find your customer’s sweet spot, is to run some dayparting tests to determine what works best.

Location considerations
With advances in smartphone technology, consumers are becoming more familiar with the benefits of geolocation. Knowing where your consumers are in the physical world, and being able to target them accordingly, has tremendous benefits.

Create ‘a’ and ‘b’ versions of your texts and test to see which generate the highest response rates. Test variables like messaging, calls-to-action and presentation of digital content included in the texts.

The only way to dictate whether or not your SMS campaigns are generating a positive ROI, is to collect and monitor results using analytics software. There are many great 3rd party tools that analyze campaigns based on variables such as true reach, target audience, device type and performance over time.

Final Thoughts

While not every business can afford to experiment with SMS campaigns, those with large customer bases and reasonable marketing budgets have nothing to lose from experimenting with the most powerful digital communication tool on the planet. When it comes to text messaging, if you send it they will read it. The same can’t be said about physical mail or email, which often end up in your customer’s garbage or junk mail without being read.

Now get out there and text away!


by Fuze August 8, 2013