It’s no secret that teenagers love to text, but it may surprise you that a recent study found that nearly a third of American adults prefer text messages to phone calls.* From July 2011 to June 2012, some 2.3 trillion SMS (short message service) text messages were sent and received.** Given that level of penetration, SMS marketing represents a powerful opportunity to build targeted leads.
“SMS is a way for cell phones to talk to each other using 160 characters or less,” explains Ramon Ray, Editor of small business information site Smallbiztechnology.com and author of Technology Solutions for Growing Businesses. “The message is first sent to a ‘message center’ and then sent on to the recipient phone.”
Ray points out a wide range of benefits in SMS marketing for small businesses, not the least of which is that consumers usually have their phones with them and they’re almost constantly on. “SMS marketing, or mobile marketing, has exploded over the years,” he says. “As cell phones have become more popular and as consumers and businesses have used not only SMS but also browsers on their cell phones, more people are using their cell phones, as ‘mini-PCs.'”
There are lots of other advantages: SMS marketing is inexpensive compared to other vehicles; it works well in conjunction with promotions and special offers; people often forward text messages, making them viral; the success of campaigns are easy to measure; and, perhaps most important, SMS marketing features an immediate call to action — people tend to read every text they get within a few minutes;
There are some key steps to using SMS marketing well. “If you’re considering SMS marketing, you need to first get users to opt in—you want their permission,” Ray says. “In shaping any campaign, first consider your goals. Are you seeking simply to bolster your brand, generate leads or build sales?”
It may help to work with a professional who can help you design various messages, images, creative, etc., for to accompany the screen size and other attributes of different mobile devices. Ray says you also need to think about the action you want taken and the ways in which you want people to respond. Do you want a return text? Are you trying to get people to call you? Do you want the recipient to go to a mobile web site?
A fast growing approach is to use SMS coupons. Having people, say, text 1234 to get a free drink from a local coffee shop is a quick way to attract attention. Indeed, a donut chain that used this type of promotion saw store traffic rise by more than 20 percent.
A survey sponsored by AisleBuyer found that SMS coupons can even trump brand loyalty: nearly 75 percent of consumers would switch brands if offered real-time mobile promotions delivered to their smartphones while shopping in a store aisle. And more than eight in 10 shoppers age 25-34 year-old were willing to switch.***”SMS marketing is not at all difficult to implement,” Ray says. “Most providers offer a range of ‘point-and-click’ campaign options. If you pay for online advertising, SMS marketing is no different. You pay for results, and you can test and then refine. You just need to have your objectives in mind before you execute.”
By : adsolutions