The Benefits of SMS for Small Business
In a world of nearly frictionless market access, consumers can change buying preferences with a click of the mouse or a swipe up the screen. Standing out in a crowded landscape of product offerings is hard enough for larger companies, but for small businesses with fewer resources, it’s extra tough.
For a company just starting out or any small business, achieving the right marketing mix with the optimal combination of effectiveness, cost, usability, and scale can mean the difference between thriving and closing up shop. And that’s where SMS comes in.
Using SMS, or “Short Message Service” (AKA, texting) to send marketing messages provides small businesses a raft load of benefits that not only can enhance their overall marketing efforts but does so in a cost-effective manner that would make any marketing manager smile. Take a look.
SMS is Versatile
Think about it. You can say just about anything with a text. Likewise, SMS can be used for a wide range of marketing communications. With SMS you can create messages to:
- Increase brand awareness
- Inform customers about products or services
- Notify people about sales and promotions
- Share news about your brand
- Invite consumers to participate in a survey
- Send general alerts and notifications
- Ask for feedback
Basically, your choices are endless.
SMS is Effective
Who doesn’t love getting a new text? Most people have a mobile device, and the majority (up to 68%) engage more with SMS than with other platforms like email or social media. Texts have that unique sense of urgency that other platforms just don’t. Are we right?
And unlike email, texts aren’t filtered through a spam filter. Most people engage with text messages within a few minutes of receiving them一60% of consumers say they read texts within the first five minutes.
This is why text marketing can be incredibly powerful. Open rates for SMS marketing messages are well over 90%, with click-through rates for e-commerce brands as high as 36%. Compare that to email marketing, which averages open rates in the 6-20% range, and single-digit click-through rates.
What does this all mean? It means that your recipients are likely to read your texts一and engage with them.
Requiring Recipients to Opt In to SMS Messaging Can Improve Lead Quality
Using SMS for marketing requires that your recipients opt in. This means that they must agree to accept promotional messages ahead of receiving them (See below under “It’s Legal…” for more). This is a good thing because it means you’re communicating with people who want to be contacted about your brand. Sure, that group is smaller than the one that doesn’t want to receive marketing texts, but at close to 50 million people, that group isn’t small. And because they want to hear from you, they’ll be better leads in the long run.
Oh, and recipients can also opt out一also good一because who wants to be known as that annoying brand that barrages its audiences with unwanted content? It could mean losing sales down the road. So, embrace the opt out, it’s good for business. Salesmsg, makes opting out easy for contact. All they have to do is reply with “STOP” and they are automatically opted out.
SMS Messages Are Easy to Create…
Most people expect texts to be brief and to the point. This is helpful for the small business owner who may be short on time and other resources to throw at the challenge. It’s also good for the recipient who will appreciate a text that doesn’t go on for paragraphs and paragraphs and…
But opportunities for engagement don’t have to suffer simply because you’re trying to keep your text short. By using links, videos, and images it’s easy to offer options for interaction, like visiting your website or participating in a survey or poll. You can even include a toll-free SMS reply option.
…And Deploy…at Scale
SMS messaging integrates easily with loads of marketing automation platforms. This makes it easy to deploy SMS messages (up to several thousand or more per day) as part of a broader campaign or on their own.
For example, Salesmsg, a premier two-way business text messaging software platform allows you to send, receive, and manage SMS message conversations from a single dashboard. It also integrates seamlessly with more than 1,000 third-party apps, like HubSpot, Marketo, and Salesforce. Easy, right?
SMS Messages Can be Personalized
A quality text message platform for business also integrates efficiently with your CRM, which enables personalization of text messages that align with your lead and customer segments. When you send a text that has value to the recipient, say a unique discount or offer, you’re building brand loyalty and trust.
SMS Messaging is Affordable
Costs vary, but most SMS platforms offer pricing around a few cents per text sent. Bulk message packages allow for thousands sent each month for a relatively low flat rate. Salesmsg offers basic and more advanced plans (both costing about $0.04 per text message) and includes a range of features, such as SMS broadcasting (up to 1,000 texts at a time), customer onboarding, and premier support.
It’s Also Legal…But There Are Rules
Using SMS for marketing purposes falls under the purview of the Federal Communications Commission and is legal一but heavily regulated. In particular, all activities must comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the CAN-SPAM Act. These laws require, among other things, that recipients provide explicit consent to receive SMS marketing messages from a named business before any marketing message is sent.
Other stakeholders involved in the oversight of SMS marketing practices are the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA). While neither can enforce federal legislation, the CTIA can cut off SMS services to businesses. The MMA assists businesses in sticking to best practices.
All this is to say that, hey, it’s legal! But like email marketing, for example, there are rules in place that protect consumers from unwanted SMS marketing solicitations.
Using an SMS marketing platform, like Salesmsg for example, can ensure your messaging is compliant with all the necessary rules and regulations.
How to Get Started
Contact Salesmsg today to learn more about how SMS can boost your marketing efforts and help take your small business to the next level.
Text us at (888) 409-2298 or start your free trial today.