When you look for SMS marketing definition, you will find that SMS or Short Messaging Service marketing is an effective technique of using text messages to send promotional campaigns to people who have opted to receive such updates from your business.
To start receiving these promotional messages, consumers provide their consent by texting a particular keyword to your 4 or 5-digit short code. The consumer’s mobile number is then saved to your database of subscribers. Until they voluntarily opt out, they will receive messages of value from your business from time to time, to which they can directly respond.
It’s a great way for businesses to notify and remind customers of upcoming promotions, events and deals, thus increasing sales while building a loyal customer base.
To go about this, you can send SMS online yourself to each subscriber, but to get the most out of your strategy, hire a good bulk SMS service provider to manage your campaign.
Providers are usually a worthwhile investment to make predominantly for two reasons – one, they save you a lot of time and two, they can track how your target market is responding to your promotion. Now you know the definition of SMS marketing and how it works.
To understand the state of SMS marketing today, let’s go back in time a little and see how it all evolved. From sending out messages for personal use to messaging for marketing, text messaging has come a long way since its launch more than 25 years ago.
SMS at the time of its release had the very limited use, but fast forward five years and it became universally accepted as a very reliable and effective way for businesses to reach their customers.
Shortcodes were invented, and T9 typing was introduced. More and more of the big names in business jumped on the SMS marketing bandwagon realizing this technology’s true potential.
Even Barack Obama utilized a bulk text messaging system to announce his running mate in the 2008 US Presidential Elections. The next big milestone came with Apple’s release of the iPhone in 2007. After that, there was hardly anybody without a phone in their pocket. For businesses, this meant there was nobody they couldn’t reach.
The number of SMS users worldwide is constantly increasing, and texting is gaining popularity over calling as the preferred method of communication. Now, mobile marketing is a multibillion-dollar industry and continues to grow. If used correctly, it can do wonders for your business.
SMS marketing in India is an economical way to target potential clients on mobile, wherever they are. Below are just some of the many advantages SMS marketing offers that will never make you question its effectiveness as a marketing medium:
1. It’s efficient at reaching people
Whether you’re trying to reach international markets or a smaller domestic one, SMS marketing is the most efficient method of reaching people young and old. More than 60% of the world’s population owns a mobile phone and that is bound to include a good proportion of your target audience.
2. It’s cost-effective
Perhaps the best thing about SMS marketing is that it requires a very small initial investment but gives huge returns. It’s affordable to any size of business- be it a small start-up or a multinational corporation. A lot of SMS marketing services in India offer a pay-as-you-go messaging option, and some SMS marketing apps even have attractive monthly plans if you plan to send a high volume of texts. Since these messages are pure text and do not involve designing expensive graphics on paper, you are saving on printing and will not be going over budget.
3. It’s easy to set up and use
Not only is SMS marketing cost inexpensive, it’s also extremely simple to start and manage. A good bulk SMS provider will set up everything for you in a matter of minutes. Sending out scheduled messages to individuals, specific groups or even entire lists of people is quite easy. As a matter of fact, coining the perfect campaign message without going over the character limit might be the hardest part of the process. If you aren’t going to hire a provider, a good number of websites allow you to send free SMS to a limited number of people. This isn’t the recommended way to do it as it will take up a lot of your time to manually enter each number every time you want to one of these free SMS online.
4. It gives quick results
Personal conversations are increasing moving to feature-rich online messaging applications, leaving space in the SMS arena for companies to grab the attention of their consumers. More than 90% of people open every SMS they get within three seconds – that’s much faster than how long it takes to open an email. Seeing and responding to your SMS immediately will be the automatic tendency of most phone users, giving you instant results of how well you fared.
5. It’s adaptable across markets
SMS marketing is appropriate for public-sector companies, for internal communications and obviously, for commercial brands. Be it B2B or B2C audiences, SMS marketing is a developed, effective channel that can be used for a range of communications.
6. It’s Measurable
Analytics software used by a good SMS marketing agency can monitor and track the click rate and delivery of each text message. This is particularly useful for marketers to measure uptake of offers and to decide whether to continue with the same campaign, to make changes before the next batch of messages is sent out, or to stop it completely.
7. It’s Personalised
In a way, a mobile number is the identity of a person. It tells you about their purchase history, location and interest in your business. Based on this, sending a personalized message to the right person in the right place at the right time not only boost sales but also make your customer feel cared for and appreciated. For example, if you’re based in Bangalore, choosing a Bangalore SMS marketing service provider will work best for you and your potential customers.
8. It’s easy to generate new leads
A good bulk SMS gateway will not require you to get your own shortcode, but if you do spend the little extra, then you give customers a way to voluntarily join your database to receive offers and other messages of value. Moreover, having a short code means it is easier for a customer to spread the word about you to their friends and family, thus generating you thousands of new leads. Most SMS marketing services in India can help you get a shortcode of your own.
9. It’s legal if you do it right
Sending out text messages without prior consent from your recipient could get you in trouble with the law. But if you do it the right way – building your own database by collecting mobile numbers from interested people through campaigns- you aren’t just keeping yourself safe from lawsuits, but ensure that your efforts yield better results. SMS marketing apps and bulk SMS service provider companies are well-versed in these guidelines to give your target market only messages of value.
10. It has untapped potential
While most well-known large brands prefer SMS marketing as a powerful outlet to promote their products and services, many small to midsize companies are still lagging behind. Jump on board before any of your competitors do and make a bigger splash with an unrealized PR and marketing opportunity.