Why SMS Marketing Should be Part of your Digital Strategy in 2023 & How to Make it Work

Why SMS Marketing Should be Part of your Digital Strategy in 2023 & How to Make it Work

Short message service (SMS) is one of the most underrated yet effective mobile advertising channels. Research conducted by Statista in 2021 shows that SMS and texting experienced a 75 percent year-over-year increase in popularity among customers—higher than email and in-app messaging.

Similarly, as people become more comfortable interacting with businesses via mobile devices, now is an excellent time to leverage SMS marketing. As such, this article sheds light on why SMS marketing should be part of your digital strategy in 2023 and the diverse ways you can make it work.
Why SMS marketing should be part of your digital strategy
Irrespective of how sophisticated your digital strategy is already, you need SMS marketing in your arsenal. Here’s why:

1. Excellent open and read rates

Emails may stay unread for days, and customers will probably swipe past your sponsored social media ads without blinking. Yet, people read text messages almost immediately after they are received.

This is because people are more likely to open their default text messaging app than turn on their data connection to access emails and react to ads on social media platforms. Statistics also show that over 90% of SMS are opened within three minutes compared to 33% for emails.

Furthermore, texts reach the target audience faster than email or social media ads, as they are not subject to third-party algorithms.

2. Great for mobile optimization

SMS provides a better user experience because text messages go straight to consumers’ mobile phones. Customers do not have to download any app, put up with the noise on social media, or scroll through several emails to interact with your brand.

The text limit for SMS also makes your messages short and easy to read. In less than one minute, customers can get the intent of your message and respond if necessary.

Moreover, a recent survey by Statista had half the respondents saying that they spend five to six hours on their mobile phones daily. This is more reason to make SMS marketing part of your digital strategy.

3. Works very well with email marketing

You don’t have to discard email marketing when adding SMS to your digital strategy. As a matter of fact, SMS and email marketing work very well together.

Play the strengths of SMS to deliver time-sensitive news about events, service reminders, feedback requests, or other real-time alerts, then follow up via email for more detailed info.

Consequently, this goes a long way to boost your email engagements while maintaining your SMS open and read rates. You can also utilize the creative aspects of email marketing in SMS marketing. Consider using mobile-friendly designs and adding different forms of media (audio and images) to your messages.

4. Perfect for two-way conversations

SMS allows you to have real-time human interactions with your customers. When you send messages, customers can respond using number codes or keywords. These increase return purchases and customer-brand relationships.

You can also send messages with VIP offers or ask for feedback and be confident of quick responses. Even if some customers cannot reply immediately, they can always get back to you later.

You can’t say the same for marketing phone calls, emails, and social media ads. Customers can decline your call when having a bad day, may be unwilling to scroll through several emails to respond to your message, or the algorithm may not bring the ad back.

That’s why SMS is perfect for two-way conversations.

Top 5 SMS Marketing Strategies to Use in 2023

Now that you have understood why you need SMS marketing, it is time to make it work. These marketing strategies below will help you set the ball rolling.

Now that you have understood why you need SMS marketing, it is time to make it work. These marketing strategies below will help you set the ball rolling.

1. Integrate SMS with your favorite tools

You can integrate SMS or use it alongside your favorite advertising tools, like your CRM or support software. This helps you send more personalized, targeted texts using customers’ contact info and behavioral data.

Integrating SMS with other tools also helps you automate text campaigns and track their success in real-time. You can sync contact data with other tools that allow you to update information within your ecosystem automatically, subscribe and unsubscribe contacts automatically, trigger follow-ups based on customer behavior, etc.

Furthermore, integrating SMS with your favorite marketing tools can also help you:

  • Receive notifications when critical events happen (e.g., someone fills out a form, completes a survey, signs up for a trial, etc.).
  • Organize your calendar better (great for people selling consulting services).
  • Automatically assign new contacts to sales agents in your CRM.
  • Send reminders for open deals, cold leads, etc.

2. Send personalized marketing messages at scale

Instead of sending out generic messages, personalize your marketing to resonate with your audience. Doing so improves sales, engagement, and customer experience, helping customers warm up to your brand.

With mass text campaigns, you want to capture the reader’s attention immediately. The best way to do that is to be personable and ensure the content of your message is valuable to the recipient.

Fortunately, SMS tools allow you to send text messages to hundreds or thousands of people simultaneously. Set your contact list or segment as the recipient and write your message (or use a template). Segmented lists allow you to target users based on shared interests or behavior, improving your targeting and reducing marketing costs.

Personalize each communication with custom fields—data fields with standard info such as name and birthday—or create custom fields relevant to your marketing campaigns. Most importantly, endeavor to have a customer-centric approach to all your marketing communications.

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3. Engage existing customers

Acquiring a new customer can cost you five times more than retaining an existing customer. Consequently, retaining existing customers is much easier/cheaper than acquiring new ones. Your current customers are already invested in your brand and want to hear from you—why not reach out to them?

So, focus on sending time-sensitive and personalized messages to re-engage existing customers. And while at it, endeavor to add value to your customers. You can introduce new products and services to existing customers or add incentives to promotional messages to increase click-through rates.

4. Automate texts based on customer behavior

Automation streamlines your workflow and improves customer management. Instead of sending messages one at a time manually, you can automate texts based on customer behavior or use cases.

Save time by creating autoresponders for common inquiries, schedule messages, and create surveys to improve your SMS marketing system.

5. Be mindful of text messaging laws

Before you start with SMS marketing, you should know that it is imperative to receive consent when sending any communication. There are several text messaging laws your business should know and adhere to before hitting send.

Make sure you are aware of the SMS laws applicable in your country. Seek the consent of potential recipients and unsubscribe contacts according to best practices to avoid being slammed with a lawsuit that could ruin your brand’s credibility.

Improve your digital marketing strategy with SMS

Social media ads, email marketing, and traditional advertising are all great. However, businesses are looking to go beyond just generating revenue.

They want to build strong brands, generate demand, sell with a story, and have meaningful relationships with their customers. Integrating SMS into your digital marketing framework can help with these things… and more.

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