SMS (or text) marketing has been around for a while now, but the field is always evolving. Since I founded an SMS marketing company in 2010, I’ve seen many important changes in the way SMS campaigns are managed. Moreover, I’ve watched the industry grow by leaps and bounds as mobile technology has spread quickly around the world. This means there’s more potential now than ever before to reap the benefits of SMS marketing.
I frequently tell clients they don’t have to think of SMS as a replacement for other marketing activities. In fact, some of the best results I’ve seen are from businesses that incorporate SMS marketing into their overall marketing strategy. Text marketing can complement other digital strategies such as SEO, social media and email marketing.
Integrate SMS into your marketing campaign
Nowadays, mobile devices have become an increasingly popular way to access the internet. People use their smartphones for calls, to access social media apps, check email and, of course, to send and receive text messages.
SMS marketing offers many apps and tools that make it easy to connect text marketing with other platforms. Here are a few ways to make SMS marketing fit in seamlessly with your overall marketing strategy.
You can use an app to capture email addresses via text. This gives you another way to build your email list and power email marketing campaigns.
Manage social media promotions
You can use SMS to get more social media followers by running contests and sweepstakes promoted by both social media and SMS. For example, users can enter text-to-win contests by texting a short code. Place the short code on your Facebook or Twitter to make it easy for followers to enter the contest. You can also do it the other way around — send SMS contacts texts about a contest you’re running on your Facebook page.
Download apps and monitor website traffic
Use SMS marketing to direct people to download your app or visit your website. By delivering a direct link to download on the App Store, users can immediately take action.
Host live events and offline marketing activities
SMS marketing is also a powerful way to boost the effectiveness of offline marketing campaigns, such as in-store promotions and events. Traditional practices of hanging billboards or flyers can be enhanced and modernized with SMS or QR codes that let people enter a contest or join your list instantly.
The new wave of SMS marketing
SMS marketing has changed quite a bit in recent years. When I first entered the field, it was a new concept and involved lots of experimentation. Early SMS marketing suffered some of the same flaws as early email marketing, such as sending messages without permission, or creating lists that were not well targeted.
We are now entering the second wave of SMS marketing. Here are some of the characteristics of this new and more powerful wave.
Build targeted and segmented lists
The key to successful SMS marketing, which holds true for all types of marketing, is to send messages to the right audience.
Develop good timing
You want to send messages consistently, but not so frequently that it becomes annoying. You also want to identify the best time of day and days of the week to send SMS messages. This is where testing and analytics can make your strategies more effective.
Creating compelling SMS offers
One of the benefits of SMS marketing is there are many ways to provide value. Contests, promo codes and giveaways encourage people to respond to your texts and offers.
While SMS marketing is not a new marketing tool, you still have plenty of time to benefit from theindustry’s new wave. There are now more ways than ever to make text marketing a powerful component of your marketing mix.
Kalin Kassabov is a founder and CEO of ProTexting.com, a fast-growing enterprise level text message suite of services.