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SMS strategies are increasingly popular as brands and businesses optimize for mobile and seek out innovative ways to engage consumers throughout the purchase funnel. A recent report from eMarketer and Insider Intelligence looks at how SMS marketing has become an exciting new channel for consumer engagement and sales conversions.
The Pandemic Accelerated The Use Of SMS Marketing
The adoption of digital strategies was integral to the success of many businesses adapting to new consumer behaviors throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and SMS is among the digital channels that saw an uptick in usage. According to eMarketer, SMS marketing saw “8.5% and 20% growth... in March and April 2020, respectively, compared with February.” And, “pre-pandemic, 51% of U.S. retailers planned to increase their investment in messaging and SMS platforms; by June 2020, that figure had jumped to 56%.”
Here are five ways businesses can use SMS marketing to build brand awareness, deepen consumer engagement and scale revenues.
1. SMS Helps Marketers In Crowded Markets Reach Consumers
Emarketer reports, “Janna Land, co-founder and COO of direct-to-consumer (D2C) food retailer FarmFoods, Inc., said SMS gave her ‘the ability to break through in a very noisy and competitive advertising environment.’” Additionally, the gathering of first-party data that comes prior to launching an SMS messaging campaign can help marketers better understand consumers and craft relevant messaging which allows for differentiation in crowded markets.
2. SMS Campaigns Perform Well In Tandem With Email Campaigns
Like email, SMS messages can remind consumers of deals and information waiting for them on landing pages, in shopping carts or within account-based apps. A well-managed data set can offer details on consumer preferences and allow brands to send SMS messages coordinated with email messages or to consumers who have stopped engaging with email. Typically, SMS has a much higher response rate than email.
3. SMS Helps Brands Build Loyalty With Consumers
By offering ongoing updates to orders placed, including shipping and delivery status, cancellations or other timely information, brands can create familiarity and loyalty with consumers. Consumers who feel seen and understood, and whose business appears valued by brands and retailers, are more likely to become repeat customers. Recipients almost always read their text messages, and the right message delivered at the right time can be greatly valued.
4. SMS Messages Can Encourage Conversions And Sales
SMS messages that reach out to consumers who have recently spent time on an ecommerce website can be effective at driving conversions, especially when they are personalized with information about what is already in the cart. eMarketer reports, “Sam Shames, co-founder and COO of wearables startup Embr Labs, deploys SMS largely to convert abandoned carts in the lower funnel.” When SMS messages include discounts or price cut information, they can encourage consumers to return and complete their purchases.
5. SMS Is An Excellent Channel For Promoting LTO Offers & Urgent News
The immediacy of texts is ideal for SMS marketing strategies that capitalize on limited-time-only (LTO) promotions, expiring sales, holidays or breaking news. For nonprofits, SMS can help quickly share breaking news and offer immediate opportunities for prospective donors to take action.
Brand Safety, Compliance And Consumer Fatigue Are Important Considerations When Using SMS
As with all advertising strategies, using data and analytics to understand consumer preferences can help brands avoid overdoing it with SMS messages. Emarketer notes, “Marketers must develop or audit their SMS marketing strategies, including figuring out what types of messages they will send, determining frequency and length, and embracing tactics that will allow their marketing lists to grow.”
Additionally, understanding brand safety expectations plus applicable federal and local laws related to data usage and SMS sending is essential to ensure compliance. (Alternatively, brands can rely on web push notifications as another effective platform for directly engaging audiences with less concern about texting-related compliance.)
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