SMS (Short Message Service), also known as text messaging, is a worldwide business. The “experts” predict its demise every year, yet sales increase, or at worst, remain constant.
Why does SMS remain relevant? It’s a perfect communication tool for many industries. We’ll prove so by examining five industries that are reaping the benefits of SMS marketing.
What is SMS marketing?
Yes, it’s text messages you receive on your phone, but there’s much more. There is permission granted by the consumer to receive the messages. This implies an active interest on the part of the consumer in your product or service.
You may be offered a special discount at a certain retailer that you have agreed to receive messages from, but it’s likely that the text could be informational; for example, you might receive a possible fraud alert from your bank or they may send you a low bank account balance warning. The point being that SMS marketing is just as likely to be informational/helpful as it is to be a sales offer.
We provided a couple of text examples you might see from a bank, but other types of financial services companies also employ text messaging as part of their marketing. They send out payment alerts, such as reminders about upcoming payments. In addition, stock brokers use text messaging to alert buyers of a price point on a stock or maybe as a receipt of a stock sale. These all have one thing in common. They are using communications that are a service to their consumer to tie them to their brand. They are offering help (in most cases) to make the customer feel appreciated and valued. SMS marketing does this in a way almost no other medium does.
We know that radio stations have been running promotions almost since they built the first radio tower, but today, those promotions often take the form of a text message. You hear promotions such as texting a message to win free tickets all the time. It’s the day after the listener responds to the promotion, however, that they get a text back asking if they want to join a certain opt-in. They are basically asking for your permission to send you text messages and plenty of people agree to that. If you respond to a promotion like that, your phone number is captured by the station and that’s how they can text you back. They key for them is not to abuse the privilege.
SMS is made use by doctors and dentists as well. There are two primary notices that they send out; one is appointment reminders and the other is medicine reminders. The latter is a very popular way SMS is utilized. There are some drug companies/pharmacists that send reminders to take your insulin, for instance. If a medication’s dosage time is critical, SMS messaging is a fantastic way to remind people to take it.
The last thing people who frequent nightclubs want to have happen is to miss out on a great time. What better way to remind them of who is DJing that night than by sending a text message. The demographic (18-34 year-olds) will also gladly give their cell phone numbers up. You can add restaurants to this vertical as well. What’s more convenient than a text that tells you that your table is ready or that your favorite restaurant has an open table tonight?
The fact that school districts can send out SMS messages as an alert to parents is incredibly convenient. They can notify parents when school is closed, if there is an emergency, or reminders about meetings. We know parents are busy, so it’s a great way to stay in contact with parents that doesn’t involve the kids.
How can SMS help you?
This depends on your industry, but when thinking of SMS, ask yourself a few questions:
Do you have some information that you want to share with your customers?
Would some other piece of marketing that you’re conducting be better handled by an advertising medium that has a 99% open rate and a 95% read rate?
Do you have anything that requires a reminder to your customers?
Do you have sales for a limited time?
Are your customers fanatics? Do they love your product so much that if you get a new shipment that they’ll want to know about it?
Would it be helpful to you and your customers if they could you start a dialogue with you via text?
There are a lot of industries that have had success with SMS marketing. Why not yours?