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15 February 2024

SMS Marketing for Business

In today's digital age, the surge in mobile phone usage has catapulted SMS marketing to the forefront, establishing it as an indispensable tool for businesses aiming to expand their customer base and profits.



The allure of SMS marketing lies in its simplicity and directness, offering businesses a competitive edge in engaging with their audience. 

Recent statistics highlight that over two-thirds of the global population now wields a mobile phone, with unique users tallying up to 5.61 billion as of January 2024. Additionally, the average individual dedicates approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes daily to their mobile device, with about 20% of smartphone enthusiasts exceeding 4.5 hours. These figures not only underscore the ubiquity of mobile phones but also unveil the vast potential and opportunities SMS marketing holds for businesses. 

Is it time to integrate SMS Marketing into your customer communication strategy? 

This article delves into how SMS marketing can revolutionize customer engagement by facilitating instantaneous and impactful communication. 

Whether you're crafting your audience communication from scratch or seeking to enhance existing strategies, this guide provides comprehensive insights into SMS marketing.

Table of contents

  • Essentials of SMS Marketing 

  • Varieties of SMS Messages 

  • Preliminary Steps for SMS Marketing 

  • Advantages of Choosing SMS Marketing 

  • Strategies for Successful SMS Campaigns 

Understanding SMS Marketing  

SMS marketing is a dynamic form of mobile marketing that empowers businesses to dispatch concise text messages to their clientele. Utilized through mobile phone services (SMS), this approach enables companies to inform customers about promotions, offers, appointment reminders, and shipment updates, among other communications. 

Key fact: An SMS can encompass up to 160 characters, making brevity and clarity paramount. 

Types of SMS Messages 

Businesses can categorize SMS messages into three principal types: 

  • Promotional SMS 

  • Transactional Updates 

  • Conversational SMS 

Promotional SMS 

Aimed at boosting sales, introducing new products, or elevating brand awareness. 

Transactional updates  

 Transactional SMS refer to any message sent to a customer to inform them about the status of their order. These can include:  

  • Order confirmations  

  • Updates on shipments  

  • Delivery confirmations 

Conversational SMS (Two-way communication)  

Conversational SMS are messages that allow users to chat with businesses as they would chat with friends. Instead of being limited to specific response options, they can use their everyday language to exchange messages with the business. In this way, businesses can offer a more personal and genuine communication with their customers.  

Before you launch your SMS marketing campaign 

Before you start your SMS campaigns, it is important to know some good practices for SMS marketing. By doing so, you will ensure compliance with data protection issues and prevent your messages from being labelled as annoying or suspicious, reducing the chances of losing subscribers. Here's what to consider: 

  1. Consent is key: Engage only with customers who have explicitly opted in. 

  1. Easy opt-out: Always include an unsubscribe option to maintain trust and respect for user preferences. 

  1. Clear Identification: Introduce your business clearly to avoid mistrust or confusion. 

  1. Appropriate timing: Engage with your audience during reasonable hours, typically between 8 am and 8 pm. 

Why opt for SMS Marketing?  

SMS marketing stands out for its directness and personal touch. If used correctly, it can prove to be a highly profitable investment and bring great results: 

1. High engagement rates  

SMS messages boast significantly higher interaction rates compared to other marketing channels. Notably, SMS messages achieve an impressive average open rate of 98% within just three minutes of being delivered. This stands in stark contrast to the open rates of email marketing, which typically range between 20-30%. 

Such high engagement indicates that subscribers are more likely to read your SMS and act upon it. This phenomenon can be attributed to the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones, which most of us always carry and regularly check for notifications. 

Furthermore, SMS serves as an instant and personal communication channel. When your messages land in your customers' inboxes, they appear alongside messages from their closest friends and family. This positioning means your messages are placed within a context that matters deeply to your audience, enhancing the likelihood of engagement. 

2. Multiply conversions  

Capitalize on the exceptional engagement rates of SMS marketing to reach your customers more effectively and boost your conversion rates. 

Understanding that a significant portion of your subscribers will engage with your SMS, it's crucial to direct your efforts towards crafting messages that motivate action. Consider leveraging insights from previous campaigns and customer data to tailor your communications precisely sending the right message, to the right person, at the optimal time. 

For instance, employ SMS marketing to offer exclusive promotions and discounts to your most loyal customers, or to remind them of items left in their e-shop baskets. This strategic approach not only reinforces customer loyalty but also nudges them towards completing a purchase, thereby enhancing your business's conversion rates. 

3. Get to know your audience better  

SMS marketing offers a unique opportunity to gather valuable insights about your customers. Each interaction provides a glimpse into their world, revealing their interests and preferences. This information is invaluable for tailoring your future marketing campaigns more effectively. 

Over time, you'll gain a deeper understanding of each subscriber's product preferences, enabling you to send highly relevant content. This targeted approach is likely to stimulate more interactions and, subsequently, more conversions. 

Consider, for instance, your e-shop specializes in organic products. Through your SMS marketing efforts, you might discover a particular subscriber frequently shows interest in organic teas and coffees but ignores messages about organic foods. By tailoring your messages to focus solely on the products they're interested in, you minimize the risk of unsubscribes and foster a base of satisfied, loyal customers. 

The feedback customers provide through their interactions and preferences is instrumental in creating a loyal and satisfied subscriber base. 

4. Cultivate customer loyalty 

Securing customer loyalty is crucial for the sustained success of any business. SMS marketing serves as a powerful tool in this endeavor, enabling you to forge unique experiences that solidify your customers' bond with your brand. 

Consider deploying targeted SMS campaigns to your most valued customers, offering them exclusive discounts or early access to new products and services. Such privileges instill a sense of exclusivity and belonging, motivating customers to return and reinforcing their perception of your brand's value in their lives. 

Furthermore, SMS marketing can be employed to send timely order reminders, provide personalized product recommendations, and facilitate customer support directly through messaging. These gestures demonstrate your commitment to their satisfaction and convenience, laying the foundation for a loyal customer base that cherishes your brand. 

5. Ensure long-term customer satisfaction  

Did you know that retaining an existing customer is 5 to 7 times more cost-effective than acquiring a new one? This emphasizes the importance of keeping your subscribers engaged with content that is not only relevant but captivating, thereby fostering a stronger connection to your brand over time. Such engagement is pivotal for securing a stable revenue stream for your business in the long haul. 

To accomplish this, prioritize sending personalized messages that resonate with your customers' unique preferences and history. Capitalize on the data at your disposal by offering compelling incentives, such as exclusive discounts or complimentary shipping on items that align with their interests and previous purchases. These tailored strategies are key to maintaining a satisfied and loyal customer base, ultimately contributing to your business's enduring success. 

6. Easily track results  

Monitoring the effectiveness of each campaign is crucial for understanding what resonates with your audience and what requires adjustment. SMS marketing offers the advantage of immediate and comprehensive access to subscriber data, enabling you to discern not only the most engaged subscribers but also those less active. This visibility extends to detailed interactions, such as link clicks within your messages, website activities, page views, cart additions, and final purchases. 

Such granular data is invaluable for evaluating the impact of your marketing efforts. It allows for a nuanced understanding of customer behavior, facilitating informed decisions to enhance future campaigns' performance. 

Tips for successful SMS campaigns  

Personalize Your Messages: Enhancing your campaign's effectiveness starts with personalization. Utilize details like your subscribers' names, locations, and preferences to craft messages that truly resonate. For instance, a message like "Hi [Helen], exclusively for the next few days, visit our newest store in Halandri and enjoy a 20% discount on your next purchase!" directly appeals to the recipient's personal connection with your brand. 

Offer Competitive Incentives: Providing compelling incentives gives your customers a tangible reason to engage with your brand. Whether it's a special promotion, an exclusive discount, or a free gift on their next purchase, these incentives significantly impact customer response rates. Example: "Hey [Costa], download our app now and enjoy free shipping on every in-app purchase!" 

Create a Sense of Urgency: The immediacy with which SMS messages are read can be leveraged to boost sales. Design your campaigns with time-sensitive offers, employing phrases like "Valid for 24/48 hours," "Expires Soon," or "Today Only" to spur action. This strategy taps into the instant nature of SMS, encouraging quicker purchasing decisions. 

Engage with Entertaining Content: Given its personal and informal nature, SMS is the perfect medium for sharing enjoyable content that strengthens your connection with the audience. Use a conversational tone to deliver useful tips, announce new products, or offer exclusive discounts, making each message an engaging experience for your subscribers. 

Optimize with Short URLs: To keep within the 160-character limit of SMS messages, ensure any included URLs are succinct. The Apifon platform, among others, can help compress URLs, making your messages more streamlined and accessible. 

SMS marketing is a powerful tool for businesses, that not only brings remarkable open rates, but also the ability to instantly connect with customers. 

Get started with Apifon today to effectively engage your customer base, transforming SMS communication into tangible sales results!  

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