Why SMS Marketing is a “MUST HAVE” Tool for Any Brand

Definition and Characteristics of SMS Marketing

The penetration of mobile devices in the American society brought with it vast business opportunities. One of such opportunities is the use of SMS as a marketing strategy. This refers to the use of mobile devices with the aim of promoting a certain product or service. It entails sending of a message by a company to a consumer and subsequent communication.

There are several characteristics of SMS marketing. First, it involves the use of an SMS enabled mobile device in communication. Second, the company writes short and concise message to its clients. Third, it is sustained by the use of keyword and short code. Lastly, it has both the opt-in and opt-out features.

How Brands Are Using SMS Marketing

Times Square SMS keyword exampleQuite a number of brands have adopted the use of SMS in their engagement with consumers. They do this through a number of ways. First, it can be used in service-related businesses. These include dental and home technicians’ services. Studies reveal that SMS appointment reminders lower the likelihood of absenteeism in strategic meetings and appointments.

Second, SMS marketing can be used to encourage customers to interact with your brand. Brand awareness can be effected through digital strategies. For example, Share A Coke campaign has used text messages to establish and maintain a personalized relationship with clients in order to promote its brand.

Third, it entails a short but strong call-to-action message that increases the rate of conversion. For example, in May 2012, Starbucks used a well-articulated text message in order to promote its annual Frappucino Happy Tour Campaign. In addition, it makes local advertising actionable.

Lastly, brands have used SMS in order to enable the public to participate in sweepstakes. This is enabled through the text to win service. In connection to this, anyone can join a Mobile Sweepstakes as far as he or she is eligible. This is more applicable in cases where a company does not have enough time to do traditional advertising.

Benefits of SMS Marketing

There are various benefits associated with the use of SMS marketing.

  • To start with, one of the greatest advantage with using text messages for marketing is their instant deliverability and readability. Key players in the marketing industry have investigated the deliverability and readability of SMS texts. Whereas there has been a variance in findings, most of the studies say that text messages are read within four to seven seconds and they have an open rate of 95 %.
  • Second, SMS marketing offers instant opt-in opt-out options. The advantage with this is that it ensures the privacy of the recipients. In other words, it is those who want to engage with you that go ahead to continue receiving or responding to your messages. Similarly, potential clients can opt-in for the texts instantly using the text to join service.
  • Third, SMS marketing has a wide market potential. The advantage with this is that a campaign can reach a large number of people. Consequently, this increases the visibility and exposure of a company and hence increases the rate of conversation. It should be noted that the advance in technology makes the use of mobile usage cheaper and more accessible, much to the advantage of the business community.
  • Lastly, one can use a mobile device anywhere and anytime. Thus, one can read a text message anywhere and anytime in order to read SMS offers and alerts. Moreover, text message marketing can be assessed even when one is in a meeting. This is unlike traditional forms of advertising which do not offer convenience.Conclusion
    The increased use of mobile devices means that SMS marketing will remain a relevant marketing strategy. In fact, it will gain more prominence as more consumers buy mobile gadgets. The value of SMS marketing cannot be underestimated. Overall, SMS marketing is a viable and sustainable marketing strategy.

Power of SMS Marketing

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Benefits of SMS marketing for the Food and Entertainment industry (restaurants, Bars, Comedy clubs, etc)

SMS Marketing or Text message marketing has become a popular and powerful communication, engagement and marketing tool for businesses and organization. 90% of American adults own a smart phone and 81% of cell phone owners use their phone to send and receive text messages. http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet/

These are powerful facts that businesses and organizations cannot afford to ignore. SMS marketing has proven to be an effective channel for the Food and Entertainment industry – bars, restaurants, night clubs, school cafeterias, comedy clubs, etc. As in many other industries, if implemented correctly, this is an effective way to grow customers, increase sales and build brand loyalty. By using SMS offers and alerts, different organizations in the Food and Entertainment industry can efficiently and quickly reach out to their client base by sending targeted text messages. Also, they can use different SMS marketing engagement methods such as text to win, text to join, mobile surveys and more to attract new customers to join and participate in product competitions or promotions. SMS marketing is now being used to communicate crucial sales data, product launches, up-to-date company information and other critical data involving customers and events.

Below are some of the main benefits that highlight why SMS Marketing is a great tool for the Food and Entertainment industry:

  • Drive Sales with a simple Text Message – A short straight to the point message can help bars and restaurants drive foot traffic to their doors. Everyone likes to a good deal and feel appreciated. A simple text message such as – Come by our store today and receive a free drink with your meal – can be very powerful and persuade your existing customers to come in and purchase from you. Also, another way to bring new customers is to offer a discount if they join your VIP SMS Program. When they text your keywords they receive a promo code or a text message with instructions on how to redeem their prize.
  • Engage Customers – Different engagement methods such as text to win / Text sweepstakes and text surveys, are a great way to engage your customers, make them feel appreciated as well as obtain useful and meaningful feedback that helps businesses ensure they are providing the right services and help them improve their services.
  • Drive brand loyalty – By engaging your customers, offering specials and inviting them to special events companies also ensure that they are always in their customers’ minds and building their reputation. As discussed above, SMS marketing helps drive brand loyalty via different programs. When the customers are involved in the business, they always think they are part of it and have an emotional investment.
  • Immediate and meaningful messages – Text messages are read within minutes of being received. Also, many customers don’t like reading a lengthy message, so SMS is a perfect way to ensure you have a quick way to reach and attain their attention. The SMS marketing offers a way of communicating information in short and precise manner. Business owners also save time preparing the message because it is short.
  • Fast, economical and efficient – sending a text message to hundreds or thousands of customers takes minutes if not seconds. In the food and entertainment industry, there are many events some happening within a short notice. The SMS marketing may be the only fast, efficient and economical way to inform a group of customers if the event occurs in a couple of hours.

SMS Marketing for entertainment industry

In summary, SMS marketing is benefiting many businesses in the Food and Entertainment industry to communicate with their large customer base and promote their businesses and drive brand loyalty and brand recognition by using this new form of marketing. Since the technology continues to improve, the benefits of text message marketing can only increase. SMS alerts and offers, text to win, text to join services help add a competitive edge to business and the products in food and entertainment industry.

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Text Messaging Marketing in Religious Institutions

Religious institutions are great at testing out and taking advantage of different technological tool. They have found the perfect balance of using tradition and innovation. Churches, mosques, synagogues as well as religious schools are very receptive to technology and open to keep their members engaged via different means.

One of the technologies that can be best utilized by churches and other religious institutions is SMS marketing. Text messaging marketing uses the mobile devices to send promotional information to a high number of cell phone users. It is estimated that a Short Message Services are read within four minutes of sending, and this makes them an effective tool for use by churches that want to reach a high number of individuals within a short time.

SMS Marketing for churches

Text to join and SMS Alerts

Text to join is a service that is used to collect phone numbers and email addresses that can then be used to communicate with them in the future. Churches and other religious institutions can use this service to ask their members to join their texting and e-mail alert programs and start communicating with the members on regular basis. SMS alerts are the easiest way that churches and other religious institutions can use SMS technology in their work. Text messages can be used to reach members of congregations with various messages. Religious institutions can perform their core functions of increasing spreading spirituality messages through SMS. In this manner, institutions of religion can reach many people, and hopefully influence their beliefs. SMS alerts can be used to communicate from a church to congregants about special events of the institution. Conferences, meetings and other events can be communicated to members inexpensively and fast. In matters spiritual, churches and other religious institutions can send SMS alerts to members periodically to strengthen their faith. For example, churches can send daily SMS alerts with bible verses.

Mobile Surveys

Religious institutions also need quality control methods to ensure that the services that they provide their members are satisfactory. Mobile surveys are an easy and economical to use; member are required to respond to questions about a particular issue using text messages. The results are then collated and such institutions use the results to improve their services. Better services translate to satisfied and spiritually sound members.

Text to Screen

Text to screen is a service that uses SMS to engage members of an audience. Using a designated short code and a keyword, a text message is sent, and then displayed on a big screen projection device where a greater audience can view its content. In religious institutions that have large audiences, this is a great way of communicating and engaging members. Texts by members of the audience in form of questions and comments can be relayed live on a display during a church service. This increases audience participation, and the message of the church is received more effectively.

Text messaging services is a good and effective technology that churches and other religious institutions can employ to effectively reach their audiences with their messages. If well utilized, they are also a great way of generating income for such institutions.


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How schools, universities and educational institutions can leverage SMS Marketing and SMS Alerts

In today’s world, technology has become one of the most significant ways of getting information. It is also one of the most convenient ways that people communicate with each other. Short message service (SMS), also referred to as texting, is one of them. This is becoming more and more popular in schools and universities among students, teachers, professors, and school administrators. Below are a few examples and ideas on how schools, universities and other educational institutions can leverage the power of SMS marketing and SMS alert services.

Informational SMS Alerts:

One way that schools and universities use SMS is for information purposes. For example, administrators, deans, or school principals can notify either the parents, the students, or both about events that will take place. New prospective students can text in a keyword to a short code to receive enrollment information, request an onsite campus visit, campus maps etc. Also existing students can sign up for class and alerts, such as class schedules, campus events, graduation ceremonies and any other on campus related activities. Text Messaging is a simple, direct and cost effective way to keep students informed and engaged.

Emergency SMS Alerts:

SMS alerts have become a great option for campuses when it comes to emergency alerts. A simple text message to join the school emergency alert program provides great comfort and safety feeling to students and parents. Schools and universities can then leverage SMS alerts to keep students informed about weather alerts, school closing, on campus awareness etc.

SMS Marketing for Universities

Mobile Surveys and Feedback:

Text message surveys have become popular among students as this is an easy and trendy way to get feedback from students. Universities and colleges are making Mobile Surveys an option for students to participate in sharing their experience about campus activities, events they would like to see on campus and about their overall experiences in college. The use of this technological source makes it easier and fun for students so the participation rate is higher than sending out an e-mail or filling out a paper survey. Also, Mobile Surveys offer great reporting and survey results that allows school faculty and staff to focus more on addressing the students feedback than spending time on organizing the answers.

On Campus Sales and Offers:

SMS marketing is also a great tool for campus cafeterias, bookstores and any other places that offer discounts to students. An example is displaying a call to action in front of the cafeteria or within the cafeteria:

Text OFFERS to 82257 to join our Text VIP program and receive our specials and alerts.

This simple step will sign up students to weekly cafeteria specials that offer discounts and specials. To learn more on how to leverage SMS Marketing for on campus cafeteria you can also ready our Sodexo Case Study.

SMS Marketing and SMS alerts have become a great way to communicate and engage with on campus students, faculty and staff. This is a simple channel that offers great benefits to participants and subscribers (students and faculty) as well as to system managers (faculty and staff). SMS is cost effective, immediate and provides great reporting capabilities. Overall this is a channel that schools and universities can no longer afford to ignore.

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How to Leverage SMS Marketing Campaigns to Grow and Maintain E-mail Lists

E-mail, text and social media marketing represent some of the most efficient and cost-effective means of advertising today. The influx of internet-ready portable devices has expanded the internet and increased the possibilities for advertisers. However, privacy concerns have prompted authorities to implement laws and regulations limiting the use of e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Unwarranted e-mails are marked as spam by servers and may impact negatively on business. So, given the power of the internet and the stringent marketing rules governing it, how does a business leverage this power to create legitimate e-mail lists and drive customers and profits its way? SMS marketing may have the solution.

SMS campaigns represent a simple yet powerful marketing campaign for any business. Over 86% of consumers send a text message every week, with 30% of the 320 million wireless service subscribers having interacted with a brand via SMS. Since sending an e-mail requires that the sender must have permission to send the e-mail to the recipient beforehand, SMS campaigns represent the best way in which to obtain this consent. Unlike e-mail marketing where someone can send e-mail to anyone and risk being marked as spam, sending an SMS requires the receiver to first opt-in or accept texts. This reduces the instances of messages being marked as spam and having the desired marketing effect.

Grow email subscribers via SMSOne way that SMS campaigns can be leveraged to build an e-mail list is by incorporating a promotion into the SMS campaign. Initially the subscriber is asked to text in a specific keyword in order to receive a discount or a promotional code. Once they reply, this will represent their decision to opt-in for any future texts from your company and that you are free to continue with the advertising message. You may then send a message asking them to reply with their e-mail address to receive their promotional code or any other promotional material as appropriate. When properly implemented and managed, such an SMS campaign can result in valuable e-mail capture and help you build a legitimate e-mail list.

Another way to encourage opt-ins is by implementing mobile text-to-win or mobile sweepstakes. The basic idea behind these types of campaigns is that people generally love free giveaways and gifts depending on how legitimate the offer appears. For a business that attracts referrals, the text-to-win strategy works extremely well especially because of the ease of texting and the high number of text-savvy individuals. A basic text-to-win campaign would begin by creating the call to action to promote your campaign – simply asking participants to text in a KEYWORD to a SHORT CODE. a text with a keyword that represents your industry and business niche with a prompt to reply to win. Once the user replies, a follow-up text is sent prompting the user to reply with relevant details, such as their email address. Once you receive a reply with this information, you can then proceed to carry the draw and pick out the winner. Other methods that can be used to get emails for your email database include text-to-vote and text-4-info which provide good platforms to engage subscribers.

It is important to remember to send an email as soon after receiving feedback from the subscriber to maintain engagement. Maintaining a clean e-mail database is almost as crucial as hunting for one. Therefore, it is important to remember to send regular emails and promotions to keep subscribers engaged and to ensure good ROI for your business.

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