Harnessing the Power of Text Marketing for Small Businesses

Topic: SMS Marketing

Modern-day consumers are overloaded with digital stimuli and information. So as a small business, how exactly can you grab their attention and ensure you stand out from the sea of competition? 

Text marketing can be a great way to engage directly with your customers, but what makes this channel so effective? And how can small businesses take advantage of it? We’ll uncover answers to those questions and more below.

The benefits of SMS marketing for small businesses

  • Target customers where they’re most likely to be found – recent research shows that 91% of the world owns a mobile phone, making this an excellent channel to meet customers where they already are.
  • It’s personal – consumers tend to be more inclined to give away their emails than phone numbers, as the latter is an intimately personal contact detail. If you can connect with customers via text, there’s potential to build deeper relationships.
  • Two-way communication is possible – customers can reply to businesses, which mimics natural conversations they have in their day-to-day lives. This too can help strengthen the relationship between you and your individual customers.
  • It complements other channels, like email – where email is better for longer form communication, text is great for shorter messages. You can also give your campaigns an extra boost by following up via SMS, such as promoting an upcoming sale via email and then sending a reminder via text.

4 text message marketing tips for small businesses 

1. Acquire new customers

Use text message marketing to acquire new customers. Entice new customers to make a purchase by offering them a discount code or coupon they can’t resist when they sign up for SMS messages. 

For example, you can offer new customers a 20% discount with their first purchase when they text PROMO to your number and opt into your SMS services. 

Once your customers are familiar with your business, they will be more likely to purchase products or services in the future. Don’t forget, it’s much easier to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one, so make sure you offer high-quality communication that is of value. 

2. Get to know customer preferences 

Surveys, questionnaires, and polls can be a great way to help you improve your understanding of customer needs and preferences. Use SMS to get them directly into the hands of your customers. Not only is it quick and easy to reach a diverse set of customers (in bulk!), but it also boasts higher response rates than any other channel. 

For example, our recent research found that 40% of global consumers stated they’d be more likely to fill in a customer survey or review if asked via text/SMS.

3. Improve engagement

Connecting with customers is crucial for all businesses, but especially for small businesses, in which great customer engagement can become a key differentiator amongst your top competitors.

SMS boasts open rates of up to 98%, so take advantage of this to boost engagement by offering better customer service, removing friction from your processes, and getting feedback from your customers.

Here are some examples mobile messages you can send to your clients:

  • Appointment reminders (with the option to reschedule)
  • Sales and discounts alerts
  • Back in stock alerts
  • Order updates

4. Enable two-way communication 

Another way you can leverage SMS to enhance your customer service experience is with two-way communication between a business and its customers.

If your customer has a question, they can text your business number rather than waiting on hold or in a queue. This is convenient for both the customer and your employees.

For example, if you’re a restauranteur, your customers could make reservations via text rather than calling. You can also send out reminders of upcoming bookings, with the option to reschedule and reduce the likelihood of no-shows. It’s quick and easy and frees up time for your staff, so they can focus on more important areas of the business.

5. Increase sales

With its industry-leading engagement rates, SMS marketing is an excellent way to promote sales and boost conversions. Send updates about your new products, offer attractive incentives, and remind customers about upcoming sales or restocked items. 

In our global survey of 3,000+ consumers, 81% of respondents said they would consider purchasing from a business as a result of a SMS message. Furthermore, consumers respond well to timely notifications, including notifications of one-time discounts, sales reminders, and back in stock alerts.

Tip: For the best chances of success, personalize your bulk SMS texts and segment your database accordingly. For example, if you’re the owner of a gym, you can use SMS marketing to contact customers when their contract renewal date approaches and offer them the option to pay directly from their mobile phone. 

Text message marketing: It’s the ideal way to directly connect with customers

With open rates of up to 98%, text message marketing can be a cost-efficient and effective way to engage directly with your customers. This direct and authentic form of communication can help you acquire customers, increase engagement, foster brand loyalty, and more. 

Though people are generally more inclined to give away email addresses than phone numbers, if you can obtain a customer’s number, it’s the perfect chance to build trust and a long lasting connection.

Author Avatar
Julia Applegate

Based in Charleston, SC Julia is a Demand Generation Marketing Manager with 6 years of experience in B2B technology businesses and an emphasis on growth and demand generation marketing. Julia is passionate about balancing data-driven marketing with creative campaigns and bringing agile methodology to new companies.