Across the U.S., more people than ever before are using their phones to connect with each other and businesses. Studies show that 96% of people own a cellphone and 81% own a smartphone. This holds true across demographics, including age, gender, race, education, income, and geographic region.

SMS text marketing campaigns are one of the latest communications methods companies are leveraging to let people know about their products and services. Using these campaigns, businesses can instantaneously and dynamically interact with existing and potential customers.

Keep reading if you're ready to learn more about SMS marketing campaigns and how they can help your business.

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What Is An SMS Marketing Campaign?

Short Message Service (SMS) messages are text messages sent from an application or individual using cellular networks. They are traditionally limited to 160 characters.

An SMS marketing campaign is a promotional or informational tool. Businesses send marketing or transactional texts to customers in bulk, which are usually time-sensitive and provide offers, sales, updates, alerts, etc.

SMS message campaigns have several advantages, such as:

  • Since nearly everyone in the U.S. has a phone that's capable of receiving texts, companies can connect with all their subscribers
  • SMS messages are simple and short, which increases the likelihood of customers reading and responding to them
  • SMS messages are more cost-effective to send, so that both large and small companies can utilize SMS marketing campaigns
  • Most U.S. carriers offer unlimited texting plans, so users and subscribers can interact with SMS texts at no extra cost

Typically, SMS campaigns are sent via a short code. Short codes are suited for mass texting, time-sensitive communication, and A2P (application-to-person) communication. They also bring benefits including curating higher opt-in rates, being easier to remember, creating better brand recognition, offering increased consumer control and confidence, and more.

Besides sending SMS campaigns, short codes are also often utilized for mobile text alerts, two-factor authentication, appointment reminders, and more.

The benefits and suitability of short codes bolsters the effectiveness and advantages of SMS messages and marketing campaigns, making this a near-perfect communication medium.

This is demonstrated by the phenomenal results that SMS campaigns have built over the years, which is yet another reason why they're popular: they have proven success rates. On average, SMS messages have a 98% open rate and a 45% response rate, rates that are far superior to email campaigns and voicemail campaigns.

How To Make An SMS Marketing Campaign

To create an effective and successful SMS marketing campaign, you'll need to gather the names and contact information of your customer base. SMS campaigns only work when you have subscribers that can actually see and take advantage of them.

Once you've build contact lists, you can get started on building the campaign itself. To help with that, here are the five steps you'll need to go through:

  1. Target Or Customize Messages – SMS campaigns aren't a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. Target your customer demographics according to your goals for the best results and customize messages to create a greater sense of connection.
  2. Lead With A Valuable Offer – Customers expect value in exchange for their time and attention. What are you offering them? Is your product, service, offer, etc. worth the effort it would take for a customer to invest in it?
  3. Include A Clear Call To Action – Provide clear instructions on how a customer can take advantage of your offer. Strong verbs like buy, click, reserve, sign up, try, view, and visit (among others) make it easy for customers to take the next step.
  4. Add A Sense Of Urgency – Create a sense of urgency to motivate customers and incentivize them to act sooner rather than later. Adding a time limit, expiration date, or redemption cap are just three examples of how to do this.
  5. Offer An Opt-Out Option – Just like customers have to opt-in to receive your SMS messages, you also have to include an opt-out option for them, as well. And if a customer chooses to opt-out, remove them from your campaign list as soon as possible.

These are the basic elements SMS message campaigns. We've simplified the steps down to their essentials, which you can build on and customize to best suit your company's specific needs.

To enhance your SMS campaigns, some companies utilize MMS features. Using MMS, you can include pictures, videos, audio, GIFs, and more with your texts.

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SMS Marketing Tips And Tricks

Before you start integrating SMS marketing campaigns into your communications strategies, consider these tips and tricks:

  • Make sure you have a customer base that's robust enough to support an SMS campaign
  • Set quantifiable goals to measure your success and identify areas for improvement
  • Read up on applicable SMS rules and regulations, such as those from the CTIA and MMA
  • Use features like two-way texting to better engage and satisfy your customers
  • Research SMS marketing best practices to avoid an accidental phone faux-paus

An SMS marketing campaign can boost your conversion rate and increase customer engagement, but only if you use it correctly.

Bombarding a few people with dozens of text or randomly sending out sales won't help. SMS campaigns should be strategic and targeted.

Before you send out an SMS marketing campaign, be aware of why you're doing it and what your KPIs and goals are.

SMS Marketing Campaign Examples

If you're curious about what an SMS marketing campaign would look like for your business, check out the examples below.

  • From Realty 123: See open houses near you! Visit our website and receive 50% off membership fees through January.
  • From Al's Auto: Free oil changes with state inspections, now through the end of the month. Call now to schedule your inspection or book an appointment online.
  • From EasyArts: Buy 1 canvas, get 1 free for all rewards members this Saturday. Sign up today and start painting!
  • From ABC Bank: Get a free gift card when you open a savings account! Show this text to your teller during activation. This month only, text GIFT for full details.

These are just a few examples of how you can leverage the power of an SMS campaign to revitalize your marketing strategy and better connect with customers.

No matter what industry you're in, businesses and customers alike can benefit from SMS messaging campaigns.

Choosing The Right SMS Campaign Service

Before you can send your first SMS marketing campaign, you'll need to find the right service.

Esendex's Dash Notify is an out-of-the-box text messaging platform that makes SMS campaigns and mass messaging easy.

Our feature-packed platform provides your business with text scheduling, MMS capabilities, easy contact upload, reusable campaign templates, and more. And with our SMS reports, you'll receive detailed insight into your campaigns and how you can make them even more effective.

We have a Tier 1 SMS network that lets you connect internationally across more than 190 countries and offer a 99.9% guaranteed uptime SLA.

With online tutorials, quality customer support, and a free trial period, you can start sending SMS campaigns today!

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