SMS marketing is a term that's often thrown around when companies are talking about their communication strategies. But what is it? And why is it so popular?

Boiled down to basic essentially, SMS marketing is a communication method that companies can use to send messages directly to customers, connecting to them better and more quickly than ever before. Besides being instantaneous and expanding company reach, SMS marketing comes with a wide variety of benefits.

Keep reading to learn more about SMS marketing, why it's so effective, and how you can start using it on behalf of your business.

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What Is SMS Marketing?

Short Message Service (SMS) marketing is a communication tool that allows companies to send mass texts to people who opt-in to their campaigns, known as subscribers. The purpose of SMS marketing is simple: to connect with users. Using SMS, companies can send marketing messages, alerts, notifications, and more.

Combined with other communication mediums and based on marketing best practices, SMS is one of the best ways that companies can expand their customer base and let people know about their products and services.

Pro Tip: Were you wondering, “What is text marketing?” We've got good news: it's the same as SMS messaging! Terms like ‘SMS marketing,' ‘text marketing,' and ‘MMS marketing' are often used interchangeably.

SMS marketing and text marketing are two different names for the same type of communication. MMS marketing is an added layer to this, wherein you can add media to your messages, such as images, videos, GIFs, etc.

Why Use SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing is so effective that it's nearly become a staple in any communication strategy. It's effectiveness stems from a variety of benefits, including:

High Open, Response, & Engagement Rates

Companies that use SMS messages to connect with customers have high open, conversion, and response rates that are unmatched by other marketing methods, such as voice broadcasting and email campaigns.

  • Open Rate – The open rate for SMS matches the instant nature of messages; roughly 70% of people check messages within five minutes of receipt.
  • Response Rate – Though 70% of people may check their messages within five minutes of receiving them, a whopping 90% of users respond to these same messages within 30 minutes.
  • Engagement Rate – Even more impressive than the open and response rates for SMS is its engagement rate; nearly 100% of people (98%, to be precise) engage with texts.

At first glance, it may be tempting to attribute these impressive rates to convenience. After all, people have their phones on them all the time, so it's natural that they have access to text messages nearly 24/7.

But by this same logic, people also have access to their email accounts and phone apps all the time. Even so, SMS messages still outperform these other communication mediums.

Whether it's a convergence of convenience, generational preferences, or communication flexibility— or some other mix of factors— there's no doubt that SMS business marketing is the most effective prong of any strategy.

Personalized & Targeted Content

While SMS already feels more personal than emails or voicemails, there are even more ways you can encourage customers to interact with your company and build a stronger relationship.

  • Personalization – Instead of sending out generic texts, you can better connect with customers using SMS by personalizing their content. Using their first names and providing special offers during important dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) increases engagement.
  • Targeted Contact – Text marketing isn't about sending tons of messages; it's about sending the right messages, to the right people, at the right time. Targeting specific customers and scheduling messages boosts engagement and lower opt-out rates.
  • Customer Data – SMS campaigns certainly provide enough data to evaluate their real-time and historic performance, but text messages also give companies the option of tracking subscribers' interests, purchasing history, demographics, and more.

Using personalized messages, strategically targeting your content, and utilizing customer data to better inform your future texts all create a more comprehensive and effect marketing strategy.

Pro Tip: Sending 2–4 texts per month is the sweet spot for new customers, though you can also choose to send messages on an as-needed basis. This prevents you from sending too many messages and sending too few, both of which can frustrate customers.

Global & Domestic Reach

With just one phone, a contact list, and the push of a few buttons, you can send SMS messages around the world. Whereas people might have limited access to an email (and limited inclination to listen to a voicemail), messages have demonstrated success with people in nearly every country.

  • Global Coverage – While companies used to be limited to local connectivity, SMS APIs can now connect you to customers in more than 190 countries around the world! This type of coverage is particularly useful for global corporations and online businesses.
  • Domestic Connectivity – Whether you're reaching out to customers in emerging or advanced economies, at least 80% of people own a cellphone. And ownership remains steady across demographics, including age and gender.

No matter where you are, you have your phone with you more often than not; and when you receive a text notification, you'll check it. This is a common factor that bridges time zones, cultural differences, and even language barriers.

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Additional Benefits

Despite the number of benefits we've already discussed and their impressive returns on value, there are even more advantages that companies can leverage when they use SMS marketing.

  • Simple Content – People are consuming content more quickly than ever before. Thankfully, SMS marketing is perfect for the era of instant connectivity; text deliver instantly and are easily read, since they're often limited to 160 characters.
  • Cost-Effectiveness – SMS is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools, especially when companies sign up with platforms that offer transaction-based pricing and customized plans.
  • Easy Management – Unlike some communication mediums that become unwieldy as they grow, it's easy to use SMS marketing. Simply upload your contact list, choose a template or message, and select a date or time for the texts to send!

On their own, any one of these benefits may be enough to sway customers and companies alike. Together, they make SMS one of the most ideal marketing methods for every business, no matter what industry you're in.

Choosing The Right SMS Platform

When you're ready to start leveraging the power of SMS marketing, it's important to choose the right texting platform.

  • Growth – Look for an SMS service that will meet your immediate and future communication needs. While it may be capable of supporting your current audience, its usefulness is limited if it can't support steady growth.
  • Scalability – Integrating scalable features into your SMS strategy allows you to build a deeper relationship with customers. You can incorporate personal information, increase targeting measures, and more.
  • Reliability – Having the ability to create engaging SMS messaging is moot if you can't actually send those messages to your customers. If you integrate two-way texting, it's also frustrating for customers when they can't consistently reach you.
  • Versatility – Once a user opts-in to your SMS campaign, the sky is the limit! The right texting platform will expand your communication options, not limit them. You should be able to send promotions, appointment reminders, help desk updates, and more.

You should also think about the more practical considerations. For example, it's easy enough to find a platform with global reach, but what about the language barrier? Instead of using time and resources to manually translate your messages, check to see if the company you're considering offers services that enable you to interact with customers in their native language.

Similarly, you should make sure whichever platform you choose supports rich media content. While SMS is effective on its own, it can truly revolutionize your marketing when you combine it with pictures, videos, polls, surveys, and more.

Boosting Your Business With Dash Notify

Esendex's texting software service, Dash Notify, is an out-of-the-box texting platform that includes all of the benefits of SMS marketing and none of the programming hassle of other services.

We offer a feature-packed platform that companies large and small can easily use to boost their connection to customers. Lightning speeds, rich media content, two-way texting, and opt-out handling are just four examples of the many capabilities Dash Notify comes equipped with.

With a Tier 1 SMS network and 99.9% guaranteed uptime SLA, we'll make sure your messages are always delivered on time, every time. And in case you have any questions, we offer online tutorials and 24/7 emergency support.

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Texting API designed to send & receive SMS & MMS globally using a short code or 10DLC number.

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Easy to use SMS software that can send & receive SMS & MMS using a short code or 10DLC number.

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