The digital space is crowded. Consumers are becoming oblivious to online advertising — no matter how dynamic and creative. It’s for this reason that SMS (Short Message Service), also known as text message marketing, has unique advantages.
As a marketer, it’s essential that you get the best possible returns on your ad spend for each campaign. Even if your campaigns don’t directly result in conversions, it’s important that people see your ads to increase brand awareness and the likelihood of your company being recalled or referred when there’s a need for your business solution.
Unlike email and Facebook ads, the SMS format hasn’t been overused. This means SMS marketing isn’t affected as much by the “advertising blindness” that consumers have when they’re served marketing content through the more popular channels.
How can you use SMS marketing in your business?
People are hardwired to reach for their phones as soon as they hear a message beep. Even if they don’t read the text right away, their phone will display an unread notification until they open it. This is a huge advantage for businesses who want to ensure the best possible chance of getting in front of their customers.
SMS messaging can be used to create a personalized direct-to-customer experience in your promotional and advertising campaigns, such as:
- Special offers
- Company updates
- Product releases
- Loyalty programs
- Customer birthday discounts
Companies can also make use of the SMS channel as part of their cold outreach strategy — ensuring their message gets directly to the intended person.
Text marketing is cost-efficient and versatile, making it a solid marketing option for businesses of all sizes. Customers can easily opt-in and opt-out of campaigns, meaning you won’t risk annoying and losing customers if they prefer not to receive your marketing messages on their phones.
Advantages of using SMS marketing
Exploring new mediums to expand your marketing is increasingly important as online advertising becomes more competitive. SMS marketing is still a largely untapped market for businesses, and for that reason, it is highly effective at reaching target customers.
“SMS remains an effective, yet underutilized, mobile tactic among marketing leaders..”- Charles Golvin, Research Director, Gartner [click to tweet]
It’s a highly effective marketing channel
Mobile phone users are predicted to reach 4.68 billion this year. In addition, a recent survey showed that 98% of recipients are likely to open a text message, compared to only 20% for an email. In fact, SMS has one of the highest open rates of any marketing platform. With the sheer volume of mobile users across every demographic and location, it’s a no-brainer for businesses to include this as part of their advertising strategy.
Despite the overwhelming reach and effectiveness of this channel — the Gartner survey showed that 61% of marketers aren’t using it as part of their strategy.
Campaigns can be tracked and measured
SMS marketing allows you to track and measure the reach and effectiveness of your campaigns. It can also give you key insights into the demographics, locations, devices, and browsers of your recipients.
Branding and attention to detail in the context of SMS campaigns go a long way towards increasing conversion rates — which is why branded short links are so useful. BL.INK branded short links allow you to track all the analytics for your marketing, including:
- How many people are opening your text messages
- How many people opt out of your campaigns
- How many people click on your links
- How many coupon codes or offers have been redeemed
- How your campaigns are impacting your sales and revenue
This gives you valuable information that you can use for subsequent campaigns to lower your cost per customer, increase your campaign reach, and give you the best chance of conversions.
It’s the perfect place to use branded short links
Telecommunications companies are wary of mass sends and spam text messages. If your SMS marketing campaign contains long URLs or lengthy random character strings, it’s likely your texts will be blocked before they reach the recipient. You’ll still be charged for them though!
Another factor to take into account is that SMS messages have a 160 character limit. Your marketing content needs to deliver as much information and value as possible using a relatively short amount of letters. If you’re using a standard web URL, you’ll most likely end up with a long, ugly-looking link that takes up valuable space and dilutes the rest of your message.
The advantage of branded short links is that they’re (obviously) short. The less room your link takes up, the more room you have to fit extra content in that can help trigger the click-through. Using short links, especially branded links, appears more trustworthy to mobile service providers which means your messages have the best chance at reaching your customers.
Increase brand awareness
Short links in SMS are great, but branded short links are even better. By sending branded links in your messages, you can increase your brand messaging and awareness with every text — bringing a whole new level to your campaigns.
Links that include your company name in the URL can deepen the connection between you and your customers. It improves their user experience with you, and in turn, builds more trust and higher engagement. Short links with real words feel less like spam, and customers can see exactly where the link will take them. This encourages people to take the next step and click on the link in their text message.
Generic short links can look like scam texts. People are wise to the risks of clicking on suspicious links, so your SMS messages are likely to head straight to the trash without being read.
Would you click on these?
If you’re not quite sure if these are legitimate, you’re not alone. These types of texts raise a lot of red flags for phone users — especially if there’s talk of prizes, sales, or money involved.
This is why a branded short link like the one from Best Buy below can set customers’ minds at ease and make them feel secure about clicking the link in the SMS.
With half the planet owning mobile phones and spending an increasing amount of time using them to browse and shop online, businesses have the perfect opportunity to leverage the power of mobile marketing to grow their business.
SMS is a direct and effective way of connecting with existing and potential customers in just a few short characters. Although it’s not as trendy as other marketing options, SMS can achieve massive reach and engagement that isn’t so easily available through more popular channels. It gives businesses a faster time to market with their campaigns, with enviable open rates and engagement that emails can only dream of.
If you haven’t explored SMS marketing for your business, now’s the perfect time to give BL.INK branded short links a try.