What Is SMS Marketing? 7 Use Cases for Your Business

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the amount of time consumers spend on their mobile phones. Many businesses have adopted SMS text messaging as the most effective way to communicate with customers.

What is SMS marketing?

SMS marketing uses text messages to promote, sell, and advertise products and services. It allows businesses to send texts that appear on customers’ phones, just the way texts from friends, family, and colleagues do. Text messages are instant, and customers can choose whether or not they want to receive texts from your business. Customers are likely to check texts more often than emails, and text messages have a 90%+ open rate within three minutes.

Use SMS marketing to facilitate customer satisfaction

SMS marketing allows you to send personalized messages, which are more likely than email to get read. Fifty-nine percent of customers agree texting is the best way for businesses to get in touch with them quickly, and 64% of consumers believe that businesses should use SMS to interact with customers more often than they do.

SMS marketing drives higher open and response rates than email

People click on text message notifications more than other types of communication. According to Gartner, in 2016 text messages had a 98% open rate (compared to email’s 20%) and a 45% response rate (compared to email’s 6%). Communicating with your customers via SMS keeps them updated on your products or their purchase.

SMS marketing allows for personalized communication, which improves customer satisfaction

A report from Statista says that “90% of responding US consumers find company messages that are not personally relevant and annoying.” By using an SMS API platform, you can send messages prompted by a data-driven understanding of consumers’ unique interests and history with your company.

SMS marketing reaches customers without internet access

Not all of your customers use a desktop or laptop PC, but most own a smartphone. Deloitte’s global consumer mobile survey shows 91% ownership of mobile phones and 80% ownership of smartphones in developed countries, while developing countries have 90% usage of mobile phone ownership and 82% smartphones. That means you can reach a wide audience with SMS.

7 SMS marketing strategic use cases for your business

Businesses use texting for a variety of purposes, some marketing-related and some not. Common uses include reminders, delivery updates, and promotions. Not all of these are marketing tactics, but texting does have some great marketing applications. Let’s look at seven of the top SMS marketing use cases and see how some leading businesses take advantage of them.

1. Promotional offers

Since promotions are time-sensitive, you want to make sure they get opened quickly, or they might sit unopened until they expire. Thinx, a provider of feminine hygiene underwear, uses SMS marketing to send out promotional offers.

2. Reminders

Reminders are notifications that keep customers in the loop about their orders. People get distracted with other activities and forget about purchases. If a customer got an email about a food delivery, they might not notice it, but a text message? It’s going to pop up. DoorDash, an online food ordering company, uses texting to remind customers about their food orders.

3. Customer surveys and ratings

A customer survey lets you get feedback on what you’re doing well and what you could be doing better. Text response rates are 7.5 times higher than email response rates, so texting customer surveys is better. Texting lets you get creative and engaging in your survey. Seamless, a food delivery service, uses interactive texting to get customers’ feedback on their service.

4. New product or service launch

When you have a new product or service, you want to tell your customers about it. These announcements might not get noticed in a crowded email inbox, but they make an impactful impression via text. Sakara, a plant-based food company, uses texting to update customers on new products and even offers early access.

5. Shopping cart abandonment

More than 70% of customers abandon potential purchases in online shopping carts, according to data from Baymard Institute. Swank A Posh, an online women’s fashion store, utilizes texting to remind customers of clothing left in their shopping carts.

6. Content sharing

Texting is an effective way to share how-to guides, information about a product, and other resources with customers. Ford Motor Company uses texting to provide information on Ford cars with CTAs such as “For more information, text FORD to 63111.”

7. Automated responses

Manually responding to customers can be taxing, especially on a large scale. Automating processes helps you run smoother. Your business can use SMS autoresponders to give instant responses to your customers when they need them. Julep, a cosmetic brand, uses SMS autoresponders to allow customers who viewed an ad to text “BETTER” and receive offers.

Get started with SMS marketing today

Flight Vector’s CEO Scot Cromer says that “SMS is the future. If you don’t provide a texting solution, you’re going to be left behind.” Fortunately, getting started with SMS marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Plivo’s SMS API Platform offers a suite of tools that help you create and launch personalized text campaigns easily — and it’s free to sign up.

Check out our guide on getting started with SMS marketing for more information on how to reach your customers in a better, faster way.

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