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Why you should make sure SMS is part of your strategy in 2017

By Expert commentator 22 Mar, 2017
Essential

Is SMS is included in your marketing strategy?

It has been predicted that by the end of 2017 a massive 4.77 billion people globally will own a mobile phone! Now that is a staggering statistic. It has also been reported that 63% of smartphone owners keep their devices with them for all but one hour of their waking day (MarketingTech, 2016). Our phones are always glued to our hands and what better way to target mobile users than by texting them? So why is SMS so rarely utilised by so many marketers?

It’s underuse by businesses is quite staggering, with 64% of customers believing that companies should utilise text messaging more (SAP, 2015) and, provided permission has been sought, 83% don’t find SMS intrusive provided the message is relevant to them (SAP, 2015). Let’s be honest, SMS has had a difficult past which has tarnished its reputation. It wasn’t too long ago that everyone was bombarded by scatter gun PPI messages from unscrupulous marketers that were irrelevant and annoying – effectively killing the channel in the eyes of many. Couple this with the higher cost of sending SMS and it’s no wonder some businesses have been put off.

However, times change, and statistics now show that SMS has the potential to be a highly effective channel. We’re going to prove it to you!

Why SMS should have a place in your multi-channel strategy

Customer attitudes have come a long way

Time really is a healer and attitudes have come a long way since the days of PPI messaging. SMS is becoming an increasingly more accepted form of communication between customer and brand – but only for communications they want to receive! According to Apico, 77% of customer’s welcome messages about coupons or deals, 50% welcome personal alert messages and 48% welcome messages that keep them up to date.

Proving the ROI of SMS

When compared with email, yes, the costs of sending an SMS is higher, but there is potential to generate impressive ROI from SMS, just take a look at our Hotel Chocolat case study as an example.

Tracking the ROI on SMS can be a tricky one, but there are options! You could utilise tracking links, or in-store voucher codes, or measure overall uplift in the customer journey and overall campaign uplift.

It can give your cross-channel strategy the energy boost it needs

SMS is the one method of communicating with mobiles that works on every single device, with no additional software needed. SMS can then be a truly powerful and flexible component of your cross-channel strategy. Think of SMS as your right-hand man, helping you to maximise your ROI by integrating more personal and direct communications into your cross-channel campaigns. One study shows that integrating SMS into a campaign can increase email open rates by 20%.

Top tips to remember when implementing SMS

Keep it relevant

Our top tip is to remember you are sharing space with the recipients Mum and friends! SMS is highly disruptive which is why it has a 98% chance of being read, but this is also the reason why you must keep your messages relevant. It also makes the channel much more cost effective if you are targeting more defined segments, rather than the World and his wife!

Get permission

Permission is vital for SMS, and not just because it’s a legal requirement. Sending text messages to those who haven’t opted in is hugely ineffective, with 95% of those not opted in reporting SMS as intrusive.

Don’t bombard your customer

Less is more with SMS. They’re much harder to ignore than email so making an error with frequency can have a much greater effect. 83% of people want to receive a maximum of 2 text messages per month from a brand and only 2% would tolerate more than 5 per month (Moto Message, 2015) so take steps to restrict volumes

 

By Expert commentator

This is a post we've invited from a digital marketing specialist who has agreed to share their expertise, opinions and case studies. Their details are given at the end of the article.

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