Consumers prefer SMS messages over email. What an opportunity this is for marketers. If you build an SMS list, you can communicate with your customers instantly and get 98% of your messages opened. Over 70% of SMS messages get opened within the first 3 hours of sending, which gives you an excellent way to determine response rates. This article discusses why you should be engaging in SMS marketing.
Couple of “fancy” terms out of the way, first off: “SMS marketing” is just a way of promoting your brand digitally to your customers through text messages. It’s very, very polarizing because on the one hand you get to reach your customers directly and don’t have to wonder whether they got it. It won’t go to their spam folder – even though sometimes it legitimately is spam – and since they’re always carrying their phones around, they’ll see it as soon as you want it to.
Sounds great, right? It’s also even governed by the Bureau of Consumer Protection, meaning it’s regulated by the government. There are rules to follow vis a vis the CAN-SPAM Act, and they’re all clearly stated and easy to follow.
So what’s the problem?
Well, on the other hand is Papa John’s, was, well, allegedly spammed its customers in 2010 with 500,000 supposedly unwanted texts. “Hey, but everyone loves pizza,” you might be thinking. Yeah, sure, but do you really want to be receiving “15 texts in a row, even in the middle of the night.” Do you really want to be woken up and repeatedly pestered into ordering a pizza when you were off dreaming about a delicious new snack item called the pancake bomb?
Anyway, before moving on to your business, the other wrinkle here is that Papa John’s was using a third-party text messaging service called OnTime4U. Both companies are being slapped with a $250 million class-action lawsuit. That’s about $500 a text.
It’s costly. That’s one of the biggest arguments against SMS marketing.
“Most people have messaging plans on their cell phones that limit the number of messages they can send and receive,” explained John Murdoch of Wind Gap Data, LLC. “Exceed your plan limit and the next message costs you 9, 15, 35 cents or more.”
This is different from a sales call because you can decline that. You can’t have texts fall into a digital moat. If someone wants you to get it, you’ll be getting it. Fifteen times, if you’re not careful.
Look, with any form of marketing, it can work or backfire. It all depends on the industry, the product and the execution of the campaign. Via email, Mark Simmons, a digital marketing expert and the co-founder of digital marketing agency Mixed Digital, had this to say:
Retailers have an inherent advantage with SMS marketing. Due to the geo-targeting capability of SMS marketing, potential customers can be messaged when in proximity to the advertiser’s store, be it inside the mall or free-standing. Catching the attention of the consumer with a time-sensitive offer can be extremely effective since they are already in the shopping mindset.