The Ultimate Guide to SMS Marketing for small businesses

Marketing 13 minute read 23rd May 2022

Think about it.

When was the last time you received a communication via a short message service (SMS), or text, as we humans call them?

Some time ago, right?

Yet, you likely read it.

This is ONE reason why SMS marketing is important for small businesses.

What if I tell you that a simple SMS can drive tons of sales?

What if I tell you that your customers want to receive marketing communications via text messages?

What if I tell you that text messages can be surprisingly powerful for your business?

If this sounds too good to be true, then keep reading.

This guide will show you what SMS marketing actually is and how you can use it to drive sales and grow your business.

What is SMS marketing

SMS marketing is a type of marketing that uses short messages (SMS) to communicate with customers and clients.

SMS stands for “Short Message Service” and is a direct communication channel.

Just like emails, you own and control your list.

Contrary to social media, the reach of your text message campaigns will not depend on an algorithm’s whim. Its effectiveness will solely depend on your ability to use it right (we will talk about it later, no worry).

SMS marketing can achieve many different purposes. Creating relationships with customers, learning more about their needs, driving sales.

SMS marketing services can be integrated with your business with specialized platforms. However, you might end up adding another tool for managing your marketing endeavors.

Alternatively, some internet service providers integrate SMS marketing into their plans.

If you are using Beambox, SMS marketing campaigns can be managed directly from your dashboard.

Typically, SMS marketing raises some skepticism because it is thought as an outdated form of communication. Is such skepticism deserved?

Here are some hard facts and numbers that speak loud about SMS marketing potential for small businesses.

Does SMS marketing work?

Because we have dozens of apps to communicate, receiving an SMS today is almost a unique event.

Several studies found that SMS messages are more likely to be read than emails, and that text messages are more likely to be responded to than emails.

According to Gartner, SMS messages have a 98% open rate compared to 22% of emails.

Additionally, SMS messages are more personal than push notifications and won’t get buried by the enslought of new emails we receive daily.

In a study from EZ texting, 86% of small business owners found that text messaging offers a higher rate of engagement than email marketing.

Last but not least, GSMA found that 59% of users claimed that they want their communications built into the phone and not as a separate app.

Receiving an SMS doesn’t require downloading any app. It is pre-baked in any (smart)phone.

The Ultimate Guide to SMS Marketing for small businesses - Img01

Despite these facts, only 11% of businesses have already integrated SMS marketing to communicate with their customer base.

In consequence, SMS marketing stands out as a powerful marketing tool. Moreover, it doesn’t need massive investment.

How can you use text messaging for advertising your business?

Read on to learn what types of SMS marketing work as a charm and how text messaging can benefit your business.

Types of SMS marketing

You have two ways to think about the various types of SMS marketing:

One-way texting. Here you will announce something to your customer. This modality suits most case scenarios. The launch of a new product, a limited-time offer, a flash sale, a reminder for an event.

Two-way texting. These types of SMS marketing start a conversation and require interactions. You can use these texts to ask for feedbacks, reviews, or customer service.

Do you want some text marketing examples?

These are time-tested types of SMS marketing that anyone can use to drive sales and promote their business:

  • Voucher and Coupons
  • Flash sales
  • Discounts
  • Limited Time Offer
  • SMS Competitions
  • Events
  • Feedbacks
  • Alert and notifications
  • Loyalty program
  • After-sales communication
  • Delivery notifications
  • Alerts

To be honest, the only limit is your creativity. However, you’ve got to be sure to do SMS marketing right.

A great starting point is the following do’s and don’ts.

The do’s and dont’s of SMS marketing

I hear you.

You’re a business owner. You are not a marketer.

You have already to take care of thousands of activities vital to keeping your business up and running.

I have good news for you so.

Typing a well-crafted and effective SMS is not rocket science. Plus, it is time-effective.

There are just a few principles to follow to be good with SMS marketing.

Follow these tips to avoid beginner mistakes and to increase the effectiveness of your text marketing campaigns.

  • Concise and easy to read. Keep your message short and effective. Limit your words without dumbing down the message.
  • Keep it personal. SMS will pop on the screen of your customer. Make it sound like a personal message, and not like a text by their bank. If possible, address the person by their name.
  • Use a clear CTA. A call to action is what you expect the reader to do. Be clear.
  • Think to your audience. This is true for any type of effective communication. Your words and your style have to match the intended audience.
  • Do not overwhelm. Beware of sending too many texts. Unless you want the customer to opt-out, don’t overuse SMS marketing campaigns.
  • Embody your brand. Anything you say will be connected to the overall experience your business provides. Use SMS marketing to further shape your brand perception.
  • Timing is everything. Depending on your business, send your text messages when are useful for your customer. The only rule is to not disturb.
  • Urgency and scarcity. This persuasion trick works extremely well with SMS marketing. Make your offer seductive by using an expiring date or a limited supply to encourage immediate action.

The Ultimate Guide to SMS Marketing for small businesses - Img02

If you want to dive deeper into this topic, read our 9 tips to boost your SMS marketing

The benefits of SMS marketing for small business owners

Small businesses usually develop an authentic relationship with their customers. And this is why SMS marketing is important for small business owners.

As you can see, the benefits of SMS marketing for small businesses are diverse:

SMS have a high open rate

Several studies found that SMS messages are more likely to be read than emails, and that text messages are more likely to be responded to than emails.

Do you want people to read what you write, right?

Do not go unnoticed

While social media posts, emails, and other types of adverts are overused, SMS marketing is still rare. Your text messages will not pass unnoticed.

Texts are immediate

SMS messages are immediate. As an example, 83% of millennials open SMS messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. This immediacy also creates a closer relationship with your brand than email or other forms of communication.

Easy to interact with

Contrary to emails and social media posts, interacting with an SMS is straightforward. Only two parties will read it and most texts do not require any interaction.

Fast and easy

Time is money. That’s why we love SMS marketing.

A good SMS has to be short. So, it won’t take long to write it. Plus, a customer who opt-in for SMS messages desires to stay updated with your business.

It’s a win-win situation for those short on time.

Build awareness and loyalty

Text messages are personal. If done properly, SMS marketing will make your brand’s personality shines and foster loyalty toward your business.

Drive sales

SMS will inevitably catch your customer’s eyeballs. You can use text message marketing in multiple ways.

Flash sales, Vouchers, Limited time offer. You name it.

According to Deloitte, 8% of the world’s population entered a store and made purchases after receiving a promotional SMS.

If you are not using SMS marketing, you are likely leaving revenues on the table.

The Ultimate Guide to SMS Marketing for small businesses - Img03

Conclusion: Is SMS marketing right for your business?

Let’s be clear.

SMS marketing is extremely powerful. Few marketing tools have the same reach and effectiveness. However, it does not fit any business or situation.

The most problematic part is building your list.

To stay compliant with SMS marketing, your customers have to opt-in. Can you do it easily?

If your customers already interact with your business through their phones, you have an edge. SMS marketing might be convenient for your business.

Nonetheless, SMS marketing has constraints.

You can use a few words and you cannot use texts frequently.

There are better tools for storytelling in your business’ marketing. Emails are second to none from this point of view.

Ideally, you want SMS marketing at your disposal along with other marketing tools. Then, you can pick the best tool for the job.

Related posts