SMS Marketing Best Practices

Why Your Business Should Use Business Text Messaging in 2021

Businesses of all shapes, sizes, and service types can benefit from SMS marketing messages. SMS marketing provides businesses with a direct channel to their customers. SMS marketing allows business owners to send clients the most up to date information and fun promotions and specials along with it!

SMS marketing is utilized by various businesses, many of which are trying to encourage their customers to make a purchase. SMS marketing is popular with many major department stores and chain restaurants as they have a loyal customer base who wants to hear about their promotions and deals. But there are other types of businesses that utilize SMS marketing, not necessarily to generate revenue through this channel but as a communication tool. Many property management companies use SMS marketing to communicate updates to their tenants. Text messaging is a very convenient way to get important messages out. It’s not surprising that so many businesses are adding this channel into their sales and communications toolbox.

The SMS marketing data backs it! The average open rate for SMS messages is a phenomenal 99%, which makes SMS marketing a must-have for every marketing campaign. A study conducted by MobileSquared reports that SMS marketing read rates exceeded 99%. This isn’t surprising, considering that consumers spend a significant part of their day using their smartphones. Many businesses opt for email as their default form of customer communication, but email marketing is lucky to get a 20% open rate. Another benefit of text messages is that the messages are short and to the point, ensuring the consumer receives a clear call to action. In contrast, email can sometimes get lengthy and lose the reader’s attention.

Here at Tatango, we mainly work with enterprise brands, so of course, we have enterprise SMS marketing data from our friends in the enterprise world. Fortunately, enterprise brands are widely adopting text marketing, from major retailers like Bloomingdale’s and Best Buy to restaurant chains like Chili’s and Cold Stone Creamery.

Did you know that 86% of enterprise businesses are using MMS marketing? For businesses that haven’t considered it, 2021 is your year to incorporate it into your customer communication plan and marketing strategy. SMS marketing also ranks number one among enterprise businesses. Additionally, data shows that 82.4% of people are more likely to shop at a store with an SMS loyalty program.

See exactly how enterprise brands are using SMS marketing to communicate with customers.

Although the numbers speak for themselves, it’s also important to note that consumers are glued to their smartphones! We’re all pretty much always scrolling, liking, and commenting. And how great would it be to have your business text message pop up right in the middle of that? The goal is to grab a mobile phone user’s attention so they can scroll, click through your website, and make a purchase.


Why Business Text Messaging?

Now, let’s examine some of the great features and functionalities of SMS messaging that make it the ideal addition for a marketing campaign and the perfect channel to communicate important updates and news.


SMS Marketing Is Permission-Based
Unlike many other marketing channels, SMS marketing is requested and allowed by the customer or client. As a result, business owners can expect high levels of customer engagement and return on investment. If your customer is willing to provide their mobile phone number to your business, it’s safe to assume they want to hear from you!


SMS Marketing Has High Open Rates
Like we mentioned above, text message marketing has an open rate of 99%. That means that your customers are pretty much guaranteed to open every message they receive from your business. When you compare that to email marketing open rates of 20%, using SMS marketing to communicate with your customers on their smartphones is a clear choice. Smartphone users tend to open all their SMS messages, but many emails simply get deleted as part of a weekly or daily purge.


SMS Marketing Is Instantaneous
Unlike emails, which are read periodically, text message notifications are read instantly. Did you know, 90% of text messages are opened within three minutes of being sent? That means when businesses want their customers to see a message immediately, SMS marketing is the way to go. This benefit has made itself known throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring businesses can immediately reach customers with the most up-to-date information.


SMS Marketing Is Mobile
When businesses send email promotions, those emails often end up categorized under various tabs, making it virtually impossible for your customers to see them. SMS marketing doesn’t require customers to be in front of a computer to view their communication. Wherever customers are, your business can reach and engage with them via SMS marketing.


SMS Marketing Has High Adoption
In recent years, the adoption of mobile technology has grown tremendously, and the mobile phone dominates consumers’ lives. With such a high adoption rate, businesses can reach all their clients regardless of age, demographic, or phone type.


SMS Marketing Is Trackable
One of the best things about using business text messaging in a marketing strategy is that everything is trackable. Every SMS marketing message that’s delivered and opened and every link that gets clicked is trackable. Tracking makes it easy for a marketing team to make changes and maximize the success of every SMS marketing campaign a business wants to run.


Types of Business Text Messages


The SMS Messaging Basics
If you’re looking to incorporate text message marketing for 2021, lucky for you, text messages are relatively simple. Text messages allow for 160 characters of text, and that character count includes hyperlinks (website addresses) and phone numbers.

Want to send more than 160 characters in a single text message or include a video or image? Instead of sending an SMS message, you would be sending an MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) message. MMS messages allow you to send up 5,000 characters of text. Additionally, with MMS messages, businesses can include a video, image, or GIF to communicate with customers. MMS messages are great for capturing subscribers’ attention, and they allow businesses to show off their unique products and promos.


SMS Messaging Objectives
Once the marketing team has acquired your customers’ mobile phone numbers, what do you do next? You text message them! Sounds easy, right? But what’s your objective for sending SMS messages to your customers? The organization ExactTarget has surveyed 68 retailers running SMS marketing campaigns. They asked these retailers what their top SMS marketing objectives were. Here’s what they discovered:

The most common reason these businesses sent text messages to their customers was to sell products or services. It makes sense since, for most businesses, selling products or services generates revenue, and this revenue helps keep the lights on. Business SMS messaging is an ideal way to promote new products and sales and create exclusive deals for your subscribers to boost sales and revenue.


Types of SMS Offers
Ok, so if you’re part of the 46% of businesses who want to use text message marketing to sell more products or services, what do you actually text message your customers to generate those sales? Our friends at Responsys asked consumers what kinds of offers excited them enough to trigger an action, such as buying a product or service. The chart below shows what types of mobile offers consumers said were most likely to get them interested.

To simplify some of the findings, here’s what Responsys discovered about the types of business text message offers most likely to trigger an action:

  • Pricing-based offers: 66%
  • Time-sensitive offers: 52%
  • Location-based offers: 50%
  • Product-based offers: 47%
  • Similar product-based offers: 45%
  • A very general offer: 31%

Tatango’s advice? If 66% of consumers say that a pricing-based mobile offer is likely to trigger them to take action, and only 31% of consumers say that a very general offer intended for the masses will trigger an action, we recommend sending more pricing-based mobile offers than general offers to your SMS subscribers.


Tracking Business SMS Messages


Measuring Business SMS Marketing Success

One perk of SMS messaging is that it allows you to do some seriously precise measuring and reporting. When starting your SMS marketing campaign, your team can set up key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the progress of messages you send to your consumers. These measurements allow the team to pivot and make changes if the numbers don’t match the business goals and objectives. Additionally, your team can provide a detailed report of your SMS marketing campaign’s success, lessons learned, and more data for future campaigns.

The following are the top four things to measure during a business SMS campaign. We recommend compiling these measurements after every SMS campaign.


1. Subscriber List Growth
What business doesn’t want more subscribers for their SMS marketing campaign? The more subscribers a business has, the bigger the opportunity to communicate promotions and specials to boost sales and revenue. With this measurement, you can determine how fast your retail SMS campaign is growing and compare it to past results.

Subscriber List Growth Formula: Subtract the past number of subscribers from the current number of subscribers. Then divide that by the past number of subscribers.


2. Subscriber Churn Rate
While tracking the growth of your retail SMS campaign is essential, tracking how many subscribers you’re losing is also important. Subscriber loss is known as churn. Tracking subscriber churn rate helps you gain a well-rounded view of your campaign and the health of your SMS marketing. You can use this measurement to gauge which text messages your subscribers don’t perceive to be valuable enough to make them stay subscribed.

Subscriber Churn Rate Formula: Divide the number of subscribers who leave your SMS campaign by the total number of subscribers.


3. Redemption Rate
The true measurement of success in any SMS marketing campaign is the number of subscribers who take action because of the business text message they receive. That’s why a specific call to action is so important. It urges the customer to take one specific action, and if the action is time-sensitive, well, that’s even better! Measuring this on a per-text-message basis will help you understand which types of text messages work and which ones need some fine-tuning. This is also an excellent opportunity to do some A/B testing and figure out exactly the type of text messages your target audience responds to best.

Redemption Rate Formula: Divide the number of subscribers who redeem the promotion by the total number of subscribers.


4. Cost Per Redeeming Subscriber
As we’ve mentioned throughout this blog, the main goal of any business is to sell a product or service and increase revenue. This is why it’s important to measure at what cost your subscribers are taking action or making a purchase. This measurement will tell you exactly how much you’re paying for each redeeming subscriber in your retail SMS campaign. This measurement also allows the marketing team to determine which channel is the most cost-effective for promoting action.

Cost per Redeeming Subscriber Formula: Divide the cost per delivered SMS message by the redemption rate.


Examples of Business SMS Messages

Exclusive Subscriber SMS Message

Businesses commonly communicate holiday specials, annual sales, and end-of-season clearance events directly to their customers’ mobile phones. One major way organizations incentivize their subscribers to sign up for promos and encourage them to spend more is by sending them exclusive offers meant only for SMS subscribers. Some businesses use custom rewards, others use unique links, and some even create promo codes to help customers save a little extra on their final purchase.


Clearance Event SMS Message

It’s no secret that retailers often have clearance events, and the goal of these types of sales is to clear out end-of-year inventory to create space for next season’s styles and products. SMS marketing is an ideal tool that many businesses use to communicate all the savings to their subscribers. SMS messages conveniently allow the sender to add important information about the end of the sale. Most importantly, SMS messages can include a custom hyperlink for subscribers to click and shop. The icing on the business text messaging cake is the ability to track who’s clicking and who’s buying.


New Product SMS Message

As mentioned earlier, SMS messaging is instantaneous and goes directly to the customer’s mobile device, which means it goes right into their hand. So what better way to promote a new product? Many businesses use text messaging to spread the word about new product launches. Many items, such as new sneakers and makeup products, tend to sell out quickly. Text messages allow consumers to know exactly when a product is launching. It’s the perfect communication method. This is also a great way to incentivize customers to join your business subscriber list, so they’re the first to know about the most exclusive new product releases.


Holiday-Themed SMS Messages

The holidays are truly the best time of the year—for both consumers and businesses! Many businesses create unique specials and incentives to help boost sales and encourage purchases during the holidays. Some businesses opt for MMS messaging around the holidays because it allows for more text, graphics, and GIFs, which help promote specials and boost sales. For example, Papa John’s has a heart-shaped pizza as a Valentine’s Days special, and that absolutely warrants an image to help catch the consumer’s eye.


Important Business Update SMS Message

Emergencies happen, and businesses must learn to adapt and pivot. Like everyone in 2020 learned, life can drastically change over the span of a few weeks. Those changes can have a significant impact on our daily routines, and that’s one of the reasons businesses rely on SMS messaging as a vital mode of communication with their customers. When important business changes happen, like the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations rely on SMS marketing messages to communicate with customers. The combined open rate and read rates of business text messages make SMS messaging ideal for communicating with clients in urgent situations.


Mobile Coupon

Clipping coupons may be a thing of the past for many consumers, but everyone loves saving money! Many businesses send their subscribers links to mobile coupons. Sending mobile coupons is an excellent business text messaging tactic that incentivizes subscribers to make a purchase. Additionally, mobile coupons allow your marketing team to track exactly who made a purchase, when, and what was the return on your business text messaging investment.


Getting Started with Business Text Message Marketing

In today’s technologically advanced world, businesses have access to many tools to run and expand their organizations. One of those tools is SMS marketing. Business text messaging offers many perks and benefits. Look around in any environment throughout the US, and you’re sure to notice most people with their heads down, looking at their smartphone. The location really doesn’t matter. If a person is waiting for anything—and sometimes they’re not even waiting—you’ll find them scrolling on their phones.

That’s why SMS marketing is a business owner’s best friend. People are always on their mobile devices. So, why not send them a link so they can scroll through your website and buy your products or services? SMS marketing provides direct communication with your customers to ensure that they have the most up-to-date information about your store hours, locations, and promotions.

SMS marketing helps incentivize your subscribers to shop online, and it’s a great way to get customers to walk through your doors. Many restaurants and convenience stores entice subscribers with freebies and coupons they must show at the register, which means they have to go in, and they’re likely to make additional purchases. The great thing about SMS marketing is that it allows you to be creative with your messaging and make an impact throughout your business.

Is your business ready to take steps to better communicate with your customers? Well, allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Tatango. Our organization was founded in 2007 with the simple goal of providing easy-to-use SMS marketing software and industry expertise to enterprise marketers. Since then, Tatango has grown into the market leader in text message marketing. Tatango now powers SMS, MMS, and RCS marketing campaigns for some of the most well-known brands in the United States. Our SMS marketing professionals are here to work with you to establish the best SMS marketing campaign for your organization. We’re here to help you craft the best possible business text message to help increase your revenue.

We’d love to chat with you about your business and how Tatango can help you embark on your SMS marketing journey. Schedule a call with an SMS marketing professional today.

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