Text messaging isn’t just a convenient way to keep in touch with friends. It’s also a powerful mobile marketing tool for small businesses. Most Americans own a cellphone and use their phone to send and receive text messages, also known as SMS messages.
While email marketing is a successful strategy for small businesses, mobile marketing is shorter, sweeter and, in some respects, much more effective. No wonder more small businesses are jumping on the texting bandwagon: Sixty-nine percent of small businesses recognize mobile marketing as key to their growth over the next five years, and 84 percent that implemented it have seen a resulting increase in new business activity. Here are five reasons why mobile marketing works well.
Your texts are likely to be read instantly
Most cellphone users have programmed their phone to alert them whenever a new text message arrives, and most messages are read within a few minutes of delivery. In fact, an astounding 90 percent of texts are read within three minutes of receipt. This allows you to market your small business in new and novel ways.
Texts are engaging and personal
If you’re like most people, you can’t wait to read a text message when it arrives in your inbox.
This has obvious benefits for business owners. Not only are the consumers on your SMS contact list willing participants in your promotional campaign, but they’re likely to read your message right when you send it. Mobile marketing won’t get your promotion in front of as many people as other modes of advertising, but by delivering your messages directly to engaged consumers – and getting them to read those messages quickly – it delivers great value.
Of course, you’ll need to get your customers to sign up (opt in) to receive messages in the first place. For this reason, it’s almost impossible to separate mobile marketing from traditional advertising because you must first rely on your website, email and social media to build your mobile marketing contact list.
Texts are quick
Much of the appeal of texting as a marketing tool is in its brevity, both for the advertiser and the consumer. Unlike lengthy email promotions, SMS messages are generally just one or two sentences in length, sometimes including a link to a website with more details about the promotion. Consumers are very likely to read entire messages, simply because they are so short.
The brevity of text messages also benefits the small business owner who is short on time. Planning and deploying a mobile marketing promotion is quick and easy, and requires less up-front planning than traditional advertising.
Texts are inexpensive
SMS marketing is affordable. Prices vary, but many platforms allow your business to send each message for just a few cents. Meanwhile, bulk packages allow you to send hundreds or thousands of messages each month for a relatively low, flat rate. Considering the power of SMS marketing to directly target engaged consumers, it delivers a good value proposition for small business owners on a budget.
Texts are interactive
Planning an interactive SMS promotion is a good way to make your message fun and engaging, and there are plenty of ways to do it. Posing your message as part of a questionnaire or poll encourages your target audience to read more closely and become an active participant. Offering up a toll-free SMS reply option is an extra incentive for users to engage with your brand. Meanwhile, including a link to an entertaining video or images with more details about your promotion encourages users to investigate further.