What is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing (short message service marketing) , also known as text message marketing or mobile marketing, is a method by which businesses and organizations send out specials, coupons, promotions, alerts, and more via highly targeted, permission-based, opt-in text messages.
These messages are limited to a max of 160 characters.

What is Permission Based Marketing?

Permission based is a form of marketing in which customers give their explicit permission to be marketed to.
This can be via an online opt-in form, contest entries, or by texting a particular keyword to your longcode.

Interruption marketing is the exact opposite.
Marketers try to interrupt whomever they can, in hopes of forcing a promotional message or offer on the consumer.
This alternative to permission marketing has become a mainstream way to advertise, as we're all hit with unwanted messages everyday.

We as consumers, are exposed to over 3,000 interruption marketing messages on a daily basis.
To combat all these messages fighting for our attention, we've developed a "hard outer shell" to block out this communication.
That's why we're now seeing more provocative, over-the-top ads in modern media.

How exactly does permission based marketing break through that shell?
It does so by only marketing to people who have expressed specific interest in certain messages.
That's why SMS marketing is so effective.
With that being said, let's talk about why text messaging is so powerful.

Why SMS Marketing?

  • It's permission based. Just like what we discussed in the last section, you can only send text messages to customers that have opted in to your communication.
    This makes your marketing lists extremely concentrated, as they contain customers who plan on patronizing your business, usually on a regular basis.
  • It's a mass communication tool. Just about everyone owns a cell phone. It's more than likely that all these phones can receive texts. SMS marketing allows you to touch base with subscribers at the click of a button.
  • It's instant. Text messages are sent and received in a matter of seconds. Think about how powerful that is alone. It allows you to control the exact time and date that customers read your promotions.
  • It's trackable. It allows you to easily measure which messages/promos are working and which ones aren't. This helps you constantly improve your text campaigns and marketing messages on all other promotional outlets.

Benefits of SMS Marketing

There are many different benefits of SMS marketing, and they vary based on the industry you're in, and how you choose to use it. Here are some of the most common benefits experienced by marketers and business owners who use SMS.

  • Increase foot traffic to your business
  • Increase your sales and customer base
  • Reward loyal customers while creating new ones
  • Establish a stronger personal connection with your customers
  • Instantly communicate with customers
  • Customers can easily forward valuable text promotions to friends and family
  • Customers stay in the loop with your business
  • Customers won't feel forgotten due to lack of marketing reach


SMS Marketing Statistics

Now that we have some background on why SMS marketing is so powerful, let's take a look at some quick stats.

SMS Has Huge Volume, Nearly Guaranteed to Be Read by Your Audience

  • Globally, 33 percent more people have access to mobile phones than to toilets! In 2013 that was 6 billion with access to mobile phones (and thus to SMS).
  • While the dramatic rise of new communication apps has overtaken SMS, an average of 20 billion text messages are being sent daily this year, translating to 7.3 trillion annually! That’s more than 5.5 million per second!
  • Email open rates are great at 20-30 percent. But according to a Dynmark report, SMS blows that away at 98 percent open rate! In fact, 90 percent are read within 3 seconds. Just think how long it takes between your phone chiming for an incoming text and your hand moving to it.

Huge Conversion Rate

  • A Pure360 report on SMS marketing quotes 32 percent of recipients respond to SMS offers, with texted coupons redeemed 10 times more often than traditional coupons.
  • 54 percent of consumers receive at least one SMS message daily, and 50 percent of US consumers receiving branded SMS texts go on to make direct purchases.
  • Dynmark, quotes in its above-mentioned report that 29 percent of SMS marketing recipients click on links in SMS messages they receive, and 47 percent of those go on to make a purchase. That’s nearly 14 percent conversion!
  • Online cosmetics company Julep reported a 10.7 percent redemption rate for an offer sent via SMS.
  • SMS campaigns support other channels too. For example, Smart Insights reports that sending a simple follow-up message, “Have you read our email?” (to people who opted-in for that type of SMS) increases email open rates by 20-30 percent.
  • Smart Insight also says that SMS-based surveys enjoy high conversion, with 31 percent of consumers responding to such invitations, on average within five minutes.

Incredibly High ROI and Retention Rate

What Gets Sent via SMS?

The Pur360 report offers a wide array of examples, by industry.
This includes banks sending account balances, execution confirmations, alerts for large transactions or balances outside a client-designated range, and one-time password verification codes.
Retail businesses send order confirmations, special offers, coupons, links to customer surveys, etc.
Entertainment venues send notices of upcoming events and cancellations, special offers, surveys, etc.
Travel-related businesses send booking confirmations, reminders and status updates, follow-up offers, etc.

Why is SMS so Popular With Recipients?

SMS stands for “Short Message Service,” and at 160 characters it takes almost no time to read and comprehend a message. It’s also dead simple to use, allowing live links that open mobile webpages or set up a phone call with a single click.

Using SMS the Right Way

Forrester’s “Guide to Using Mobile Moments with Messaging,” quotes their “Q2 2014 Global Mobile Executive Online Survey,” saying that 49 percent of marketers use SMS. This means more than half of marketers miss the opportunity represented by the stats quoted in this post.

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