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How SMS Marketing Can Help You Understand Your Customers Better

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Marketing Director, Americas , Emarsys

How SMS Marketing Can Help You Understand Your Customers Better

According to a study conducted by eWeek, more than one-third of business professionals confessed that they couldn’t go even 10 minutes without responding to a text. If your employees cannot fight the urge to send texts, even during the workday, then how do consumers respond to similar situations?

Man texting

Marketers need to be where their consumers are: they need to kick start an SMS marketing strategy. SMS marketing strategies can help boost conversion rates, foster loyalty, and build relationships with customers. If marketers need further convincing, here are five important statistics concerning why they should invest big in SMS:

  1. Text messages have a 98% open rate, while email still hovers around 20%. (Mobile Marketing Watch)
  2. 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of arrival. (Connect Mogul)
  3. On average, it takes a person at least 90 minutes to respond to an email, but under 90 seconds to respond to an SMS text. (CTIA)
  4. 70% of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour. (Mobile Marketer)
  5. Sales prospects who are sent text messages convert at a rate 40% higher than those who are not sent any text messages. (Velocify)

SMS Messages Reach Your Consumers

As the aforementioned stats allude, consumers are more inclined to read and react to marketing messages if that message comes via an SMS message. B2C e-commerce marketers have long understood the importance of creating mobile-friendly email campaigns, considering 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices.

With the onslaught of marketing messages overwhelming consumer inboxes, marketers must look toward this new channel and hone in on SMS marketing strategies. With the incredibly high open rate associated with SMS marketing messages, this presents an opportunity for high consumer engagement. One example of an SMS marketing strategy that fosters great engagement and opportunity to better understand customers is photo campaigns.

E-commerce organizations and retailers can encourage consumers to text a photo of them wearing or using a product they recently purchased. This gives the brand a chance to understand how its consumers engage with the products, create advocates who champion the brand, and also help anticipate purchasing patterns and consumer preferences.

Use SMS to Drive Action

An important factor to remember when marketers invest in SMS campaign strategies is the character limitation. Most carriers only allow 160 characters per text message, which stresses the importance of the age old adage “short and sweet”. The faster the message gets to the point, the better.

Marketers should make the most of the allowed characters, and provide value by sending promotional messages via SMS. But they must remember that the call to action needs to be very clear. Instead of blasting one message to all consumers on an SMS list, they should A/B test different messaging.

For example, see what truly drives the consumers to action. One text could read: “FLASH SALE. Just for you, 25% off your purchase before 5 PM.” Another could read, “As a thank you for being a loyal customer of [brand], we will take 15% off your next purchase”.

Does urgency drive customers, or is it more profitable to provide them with a sense of appreciation? By utilizing this marketing channel, that brings along with it high conversion rates, marketers can gather a better understanding of customers and their driving forces. If e-commerce marketers and retail brands find that consumers are driven by appreciation, then they should make an effort to send call-to-action-free messages to consumers just to express how valued and important to the brand they are.

Final Thoughts

SMS is a marketer’s most immediate connection with a customer, and this type of campaign strategy is rapidly increasing in popularity and shows no signs of slowing.

Marketers should invest big in creating highly compelling, automated SMS marketing messages that seamlessly integrate with pre-existing omnichannel marketing efforts. Now, marketers can connect with customers wherever they are in the world, to truly build loyalty without hiking up costs.

Interested in learning more about how we help clients better understand and reach customers? View our complimentary webinarMobile Marketing: Leveraging Mobile Moments to Drive Customer Actions.