SMS marketing

SMS marketing, or text marketing, is an easy, direct and cost-effective way to reach your customers. Learn how to integrate it into your 2020 marketing strategy.

Why SMS marketing?

Texting is quickly becoming a universal channel to reach customers in every industry, from retail and service to healthcare and media. Zipwhip’s 2019 State of Texting research shows that texting is the highest priority form of communication and a highly preferred one. In fact, people are now sending more texts than emails. The average consumer sends 15 texts per day compared to 12 emails, or roughly 25 percent more text messages.

The channel itself has many marketing advantages and the high-priority nature makes texting an especially great way to engage with customers. However, just as with email marketing, customers must opt-in to receive text marketing messages (opt-out with a simple “STOP” reply). Once the appropriate opt-in is captured, text marketing can be used for: follow-up with sales prospects, promotions and contest, sending exclusive invites to events, announcing new products and services, sending helpful content and more.

The benefits of text marketing

Here are five key benefits of SMS marketing:

  1.  Higher overall engagement rates
    Text messages have higher response and engagement rates compared to emails and phone calls. In our 2019 State of Texting report, 74% of consumers said they respond to a text message from a business in under an hour, while only 41% said the same for email.
  2.  Trackable and manageable
    Most SMS marketing platforms are user friendly and provide basic reporting, making it easy to deploy and track campaigns. Zipwhip offers a user-friendly solution that makes it easy to be up and running with text marketing in no time.
  3.  Interactive content
    Mobile messaging allows businesses to gather feedback and provide additional resources to customers. Instructing customers to reply with keywords and/or providing landing page links are simple ways to incorporate content marketing into text campaigns.
  4.  Instant message delivery
    Within minutes of deploying a text marketing campaign, you can have hundreds of clicks. Many platforms show exactly when your message was delivered, you so can ensure your customers are getting them.
  5.  Personal touch
    Text campaigns with personalized content can help drive customer engagement. Zipwhip offers a Dynamic Template feature to make customized messages a cinch, even when sent in bulk. Read on for more text marketing features offered through Zipwhip.

Should I use short code or two-way text marketing?

There are several different ways to reach customers via text, however, not all are created equally. As a consumer, you probably don’t think twice about the number when you get a text from a business, but there are some significant differences between short codes (i.e. 528-28) and 10-digit numbers to consider when text marketing.

Short codes are five or six-digit phone numbers that companies use to reach customers via text on their mobile phones. Short codes are quite common and are licensed by businesses of all sizes to send mass texts. Short codes, for the most part, only work one-way and are limited in that they don’t allow the consumer to text (or call) back, severely restricting the customer’s relationship with a business. In our 2019 State of Texting report, we found that three out of four consumers are frustrated when they can’t reply to a company’s text message.

Additionally, short codes are typically difficult to obtain, are not well branded and can be costly, ranging from $500-$1000/month. However, short codes do have a high throughput and allow businesses to communicate at high volumes.

Text marketing with a 10-digit number on the other hand, allows businesses to have more interactive, conversational engagement with customers. Customers can easily text the number back if they have questions and can even call the number because it’s already associated with and branded to the business. Furthermore, the costs associated with texting from your 10-digit number are significantly less than that of a short code, and toll-free numbers also allow for high throughput.

Text enabling your 10-digit number will give your business the same benefits as a short code, but instead of a broken text exchange, your customers will experience a seamless experience with the number they already know. To read more short code vs. two-way texting check out our  blog post: What is a short code?

Text enable your business number today

Learn how Zipwhip lets you leverage your existing phone number to reach clients faster.

How to use Zipwhip for text marketing

The majority of businesses use SMS marketing to drive sales and increase customer engagement. Zipwhip offers a full repertoire of features to make it easy and more cost effective than ever to reach customers for all types of marketing campaigns and goals.

Marketing blasts are the most common type of marketing campaign and involve sending relevant information about the business such as promotions, discount offers, special announcements and time-sensitive contest information in mass quantities. Zipwhip’s Group Messaging feature allows you to communicate these messages to larger audiences with ease. Compile specific sub-sets of customers right from your web application or use Zipwhip’s API to pull contact lists directly from your CRM.

Automate & scale message blasts with the Scheduled Messaging and Customer Signature features. Personalized engagement has proven higher conversion rates. With Dynamic Templates you can go as far as including individuals’ names and additional personal details in message blasts.

SMS marketing example

Converting leads is another main objective in marketing/sales and can be a timely, multi-step process. Texting promotional content helps leads convert more quickly and at higher rates due to the high-priority nature of texting itself.

Create promotional campaigns containing Keywords as the call to action to easily convert traffic from your website, social or paid media or from analog like signs and print ads. Additionally, Keywords can be used at events or with livestreaming to keep attendees engaged and actively participating.

SMS contest

Zipwhip even offers a Tagboard integration, making it easier than ever for audiences to engage and share content at events. Additionally, the Keywords feature can be used alone or with a number of partner integrations such as Telemetrics to conduct A/B test messages or ads. To ensure an overall satisfactory experience, use the Auto Reply feature to respond to all texts in a timely fashion.

Add photos and video (MMS) to your messages to increase engagement further. Including visual media with your promotion, deal or contest adds more interest and information to the overall message, leading to more engagement.

Interested in learning more ways to optimize your SMS marketing? Visit the Zipwhip blog.

Marketing through text messaging can be a cost-effective and efficient way to increase engagement and overall customer satisfaction while also seeing real impact on conversion rates and revenue. It is easily tracked, and both the speed of delivery and response rates make texting perfect for marketing. 

If you’re ready to take your marketing efforts to the next level, try Zipwhip free today.