The Pros and Cons of Engaging SMS Marketing

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What is SMS Marketing?

Simply put, an SMS marketing strategy communicates your marketing notifications directly to clients and consumers via text message. This can include special promotions or offers to get their foot in the door or shipping confirmations to keep them informed. Taking full advantage of a phone’s capability to quickly send and receive messages in real time can lead to direct communication with your target audience, but there are also disadvantages to consider. Before diving in, consider the following pros and cons of text message marketing.

Pros of Texting for Business

A text message marketing campaign may be exactly the right fit for your audience. Here are some of the best parts of it:

High Open Rates – Texts are a high-frequency means of communication for mobile users with a compulsion to open and clear notifications to ensure they’ll see their next text arrive. So even hesitant viewers will often read the messages due to their short nature.

Short TAT – Not only are texts quick to write, but they’re quick to be received, too. People are on their phones constantly, and many view texts almost instantly upon receiving them.

See an Immediate Response – Needing a quick boost to sales to meet your quarter-end goals? Mobile coupon offers are excellent at driving traffic to your site and brick-and-mortar locations promptly.

Direct Audience Interaction – SMS messages are more accessible for users to reply. In addition to seeing a click-through rate, like in a typical email interaction, receiving direct, nuanced communications via text can help close the gap between companies and their consumers or help tailor your next marketing campaign to meet their needs.

Larger Available Audience Younger and lower-income populations are skipping traditional computing devices and instead selecting to use mobile exclusively. Email is passé, but even most rudimentary cell phones have text messaging capability.

Cons for Text Marketing

There are some situations where mass texting may not be the best option for your business’ needs. Here are some pitfalls to watch out for:

Your Message Might Be Too Long – Though character limits are significantly less of a limiting factor for transmission these days, sending more than 280 characters decreases interactivity considerably due to how much visual space they occupy. These messages may be better suited to email.

Your List May Be Small – Unless you have had other reasons to cultivate a list of mobile numbers, you may not have a large audience to start. Capitalize upon other marketing streams like email or exclusive coupons to encourage users to sign up for your text service.

Limited Visual Medium – As of now, SMS advertising is largely limited visually as it must work within the framework of the existing text format, which varies from user to user. Photos may be included, but most communications will be words only.

Want for Sacred Space – As text communication is still a place largely inhabited by friends and familial relations, users are more hesitant to give up their information for it to be infiltrated by corporations and are more likely to unsubscribe from frequent messages. Write messages with your brand’s personality to see the highest retention.

Tips for Effective SMS Marketing

Offer Actionable Incentives – Offer exclusive advantages for consumers in your messages such as mobile coupons, discount codes, flash sales, special events, or sweepstakes.

Engage Directly – One of the biggest benefits of text marketing is its simplicity in obtaining dynamic feedback. Take advantage of it with polls, surveys and other engaging, text-based conversations that will give you more information about your audience for better targeting.

Avoid Content Promotion — Text is not the place to promote a new blog, podcast or video. Same goes for visually-appealing content. There just isn’t enough space or flexibility in the medium to really capture attention on these!

Whether text message marketing is the right choice for your audience or a failed experiment, it’s most important to build your brand organically and keep messaging consistent in all mediums to connect with customers that will come back again and again.