3 Convincing Reasons for Texting Your Customers

Some of the top marketing trends for 2014 all have one thing in common: They’re perfect for SMS. Marketing experts and analysts definitely expect 2014 to be the year of mobile — which, of course, for marketers, means that 2014 is the year of mobile marketing. They’re expecting customers to research and comparison shop from their phones — and even make a fair share of their purchases from mobile devices. Marketing messages are expected to be even more targeted and personal than they were last year. Location-based marketing (also called geo-targeting) is expected to be much more vital to a consumer’s decision to convert.

Text Message

Instead of broadcasting to a wide audience and hoping to catch someone’s attention, brands are expected to start narrowcasting — that is, reaching out to a specific target group. MMS and SMS are expected to include more rich media messaging with the delivery of coupons, images and videos that fit the screen perfectly. 2014 could also be the year of micro-content, which includes everything from very short bytes of content to 3 or 4 second looping videos. All of these trends are perfectly suited for SMS marketing — and if you want to get a jump-start, the time to begin is now. Here are 3 reasons why.

Text messages are far more likely to be opened than emails — and they’re compatible with all phones. SMS open rates are ridiculously high. Ninety-nine percent of sent text messages are opened. And even more promising, 90 percent of all incoming text messages are read within 3 minutes of being received. By comparison, open rates for email marketing messages range from as low as 19 percent for daily coupons and offers and as high as 46 percent for nonprofits — a number that still pales in comparison to the SMS open rate.

And, unlike emails that require some type of app to open, texting is compatible with any type of phone and will always display as intended. No matter whether your customers have an Android or iOS operating system, the text message will still be received, open and seen. The sky-high open rates and easy cross-platform compatibility are especially beneficial for ecommerce stores and marketers. Most deals and promotions are on a relatively limited time basis — an email is likely to sit around for a few hours, days or weeks before a customer finally gets around to checking it. For ecommerce storeowners and marketers with flash sales and short-lived deals, the immediacy of SMS is hard to beat.

The ecommerce marketing possibilities with SMS are more expansive than you might think. Shopping cart abandonment: the three words that make every ecommerce store owner cringe. The average shopping cart abandonment rate hovers around 65 percent — that means that almost two-thirds of customers who place items in their shopping cart leave the site without purchasing the items. It’s a high opportunity cost. Most leave because of price, high shipping costs, indecisiveness, a difficult checkout process or because they were not given the option to checkout as a guest. All ecommerce marketers know that search retargeting is the way to get them back — or at least to get them thinking about coming back. SMS offers a great way to use search retargeting in a new way. Sending customers a message about a sale on an item they previously abandoned could be just what they need to finally convert. Ecommerce marketers can also use SMS to deliver exclusive discount codes for targeted groups of customers, sale reminders for a customer’s favorite items or items that compliment a customer’s recent orders.

SMS marketing works in conjunction with your other marketing efforts, but still offers benefits that other channels can’t provide. Obviously, your SMS marketing strategy can work just fine alongside your social media, email marketing, website and any other marketing channels you currently use. But text messaging provides a more immediate and urgent component to your marketing efforts. It’s ideal for quick sales, instant alerts and timely updates. Sometimes an email, tweet or Facebook post just isn’t as effective. Once your customers opt in to receive updates, you’ll be able to keep more in the loop than you would be able to with other mobile marketing channels.

SMS can work wonders for your mobile marketing strategy. Keep in mind why your customers love mobile so much: it affords them opportunity to accomplish tasks, socialize, express themselves, shop, learn and stay entertained. If your SMS marketing can cater to all of these needs — or even most — you’ll be in position to win over new customers and keep existing customers coming back for more.

 

About Emily Miller

Emily Miller is a marketing professional and small business blogger who studied English and Small Business at Indiana University. She is currently writing to help startups and small businesses implement technology solutions for their companies.