About 98% of text messages are actually read by the recipient, generally within minutes of the text being sent, which makes it a marketing goldmine for business owners. Text messaging provides an almost certain way to reach customers and encourage interaction. Here are just some of the ways that businesses are using SMS texts for marketing purposes.
Opt-in Loyalty Lists
When you make a purchase, either in person or online, you might find that you are asked whether you would like to receive special offers from the company by text. If you agree, you are added to the company’s opt-in loyalty list. This allows companies to send texts to your phone without the messages being considered spamming. They must provide a way for you to opt-out if you decide later on that you would rather not receive their texts anymore.
Special Offer Codes
One of the most popular uses of mobile marketing through SMS text service includes the use of special offer codes that can be used only by text. For example, the company might place a keyword in an advertising campaign that you can text to a special short-code number in order to receive a coupon for a discount. Sending the text may be a one-time interaction with the company, or it might simultaneously sign you up for their opt-in contact list. Alternately, the company might send the offer code itself to you by text, which you can then show in their store or enter online to receive a discount.
Once you have opted into a company’s loyalty list, some of the marketing texts you may be notifications that a new product or service is now available. Businesses feel that this is an effective tactic to reach out to existing customers and interest them in returning to their store or website.
Contests and Voting
Another avenue businesses use to invite customers to opt into their contact lists, as well as gather valuable consumer data, is through text-based contests and votes. The contests often work like the special offer codes mentioned above; you text a certain keyword to the company’s short-code number to be entered into the contest. Entry often requires that you agree to receive text alerts from the company; meaning that you are opting into their loyalty list. A company might also invite you to give your opinion on a certain matter by voting. You would make your choice by texting in a specific keyword. SMS contests and voting add a bit of fun into a mobile marketing campaign.
Some brick and mortar businesses are trying to capitalize on the benefits of customer ratings and reviews by making it possible for you to get that information by text while you are in the store. You may see a sign prompting you to send the company a text with a keyword command to have reviews sent directly to your phone. You may also be able to receive product recommendations for specific needs. If you are looking for a part in an automotive store, for example, you may be able to text the make and model of your car to receive a recommendation for what product to purchase.
Finally, businesses are finding that incorporating simple texting options into their customer service structure can be a great way to connect with customers and keep them coming back. These options might include services like package tracking, appointment reminders, confirmation numbers, and notifications of service changes. It all boils down to the fact that texting is a good way to exchange simple, short communications that will be promptly read by the recipient.
These are just some of the ways that businesses are incorporating SMS into their marketing strategies in order to engage consumer interest and keep their brand forefront in their customers’ minds—and on their phones.