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U Up? A Guide to SMS Marketing

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U Up? A Guide To SMS Marketing


Do you remember when text messages first came out? We all laughed and thought, “why would you type a message when you could simply talk to them on the phone?” Well SMS had the last laugh as I am now, mostly incapable of carrying out a human conversation on any level. But SMS has done much more than destroy the way we speak (lol), it’s also revolutionized marketing in a very real way. Here’s your guide to SMS marketing!

SMS Marketing

What is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing is the act of using text messaging in campaigns, promotions, news, updates and more to customers who have opted in. SMS stands for “short message service” and if you’ve ever been in a dispute with your significant other, you know that is a misnomer. There are a few different kinds of SMS marketing strategies that we’ll get into in a bit. For now, just know that whenever you get a text from a brand, that’s their SMS marketing at work.

Why/when should I use SMS Marketing?

Sometimes SMS marketing is good for a hard sale, but for the most part, this should be an opportunity to deepen relationships with your current customers. SMS marketing is a unique beast because it’s like email marketing, but even more intimate. So, you need to pick and choose when and why you’re sending a message directly to a customer’s phone. As such, when overused, SMS can actually lose customers.

Different kinds of SMS Marketing

Since you need to be conservative about your SMS marketing implementation, think about containing your texts to two types:

  1. Promotional – These are texts letting your customers know about cool deals, product launches, company announcements, event promos, etc. These can be one-off SMS campaigns or built-out as workflows via SMS automations. They can also be “welcome” texts to usher them into their new lives as text-receivers.
  2. Transactional – Transactional SMS marketing are messages that have info your customers might need. This could be order confirmation details or shipping info. Like when you book a flight and immediately get a text saying that you booked a flight. Like, I know. I’m the one that did it. Now, if someone only signs up for transactional texts from you, that means you cannot send them promotional texts. But that doesn’t mean transactional texts are useless as they still greatly contribute to customer loyalty.
SMS Marketing

Benefits of SMS Marketing

  1. High open rates – Just like email, SMS marketing has some of the best conversions out there. They definitely are opened quite frequently, like 98%. However, if you’re anything like me, you only open the promo text in order to remove the notification from your phone. Still, text messages can outperform email on both click rates and conversion rates.
  2. Speed – 90% of people open a text within three minutes. That’s some pretty instantaneous marketing. Compare that to the months and months a TV campaign could take. 
  3. Mass engagement – SMS marketing allows you to have a personal conversation with thousands of people. This allows you to boost sales, build relationships, engage your audience, and generate excitement to as many people as you can as quickly as possible.
  4. Leads – Leads baby, leads. The conversational nature of SMS marketing allows for easy engagement. By letting potential customers sign up for texts, you create leads. Then, using SMS to follow up with leads keeps them engaged.  

What businesses benefit most from SMS marketing?

  • Restaurants – Restaurants use SMS marketing to take reservations, send out coupons, and even inform folks about their specials.
  • Real Estate – A lot of real estate agents will use (or overuse) SMS marketing for lead generation.
  • E-Commerce – Any store that wants to drive sales should use SMS marketing. Either via a customer loyalty program, offering discounts or even reminding them when they’ve abandoned their loaded cart.
  • Gyms – “Please sign back up for our gym. We know you’ve lost interest in fulfilling your resolution, but please god, come back.”

SMS Marketing Results

Okay, here are some terms to know if you want to measure the success of your SMS marketing:

  • Click-through rate (CTR) – With email marketing, about 21% of people open them while only 3% click on the Call To Action inside. However with SMS marketing the open rate is around 98% and the CTR is about 17%. Not too shabby.
  • Conversion rate – This is how many people took an action from your text. An action could be filling out a form or scheduling a call or even making a purchase. The average SMS conversion rate is about 45%. Pretty much the highest of any marketing strategy because the people who sign up for texts are probably the ones most stoked on your product or service. Also, people are like, always on their phone.
  • List growth – You should constantly be growing your SMS list. Without a list of phone numbers, you have no one to message. So if your list growth is steady, you’re in good shape.
  • Unsubscribe rate – Hey, people are gonna unsubscribe. That happens. The trick is to keep it under 3% per campaign. Keep the folks around by using best practices… 
SMS Marketing

SMS Marketing Best Practices

  1. Always make sure they opted in – You gotta give all your customers a clear option to either accept or reject future SMS messages from the beginning. Then, keep an eye on how many people say yes and no to see how you need to adjust your campaign.
  2. Make yourself known – People don’t tend to trust huge, faceless organizations. So let them know who the person is behind the SMS marketing campaign. Or else they’re just receiving shady “deals” from a random number.
  3. Offer immediate value – you can’t just drop into their phones asking for money without giving the recipient anything in return! That’s rude!
  4. Let ‘e la unsubscribe if they want – You’re not holding them hostage. This builds trust and is better for both of you. No need to annoy people who then hate you for annoying them.
  5. Time your messages well – Use SMS  messages with your customers’ time zones in mind. Also, be aware of the news. If some terrible tragedy is occurring or just occurred, the last thing people want is a text offering 2% off whatever.
SMS Marketing

KARMA jack Can Help

If you desire to learn more about the incredible, edible world of SMS marketing, reach out to the pros at KARMA jack. We have executed dozens and dozens of successful SMS Marketing campaigns. C U L8R!

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