If you're the owner of a mobile phone you've definitely used SMS before, it's practically unavoidable in today's world not only for our own personal communication but for businesses too. You've probably heard it from others that you can't go wrong with SMS messaging as one of the most effective marketing methods for your business. It's one of the strongest mediums out there with the best statistics, in particular in areas such as open & conversion rates as well as costs.
Let's take a dive in to some specific SMS Benefits for Business.
Firstly, High Open Rates
When you come to reviewing the different types of digital marketing available to you, SMS stands out at the top of the pack. If we take a look at email, we're looking at clickthrough rates in fractions of a percentage point and generally open rates are only slightly higher than that. Don't get us wrong - email marketing can certainly be effective. However, with the sheer amount of content that people receive in their inbox, the effect is somewhat diluted in amongst others.
People are used to receiving SMS messages from their friends, families, and of course other businesses already. This makes it a preferential mode of communication - in fact, TextTalk's 2021 SMS Marketing Consumer Trends Report tells us that 91% of consumers would love to sign up to texts from businesses but that a lot of them don't offer it yet.
SMS is one of those interesting channels where your message is almost guaranteed to be read, with near 100% open & read rates. Think about it, can you delete a text message from your phone without at least seeing a peek of it as a preview? We thought not (unless you're using a really cool texting app). These simple stats and facts alone are enough to make huge benefits when it comes to marketing communication for your business.
Furthermore, because your messages are in amongst other messages that the customer are already interacting with, there's a constant reminder for your users to act upon the message rather than being lost in a huge, oversaturated and constantly bombarded email inbox.
Ease of use leads to high conversion rates
People are super familiar with texting even if it's not necessarily SMS (think WhatsApp and other apps that are ubiquitous these days). This means that it is super easy to understand the flow if you plan to support replies, it's instantly conversational and just like any other message they're getting on their phones already.
This short form of communication means customers don't need to scroll through long messages to understand or find the right CTA to click on, just to end up on another landing page to read even more it's far less distraction.
With SMS you are directly opening up a quick, easy channel with your target consumer to be able to interact with them rather than mass sending emails and hoping that it's a) received, b) read and c) acted upon. Receiving an email of 1,000 words with just a 'Hi [name]' at the top is impersonal, but at 160 characters the personalisation is a high percentage and reads better in our minds. This helps us to foster a better and more personal relationship with your consumer. The communication is more personal, and can be attributed to the high success rates for SMS messaging.
Minimal Tech Requirements
When it comes to the technology behind SMS, it's almost as old as mobile phones themselves. Your recipients don't require an internet connection to receive it, all you need is phone signal. In the UK, our mobile network coverage is above a staggering 90% (see Ofcom's Connected Nation 2021 Report for some more interesting detail on this) with promises to increase this to 95% by 2025 for more rural areas (gov.uk). This helps with instant delivery of the messages which is another key selling point of SMS, people get messages when they need them and more importantly, when they're still relevant.
By being able to receive these messages on the go and almost anywhere, they can take action instantly to read and respond prior to the information being stale or "out of sight and out of mind".
As SMS is built in to every single smartphone produced these days, you avoid having to ask your consumers to download or register anywhere to receive notifications through a third-party app. It reduces an additional step that may be required for so many other forms of digital communication.
Improving your compliance
You've probably heard of CAN-SPAM (or the lesser known PECR) in relation to marketing messages whether that's SMS or Email. What you may not know is that the majority of the rules within these legislative areas are targeted more towards email than anything else.
This can be considered both a good and a bad thing. When it comes to SMS you're a little more free, though any reputable provider (such as PureSMS) will have strict rules on the types of messaging that you're allowed to send coupled with their own anti-spam rules.
One thing that stands out is the ease of complying with these laws with SMS. We've all seen it: "Reply with STOP to opt-out". Simple, elegant, and instant unsubscription from your SMS messages direct from their device in the same channel that they received it on in the first place.
In an email you would be including an unsubscribe link that some nefarious businesses can use to make the process of unsubscribing quite painful: Enter your email address, tick a few boxes (or untick them), confirm unsubscription, are you sure, and so on.
Cost Reduction as a main benefit of SMS for Business
This may be the key point for many considering starting their journey in to digital marketing or reconfiguring their overall marketing budgets. There is no comparison with cost management when it comes to the depth of the communication and marketing potential that comes with SMS messaging.
The quality that you can achieve with every single message sent to optimise your click through rate is amazing. There's no fees like with email marketing software where, as your contact list grows, you're paying exponentially more just to be able to send them low-converting emails. SMS messages are always on a credit basis where you only pay for exactly what you send out, and it's normally pennies.
There's also a reduction in your internal costs just for creating the message, as SMS is concise and to the point. Other forms of advertisement, from social media posts to email marketing, require graphic designers for attractive imagery and content writers to create long-form, hopefully high converting content. There's just not enough room for that in SMS, forcing you to craft short and sweet messages.
SMS is the preferred mode of communication
It's not just marketing and promotional messages where SMS shines. It can also be huge just to have a new, simple way of interacting with your business. This can include being a channel for customer support, sending event notifications, scheduling appointments or reservations, or even making a purchase.
Because SMS is right in front of the customer and there's nothing new to learn, there's much more interaction possible. You're not forcing people to leave the messaging domain that they're used to using and already use several times on a daily basis to communicate with others.
SMS can offer you 24/7 communication with your customers without needing to wait for replies periodically, you could automate an entire journey. Think of the flow of other marketing channels which is something along the lines of reading a long-form communication, finding the call-to-action, reading a new page, making a decision and only then entering the flow. After all this, there's a high chance of bouncing from your site.
Short form messaging via SMS cuts through that noise without worrying about information overload, a short message with a direct CTA or perhaps even better - "Reply BUY to purchase".
The possibilities are endless.
Choosing the right SMS Provider
Even though SMS is a great tool for your business with numerous benefits, there can still be some costs and setup process to look at more closely. These are essential to review before simply jumping at the first option you find when Googling for SMS marketing and messaging tools.
Here's a quick checklist for you:
- Is there a setup cost?
- Do I have to pay a monthly fee?
- Are the messages too cheap?
- Is the platform easy to use?
- Does the platform do everything I need?
- Will everything work fast enough for me?
- Can I integrate with other tools I have?
- How will I be supported after I sign up?
- Is the platform secure?
We discuss this checklist in more detail over in our dedicated Checklist for Choosing an SMS Provider post.
PureSMS can be the answer
Luckily for you we have a solution that can tick all of the above boxes - PureSMS.
With no setup or monthly fees, highly competitive pricing (as well as a permanent SMS discount for charities), Tier 1 routing to mobile networks, a super simple and high featured portal, high performance API and Zapier for your integrations and more certifications than we'd like to list in this really long sentence, PureSMS has you covered.
We don't limit you in the way that you work, you're able to send as many SMS as you want no matter how often you want to (as long as you comply with our policies, of course).
Our friendly team are always available to discuss your specific requirements, advise on how to craft your messages, or even help with integration.
You can get started today with 75 FREE SMS credits, and we look forward to welcoming you on board.