When it comes to marketing potential, there is nothing – and we really do mean nothing – that comes close to the virtually unlimited power of a mobile phone. There are almost seven billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide. (This represents about four and a half billion people, as some have more than one subscription). According to research from Hubspot, more people own a mobile phone than a toothbrush!
When you compare those statistics to just two and a half billion email users, you begin to see the vast opportunity mobile presents – even if you don’t have the marketing budget of a big corporate. By making use of a reputable SMS gateway, your small business can reach a huge number of potential customers easily, cheaply and conveniently.
SMS Gateways vs Bulk Email
SMS (or text) messages are so successful for a number of reasons – not least of which is that, unlike emails, you don’t even have to have a smartphone to receive and send them. Even the most basic mobile phone is equipped with SMS capabilities. This means you can reach customers across all demographics – even those in remote locations that don’t have 3G reach. This is a huge part of the reason why SMS messages have a staggering final read rate of 98 percent! Compare that to email marketing, which has only a 22 percent open rate.
In addition, it takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to an email, but only 90 seconds to respond to an SMS. In fact, 90 percent of all text messages are read within three seconds of being received!
“Email marketing became very popular very quickly,” says Aine Doherty from Business2Community. “The problem with that is, it equally quickly became populated with spam, meaning your email has a reduced chance of being seen as legitimate. SMS marketing, on the other hand, is 99 percent legitimate, with only one percent spam.”
Research also shows that almost a third (29 percent) of people who receive a promotional marketing message via a reputable SMS gateway respond to it. Almost half (47 percent) then go on to make a purchase. Mobile coupons, too, are highly effective, with 10 times the redemption rate of traditional coupons.
Using SMS Marketing For Your Business
SMS marketing is clearly too potentially lucrative a platform to ignore, but how can you use it most effectively to boost your chances of success? Simply sending out messages via an SMS gateway isn’t enough – you also have to stick to a few proven rules for best practice:
This is as simple as tracking the times at which users are most active on your mobile site, and finding where they overlap with your hours of business. This is then the ideal window in which to send your SMS messages. Timing is also important from your side – make sure that when a user opts in, they receive an immediate confirmation message.
SMS messaging is pretty personal. Most people use it to keep in touch with friends and loved ones, so if you’re going to venture into that space, you need to have a really good reason. So, make your invitation worth something to each person you message. Segment your audience so that your messages are relevant and useful. You have to make people want to opt in.
Polling your customers – asking them for feedback – is helpful for you and your clients. It’s an inexpensive technique to get customers to engage with your brand, and it’s a great way to open – and encourage – two-way conversations.
Benefits Of Using A Managed SMS Gateway Platform
Using a centrally managed SMS service from a reputable SMS gateway such as Cellfind means outsourcing your SMS marketing message function to a single supplier. This not only vastly simplifies your admin when it comes to terms and conditions and service agreements, it also offers a host of other benefits. These include:
- Global reach, using a world-class communications network.
- The ability to route messages via other networks if necessary.
- Real-time, almost instantaneous sending and receiving of messages.
- Highly cost-effective, targeted messages.
- Secure, reliable message delivery – directly to the intended recipient.
- Advice on ensuring proper opt-in compliance – no SPAM allowed.
- Help and advice in setting up the technical configurations and improving message content.
To find out more about how a managed SMS gateway can help your SME compete with the big guys – and keep your brand top of mind – chat with Cellfind today.