SMS marketing is a huge growth area for businesses of all sizes, and it's not hard to see why. It's cheap (texts cost just a few pence, especially if bought in bulk), and it's easy to track return on investment.
But most of all, SMS marketing is direct and personal. Look at it this way: If you send your customers a marketing email, it's probably just one of dozens they'll receive that day. Chances are that only a few of them will open your email, meaning you'd need to send it to thousands of potential customers to make the exercise worthwhile.
That's not the case with SMS. Most people receive relatively few text messages from businesses (we'll look at why in a moment), and it's very hard to ignore a text when it arrives.
If you send 10,000 emails in a marketing campaign, only a few hundred will likely be read—even if you have a brilliant headline, great copy, and a must-have offer. But if you text 10,000 people, you can be pretty sure that nearly all your recipients will read your message. If your conversion rate for SMS marketing is close to your conversion rate for emails, that translates to 10 or 20 times as much business.
Interested? Before you start collecting customers' mobile numbers for SMS marketing, you need three essentials in place: a great offer, the right technology, and most important—your customers' trust.
A Question of Trust
There's a reason most people don't get as many marketing texts as they get marketing emails. They see their phone numbers as more personal and more valuable than their email addresses, so they are more careful about whom they trust with their number compared with their email address.
The issue of trust is the great advantage that lies at the heart of SMS marketing. Because people are reluctant to give out their numbers, few businesses have those numbers, and so fewer marketing texts are sent compared with marketing emails. The result is that customers are unlikely to get bored with marketing texts the way they've become bored by marketing emails.
But trust is also the greatest obstacle that you, as a would-be SMS marketer, have to overcome. How do you persuade customers and potential customers to hand over their mobile numbers?