When you run a small business, you’re always looking for ways to improve lead generation and increase customer engagement. SMS text message marketing for small business is an important strategy for driving sales, nurturing leads, and improving customer engagement.
In fact, SMS for small business is the most underutilized mobile tactic among small business owners. But what is SMS marketing, and how do you use it to improve your small business marketing campaign? Let’s look further into this important marketing strategy.
What Is SMS Text Message Marketing?
You first need to understand the answer to the question before you can begin using SMS marketing. That is, What is SMS text message marketing for small business? And equally important, how can text marketing help you connect to your target audience?
Before we dive in, let’s understand what SMS stands for. SMS is an acronym for Short Message Service. In essence, SMS marketing is synonymous with text message marketing. SMS text message marketing for small business focuses on using short-form text messages to help retailers engage with current customers. With SMS for small business, you can connect with your customers at every stage in the sales funnel. From when they first knew about your product offerings through the purchase stage and the delivery process.
Benefits Of SMS For Small Business
SMS can boost an open rate as high as 98% and a response rate as high as 45%. This makes SMS for small business one of the highest performing marketing strategies. Benefits include increased customer acquisition, high sales rates, and improved customer engagement.
Increase Customer Acquisition
When potential customers are discovering your brand, SMS provides a unique way to nurture these leads. Use a welcome SMS sequence to tell potential customers how you’ll provide a solution to their problems. And, why they should choose your brand.
Another way to increase customer acquisition is to provide a coupon code to all who joins your marketing list.
Text marketing for small business is most commonly used as a channel for driving sales. Messages with the potential to increase sales include:
- Loyalty rewards
- VIP offers
- Coupon codes
- Information about limited-time events
- Promotional sales and offers
By generating demand for a product, this form of marketing can also increase sales. Demand generation is not the same as lead generation. Instead of nurturing leads, you’re nurturing the feeling of need for your product.
Additionally, you can get customers eager to purchase from your company. For example, show how people use your product in real and how it can benefit their lives.
Improve Customer Engagement
One of the reasons text messaging for small business is so effective is that customers already use the channel. You simply ask customers to opt-in to your brand’s text messaging. They don’t even need to download an app.
Also, the click-through rate (CTR) of text messaging for business is nearly 40%. So, this makes this form of marketing higher than most other marketing channels.
How To Promote Your Business with SMS
So, you know you should be using SMS for your business. But how do you actually integrate into your everyday marketing strategy? First, you need to understand best practices for promoting your business with SMS. Then, learn how to use it in your multichannel customer engagement strategy.
1. Follow SMS Best Practices
SMS is protected by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). For this reason, customers must opt-in to receive your marketing messages via text. You must also let customers know how they can opt out. And what types of messages they can expect to receive from your business. Additionally, you cannot text customers between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. in their respective time zones because these are considered quiet hours.
There are serious consequences for breaking these laws. Not just for maintaining trust with your customers, but also to prevent lawsuits. In fact, your business can be fined up to $1,500 for violating TCPA guidelines. Not to mention, possible lawsuits.
Other SMS best practices include keeping your messages short and avoid using automated text messages. In general, customers want to be able to communicate back and forth via text. This is not always possible if your message is automated.
2. Share Time-Sensitive Updates & Product Offers
Mobile users in the United States check their phone an average of once every 10 minutes. Consequently, it’s the ideal channel to use for communicating time-sensitive updates and product offers.
This text message from Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant shows how it can be used for things happening in real-time. Small businesses can use a similar strategy to create a virtual queue. It could entail allowing customers to continue shopping while waiting for a customer service agent.
Wrapping It Up
Get started by signing up with a professional marketing platform that provides SMS, like Constant Contact. Then reach out to your current email list and offer them an incentive to signup for as well. Be sure to let them know what types of messages you’ll be sending. Also, when you’ll be sending them. Your customers will appreciate it.