Monday, August 26, 2013

Should Companies Engage with Customers via SMS?

6.3 billion messages are sent each year via SMS (short message service) and hundreds of companies are utilizing this service to offer customer support, coupons/discounts, and other loyalty programs. Despite the success that many brands experience, several companies fail to realize the potential for SMS marketing.

We have highlighted a few reasons as to why SMS proves to be beneficial for online retailers:

SMS helps to improve customer service.

We believe that customer service is the heart of every company, which is why we're constantly trying to share tips on how to improve user experiences. One of those ways is by maintaining constant communication with your customers every step of the purchasing process.

During checkout, give shoppers the opportunity to receive text message alerts. SMS messages inform customers when an order has been placed, a product has been shipped, or if there are changes to an existing order.

Once a customer opts into receiving text messages from your company, the opportunity to send marketing material presents itself. Most consumers who opt into SMS messaging are expecting deals and coupons, making them more likely to purchase from your company.  While 30% of consumers already interact with brands via text message (support, loyalty programs, etc.), that number is expected to grow.

SMS shows impressive click through rates.

Research shows that sending text messages to consumers tends to yield better click through rates than other forms of communication. The average click through rate of URLs included in SMS messages is 19%, compared to just 4.2% for emails. Not to mention, more text messages are read (98%) than emails (22%), Tweets (29%), and Facebook posts (12%).

SMS is a less competitive channel of communication.

While SMS has been around for years, it's surprising that many marketers have not yet jumped on the bandwagon. Statistics show that 80% of consumers have not been marketed to by their favorite brands, proving that there are plenty of opportunities for companies.

Judging by the rate at which consumers read company text messages, it's clear to see that SMS marketing tends to be more effective and audiences tend to be more engaged with brands. As a result, companies can expect higher sales and greater awareness.

For guidelines on how to build strong, successful SMS programs, take a look at the 2013 Guide to Text Messaging Regulations & Best Practices.

by Samantha Warner
Marketing Extraordinaire

Other sources: