Is SMS the Missing Link in Your Customer Engagement Strategy?


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It’s impossible to reach today’s customer with an isolated strategy. Modern consumers are fragmented and engage with brands via a variety of mediums and connection points. If you feel like your current strategy is lacking, then you may be missing one important ingredient.

SMS: The Answer to Marketplace Fragmentation?

We live in a world that’s defined by fragmented media and communication mediums. In the past, if a brand wanted to reach consumers, there were limited options. They either pursued digital media in the form of radio or TV, or print media in the form of newspapers, billboards, magazines, etc.

Today, the explosion of digital media and the proliferation of new modes of communication makes it much tougher to reach people where they are. There’s social media, blogging, video streaming, SEO, PPC advertisements, content marketing, desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, wearable devices, smart TVs…the list goes on and on.

Unless you have a seven-figure marketing budget with ample flexibility, there’s simply no way you can cover all of these bases. Instead, you need to focus your time and attention on choosing the solutions that allow you to maximize your reach and enhance one-on-one engagement with individual customers.

Industry experts will throw a variety of solutions at you, but here’s one you may have not considered: SMS. Text messaging, while largely underutilized in the grand scheme of marketing, consistently delivers high returns. In an increasingly fragmented market, this form of mobile messaging allows brands to reach customers wherever they are.

4 Reasons to Try SMS

For many brands, the thought of SMS as a tool for increasing customer engagement is a foreign idea. But don’t worry if you don’t feel comfortable with it right now. Check out the following benefits of SMS and you’ll be ready to learn more.

  1. Higher Open Rate Than Email

The majority of businesses with any semblance of a digital marketing strategy invest at least some resources into email marketing. It’s seen as one of the staple components of digital marketing and is touted as wholly important. However, did you know that SMS actually trumps email when you look at the statistics?

“SMS marketing leads to huge returns—with average open rates of 98%, compared to 22% for email—and it’s a great way to get your business’s message in front of customers,” says Jenny Hayward of Fundera, a leading online lending platform. “Not only can you be guaranteed that more people will be reading your messages than with email, but they’re also reading—and hopefully taking action—within moments of receiving the message.”

There’s no need to ditch email marketing, but don’t these statistics clearly show that SMS should be valued alongside email? Investing in email without also considering SMS is unwise and contradictory.

  1. Instant Deliverability

The beauty of SMS is that there’s no delay between when you send a message and when it’s received. And once an SMS message notification pops up on the recipient’s device, the average message is viewed within just a few minutes.

The instant deliverability of SMS makes it an ideal solution for sending time-sensitive messages that need to be consumed quickly. Other mediums are fine, but none are as fast as SMS. That’s a fact.

  1. Super Engaging

Text messages are as engaging as it gets. Messaging can be tailored to the needs of individual subscribers and are seen as timely and relevant. Whereas a PPC advertisement may get three or four seconds of exposure from an individual, text messages live inside the user’s inbox for much longer. This means brands are able to garner more exposure for every message sent.

  1. Very Cost Effective

Many marketers fail to invest in SMS because they assume that it’s too expensive or requires a ton of additional resources. Well, this is largely a myth. SMS marketing is relatively cost effective when compared to other similar strategies.

To get an idea of just how high returning SMS can be, check out some of these case studies. As you can see, companies across different industries were able to enjoy some pretty serious returns. Carl’s Jr. made $14 in new sales for every $1 spent on one particular campaign. A New York City-based pharmacy was able to convert 73 percent of users that opted into an SMS campaign. Redbox consistently sees click rates right around 36 percent. Pretty impressive results!

Make SMS a Priority for Better Customer Engagement

In a day and age where customers are moving in a dozen directions at once, marketers need access to a method of communication that’s able to reach them, regardless of where they are. And when you consider that the average individual spends one-third of their waking hours actively using their phone, it quickly becomes apparent that this is the device brands should be targeting.

Are you prepared to jump on board?

Larry Alton
Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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