SMS or text messaging is ubiquitous. This is one of the primary reasons marketers use it to grow their business. However, there are still marketers who are hesitant to use it because of false beliefs about its effectiveness.
In this article, we will go looking into some common misconceptions about SMS marketing and lay down the real deal about them.
Misconception #1: SMS Marketing is Spamming
The idea that SMS marketing is equivalent to spamming your customers is arguably the number one reason businesses aren’t using it. This misconception traces its roots to the early days of SMS, where unscrupulous marketers send SMS to just about anyone.
Today, SMS marketing is guided by a set of rules, primarily the one that requires the customer’s permission to receive text messages from your business.
You will find that SMS marketing is very effective once you get your customers permission to send them SMS such as promotional messages, product updates, and event announcements. Research has shown that 86%, 82%, and 77% of consumers in the US, Europe, and Asia, respectively, opt in to receive SMS notifications. This means that your branded texts are received by an audience that genuinely look forward to receiving updates about your brand.
Misconception #2: You Can Send as Many SMS as You Want to Your Customers
Technically, yes, you can send as many SMS as you want to your target audience. Ethically, this is a big no-no. Some businesses make the mistake of sending a ton of SMS to their customers every month. Majority of your customers will now consider this spamming, even if they gave your business their permission to send them SMS messages.
Worse, you might face penalties for spamming. There have been class action lawsuits filed against large brands for sending unsolicited text messages to their customers. It is important to remember that you can only send text messages to your target audience if they opted in to receive alerts and only for the purpose that they agreed to. For example, if they only opted to receive SMS for appointment reminders and your business sends them a promotional text message, it can be grounds for spamming.
Although 3 out of 4 people prefer to receive promotional messages via SMS, don’t overdo it. They are likely to unsubscribe from your list the moment you bombard them with too much SMS. In a case study by Upland, unsubscribe rates increased from 10% to 40% as soon as the branded text messages became too frequent. Not sure if your brand is texting too much? The rule of thumb is to send one or two SMS a month.
Misconception #3: SMS Marketing is Not Interactive
Many marketers make the wrong conclusion that SMS marketing is a one-way communication. Nowadays, SMS gateway providers can help you set up a two-way SMS short code, which is the number that appears on the recipient’s phone when they receive their message. They can reply to your messages received from these short codes.
For example, the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) allows select cardholders to easily avail of loans by replying to the text message they send as part of the BPI S.I.P. Loan campaign.
You can also ask your SMS gateway provider to mask these short codes using your business name. For example, let’s say your short code is 123456 and your business name is SHOP ABC. When your customer receives your SMS, it will show on their phone that the sender is SHOP ABC instead of the short code 123456. Even better, most SMS gateway provider provide the masking functionality as a free feature if you can commit to a minimum total monthly volume of SMS sent.
Data privacy is a big concern for businesses that are new to SMS marketing. If your business is considering including SMS in your marketing strategy, it’s important to begin this journey with a digital agency you can trust. Reach out to us via http://adspark.ph/contact-us and we’d be happy to help you.