SMS Marketing And Why It Matters For Online Retailers
If you run an online retail store, you rely on the internet to run pretty much every aspect of your business and it naturally follows that the obvious way to communicate with your customers is also by online methods such as email or social media, particularly for marketing campaigns. Yet you also know that you and every other internet user out there are both pressured for time and swamped by emails, with the result that many emails go unread and are simply ignored or deleted by the recipient. This means that many of your marketing emails will fall by the wayside and merely represent lost effort. Meanwhile, it may not have even occurred to you to look into the benefits of SMS Marketing.
Email is still an effective and important method of communication in the right time and place but some marketing campaigns may be more effective when channelled through other media. Think about your target audience; if it’s business to business (B2B) then email is still the preferred option for most B2B marketing and communication, but when it comes to business to consumer (B2C) sales, SMS text message statistics show it consistently outperforms email marketing.
If you read MailChimp’s (an industry leading email marketing platform) statistics reports from earlier this year, they report that open rates for emails hover around 20% on average. That’s 1 in 5 emails actually opened in the first place. The click rate? Around 2% average. That’s 1 in 50.
The open rates for SMS messages? Around 98%. This is because people don’t tend to ignore text messages. After all, their phone is usually close to them 24/7 and it takes seconds to read. Although data on click through rates differ depending on what you read, it appears to be around 35% to 40%.
With Ofcom reporting in 2015 that 93% of UK adults owning a mobile phone and 66% of them being smartphones able to access the internet, mobile phones are now the number one device used in the UK above laptops and PCs. And mobile phones usually go wherever their owner goes.
As if these statistics weren’t promising enough, there are other benefits SMS text messaging has over email marketing:
Benefits of SMS Marketing
- Less Work: Emails tend to require more effort in putting them together, they need to be worded well, involve creative design to make them eye-catching and ensured that they are compatible across mail clients. SMS messages have to be kept short, don’t require additional design work and are compatible over all devices capable of receiving texts – whether they are smartphones or just a basic handset.
- Quality Over Quantity: Because SMS messages are limited to 160 characters, you need to get to the point quick. This makes you focus on what’s really important and discard the rest while emails can contain a lot of ‘filler’ content that many readers won’t read through.
- Less is More: The more emails you send, the more likely someone will read and respond. With SMS text messages, you do not want to send too many as this will risk irritating the customer. Most SMS campaigns can keep the client returning on less than 5 messages per month.
Of course, this is all very positive information but how could SMS text messaging be applied practically to boost your online retail business? Here are some tried and tested ideas you could use:
SMS Marketing to boost your business
- Discounts: Customers love feeling like they have special access to a bargain. Send customers a text with a simple discount code to use on their next online purchase through your website.
- Special Offers: Relay offers such as deal of the week, buy one get one free or free gift with purchase over a certain value. Again, all can be summed up in a short text providing a code to enter into your website’s shopping cart.
- Sales: Notify customers of sales, be it end-of-season, stock clearance or a flash sale. A simple text announcing the type and dates of sale can help to direct more customers to the sale website when they otherwise may have missed it from not checking their emails or online recently.
- Loyalty Programs: Keep customers informed of their points tally and send them rewards for being part of the club. Or just reward them for being a loyal SMS subscriber. Customers like to feel that their loyalty is being recognised and rewarded.
- New Lines/Products: Inform regular customers when you have new items due to come in or in stock and give them the website link to view. A simple example would be: ‘’Winter 2017 ladies footwear arriving 1st Sept. Click link for range preview’’ Tap into those who like to be first to have the latest items.
- Order & Delivery Status: As courier companies get ever more tech savvy, customers expect more than ever to be kept informed of their order status. SMS texts can relay the information quickly wherever the customer may be.
- News & Tips: Upsell and provide great customer service by sending links to relevant and interesting topics related to the products you sell. For example, if you sell cycling accessories then you could send something like ‘‘Winter’s coming. Top tips and products to make sure you and your bike are ready, click link (to your website)’’.
SMS Marketing vs Email – Which is Cheaper?
SMS text messaging marketing can seem slightly more expensive than emails, but because it returns higher read and response rates, then the return on investment rates will compare very favourably. As with any other direct marketing, the customer’s consent is required by law, but if you are already emailing customers, you should be familiar with the rules.
Ultimately, what approach will suit you best is for you to decide depending on your type of business and your customer base, but the ultimate goal for any online business is to increase your reach to potential customers and to maximise opportunities for response and conversion rates. Including SMS text messaging within a combined multi-method marketing approach could really help to significantly strengthen your sales and ROI.
At Fastsms, we are passionate about helping businesses of every shape and size succeed with our competitively priced business bulk SMS messaging solutions. To find out more about how we can help you to grow, call now on 0800 945 5305.
For many businesses it's often a knee-jerk reaction to create an app, or to run mobile ads, or to start an SMS list. But without really understanding what it’s all about, you can waste a lot of time and money before realising what you actually need to do.
Discover how to come up with an SMS marketing campaign in this article which looks under the surface of some of the UK's most successful ever SMS marketing campaigns. Whether you are looking to boost revenue, improve customer satisfaction or help your brand stand out with a unique and memorable promotion, this article shows how a simple approach to SMS messaging can work wonders for your company.
If you are the owner-manager of a UK retail business, then you will know that it’s vital to use every weapon you have available to battle with the big guns on the high street and online. That must include embracing all the advantages modern technology provides, including a communications campaign based on the Short Message Service (SMS) – better known as text messages. Not sure what SMS is about and how it will work for your shop? Then read on, because you are missing a golden opportunity to give your small shop a much bigger presence and outreach.
Have you seen articles telling you SMS marketing can’t be used to acquire new customers? Or that it isn’t a good way to so? Don’t believe them. You just have to know how to use SMS to get new people to sign up for your list. Read on to find out how.
Last year footfalls for some high street shops dropped during the Black Friday weekend. Even though the UK spent a record breaking £1.1B, some saw their in-store sales slump. Find out the three things retailers need to do to get customers to come back.
Loyalty and rewards programs can help your business retain your best customers. But they only work if customers see your messages and can check their reward status. A new survey shows most people prefer companies use to SMS for loyalty programs. Find out why in this blog.
Mobile Marketer is holding the mCommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce 2016 today in New York City. And you'll get to find out what happens when I get back and write about it next week. But today, I'm going to give you a sneak peak at what I'm seeing in New York at this moment. Before I do though, be sure to check our fastsms Twitter feed throughout the day. I'll be sharing the best tidbits as they come up in each session as they happen.
SMS marketing is not quite like most other marketing. You have such a limited space to get your point across, just 160 characters, more or less. It’s not unlike having to create a print advert for a small space, but somehow it can seem more intimidating. That’s why sometimes it seems like marketers forget one basic rule about writing offers: Always lead with the offer! Sounds simple, right?
It’s said over and over that SMS is one of the most personal forms of communications today. That’s mainly because people guard their mobile numbers and only give them out to those they think worthy of them. So anyone who has opted into your SMS messaging has indeed invited you into their personal world.