19 SMS Marketing FAQs for Businesses
Are you new to SMS marketing?
Perhaps you're under the impression that it's something that only big box stores and businesses with extremely deep pockets have access?
Nothing could be further than the truth. Text message marketing is an affordable marketing channel, suitable for almost every business. In fact, the majority of our retail customers are small business owners operating a single location or franchise with only a handful of staff members.
Will you be next?
If you're curious about the opportunities offered by text, we highly recommend you take a few minutes to review the following article.
What is Text/SMS Message Marketing?
Text message marketing is the sending of short promotional messages to your customers via SMS (what we commonly know as “text messages”) or MMS (a combination of image and text).
Today, almost everyone in every age demographic uses text messaging and for some—specifically the 18–35 group—it's their preferred means of communication.
How Does SMS/Text Marketing Compare to Other Marketing Channels?
Very, very well.
The biggest difference between promotions sent via text and those sent by other digital channels like email and social media is the “read rate.” This is the percentage of recipients who open and read your messages or are exposed them (as in the case of posts on social media).
The average “open rate” for commercial emails in 2021 was roughly 17%, according to Smart Insights. That means for every 100 people who receive your email newsletter, only 17 people open and read it.
Social media is even worse. As an example, Facebook’s “organic reach” is pegged at around 2.5% (organic reach is the percentage of your fans or followers who have your business’ post appear in their newsfeeds). That means your promotional post reaches, on average, only 2.5 out of every 100 followers.
Comparatively, virtually every single text message is opened and read (statistics say around 97%, but with the new/unread message notification systems built into modern smart phones, I would be surprised if it's not closer to 99.99%).
As a result, there is simply no better way to get your promotions in front of your audience than by using text message marketing.
What Sort of ROI Can I Expect?
We’re often asked this question.
The truth is it’s both dishonest and unethical to guarantee a result from any text message marketing campaign.
While your audience will see your promotions, how they respond depends on a number of factors…
- Their loyalty to your business or brand.
- The depth of your relationship with them.
- Your competitiveness of your offerings.
- The appeal of your offers (are you offering discounts on items people want, or are you trying to get rid of less popular inventory?).
- The length of your customers’ buying cycle.
- The amount of disposable income they have…
… and so on.
However, with that said, it’s almost impossible not to generate a very respectable ROI from any text marketing campaign, provided your offerings are in line with your customers’ expectations.
In other words, if your clients know you for selling women’s discount clothing, you’ll do very well sending out messages promoting sales and discounts on your already competitively priced items.
Aren't Text Messages too Short to be Effective?
Short answer? No. Here's what you need to keep in mind…
Text messages are not intended to replace longer communications, like email newsletters. Instead, they are supposed to be short, concise, and easily consumed by your time-strapped recipients in just a few seconds. In other words, short is the whole point. People are busy. They appreciate short promotions.
So, to emphasize: a text message’s job is not to provide details on every item featured in your promotion. Instead, it is to get the promotion onto your customers’ radar.
If you sell anvils, for example, here is the sort of message you might send (all examples 160 characters or less)…
Acme Anvils: massive storewide sale this weekend. Save up to 40% off all inventory.
3 days only, July 1–3. No rainchecks! Reply STOP to end.
If you want to provide customers with more specifics about a promotion, insert a short link to your web site where they can get more information…
Acme Anvils: Storewide sale this weekend, July 1–3. Save up to 40% off all inventory.
For details: AcmeAnvils.ca Reply STOP to end.
Or, highlight another digital marketing channel where more details can be found…
Acme Anvils: Storewide sale this weekend, July 1–3. Save up to 40% off all inventory.
Check our e-mail for details. Reply STOP to end.
If you publish a print flyer, you can reference it as a resource for more information…
Acme Anvils: Storewide sale this weekend, July 1-3. Save up to 40% off all inventory.
Check local flyer for details. Reply Stop to end.
In all cases, your critical message—BIG SALE THIS WEEKEND—has successfully made it onto your customers’ radar. That's the important thing.
If it’s important to provide details, that’s easily done by directing them to another resource where space isn't at a premium.
How Do I Obtain My Customers' Phone Numbers?
You ask for them, much the same way you might ask for an email address to build a database of emails for an email newsletter.
Don't worry—we can help you position your texting program in such a way that it is appealing to your customers and implement systems to build your customer database on autopilot.
Who Sends the Messages?
You or a staff member does, directly from our cloud-based software application.
Overseeing your own messaging gives you the ultimate in flexibility and full control over your marketing.
Having a slow day?
Log in to your account and send a promotion to drum up some business… now. There's no waiting around trying to get someone to handle it for you.
And don’t worry, you can do this, regardless of your level of comfort with technology…
- Our system is super-simple to use.
- Effective text messages do not require creativity.
You don’t need to be a master of the written word to send effective text messages. All you need to do is follow some simple instructions and use either of our two messaging templates, which are provided here.
Can I Send Web Links in my Messages?
Our mass texting service (called “BROADCASTsms”) also allows you the option to track your link performance, measure your click through rates and even add those who actively click the links in your promotions to a special group.
You can target these “active” customers independently with special promotions (sending promotions only to the most super responsive of your customers is a great way to boost response rates while lowering your advertising costs).
Can Customers Respond to My Promotions?
We can enable your account so you can have one-to-one chats with individual customers who respond to your promotional messages.
Can I Sent Automated Promotions on Specific Days of the Week or Month?
Yes. BROADCASTsms' Follow Up module handles all of this on autopilot.
Can I Download My Customer List?
Your customer list is yours to do with as you please and you can download it from the software at anytime.
Is My Customer List Safe?
Our databases are fully encrypted with 256-bit encryption and our service is hosted in Canada in SOC 2 certified data centers.
We do not sell, lease, data mine or do anything with your customer data other than store it for use on our platform.
Who Uses Your Services?
Businesses, municipalities, social service agencies, non-profit organizations… you can see a partial list here (opens in new window).
Do I Have to Sign a Contract?
No. Our subscriptions run month to month and you may cancel anytime.
Are there Any Set Up or Cancellation Fees?
How Much to Get Started?
Subscriptions start at as little as $59.99 per month.
Affordable subscription options means that text marketing is no longer an option restricted only to big businesses. Instead, it's available to everyone.
Fun fact: the majority of our retail customers are small business owners with a single location.
I'm not Great with Computers. Will You Help Me?
We'll set up your account and do some personal onboarding to help you feel comfortable with our service, which is designed to be user-friendly and easy to use.
Is there a Guarantee?
If, after your first month's subscription, you decide that for whatever reason our service is not for you, we’ll be happy to refund your money.
Please note that we cannot make any specific promises as to the level of the success you will achieve. As with most things in life, what you will get out of our service will depend largely on what you put into it.
That said, it's in our best interests to ensure you succeed and we will do our absolute best to ensure that you do.