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SMS is a must-have channel for everyone looking to stay ahead of marketing trends. Shoppers today are searching for engaging mobile-first experiences, and brands that succeed in delivering those experiences will outshine their competitors and win the long-term loyalty of their customers.
Texting is how modern consumers prefer to interact with their favourite brands. According to a recent Yotpo survey, 72% of British shoppers say they are already signed up for at least one brand’s text marketing program, while 30% say they prefer SMS to other marketing channels.
So if you haven’t tried text marketing yet, but are curious about its benefits, check out these five reasons why SMS is your go-to marketing channel in 2022.
SMS sparks engaging, two-way conversations
One-way communication channels between consumers and brands are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Nowadays, shoppers crave personalized two-way experiences that cater to their wants and needs.
SMS enables businesses to engage with potential customers in real time and provide tailored product recommendations. Take new subscribers, for example: once they sign up for your SMS program, you can greet them with a welcome message to initiate a conversation. Use this opportunity to ask about their interests or product preferences to learn more about them. What is their favourite scent? What type of shampoo do they need: for straight or curly hair? Based on their answers, you can divide shoppers into dedicated lists and retarget them later on with personalized offers. Adding a small incentive such as a 5% discount on their first purchase will quickly turn these new SMS subscribers into dedicated customers. All this, on autopilot.
You can also use text messages to send timely shipping updates or receive valuable feedback from shoppers. Integrate your SMS program with your preferred help desk solutions to offer stellar customer support experiences and easily manage all requests in one place.
Being engaged in a direct, 1:1 conversation with a brand helps to build trust, nurture loyalty, and create a seamless buying experience for every shopper.
SMS creates ultra-personalised experiences
As shifting consumer privacy policies hinder effective targeting on channels such as email and Facebook, there is still one medium that allows for deep personalisation: SMS. As SMS is based on zero- and first-party data, it has quickly become a must-have for many brands that want to maintain close and meaningful relationships with their customers.
Personalisation will help you drive sales and boost loyalty. And the stats confirm it — over 50% of British shoppers say they find texts from brands more engaging if they are relevant to their interests or past purchases.
With text marketing, you can easily collect valuable data about shoppers’ demographics, behaviour, and purchase history. Furthermore, having a direct line of communication with your customers helps you get important information that they share willingly and proactively, such as product preferences. Use this data later on to offer ultra-personalized customer experiences. This goes beyond “typical” personalization because SMS makes it possible to approach customers with their first names regarding a product they just bought from you and extend a time-sensitive cross-sell offer, i.E., “Hey Jane, how did you like your new dress? Match it with a dazzling pair of shoes, now at 15% off”.
Engage with your SMS subscribers at least a few times a month, as the more they interact with your brand, the more actionable customer data and insights you’ll gain. With an advanced SMS marketing platform like Yotpo SMSBump, you can create unique segments of shoppers and approach them with tailored offers so that every message you send feels exclusive and relevant to them, which will ultimately lead to higher conversion rates.
SMS elevates your entire marketing strategy
SMS is a powerful channel with amazing strengths all on its own. It enjoys an astounding open rate of 98%, and over 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes. But SMS is not meant to replace your other marketing programs and efforts. Rather, it should be paired with the rest of your marketing stack to create a coherent customer experience.
For example, SMS is the perfect complement to your loyalty program, allowing you to reward your VIP customers with exclusive and personalised experiences. Send them a text message to celebrate their loyalty milestones, offer a sneak peek at your new collection, or give early access to your upcoming flash sale. You can also use SMS to notify them about the points they’ve earned so far, or how many more they need to reach the next VIP tier — 34% of British shoppers say they would be more likely to complete a purchase if they receive a text about the points or rewards they will earn from it.
Another excellent example of how text marketing can fit into your overall strategy is the powerful synergy between SMS and email. Pair those two channels to extend your reach and boost customer engagement. Use newsletters to present beautifully curated on-brand content, showcase your new product collection, or make an important company announcement. SMS, on the other hand, is perfect for more brief, actionable, and timely messages, such as time-sensitive offers, personalized discounts, and more. You can even use one channel to direct attention to the other — send a text to tell subscribers to check their inbox for a new deal or important announcement, or send an email offering a coupon to anyone who signs up for SMS.
Via SMS, brands can also collect valuable user-generated content from their audiences. After your customer completes and receives their purchase, send an automated text message to request a review of the product. Stats show that review requests sent via SMS have a 66% higher conversion rate than those sent via email. Along with reviews, you can collect customer photos to showcase online in shoppable galleries.
SMS reaches shoppers everywhere
Consumers today spend over four hours per day on their mobile devices, and SMS is the most efficient and reliable way to engage them there. They don’t need an internet connection to access their messages, and can read the text before even unlocking their screens.
Plus, SMS delivery is practically instant, taking seconds, or even milliseconds, to reach its recipient wherever they are in the world. Yotpo SMSBump offers expansive international coverage (think US, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, and beyond) and unmatched deliverability, so you can truly text without limits. That, coupled with the best-in-class SMS deliverability engine, ensures your messages reach every customer in the right place, at the right time.
So if you are a global brand, or you simply have customers in other countries, your marketing communication strategies can be global too.
SMS is a marketer-friendly channel
SMS can be your greatest asset in 2022 not only because it is a mobile-first, customer-first, and privacy-first channel, but also because it is extremely marketer-friendly, especially if you choose the right partner.
On one hand, you have all the resources you need to make agile and informed decisions about your overall marketing strategy. With Yotpo SMSBump’s advanced solutions, you can set up powerful and cost-effective SMS campaigns in just a few clicks, using a wide variety of built-in templates and examples.
On the other hand, you have access to experts who can guide you every step of the way, from initial setup to maximising the ROI of your SMS campaigns. Yotpo SMSBump’s dedicated strategists will work with you to build a tailored SMS program based on your brand’s unique needs and goals. With their expert knowledge of SMS marketing best practices, they can help you develop your SMS strategy, grow a healthy subscriber list, craft the most engaging messaging for your audience, and more.
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SMS Is An Advertising Giant That Keeps Growing
In a world of ever more complex ad solutions, there is one communications channel that is still growing and it still so powerful: SMS text messaging — a mobile/digital service that many media planners and buyers might well overlook without your telling them the facts.
Despite competition from many angles, the somewhat humble SMS is still going strong. SMS is still big business, and it is hard to see other messaging platforms making any inroads into its dominance for some time to come. And this creates so many opportunities for brands to exploit, e.G., messages with e-commerce links, discount coupons, promotions, coupon collections for loyalty, timed informational messages. The list is almost endless.
SMS is an older yet still applicable platform for advertising. SMS is an older yet still applicable platform for advertising.
SMS has been around now for many years now, long before the invention of the iPhone (which, incidentally, came out in 2007). And I always think of the SMS service in the same way print newspapers are sometimes viewed — an old platform that’s not too relevant in today’s multi-channel, complex digital advertising world.
This perception though is far from the truth.
SMS is still relevant
Our recent INMA master class on print innovation showed print is alive and well — not only still hugely relevant today but, for many, a cornerstone to the offerings we make.
The same goes for SMS. People use it, like it, and know it well. It is still relevant and useful. And we overlook it at our peril.
Mobile industry research from the UK’s leading SMS platform provider, TextAnywhere, has shown that more than half of UK consumers, for instance, have no unread messages on their phone at any point in time — meaning, of course, that more than half of people read all their text messages.
The TextAnywhere survey questioned 1,000 consumers about their mobile messaging behaviours to give an insight into their phone activity. The findings revealed over half (60%) of respondents feel they must open a message once it’s been received, whilst over a quarter (28%) have just one to five messages marked as “unread.”
It is predicted that users send more than 6 million texts over the course of their lifetime, and so SMS will be a key advertising and marketing tool for e-commerce businesses in the future.
SMS remains an anchor for digital communications: 90% of people open their text messages at some point, with more than half within a couple of minutes of receiving them.
Over 7 billion mobile users by next year
Add that to the fact that there will be 7.26 billion mobile phones users by 2023, it’s easy to see why SMS messaging remains appealing. Communications giant Infobip, which operate in the SMS, e-mail, voice and Whatsapp arenas worldwide, sent out a massive 4.23 billion messages last year during the Black Friday sales period across all channels. SMS was the most-used channel (1.7 billion messages sent).
SMS is still alive and well … and thriving. The future key to success though will be how creative we can be with the channel as customers become more savvy, more demanding, and smarter on how to opt out of things that don’t catch their attention.
Just be sure you don’t bombard customers with too many messages. Send your messages at a convenient/relevant time of day and be creative in the call to action and presentation.
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Good luck !!!