Is Online SMS Marketing Expensive?

Online marketing is ubiquitous. Emails, banner ads, and social media ads all compete for our limited attention spans. With so many brands and messages, it can be hard to create customer engagement; however, SMS marketing remains a bright spot. 

While email marketing has the lowest cost, it also has the lowest engagement rate. Other online methods of marketing, such as search engines and social media, tend to be priced based on demand for a particular demographic. 

These costs can quickly add up when targeting high-income individuals or specialised niches. This is why many companies today have realised significant cost savings with web-based text messaging.


The Basic Costs of SMS Marketing

SMS messaging rates vary widely from country to country, with rates higher outside the developing world. In the Australian market, prices range from around $0.05 to $0.08 AUD per message. Many SMS marketing providers offer tiered plans, and bulk purchasing can bring costs down even further. 

The true cost savings of SMS marketing is in its one-price-for-all model. Examining price estimates for social media marketing based on available reach and cost-per-click rates for in-demand demographics can yield some eye-watering costs. SMS, conversely, costs the same per message, whether the target customers are blue-collar families or C-suite executives. 


Additional Cost Savings Via Enhanced Engagement

Emails may go unread for days. Even when they do get seen, they are seldom opened. Furthermore, of those that are opened, the click-through rate is abysmal–typically less than 5%. That 5% figure is considered a successful email campaign by marketing standards. 

Compared to emails, SMS messages have higher open rates and faster response times. People instinctively reach for their pockets when a notification arrives, which all but guarantees that those using SMS marketing are reaching customers instantly

SMS messages are also opened more frequently–more than 90% of the time. Secondly, an average click-through rate of 10% to 20% recoups the marketing investment quickly. With such a high return on investment, SMS messaging offers several advantages over other methods. 


Send Critical Messages to Those That Need Them Most

Marketing isn’t only about sourcing new customers, but retaining and expanding existing customer relationships. Customers often appreciate the communicative nature of a business that sends an SMS notification to tell them a product is ready or remind them of an appointment or payment. 

This is especially true for large businesses where contacting customers individually would be time-consuming and costly from a customer service perspective. A customer who receives personalised SMS messages and is kept in the loop feels valued. This feeling of personal recognition drives increased loyalty and is a major factor in the decision to become a repeat customer. 


Decrease Costs by Understanding Who Is Likely to Respond

While social media advertising offers pictures, video, and sound, the statistics provided after campaigns are complete can be opaque. Platforms may display how many people are reached, but they often don’t clearly state how many times the average person saw the advertisement; they may also not provide a clear picture of who clicked through. Without advanced analytics software to determine the source of the sales, businesses are often left wondering if a customer was a walk-in or a marketing referral. 

SMS messages help to take the guesswork out of marketing. When responses come through SMS or a customer uses a specific discount code sent via SMS, marketing managers know exactly who replied. The specific targeting offered by analysing SMS data leads to lower marketing costs and increased sales. 


Time to Start Reaching Out

If you’re trying to reach a wide audience, consider SMS marketing. While text messaging is almost thirty years old, it still proves itself to be a reliable form of customer engagement–even in the face of omnipresent online alternatives.