Is Online SMS Marketing Expensive?

Is Online SMS Marketing ExpensiveThis question depends more on your business than on the actual costs to send an SMS which is anywhere from 5-8 cents (AUD) per recipient sent and is being used by individuals, companies, not-for-profit, affiliates to name a few.

But as with anything, there are other variables to consider to decide whether or not online SMS is expensive.


Online SMS vs. Digital Marketing

Each year, as more and more businesses use marketing the fewer impressions/inventory there is ultimately leading to higher prices.

Here the average cost per click prices across industries:

  • Google Search ads: $2.69
  • Google Display ads: $0.63
  • Facebook Ads CPC: $1.72
  • Instagram ads: $3.56
  • YouTube ads: $3.21
  • Average CPM for YouTube ads: $9.68

Obviously, these costs can skyrocket depending on your industry, for example, if you’re a lawyer then you could easily be paying $30+ per click.

Of course that is one side of the value equation, if you’re selling high margin products/services then $30 per click can be a bargain.


It’s tough to compare online SMS to online ads since ads are about acquiring new customers, whereas SMS is like email, where the goal is to drive revenue from exsiting customers but at a constant price of 5-8 cents per send per recipient it’s hard to look past text messaging.


Online SMS vs. Email Marketing

Email marketing is great because you can send unlimited emails every month which is the thing that a lot of companies like as well as near unlimited customisation options.

The costs for emails (especially for well-designed ones) are higher than most realise.

You’ve got the monthly cost, which is actually based on your total subscriber numbers.

You pay that price regardless of how many “dead”, fake or unresponsive (people who never open your emails) email addresses there are. This is why “list hygiene” is essential to email, the job is to reduce waste and improve ROI.

Copywriters: these are the people who come up with and text different subject lines, hooks, and sales copy to try and squeeze 2-5% more opens and click-throughs.

Designers: these are the people who design the graphics for that email campaign. Again, the goal is to get people to click on products.

Coders: while most email platforms come with ready-made templates, oftentimes companies will need more customisation to fit in with their brand, so coders are there to twiddle and tweak the code behind the email to get it to look right from a brand perspective but also to have it work on different devices, desktop, mobile, tablets, etc.

Proofing rounds: this is a testing round that is sent to certain people in the company to check, images, graphics, copy, grammar, links, etc.

Before an email has even been sent out the door, you’ve racked up hundreds of dollars.

On top of that, only 18% (low-end) and 40% (high-end) are actually opening your emails. So anywhere from 40-80% of your email campaigns are going into the bin.

Online SMS is a lot more simple in nature so you don’t need any of those specialists.

All you need is to write a few words, you still need to check for spelling mistakes but you’re only dealing with 160 characters of text so it only takes a few seconds to review.

There’s no code to worry about, or sales copy specialists.

In fact, you can pull someone off the street and have them send out a text message and get open rates even the best marketers on the planet could dream of for only a few cents per send.


SMS Has Constant Pricing

While online advertising and content costs continue to soar and fluctuate, online SMS tends to stay around the same prices, for example, at 160 we haven’t changed our pricing in years.

It doesn’t matter if you want to send one SMS or thousands you’ll still be paying the same price per recipient.

On top of that you get a lot of advantages, that most other marketing channels fall short on for example:

High engagement rates: 90-98% of people will open your text message that’s 2-4x that of email. Would this have a direct impact on sales to have 2-4 times more people being exposed to your message?

Not Digital: Also, online SMS is not actually digital marketing, which means there are no spam algorithms to worry about, no social media platforms changing their policies, or email reputation scores limiting your send rates.

High Delivery Rate: getting your message into the inbox is the name of the game, unfortunately, spam algorithms are incredibly aggressive, and most emails are sent to the promotions tab in Gmail or junk folder on other platforms. SMS has a near 100% delivery rate.

Low Competition: Imagine being able to message people where your competitors have no influence. It’s likely that your customers inbox has none of your competitors messaging them.