5 Ways SMS Marketing Helps Small Businesses Win

Up until the late 90’s consumers congregated across limited channels typically TV, radio, newspaper so it was fairly easy to get to them but today the market is fragmented, it’s a mess, consumers hangout on search, social media, email, websites/blogs, news sites, YouTube and now mobile which spreads the marketing budget even thinner.

But even with all of the new ways to advertise a lot of the same marketing issues are present:

  • Which of my marketing is actually working?
  • Which advertising will give me the highest response rates?
  • How can I market to consumers with less competitive threat?
  • What is next big marketing trend I need to pay attention to?

In this post I’ll share with you how SMS marketing intrinsically answers these problems to help you achieve higher response rates, reduces competition, tells you which campaign is working and helps you take advantage of the biggest marketing trend…mobile.


I don’t know what marketing is actually working…

“Half of my marketing is working; I just don’t know which half…”

This is a classic joke in business but when I speak to business owners this still rings true!

If you don’t have a luxury of an open marketing budget then the majority of your efforts should be focused on advertising that can be accurately measured for ROI.

How does SMS make it easy to track?

Finding out if your SMS marketing has worked or not is fairly straightforward and organic, for example just by sending out a standard promotional offer that requests a reply gives you trackable data:

Text “50off” to 89898 to get 50% off your next hearing check this month only.

This campaign will show you the exact number of leads generated and by combining actual sales volume tells you how successful that specific campaign was.


Low engagement and response rates

Getting your marketing seen and then acted upon is crucial in marketing, even with the best offer and creative, low engagement rates can sink a campaign.

Email is one of the primary marketing tools uses by businesses to help generate leads, build awareness around new offerings and improve sales but email marketers are constantly trying to find ways to improve their open and click-through rates.

Typically they’ll achieve around 20% and if they have a hyper-responsive list they achieve around 40% – that’s not bad for email in fact, I’ve achieved 22% and 41% for two different companies and no matter what I tried I couldn’t break those percentages.

What about click-through rates?

The typical click-through rate for an email campaign sits at around 4.2%.

I used to be an email marketing specialist and I can tell you that the time and effort it takes to design, create content and testing to make sure all of the elements are working properly just to achieve those response rates is sickening.

This is why you need to have a large email list to make it worth it.

How does SMS measure up?

When you compare email marketing to SMS marketing the response rates aren’t even close, there is an ocean of difference between the two channels.

SMS, on the other hand, offers open rates of around 97% and a click-through rate of up to 19%.

It gets better.

On average, it takes a person 90 minutes to respond to an email, but it only takes 90 seconds for them to respond to a text message.

When you receive an SMS there’s more urgency to see who it was that sent you a message so you’re always going to have people open up your messages shortly after your campaign goes out.

Too much competition

Pay-Per Click
PPC costs are largely dependent on what your competition is willing to pay. If your competition has deeper pockets they could increase bid prices across the board making everyone pay more.

Search Engines
Google & Bing only have 10 positions available with competitors fighting hard to get on that first-page search results.

Email Marketing
Email is free to send which means that your customer’s inbox is inundated with countless emails from direct and indirect competition.

Banner Advertising
Banner ads are everywhere and people have become so used to them they unconsciously filter them out (banner blindness) making repetition key. To win here you need to spend more money for more impressions and/or get into premium spots that capture more attention from website visitors.

Social Media Marketing
Social media is similar to email in that people are getting hit with new updates every other second. In order to gain special attention here, you need to re-post frequently and/or create loads of content.

There’s a lot of noise out there and for small business, it’s tough to compete.

How does SMS combat competition?

Bulk SMS is one of the last level playing grounds where small business can outmaneuver big business for only a few cents per SMS.

• Everyone pays the same amount of money and gets the same 160 character limit.
• There are no “premium spots” to purchase for those who have deeper pockets.
• There is no ranking algorithm where your competition skips the line.

Consumers are careful about subscribing to SMS lists since it is a more personal private channel than email for example, so if you do get a subscriber you will not have a lot (if any) competition to deal with.


Getting past spam filters and ad blockers

One of the big headaches as a marketer is removing key elements of a campaign for fear of it being rejected by an ad network, thrown into the trash by spam filters.

Today’s consumer also has ad blocker software on their browser so that all of that work won’t even get seen by some.

How does SMS get around spam filters and ad blocking technology?

The good news is that there are no ad-blockers, SPAM filters or ad networks governing your ad copy which means when you send 500 SMS messages then 500 will be delivered.

Keep in mind that there are of course SPAM laws you need to be aware of which are different in each country these are typically getting explicit permission to market to them (like email) and having a way for people to unsubscribe.


Keeping up with marketing trends

Smartphone usage is growing rapidly with 85% of adult’s in the UK using smartphones in 2017 up 33% from 2012.

This steep growth curve means companies now have to adjust to new mobile advertising technology if they want to monetise it effectively.

But most small and mid-sized business owners haven’t got the time or resources to keep up to date on emerging mobile technology.

How does SMS measure up?

SMS technology, on the other hand, is almost 30 years old and is becoming even more relevant for business (due to consumer mobile usage) and has almost zero learning curve – if you’ve ever texted another person then you have 90% of what it takes to run an SMS marketing campaign.

This means that you can sign-up and start generating leads on day 1.

Not only does SMS work with the latest smartphones it still works with standard mobile phones that can only call and text.

Text messaging only requires that your customer have mobile phone coverage.


What makes SMS one of the highest response channels in marketing?

Consumers bounce from dozens of different channels including search (SEO, AdWords, Bing etc.), social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter etc.) to traditional media (TV, radio etc.) and as a marketer, the goal is to find out which channels to go after.

Today, consumers use their mobile phones for search, social and traditional media making mobile the dominant channel.

By using business SMS you can go right to their inbox no ad blockers or search rankings to deal with and because it’s a highly personal channel your response rates are higher making SMS arguably the highest response marketing tool available to business.

If you’d like to learn more about SMS marketing then check our SMS Marketing Guide and SMS Marketing Tips.