Do you like to be told you’ll fail? Didn’t think so. Most people don’t, especially from people they’ve turned to for help.
So it was surprising to me to find an article written by the Founder and CEO of another SMS messaging service, I’ll call him Bob, insisting small businesses can’t succeed with SMS marketing (the company is from the U.S., but is planning to launch in the UK soon. We don’t like to speak badly of competitors, even future ones, so I’m won’t mention the company name). After years of offering the service to SMEs, Bob has thrown up his hands and given up – on small businesses.
Here are the reasons he claims SMEs can’t succeed, and why we believe you can:
- Small marketing budgets. Small businesses have small marketing budgets. This’s a fact, but it doesn’t put SMS marketing out of reach. Of course it depends on who you choose to partner with for your SMS marketing. Bob’s company had a relatively high monthly fee with limited message credits. We offer a variety of message credit packages with no monthly fees at all. A small business can easily plan their campaign and purchase just what they need without throwing money away every month the service isn’t used.
- The rules are too complicated. A compliant SMS marketing campaign does need to follow specific guidelines, especially in the regulation happy U.S. Most small businesses will also have a solicitor to help them understand the requirements. However, to say the rules are too complicated is going a bit far. Permission-based marketing isn’t new. Many small businesses also use email marketing and are familiar with the concepts of opt in, opt out, and why they need them. In the UK, SMS messaging falls under the same guidelines as email or other electronic communications. This really isn’t a reason for failing. Any company serious about using SMS marketing can craft a compliant campaign.
- SMEs don’t know how to plan a successful marketing campaign. This “reason” is just stereotypical nonsense. Marketing is hard. It can be hard for any size business, but especially for SMEs where employees may be wearing many hats. But that doesn’t mean categorically SMEs can’t run successful marketing campaigns. Bob’s justification of this point is that it isn’t practical for his business to offer marketing assistance to SMEs for the “low” monthly fee he charges. This brings me back to point number one – choose the right partner for your marketing. Find one, like fastsms, that’s invested in your success and not just collecting monthly fees.
- SMEs need to invest in equipment to measure and track effectiveness. We’ll be the first to confirm any marketing campaign needs to be tracked so you can determine how effective it was. But again Bob put the pressure back on the SMEs to purchase integrated point of sale systems (POS) – integrated with his SMS service – in order to track effectiveness. Not every marketing campaign is designed to promote in store sales where a POS system would be used. In addition, his argument makes it clear his service doesn’t offer analytics on the messages his service sends (at least not at the SME package prices he describes in the article). Reporting on your campaigns should be included in the SMS service you choose. If it’s integrated into your POS system then it’s even better, but that shouldn’t be a requirement to track how well your campaign worked.
You’ve probably spotted the theme here: it matters who you choose as an SMS provider. There are companies out there content to take your money as long as you’re willing to give it. Then there are companies striving to offer great products and services to help your business grow.
So whatever happened to Bob’s company? Were there any repercussions to his declaration about small businesses? It’s hard to say, but since the article was published his company website (U.S.
version) now offers only enterprise level services with enterprise pricing. Small businesses need not apply.
Have questions about using SMS marketing for your small business? We’re standing by waiting for your call or email. You can call us at 0800 954 5305 or email us using the form at the bottom of the page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.