As an entrepreneur, it is notoriously difficult to get your message out there. It’s even harder to get seen and heard in a meaningful way that doesn’t offend people. Email marketing has been the darling of entrepreneurs for years, but it’s time for something new. Something that supersedes the email and circumvents the spam folder.
SMS marketing is the perfect strategy for entrepreneurs. Here’s why…
When’s the last time you ignored an email? You can all but guarantee there is a slew of unread emails clogging up your inbox as we speak. If not, it’s only because you ruthlessly hit the Delete key whenever you scan a subject line that doesn’t catch your interest. Your Trash folder is crammed with hundreds and thousands of unread emails, the majority of which are marketing messages from businesses and entrepreneurs just like you.
Now, when’s the last time you ignored a text message?
You may not read your texts immediately, especially if you’re working, but you’re far less likely to hit the delete key and send a text to oblivion without ever reading it than you are an email.
We’re generally a lot more selective about who we give out our phone number to than we are our email address. It’s also a lot harder for people to get hold of your phone number than it is for them to obtain your email. A rogue bot crawling through a contact’s email system can easily send out a tsunami of emails to every address that person has in their contacts. More bots trawl the web collecting email addresses to use for marketing purposes.
Your email inbox is readily available to anyone with an internet connection. Your phone is another matter.
If someone is contacting you via text it’s a person or business you know, and trusted enough to hand over your digits.
SMS marketing is permission-based and must follow certain rules. Unlike email marketing, SMS marketing is 100% opt-in. Clients and prospective customers must give their explicit consent to receive SMS messages from you. New subscribers to your email list can double opt-in when they sign up, adding their mobile number and consent to receive text messages to their signup information. After they have opted in, a new subscriber receives an automatic confirmation of their subscription. If they opted-in accidentally, an immediate reply of ‘STOP’ ensures they never get another.
Open Rates & Conversion
SMS marketing campaigns have a 99% open rate. 90% percent of text messages will be read within 3 minutes.
As if those statistics weren’t encouraging enough, recent research has indicated that around one-third of people targeted via SMS marketing campaigns actually respond to correspondence. Almost half of those people will go on to purchase something.
This effectively means that one in six out of 99% of people you target via SMS marketing will convert to paying clients and business. As conversion rates go, that is phenomenally high.
For the entrepreneur struggling to get their message out there, relying on PPC advertising and email marketing campaigns with an abysmal open rate, SMS texting really is a no-brainer. When was the last time you sent an email with a 99% open rate, let alone a conversion rate of 1 in 6 on that 99%?
Succinctness Commands Attention
With only 160 characters in a text message (or 456 characters if using fastsms), you have a little longer than a Tweet to get your message across. This may sound like a downside but it’s actually incredibly powerful. Such limited space makes you very succinct by necessity. When you have a whole email to play with it’s easy to get carried away. It’s also very easy to lose people’s interest. The human attention span is getting shorter and shorter. An email containing a marketing pitch is relatively long and laborious to read, and many people don’t have the time or inclination to deal with it.
A text message, on the other hand, is nothing more than an irresistible offer. A simple marketing message followed by an easily understood call to action.
Less Competition for Your Message
Many entrepreneurs avoid SMS marketing, despite the obvious benefits. A common concern is that it can seem obnoxious. The brief text, the presumption of sending a marketing message directly to your phone – it’s certainly a concern. But consider this – which is more obnoxious: a long email, Facebook post, or wordy advert invading your computer, or a short, sweet, right to the point message that takes up as little of your time as possible?
Avoiding SMS marketing is simply leaving money out on the table. With such a high conversion rate there is no other form of marketing that can perform as well as SMS texting.
One reason so many entrepreneurs are failing to give SMS marketing the attention it deserves is that they’re afraid of breaking the rules or getting it wrong. The main rule to concern yourself with is only sending messages to people who have given you permission to do so. You can’t cold call (text?) people. You can’t obtain lists of phone numbers and randomly add them to your marketing campaign.
More importantly, the fact someone has given you their number does not equate to consent. You must have their permission to use that number for marketing purposes. This is a really important rule, and breaking it has serious consequences, but that rule is really very simple: don’t send messages to people who haven’t knowingly opted into your text messaging service. As rules go it’s an easy one to keep straight, just be honest with your contacts – and yourself.
As far as getting it wrong goes, it’s deceptively simple to get it right. You have 456 characters. Use them for a strong offer followed by a call to action that can be actioned from within the message.
Longevity & Popularity
There are no signs of SMS marketing losing its popular status or effectiveness. In fact, it’s rapidly gaining popularity with each passing year.
It’s easy to see how SMS marketing could prove to be the superior strategy for the entrepreneur. It’s as easy to have people opt-in to a text messaging service as it is to get them to sign up to your email list. You can use the same form. You likely already have the infrastructure in place to manage SMS marketing, it will just take a little tweaking. Better yet, this isn’t an either/or option.
You can take advantage of the amazing power of SMS marketing in addition to your existing marketing efforts. They will complement your overall strategy, and provide an additional means of generating revenue.
Revenue streams are like gold dust for the entrepreneur. The question is not ‘can you afford to try SMS marketing?’, but ‘can you afford not to?’.
Contact FastSMS today to find out more about how SMS marketing could be your smartest marketing move yet.