It’s the time of year where we are all getting ready for celebrations. Before we all raise our glasses to the end of this year and begin the merry Auld Lang Syne dance, we look back on 2016 in SMS tech whilst thinking ahead to what will be the most popular trends of 2017. As it stands, in excess of 63% of consumers have a mobile phone and are responsive to SMS marketing, with these figures set to increase throughout next year. Big brands are investing large amounts of their marketing budget on SMS messaging, which means SMS will become more influential than ever.
Setting New Year’s resolutions for your business can be risky since it feels like you’re only really setting yourself up to fail. It’s much better instead to try and focus on one achievable goal and do everything to succeed and improve in that area. With its meteoric rise to popularity and outstanding success in 2016, businesses should be using 2017’s welcome reprise to integrate SMS marketing into their business development strategy.
Some trends we expect to see continue to succeed in 2017 include those listed below, and building on these will help you to connect with customers in the right ways. Ultimately, SMS providers are going to see an increase in companies investing in SMS marketing efforts in response to the impressive surge we have seen in recent years. Immediate, personal, targeted and relevant, SMS messaging is the method of marketing that will rule 2017 and beyond. Finding out how best your company can use these trends to create a seamless customer experience will see your brand boosted and sales rise.
AI, Automation and SMS
Siri, Cortana and Watson have pioneered AI or chatbot technology via their respective companies for some time now and having established this connection with customers, we will see a lot more of this pairing between automation and SMS marketing in 2017. Chat apps and technologies remain pertinently more popular than many social media networks overall in digital marketing, which means that we are used to the pace at which conversations develop using SMS messaging, and customers are used to it too. Businesses can use this to inform best practice. Fastsms offers the option of pre-programming and automation, giving customers instant information regarding the company and contributing to a positive customer journey.
Whether you decide to give your automated messages a source name and character depends both on your company and client base, but it is important to remember that convenience and connection are the keys to a successful SMS marketing operation. Deploying this function to recognise specific questions and respond to them accordingly means customers are getting their responses immediately, which creates an excellent customer journey. Furthermore, it is easily scalable, making the use of ‘bots’ or automated correspondence an effective business choice.
SMS - The Millennials' Choice Contact
Whatever industry you are in, the option to connect with consumers through text messaging is giving you the most direct and preferred method for business contact. Quick, easy and efficient, many target audience millennials revel in the convenience of text messaging, so whether it be appointment reminders, offers, discounts or deals, communicating through SMS messaging is both addressing their preference, whilst allowing you to build a dialogue in real time. Consumers have tired of apps already, many citing that they feel they don’t provide enough value, whereas business messaging is still relatively new, convenient and provides the holy grail of optimised UX.
SMS Over Social
Mobile messaging of any description remains popular and this trend will continue throughout 2017, with Snapchat being a key platform to watch. Instagram’s recent copying of their interface is a remarkable sign of its success, and yet SMS will still reign supreme in 2017 even over the mighty Facebook Messenger. People ultimately prefer their social to be social and many prefer to engage with business via text messaging. Mail shots in traditional postal form ranked higher than both Twitter and Facebook when it comes to receiving business notifications. The bottom line is that businesses can reach all customers with a mobile phone via texting; whereas this is not possible for any other network. If through sign up you can get customers to agree to your business having their mobile phone number, then you have opened a communication channel that will supersede any other throughout 2017.
When Will The Inbox Be Inundated?
As it stands, businesses are not wholly utilising this method of connection. So unlike the tired old email inbox, a text messaging inbox may contain only about 0-5 messages from business in any average week. As we look to the near future, by 2025, around an enormous 50 percent of the text messages are likely to come from business sources. We touched upon the notion that SMS can reach all handsets, and also customers prefer this method of contact for its ease, convenience and personalised messaging, which are contributing to the increased popularity, which will continue to take off in 2017. Since text messaging continues growing at a super fast rate, and shows no signs of letting up thanks to its innovative adapting to new technologies and its ongoing relevance, the idea that businesses will be inundating the SMS inbox eventually seems entirely convincing. You need to work on making sure that your company is one of the pioneers, and build connection and loyalty at this early stage, before the market and inbox become saturated.
If you want to get an SMS-centric 2017 off to an optimistic, strong start, contact Fastsms today. We can help you implement an SMS marketing strategy that will get your business off the ground and your customers more engaged with your services/products than ever.