You might have heard about SMS marketing and thought it wasn’t for you. Maybe you’re unconvinced by this method of reaching customers and are just not sure it could help your business thrive.
But any business, big or small, can benefit from an online SMS service and the facts are plain to see.
Independent research has shown that using business text messaging gets your message in front of more people than emails, pay per click or even outdoor advertising. The best part about SMS services is that they are measurable – you can see straight away where your messages are going and which segments of your customer base are engaging with your content the most. The open rate is better, the response is faster and the message is clear and concise.
Still not sure? We’ve put together some facts about using an SMS provider in the UK and how SMS marketing gets you results every time.
1. More Mobile, Less Desktop
Anyone knows that more people are using their phones to access the internet rather than a desktop or laptop but you might be surprised at how big the gap is and how fast it is growing. Every year since smartphones first burst onto the market, users are relying on them for everything – so much so that phone calls are actually just one of the functions your phone can perform.
Last year, smartphones actually overtook desktops and laptops for accessing the internet in the UK. 4G fuelled this already popular change and it is showing no signs of stopping.
Now, 33% of people view their smartphone as the most important device for getting online.
This indicates that most people usually have their phone somewhere on their person or at least within arms reach, making SMS the perfect way to get your message across to your audience.
2. Local Business
Some 40% of people using their phones to search for products or services are doing it to find something local. If you’re a local business, this means using SMS marketing is an absolute must to target those people who have their phone in their hand searching for a service you may offer. If your competitors get there first by sending their content right to the palm of people’s hands, you’re the one who could lose out.
Use time-based triggers to get your message out to your subscribers at that perfect moment. Think about when your customers are most likely going to be considering a purchase (or visit) and send your messages then. It could be a specific time of the day, day of the week or even time of year (take a look through the calendar for major holidays) depending on your business.
3. Nearly Everyone Has a Phone
Unlike emails or postal marketing, with business text messaging you know you will get to your customer. More than 66% of all adults in the UK have a smartphone. Now that level of penetration alone might make SMS seem like a no-brainer but here’s the thing – you don’t have to own a ‘smartphone’ (that’s a modern mobile phone with internet capabilities) to receive SMS. The actual percentage of adults in the UK who own a mobile phone in is 93% (as reported earlier this year by Ofcom).
This means that 93% of your customers have the capability to receive your marketing messages directly into the palm of their hands, wherever they are, whatever they’re doing.
4. Emails Get Deleted Often
You might be relying on email marketing and you might think “why not?” But research shows emails are often deleted and don’t work as well on a mobile device. 70% of people just bin an email if it fails to load and with it goes your carefully crafted marketing copy.
Using business SMS, you can make your texts simple and straight to the point without worrying about whether it’ll display properly or take time to fully load on the phone.
Even if your email does get through in one piece and gets read, it’ll most likely get deleted (or archived) and forgotten about. It’s not as natural to delete a text message once read, go on – take a look back through your SMS inbox and you’ll find you have an entire chat history with people you’ve exchanged texts with. This means that your offer or message will always be in their hand (regardless of an internet connection) should they want a second look.
An amazing 90% of all text messages are read within three minutes of receiving them. And the open rate of text messages is 98% compared to just 22% on email – still convinced email marketing can’t be beaten?
5. TV has Developed a Second Screen
Dual screening, or using a mobile phone as well as watching TV, is now as common as the TV dinner. We are spending less time in front of the TV but the roughly three hours a day of TV watching is now added to with a smartphone. 80% of people use their phone while watching TV, which means you can time your marketing for the peak TV watching hours to make sure people are relaxed and holding their device.
6. Get the Response You Want
Are you worried that SMS marketing will put off customers? Maybe you view it as “spammy”? Well, this isn’t backed up by the facts. More than 66% of people who subscribe to business text messaging say they have gone on to make a purchase as a result of the mobile advertising. The key is relevancy and giving your customer offers, deals and tips that they find valuable. Using a mobile phone has a sense of immediacy, just one click can take you onto a company’s website and one more click completes the sale. This fast approach does get results as the stats have revealed.
7. Superfast 4G is Leading the Boom
Since 4G was introduced, the number of people subscribing has exploded. There were only 2.7 million on it in 2013 compared to a huge 23.6 million today. And this is growing still further. This means you can easily include links to your website within your business text messaging and know your customers will have enough 4G signal to open the page straight away and get right to the page you want them to without waiting for a WiFi hotspot or agonising over slow speeds.
This means you can target SMS marketing to people who might be outdoors or away from WiFi, at parks or beaches, to make sure you can reach your audience where they are when they are most responsive.
So you’ve read the stats and uncovered the facts. SMS text messaging is a bonus for any business and rather than being just a quirky addition, it should form a strong part of your businesses overall marketing plan.
With all the evidence pointing towards more and more people turning to mobile and using their phones as a multi purpose device for every day, getting set up with an SMS provider in the UK is the best way to reap the rewards of the smartphone generation.
It might not be time to ditch the emails completely, but introduce business text messaging as part of a true multi-channel approach and see how the statistics add up for your business almost immediately.