Proof SMS Messaging Gets Results: Conversions

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Conversion rates for SMS messaging are shockingly good. Mobile coupons via SMS are redeemed ten times more often than their email or printed counterparts. But the benefits go way beyond coupon redemptions. In this third entry into The Results Series, I’ve found examples of conversions of different kinds to show how versatile SMS can be.

The previous two blog posts covered opt-in rates and increased traffic. You can check those out by clicking on their links, but if you want to know about conversions, keep reading.

Conversions of All Kinds

In mobile marketing, conversions aren’t just about sales. It can be how many opt-ins or clicks you get. Basically, any goal you are trying to achieve. In the statistics that follow, the data is for after the companies added, or began using, SMS messaging. These are examples of high conversions from SMS marketing campaigns:

  • 17% increase in registration rate of a rewards program
  • 19% redemption rate for a fast food coupon
  • 30% increase in conversions for tyre sales
  • 92% click through rate to download an app
  • 17% click through rate to a mobile survey

You can see these conversion rates referred to different business goals.  And even though these companies had different objectives, SMS messaging helped them see excellent conversion on all of them.

This isn’t any special kind of magic. It’s just that SMS messaging fits into how people live and work today. We’re mobile, and have short attention spans. These easy to consume messages make taking action easy, which is why conversions are much higher than other forms of online, or even mobile marketing.

Bonus Effects

In another example, a company didn’t share exact conversion data, but they used their SMS campaigns to drive registrations to their email list. This is similar to the company above using it to encourage app downloads.

But while the company wouldn’t share conversion rate, they did say that the people on both lists proved to be worth more than those that are on one or none.

For example, a person on the SMS list who opted into also get emails opened the emails 20% more often than people just on the email list. Also, the double-list people, redeemed coupons nearly 10% more often.

This agrees with data I saw at last year’s mCommerce Summit.  Chuck-e-Cheese, a children oriented arcade and restaurant in the US, reported they found 10-20% higher email open rates when customers were also on their SMS list. In addition, these customers used mobile coupons 10% more often.

Also from the summit, a US pharmacy, Walgreens, said their “multiple list” customers spent six times as much as their regular in-store customer. So, converting customers from being on one list to being multiple lists is worth doing.

Different Channels Too

Another interesting fact I discovered about SMS conversions is it doesn’t seem to matter what channel they originate. For example, there is a case where a major automobile company says they achieved a 15.4% conversion rate for an SMS campaign. They don’t exactly say what the conversion was, but here are some of the details.

They ran a print ad asking prospective customers to text a keyword to a shortcode to receive information about the car pictured. Note that this campaign started as a print advert to the public, not people already on their marketing list. After a person texted, they would then get information on the car and are asked if they want a dealer to contact them.

The case study didn’t make it clear if the conversion was for the print ad, or if it was for the percentage of people who spoke to a dealer, or if it was for the number of sales they made from the print ad. But despite the uncertainties, it was impressive this all began with a typical print ad for a high-ticket item like a car.

Some of the other conversion rate examples I listed above were based on adding SMS messages to their existing marketing lists. Others simply added mobile coupons to their current SMS marketing campaigns. It seems SMS messaging is reliable, no matter what channel you use – with the caveat it’s a channel your prospective or existing customers use too.

All these conversions are one thing, but what do they mean for the bottom line? Come back for the next blog in The Results Series and see how SMS messaging stacks up in terms of return on investment.

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