How SMS-marketing can drive sales and strengthen customer relationships

The average mobile phone user spend three hours a day on their phone doing things other than making calls. The mobile phone has become a vital part of our everyday lives and an increasingly essential shopping tool. Whether shopping online or in a store, our phones are often integral parts of our shopping experience. Business Insider recently published findings showing that the smartphone has become the retail sector’s most important interface with customers. In fact, 60% of the time that consumers devote to online sellers is on their mobile phones.

The opportunities to take advantage of mobile phones in marketing and loyalty programs have expanded in the last 10 years. This is partially due to mobile advertising and apps. Yet the core of mobile marketing is still SMS. Companies send  text messages to customers with marketing, delivery notifications, and other relationship building messages on daily basis.

SMS marketing makes communication fast, simple and cost-efficient – and it has an amazing reach. SMS marketing also has the highest opening rates of all messaging services – 90% of SMS messages are read within three minutes of delivery. The opportunities to take advantage of SMS in marketing and loyalty programs are nearly endless.

Here are a few tips on how you can take advantage of SMS text messaging for marketing and customer communication.

1. Engage new customers through SMS

Does your business use print, radio or television ads to attract new customers? Lower the threshold for getting in touch with you by letting customers send text messages to a simple short code number. Or link an offer to the short code number to further increase the impact of your other channels. Saving the mobile numbers (with the consumer’s opt-in) creates a foundation for following up with outgoing SMS marketing.

2. Drive traffic and increase conversion rates with SMS marketing

Once costumers have opted in, it’s easy to continue the dialogue directly in their mobile phones. Link an SMS service to your company’s  CRM-, loyalty or campaign  system and you can reach hundreds of customers at the same time. SMS marketing offers can drive traffic to physical stores or websites, speed up buying decisions, and increase conversion rates. Many e-mails are left unopened and unread.

3. Use SMS marketing to build loyalty and to generate more sales

Customer clubs and loyalty programs are great tools for nurturing and developing relationships with customers. Targeted SMS marketing gives you a fast and cost-effective complement to traditional channels and helps you reinforce current offers and promotions – directly in recipients’ hands. An SMS service integrated with your company’s CRM & loyalty platform makes it easy to both customise promotions to different segments and, with pinpoint accuracy, target loyalty discounts to specific customers.

4. Simplify purchases and quick confirmations with SMS

SMS can also allow customers to make purchases directly from their phones. This is easier for the consumer, and cost-effective for you as provider. And this can be useful whether you are selling a physical product or a service. Parking companies make it easy to pay directly via phone, and then provide purchase confirmations. As the parking expires, helpful SMS reminders are be sent.

5. Send order confirmations and delivery information with SMS

Any company that has products for order can use SMS to easily update customers on the status of their orders. By integrating an SMS service into the order system, automatic messages are sent to confirm orders and to notify a buyer when their product leaves the warehouse. Another SMS let’s them know when it is ready for delivery or pickup.

6. Distribute relevant and up-to-date service information via SMS

As a service company, you can forge closer ties with your customers by offering service information via SMS. Companies in the travel industry can send customers information about hotel reservations, send e-tickets and alert them of new departure times. Mobile operators, Internet providers and energy companies can send up-to-date usage information via SMS. If something goes wrong, an SMS update can make all the difference between an angry customer and a positive and boosted customer relationship. 

7. Deepen customer insight with SMS-surveys and NPS

To be successful, you need to constantly listen to your customers. Use SMS to find out what your customers think. Send a short question to follow up after a purchase or customer service call, or send a text link to a longer survey or NPS will help you better understand your customers, their needs, and their expectations.

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