One of the things that separates pro marketers from the amateur varietal is that amateur marketers will typically choose what is hot, they will typically use advertising channels based on what everyone is using right now, what their neighbour is using or what sales rep called them up yesterday.
Pro marketers on the other hand are proactive, they will understand the strengths and weaknesses of each marketing channel and use those to help them achieve the specific goals for their business.
When I ask small business owners whether they’re using SMS to market to their customers I will often hear nothing but crickets or sometimes they might say that’s what spammers use even though they own a mobile phone and they answer read reply to 100% of the text messages that they receive.
I get it, SMS marketing is not the sexiest marketing channel out there, far from it, but it is not about sexy, it is about what works.
If carrier pigeons were able to deliver a 97% open rate on marketing campaigns, pro marketers would jump all over that opportunity without question.
Bulk SMS services like SMS Papa have been around for some time and in this article, I’ll share with you why businesses should be using bulk SMS in their businesses.
1. SMS is a lot less competitive
How many unread emails do you have just sitting there, collecting digital dust unopened?
Compare that to your unread SMS messages, I bet you have a lot less, maybe even…zero.
The reason for this of course is that email addresses are a lot easier to give away to businesses, in fact you may even have a secondary email address just for this type of thing.
Mobile numbers on the other hand are only given to close family and friends and maybe your boss.
It is a very short list, the reason for this is that you only have one number, this number is a lot more personal and so we tend to protect it more carefully.
So when you have a potential customer give you their mobile number you are now part of a very small club and it is unlikely your competitors are going to be in there making it a lot easier to not only get attention but to also generate sales.
2. Bulk SMS is permission based
One of the major objections I hear about SMS is that “it’s what spammers use” which is true but then again spammers also use email, paid ads, social media, there is not a single advertising or communication channel that spammers are not using.
The thing to realize with SMS is that it is permission based which means people need to opt-in with their mobile number to hear from you.
I just mentioned how much harder it is to get someone to hand over their mobile number so when they do give you their mobile number they actually want you to send them promotions and content.
Permission based marketing does a lot better than interruption based marketing since people are already aware of you, your brand and what you are selling and are already pre-interested in what you have.
When you combine this with exceptionally high engagement rates you’ve got yourself a sales machine!
3. Engagement rates
This is probably one of the most important benefits to bulk SMS and that is its ability to capture the attention of people.
Al Reis and Jack Trout wrote a book that was based on how over communicated the world is and how tough it is to gain attention in advertising – that was in the ’80s!
Fast forward to 2024 and you cannot go anywhere without ads being pushed on you, this forces your brain to filter out almost all of the advertising that you see.
Browsers have ad blocker extensions and email clients have spam filters to help reduce the number of ads their users experience.
This is where SMS shines. Even though people will tend to filter out most of the ads they see, SMS messages will get their instant attention, numerous stats reveal that people will typically read a text message 90 seconds after receipt of that message.
If I hear my text message bell go off I will too tend to at least have a look at the teaser part of the message to see who it was but will invariably open that message.
Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the most successful personalities in the online social media space and was able to grow his father’s wine club multiple times over using that medium. A few years ago he started using SMS and was shocked at the engagement rate he was getting, he even invested in two SMS companies as a result.
4. SMS is affordable
SMS is incredibly cheap at only a few cents per recipient.
While some will argue the costs of sending out an SMS campaign will cost 100’s or even thousands I would argue that the more relevant number to focus on is the return on that investment.
When you have nearly 100% of people opening your marketing promotion it doesn’t take much to recoup that investment.
Have you had a look at how much it costs to get someone to click on your ad? Especially when you have employees, competitors and click bots clicking on your ads as well – it can get expensive.
I can guarantee you it’s not going to be a few cents like it is for sending an SMS message.
While emails might appear to be a lot cheaper, when you consider the fact that you only get 20% open rates which means you need to build more campaigns to make up for the poor open rates the time spent deploying 5x as many email campaigns increases its costs in terms of time.
In addition you are charged by the number of total subscribers you have whether you send 100 emails or none – with SMS you are only charged per send which makes it appealing especially if you are segmenting your SMs groups properly.