Have you seen the terms SMS or MMS thrown around when reading up on E-Commerce marketing and soon realized that you don’t quite understand what they are, where they fit in, or how they are leveraged? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! We get questions all the time on how SMS & MMS marketing works, if it’s worth the investment, and how this method stacks up against other marketing strategies. Especially during the current Coronavirus pandemic, you want to ensure you’re leveraging every technique possible to empower your business and promote effective engagement with your growing customer base. In this article, we’ll break down what SMS/MMS marketing is and specifically how this marketing strategy can be used to help grow your business!
So…What is SMS Messaging and How Can it Help My Business?
SMS messaging is simply a text message sent over your cellular network that stands for Short Message Service. If you’re texting using your smartphone today, you’re already using SMS, so you’ve already won half the battle right there! Now, the question is how can you leverage SMS messaging to help promote and grow your business? If you’d like to build your business using SMS, you can start by setting up an SMS campaign. An SMS campaign can send a specific SMS message to a large number of users at once to promote a product or service. Do you have a discount you’d like to promote? Maybe you want to alert your customers on a certain frequency with updates about your business. An SMS campaign could also be a great resource for accomplishing this goal. But if you’re interested in starting a solid SMS marketing campaign, don’t go about it alone. There are some incredible companies out there that handle all the backend processes that enable your messaging campaign and can provide a lot of other features and services that will support your SMS / MMS marketing strategy.
Keep your Business Safe
If you do decide to do some customer engagement through SMS / MMS, make sure you are doing it safely! Text message marketing campaigns without the end-user’s consent can put your business at risk. First and foremost, always get permission to send prospective customers a text message. Adding subscribers to your campaign list can be done through an opt-in landing page or including an opt-in checkbox at checkout. Incentives for joining go a long way, so keep that in mind!
What the Research Shows
The recent data around the effectiveness of SMS/MMS marketing compared to email marketing is out-right jaw-dropping. Recent research shows that mobile messaging drives 10x more revenue than email per message and email marketing performance has dropped 47% over the past 5 years! When you think about it, it seems to make sense though. Most inboxes are flooded with email campaigns and marketing material that is often overlooked and ignored. However, a text message is different. Nearly every smartphone user today is glued to their text message inbox. Sending a friendly reminder or discount via text has a much higher likelihood of driving interaction with your customer base.
We’ve even seen research that suggests customers enjoy companies using this method of communication. That’s right, our research shows that 79% of consumers want to hear from brands via text messaging! That’s a huge percentage of your potential customer base ready and waiting to learn about your products and promotions via SMS. And don’t just rely on your millennials and Gen Z-ers to become active participants in your SMS list, the research also shows that Baby Boomers love receiving text messaging too! So, through what we’ve seen so far, we think it’s fair to say that SMS marketing is here to stay. Ready to take the first step? Great! If you’re looking for some great companies that provide text message marketing services, check out our recommendations below.
What Are the Differences Between SMS & MMS?
So far, we’ve really focused on SMS, and that’s simply because SMS is the most familiar form of text messaging. However, there’s another commonly used format for text message marketing known as MMS and to be honest, it’s not too much different than SMS. MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service. MMS is basically the same concept as SMS except with a lot of additional benefits. MMS allows users to send multimedia content, i.e. pictures, audio, and video. So, when using MMS, you can send a picture of that new product you are interested in promoting or send a flyer with some discount information. Under this kind of media, you can also include a descriptive text about the given product or add in a CTA (call-to-action) for your customer base. MMS also allows for long-form messages to be sent with no character limitation, whereas SMS does limit each sent message to 160 characters. All-and-all, MMS is going to provide all the features of SMS with a lot of additional, consumer-friendly benefits.
What Are the Top Five Options for SMS & MMS Marketing?
Attentive is making a big name for themselves in the SMS/MMS marketing services space. Attentive is first-and-foremost dedicated to effective communication with their clients. They team you up with a dedicated Client Strategy Team to help formulate goals and to help launch and scale your program. This dedicated team is focused on maintaining customer base retention, retargeting, and setting you up for success so your SMS marketing campaigns prove to be successful. Even with this dedicated strategy, Attentive still offers highly competitive prices for their services. They offer a range of services, so you have the luxury of selecting the plan that fits best for your needs. We highly recommend checking out their website. They have many case studies that showcase their stellar reputation. All-in-all a great overall option, when looking for a reputable company to manage your SMS/MMS marketing campaign.
Twilio also offers SMS/ MMS marketing services through their highly customizable ‘Programmable SMS’ feature. Twilio promotes a highly customizable platform for developers to write and edit code associated with their SMS marketing strategy. Twilio also offers triggered alerts that automatically handles SMS responses through chatbot services. If you’re looking for different pricing models, Twilio offers pay-as-you-go, volume discounts as well as committed-use discounts with rates starting at around $0.0075 to send or receive text messages. Also, Twilio offers a variety of other services in the digital marketing space if you’re looking to expand beyond text message marketing.
Avochato offers a bit of a different service regarding SMS / MMS marketing services. Avochato provides an all-in-one platform to manage conversations in a single app. This centralized service allows you to schedule outbound SMS / MMS campaigns, configure out-going phone calls, track engagement and follow your conversations. Avochato also promotes their platform on iOS and Android, so if you are looking to monitor your campaign platform on the go, you can do so with Avochato!
Textedly offers SMS / MMS services with free options to get started. If you are looking to test their service, Textedly offers a free 14-day trial, so you can get a feel for their platform. If you’re managing a smaller marketing budget, Textedly offers some competitive entry level options as well. So, if you’re still building up that marketing budget or just getting your feet wet with SMS / MMS marketing, Textedly can serve as a satisfactory option.
SlickText offers a robust solution that is dedicated to their client success. SlickText offers one-on-one support to help you with setup and pre-configuration. Their team is dedicated to ensuring you feel comfortable using their platform, so you can be confident in your new venture! SlickText also offers reserved keyword services. This reserved keyword service allows customers to text a custom keyword you’ve selected to a short phone number to enroll in your campaign list. Once these customers have been enrolled in your campaign list, you can start sending them SMS/MMS messages on an automated basis!
Are you all fired up and ready to expand your marketing presence with SMS/MMS marketing? As you move forward, leverage trusted services that have built a positive reputation through customer referrals and case studies. Remember, these marketing services are representing your company, your brand, and your image. Do your due diligence on the front end to ensure that they are helping to elevate your business. With the right SMS/MMS provider, you’ll cultivate a loyal customer base upon which to grow your business!