The benefits of SMS marketing are numerous, especially for local businesses. Whether you’re in the retail, restaurant, hospitality, or service industry, leveraging the power of SMS marketing can help you improve the customer experience, make your local business stand out from the competition, and ultimately boost revenue.
Before we explore how your business can leverage the benefits of SMS marketing to increase its revenue — or clients’ revenue — let’s start with what SMS marketing entails.
What Is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing — or, short message service, otherwise known as text messages — is a quick, cost-effective, and easy way to send targeted, personalized, real-time communications to customers via text. Customers opt-in to receive text messages that can include:
- Limited-time offers and promotions
- Discounts and coupons
- Time-critical notifications and reminders
- Customer service follow-ups
- Invitations to special events or private sales
- Customer surveys and feedback requests
What makes SMS marketing so effective is that brands can reach customers where they are — on their mobile phones — with relevant messages any time of day. In some cases, customers can answer back, creating a two-way conversation that increases engagement and strengthens relationships. Combined with the ability to target audiences precisely, you can see why this strategy has such widespread appeal and why there are so many benefits of SMS marketing.
5 Major Benefits of SMS Marketing
1. Increased Engagement
SMS messages are more convenient and immediate, and don’t get lost in a cluttered inbox — something that benefits businesses and consumers. As a result, one of the most significant benefits of SMS marketing for local businesses is increased engagement with customers. A survey found 98% of all text messages are opened and 90% of them are read within the first three minutes of being received. If you compare that to the average open rate for emails — anywhere from 15-20% — it’s clear texting is far more effective at reaching people.
Another study found that 75% of customers would like to receive offers via SMS marketing for local businesses, while only 53% felt the same about email. This is a huge advantage for local businesses.
2. Wider Audience Reach
According to recent statistics, there are over 6.92 billion smartphone users worldwide, and texting is one of the most popular forms of communication. With the majority of people keeping their phones within arm’s reach at all times, SMS marketing is a highly effective way to reach any target audience.
Say you have an average email open rate of around 20%, and we know SMS messages have an open rate of 98% — that means you can reach almost five times as many people through text messages than through email.
3. Better ROI
One of the biggest struggles that local businesses face when it comes to marketing is the high cost associated with it. Traditional marketing tactics such as billboards, flyers, and radio ads can be incredibly expensive. And while digital marketing is a more cost-effective solution, strategies such as social media advertising and paid search campaigns can still cost a pretty penny. What’s more, recent studies have shown that social and search click-through rates are declining, making it more important than ever for local businesses to explore new marketing channels.
Text messages are generally less expensive than other forms of advertising but result in more engagement — meaning better ROI. Many marketing platforms offer SMS communications. But if your current one doesn’t, there are some very affordable options available that can integrate with your existing customer database to make it easy to get started.
As a local business, you know every dollar counts. A marketing tactic that has a low-cost and broad reach is a no-brainer. And with the right platform, you can track and analyze the effectiveness of your campaigns easily and continually optimize and improve your SMS marketing strategy to get the most bang for your buck.
3. Highly Personalized
Customers like receiving text messages from businesses because they feel like they’re receiving more personalized attention. Personalized communication is a crucial aspect of marketing in today’s business landscape. A study by Epsilon found personalized emails can deliver up to six times higher transaction rates than generic emails and drive 20% more sales compared to non-personalized marketing communications. Apply personalization to a marketing strategy like SMS where there are already higher engagement rates, and you’re sure to boost revenue fast.
Local businesses can offer personalized deals, promotions, and updates that their customers care about, increasing their engagement and loyalty to the brand. For example, a local restaurant can send a text message with a special offer to customers who have visited their establishment before, enticing them to return and building customer loyalty. And a beauty salon can send reminders to clients about upcoming appointments to avoid no-shows and lost revenue.
4. Improved Customer Experience
SMS marketing, when executed properly, can play a significant role in enhancing the customer experience. Unlike other marketing channels, such as email or social media, SMS marketing requires customers to actively opt-in to receive text messages. This opt-in process demonstrates that customers genuinely want to hear from you, which makes SMS marketing a highly impactful and valuable communication channel.
To ensure a successful SMS marketing strategy, it’s vital to have good intentions and provide customers with promotions and information that genuinely benefits them. This approach builds trust and strengthens the relationship between your brand and the customer. When customers consistently receive valuable and relevant content through SMS, it reinforces their perception of your brand as a trusted source of information, further improving the customer experience.
5. Easy to Implement
If you’re a local business owner, you only have so much time to dedicate to marketing. Unlike traditional marketing tactics, sending a text message requires minimal effort. There is no need to hire a graphic designer, spend hours writing content, or worry about learning a complicated platform. Simply segment your customers, write a quick personalized text, and hit send — it’s that simple. And if you use GatherUp, we make it even easier by helping you grow your subscriber list and maintain compliance with SMS marketing standards.
Reap the Benefits of SMS Marketing with GatherUp
There are plenty of tools out there that you can use to send text messages to your customers. However, not all of them will provide you with the customization and analysis that can personalize, track, and improve your strategy.
GatherUp extends the impact of SMS marketing by combining your text marketing strategy with your reputation management. With GatherUp you can gather and listen to customer feedback, then engage with them through strategic SMS campaigns. You can send targeted text campaigns, track performance, and glean valuable insights to drive better customer experiences. Using GatherUp for your SMS marketing needs allows you to:
- Create segmented lists of customers for more personalized communications
- Test and schedule messages to improve engagement rates
- Use customer feedback and insights to inform your SMS campaign strategy
- Incorporate Net Promoter Score data to identify and win back your detractors, thank your promoters, and influence your neutrals
GatherUp is one platform for local businesses to gather, listen to, and share customer feedback to create a great customer experience. If you’re ready to learn more, schedule a demo with one of our product experts.