Smartphones are everywhere. Sixty-four percent of American adults own one, and that doesn’t even include the staggering number of American teens carrying them in their pockets. This has ushered in the era of mobile marketing.
As a small business owner, you may be feeling more and more pressure to adopt this new marketing medium, whether that involves optimizing your site to appease Google’s new algorithm or creating a campaign geared specifically towards mobile users.
With so many options, small business owners may not know where to begin their mobile marketing efforts. SMS marketing can be a great first step for those looking to expand to mobile. Not only is it affordable, but it’s extremely effective when you create the right messages. Out of the world’s four billion smartphones, 3.05 billion are SMS enabled, granting you widespread access to this demographic.
SMS: Lucrative but Under-Used
Small business owners can be trigger shy when it comes to utilizing SMS. Many feel that their customers or target audience may be annoyed by marketing messages or that some may find them intrusive. Other companies, however, have had smashing success with these methods, particularly when they offer special deals or promos to those who opt in.
For example, consider the case of Seattle Sun Tan. Within the first month of their SMS campaign, 4,750 people subscribed to receive text messages and offers. These offers brought in 196,000 new sales for the business.
The secret of succeeding with SMS is offering value to your customers. This can be a special deal, updates on issues they care about, or invitations to exclusive events. The fact that many small businesses avoid SMS marketing eliminates competition (as well as the possibility of individual consumers finding themselves overwhelmed with marketing texts).
Make the Most of SMS Marketing
There are several tips you should follow to make your SMS marketing campaign as successful as possible.
1. Create Value
There are a variety of ways small business owners can do this. From contests and giveaways to coupons, customers are more likely to opt in to your marketing campaign if they’re getting something in return.
2. Always Get Permission
Don’t simply sign your customers up once you have their mobile information. Make sure you get their express permission (otherwise known as the opt-in) before sending them marketing messages.
3. Be Consistent
You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with texts, but you don’t want to neglect them either. Create a specific deal or promo schedule and stick to it.
4. Integrate with Your Other Marketing Strategies
If you’re running an online campaign, you can link to it in an SMS message. You can also share the opportunity to opt in to these exclusive deals on your small business’s social media pages.
5. Measure Your Progress
Keep track of the number of subscribers as well as those who choose to opt out. This will help you determine what you’re doing right and potential mistakes that can cost you subscribers.
Keeping up with mobile marketing can be difficult, but you shouldn’t focus all of your energies on a mobile-friendly site or app. (You may also want to check out these helpful apps for small business owners.) If you aren’t taking advantage of SMS, you’re missing out on a lucrative opportunity to generate sales and increase the exposure of your small business.
SMS Marketing photo by Shutterstock