Not only is SMS a successful and profitable platform on its own, it can also be used to support marketing campaigns that operate across a range of channels as well as an excellent way of capturing data.
Speak to any mobile user and they'll likely tell you they've had the experience of receiving a text message from a company that includes a call-to-action. This could include a link to a mobile app or mobile website, a one-off promotion or an email notification.
Therefore, while SMS messages are a great way of delivering information, they can also serve to remind customers to read an email sent by a brand hours or even days before. Whether it's in the form of a question ("Have you read our email?") or a statement ("We've emailed you"), texts can bring about a change in a customer's activities that other channels alone cannot do. This type of message can help increase email read rates by 20-30%.
Your clients might be one of the many that are just beginning to discover the power of social media in delivering an effective marketing campaign.
Returning to the research from Flurry that showed mobile users spend 80 per cent of the time they're on their handsets accessing various apps, what's interesting is that 18 per cent of this is dedicated to Facebook. While they're on social media sites from their mobiles, people are likely to be more responsive towards promotions advertising keywords and shortcodes they need to contact a company to make the most of a certain deal.
As soon as the consumer texts a firm via a short code, this could be the start of a regular rapport between the business and its new customer. And that is something to bear in mind when looking at ways to retain and boost customer loyalty. Adding a shortcode and keyword to print collateral, radio advertisements and advertising boards as well as social media mean that customers soon become familiar with a brand’s code and keyword and more likely to interact and respond. Using other channels to encourage people to text in is also a great way for brands to build their opt-in mobile database for future campaigns.
When gathering data about customers, it may be necessary for a company to carry out a survey and mobile is perfect for doing this. Not only will it create a multi-channel experience for the consumer, it also invites a speedier response.
According to research conducted by NICE Systems and Dynmark, SMS gains significantly higher volumes than both interactive voice response (IVR) and email, with more people likely to reply than they are with the other mediums.
Indeed, 31 per cent of consumers on average will respond to a survey via SMS, but for email and IVR, this figure is 13 per cent and five to ten per cent respectively. Moreover, the average response time to a survey for SMS users was just over five minutes, but for email this was over an hour.
Meanwhile, many businesses are also recognising the benefits of launching their own mobile application and integrating the platform into their marketing campaign. However, in order for uptake of the tool to grow, it is necessary to get the word out via any channels necessary first.
This is where SMS comes in - by texting information to customers about an app or embedding links into the message that will take them directly to app store pages, there will be no excuse for the individual not to visit and download the app immediately.
Your multi-channel campaign should also include print, with your shortcode visibly advertised for when consumers are flicking through a magazine alongside information that might incentivise them to pick up their mobiles and text your company.
Furthermore, it is important to collate as much data about your customers as possible, so you can develop a tighter relationship with them and channel promotions suited to their needs. Again, SMS can help with building a bigger picture about your audience, as opt-ins allow firms to improve the quality of their customer data. And as the method of communication works anywhere in the world, this will help businesses expand their global reach.