SMS marketing why it works

Why is it popular?

SMS marketing is getting more popular all the time

SMS marketing’s success is down to one main reason, it provides benefits to both the sender and the receiver. There are several types of marketing messages but an SMS marketing message is usually either a reminder or an offer or sometimes a combination of both.

For the consumer, reminders offer a useful service which allow them to not miss, for example, an appointment at the doctors. This also benefits the doctor’s surgery, as it means they should have less customers missing their appointments, resulting in less time wasted and they get to treat as many patients as possible.

Offers on the other hand, aim to result in more sales for the company sending the message and the consumer who takes advantage of the offer saves some money or purchases something they really want or need. For example, a clothing company might text a ’50 per cent off all dresses’ message to its female customers, making the company’s sales of dresses increase and the consumers feel as if they’ve saved a lot of money.

Not only is sending a SMS message quick and easy, companies are also drawn to text marketing’s low costs and flexibility. Compared to other marketing campaigns, SMS marketing is relatively inexpensive and campaigns can easily be upgraded or downsized.

SMS marketing campaigns are also targeted, as the message is only seen by the person intended, whereas a magazine advert for example can be seen by anyone who reads the magazine. Not only does this mean that targeting specific audiences is easier, it means that the consumer feels special and is therefore more likely to take advantage of the offer. Audiences can be targeted by gender, age, location or even by what they prefer to buy.

Messages can even be personalised, which can also result in more sales. A great example of this is a BMW Germany MMS marketing campaign. The company personalised its messages by sending customers an image of the car they’d bought, in the same colour and with winter tyres on. With the picture was a message that reminded customers of the legal requirements surrounding winter tyres and as a result, sales of winter tyres increased by 30 per cent.

Why has popularity increased?

There are around seven billion people in the world and six billion of them now own a mobile phone, according to a U.N report. That’s a huge potential target audience, so it’s no wonder that marketers are taking advantage of this promising market. As the number of people owning mobile phones grows, so will the SMS marketing uptake.

The growth in popularity has also likely been influenced by big, successful SMS marketing campaigns in the public eye. For example, most consumers have likely heard about ‘Orange Wednesdays’. Orange’s popular two-for-one cinema tickets campaign is quite possibly one of the best known text marketing campaigns of all time. This is because it’s simple – all the customer needs to do is text ‘film’ to the number 241, it’s easy to remember and the customer saves a huge amount of money by taking part. In addition to this, Orange sends out reminder texts the following week, so that customers don’t forget it’s ‘Orange Wednesday’ – a term that’s so common, anyone who goes to the cinema knows what that phrase means.

It is often very difficult to measure the success of a marketing campaign, as it is almost impossible to accurately correlate a magazine advert to a company’s sales. With text marketing, it is very easy to measure the response rate, as recipients will either ignore the message, text back, click the URL provided or use the promotional code which has only been sent to those who are signed up to SMS marketing. This way you can see how many people responded out of the number messaged, so you can judge whether to use a similar campaign or not in the future.

The SMS marketing industry shows no signs of slowing down, especially as the use of big data is now becoming more popular. With big data, you can measure what your customers are interested in and what they tend to purchase even more accurately. This should result in better targeted marketing and therefore increased SMS marketing campaign success. Companies who don’t take advantage of text marketing really are missing out on a huge potential audience but with successful campaigns, such as Orange’s, becoming more prevalent, it’s likely that more brands will choose to include SMS in their future marketing campaigns.