Marketing online can be a difficult business. Indeed, web users have become more and more sophisticated. As we spend more time surfing and adapting to the net, we have become accustomed to ignoring every sales pitch, every special offer, and every new company announcement thrown at us whatever its merit. If I’m honest, I blame Viagra.
But if the Internet has become a trickier place to navigate for users and a harder place to get attention for businesses, SMS marketing or “text marketing” remains untapped. Amazingly, there are now more phones in the world than there are humans. Roughly speaking, there are also around 7 billion active mobile subscriptions across the world. This amounts to 95.5% of the world’s entire population. Even in the poorest, most remote parts of the Earth, therefore, most people have access to some sort of mobile device. According to the Radicati Group on the other hand, there are only 2.5 billion e-mail users left in the world. What does this all mean? E-mail users are outranked by people who receive texts by a whopping ratio of 3 to 1.
Not only are phones ubiquitous, they’re also with us all the time. It’s like the human race has evolved a brand new appendage, equipped with text alerts, weather updates and easy access to all manner of unsavoury apps. We also habitually check our texts. In fact, all research has shown that whereas most people continue to ignore emails, texts have an open rate of around 98% (so be careful what you send!). Compare that to the open rate of emails, which has fallen to a paltry 22%.
As a result, SMS campaigns have proven to be remarkably successful. Various “Get out the vote” campaigns – during the Scottish referendum and in both Obama’s presidential victories for example – have relied on SMS messaging. Indeed, by sending bulk SMS, you can reach any sized group of contacts within seconds, easily communicating with customers, clients and staff at the click of a button.
Bulk SMS is also much cheaper than post and can be adapted to support any business of any size or sector. Whether you’re sending sales promotions for your retail store or want to alert clients to an upcoming event, SMS is increasingly the best way forward.
However, with great power comes great responsibility. When embarking on an SMS campaign, make sure to approach it with care and to avoid harassing your customers. As aforementioned, most people have a phone on their person every moment of their waking life – so keep your texts relevant and few and far between. And texting late in the evening is a definite no-no.
If you get your strategy to work for you and your customers, however, the rewards can be tremendous. By targeting your SMS marketing with the help of bulk SMS messages to the right people, you can reach over 8000 people a second – almost all of whom will read exactly what it is that you have to say. There is no alternative, online or offline, than can yield the same results.