I remember seeing an online article with the headline “Is Online SMS Still Relevant In 2017?” and here we are in 2024 and more and more businesses are using Online SMS as a part of their integrated marketing mix.
Every year marketers seem to ask this question about Online SMS and the people in the know would argue that SMS is more relevant now than when it first appeared back in the ’90s says Peter M. from Online SMS service SMSPapa.com.au.
The reason for this has to do with two ideas:
- The high cost of big tech advertising
Since the explosion in mobile phone usage mobile marketing has become the primary way for companies to reach and engage their customers wherever they are. Big companies were the first to adopt this mobile-first approach and now smaller businesses are starting to catch up.
Currently, most businesses are focusing on digital marketing including paid ads, SEO, email marketing, etc. but are starting to realize the growing costs of using such channels and we will take a closer look at why this is the case later on in this article.
In this article, I’ll share with you the main reasons why Online SMS is not only relevant in 2024 but will continue to be so moving into the foreseeable future.
It’s all about the open rate, baby
Talk to any marketer worth their salt and ask them how important it is that a potential customer opens and reads your marketing message and all of them will say that it is a critical part of the conversion process.
Let me ask you a quick question: if you send out 100 messages and 0 people open it, how many conversions can you expect to achieve?
What about if 20% of people open and read that message? Now you can start to see some conversions occurring – by the way this is the average open rate for email marketing.
What about if of that same 100 messages you managed to get 97 of them open? We’re talking about a massive increase in sales conversions just from having more people open the message, no change to the offer, or any ninja tactics.
Online SMS is efficient
This point ties into the first about open rates.
While working as an email marketer we would be hitting around 23-25% open rate depending on the promotion and because of this (like many eCommerce businesses), we needed to send out more campaigns because when 70-80% of people are not opening or even seeing your email this affects revenue so we needed to send out more campaigns to bring in more revenue.
If you are getting 97% open rates then you are maximizing the number of sales that can be made from a single campaign in fact we would get anywhere from 3-4x the number of conversions when we ran our SMS campaigns.
The second reason why Online SMS is more efficient is how easy they are to put together.
With email marketing you are having to select a segment, come up with an offer, change the voice or tone of the email, write the copy, come with multiple subject lines and angles, design the email, get it proof read, make updates, test the buttons on the email, etc. it took hours just to get a single campaign out of the door.
With text message marketing you only have a limited number of characters to work with so your copy has to be brief and to the point.
So while it takes hours to put together an email campaign, it takes a fraction of that time putting together a text message.
Build An SMS Customer Database
One of the best ways to ensure your businesses against economic downturns is to build a list of customers that you can reach out to with an offer to generate more sales.
Similar to email, text message marketing is built around this idea.
But unlike email, when you send out an SMS campaign you can expect to be receiving responses shortly after the recipient has received your text.
With email, people tend to place a lower priority on it so it can take up to 48 hours to get the last of your sales coming in.
This immediacy in response times is great for those in hospitality, for example, if you are a restaurant on a slow night you can send out a text message offer, and can those tables booked for that same night.
Online SMS Has Low Competition
Have a look at your email inbox and noticed the number of emails you have there, then check your promotions tab if you have Gmail and see how many businesses are reaching out to you including the ones you were actually expecting an email from.
Now check your text message inbox for the day and notice the difference.
When you launch an Online SMS campaign you will have little to zero direct competition making it easier to gain conversions.
And when they read your text there are no distractions, with ads, landing pages, and even emails there are links and flashing images all over the place tempting the recipient to go down a rabbit hole – with an SMS message it’s just characters and maybe a link.
SMS Is Cheap
In most cases finding the cheapest way to advertise typically comes at a much higher cost somewhere else.
One of the main problems with traditional digital advertising is that every year the costs seem to go up – have you noticed this?
The reason for this is reduced inventory.
You see companies like Facebook only have so many impressions they can sell to advertisers and since more and more businesses and marketers jump on the bandwagon every year this reduces the number of total impressions available and as a result, the cost of those impressions goes up.
SMS has no impression cap, but it does have a lot of competitors which is good for the consumer since this ultimately keeps or reduces the price per SMS very low.