SMS marketing is one of the most convenient, low-cost, and effective ways to reach your customers. It’s your customers’ most preferred way for you to contact them and boasts an open rate of up to 98%. However, there are also a number of common myths that prevent businesses from using it.
We recently sat down with Neil Patel to bust seven common myths with excerpts from our most recent report, The Ultimate Guide to SMS Marketing. Read on to learn what’s true, what’s false, and how your business can see revolutionary success through text.
Myth #1: Text messaging isn’t an effective marketing tool.
As a consumer yourself, you’re aware of just how much consumers are inundated with marketing materials every day. This has consequences, which include desensitization. Research has shown that consumers aren’t as receptive to traditional marketing methods as they used to be.
For example, the average open rate for emails is 18%, and engagement is extremely low. On average, email only sees a click-through rate of 2.6% and a click-to- open rate of 14.1%. Text, on the other hand, has an open rate of up to 98%. On average, 95% of messages are opened within 3 min.
With text, businesses have an opportunity to get 98% of their communication seen on the same day they send it, making the opportunity to get ahead by messaging far greater than the potential of any other medium.
- Text has a 209% higher response rate than phone, email, or Facebook
- 65.6% of consumers think texting makes working with a local business more convenient
- 75% of consumers are OK with receiving SMS messages from brands (after they’ve opted in)
- Consumers redeem SMS-delivered coupons 10x more than other types of coupons
- Consumers are twice as likely (1.8x) to prefer texting to any other communication method
Most importantly, your customers want it. 40.5% of consumers report being “likely” or “very likely” to switch to a different business because they offer text messaging to communicate.
People often tell me text isn’t effective. But your customers are begging you to text them. They want that connection. Text also bridges the gap in a way other communication methods don’t. Despite the proliferation of smartphone devices, there are still quite a few customers carrying non- smartphone mobile devices. That means that just having a mobile-ready website isn’t going to be enough to catch them on the go. SMS messages, on the other hand, can reach them anywhere.
Myth #2 SMS marketing is for big business only.
The fact of the matter is that local businesses are uniquely positioned to win with SMS marketing. According to the 2021 Local Business Messaging Trends report, local businesses are situated to reach their consumers’ text messages inboxes more often than major chains and ecommerce players.
Local businesses have an implied trust with consumers that they can use to collect opt-ins and then strengthen with well-timed, personalized promotions. This leads to higher loyalty, more business, and more revenue.
A common misconception of SMS marketing is that major chains have the advantage here or that local businesses don’t stand a chance against online or ecommerce businesses. However, The Ultimate Guide shows that the opposite is true. Local businesses actually have a unique advantage when it comes to text message marketing, and they should take advantage of it. Part of this is due to the inherently personal and accessible nature of local businesses. People in the community see and have a relationship with the people who run these businesses, so texts feel more like they’re coming from a friend and less like advertising.
Myth #3: Collecting opt-ins is unnatural and difficult.
The majority of local businesses find maximizing their marketable SMS list to be the hardest part of SMS marketing.
However, local businesses have an unfair advantage. As we mentioned, consumers are 21% more likely to opt-in to local businesses’ text promotions over major chain or big-box retailers. And they’re 45% more likely to opt-in over online or ecommerce businesses.
The key is to integrate opt-in entry points at every possible step of the customer journey. There are a number of touchpoints along your customer journey where collecting an opt-in is natural and even expected. If you take advantage of them, the list will build itself.
These touchpoints can include:
Your website is often the first touchpoint to capture a prospect’s attention. It’s also a great way to collect opt-ins from people who haven’t transacted yet and can even serve as a mechanism to convert leads into customers.
- Online sign-up pages
- Banners, pop-ups, prompts
- Website chat
- Point of sale or transaction
These days, local businesses can conduct their business in-store, online, or face-to-face—even some combination of all three.
With the right tools, you can gather opt-ins wherever and however you operate. With that in mind, here’s a list of out-of-the-box ways you can present your sign-up forms to build your list.
- URL & QR codes
- Sign-up/opt-in station
- Textable “keyword”
And other existing channels you’re already using. You can see our comprehensive list and successful use cases here.
What I love about Podium’s suggestions is the idea of collecting opt-ins through channels you’re already familiar with in addition to getting creative with your collection methods. Your current customer journey is already full of valuable touchpoints that you can use to build your opt-in list quickly and organically. If you review these points carefully while thinking about opt-in strategies, you can really open the floodgates to subscribers and create an opt-in collection machine that functions on it’s own, 24/7.
Download the full report.
And that’s just a taste. Learn how SMS marketing isn’t just a one way channel, segmentation is much easier than you think, and accessing the right messaging tools can be simple. Read the full version of Busting 7 Text Marketing Myths with Neil Patel here.