SMS which stands for Short Message Service can be used as a form of marketing, just like email, and physical mail.
SMS marketing is essentially a marketing technique that sends text messages in order to communicate updates, offers and reminders to customers.
Though it is an effective way of marketing, many eCommerce marketers ask the question, “How to collect phone numbers for SMS marketing?”
What is SMS Marketing?
Text messaging is a highly personal, reliable and cost-effective method of engaging with your customers. This communication could be a one-on-one conversation between a customer and a staff member.
It could also be an automated text triggered by a customer action or a part of a mass text sent to a group of customers who have opted to receive these text messages.
SMS marketing can be used for the following reasons:
- Personal alerts
- Promotional offers
- Urgent updates.
Why People Are Reluctant to Give their Phone Numbers
SMS marketing is an important tool these days and a new movement for businesses. But a lot of people hesitate to give out their contact numbers to marketing companies due to the fear of being scammed.
SMS scams generally seek to steal information. Scammers hope that by extracting information from cell phone users, they can rob their identity. As a result, most of the time, marketers and customers are suspicious of SMS marketing because of the potential of spam.
Benefits of SMS Marketing
SMS marketing has several advantages and is considered to be more efficient than marketing techniques. Read on to find out more about the benefits of SMS marketing.
Generates word of mouth
If there is something of value to be offered to customers, they will surely spread the word to friends, family and colleagues.
Word of mouth is a powerful tool and the use of SMS promotes this with quick communication.
Builds loyal customers
SMS marketing is a very good channel to build a loyal customer base and keep them engaged.
You can offer your customers promotions and information about your business when needed. Your customers too feel appreciated when they’re kept as the main focus of the business.
Compared to traditional methods of communication, SMS marketing is an inexpensive method. This will help a great deal in formulating budget plans.
A lot of public and private companies cut costs daily by sending text messages instead of sending letters or brochures, which is good for the environment too.
Fast and effective
SMS marketing enables sending messages on a large scale and at the same time. It is an effective marketing tool for getting your message into the hands of the right audience.
Communication is essential when it comes to building long-term relationships. SMS marketing helps in doing this since an SMS is a personal message to your customer.
A sales or promotional offer or even a simple ‘thank you’ message to customers after their purchase improves your relationship with them.
Higher engagement levels
There’s no guarantee that subscribers will read your emails or answer your phone calls, but your texts will most likely get viewed.
This leads to higher sales because it has more engagement with the recipient.
No internet is required
For subscribers to receive an SMS they don’t need an internet connection.
This is great for people who don’t have access to the internet at all times. SMS marketing guarantees a wider reach of people.
SMS Marketing versus Email Marketing
Since these days more people own a mobile phone, research shows that at least 70% of customers feel that SMS texting is a good way to grab their attention.
In fact, SMS has a higher engagement rate compared to email marketing and it can be 6 to 8 times higher.
To get a better understanding of SMS marketing, let’s take a look at the differences between SMS marketing and email marketing.
- SMS messages are opened 98% of the time, whereas emails have a 20% open rate.
- The click-through rate for links included in an SMS is 29% whereas for emails they are 2.5%.
- Since fewer companies employ SMS marketing as a tactic, you have a better chance of standing out among your competitors. Emails, on the other hand, are generally oversaturated.
- The response rate for SMS is much better and studies show that people respond to SMS within 90 seconds, but for emails, they take at least 90 minutes to respond.
- SMS marketing is cost-effective, whereas email marketing varies depending on the provider you choose, extra features, list size and send frequency.
How to Collect Phone Numbers for SMS Marketing
In order to achieve a positive ROI, it is essential to have a solid strategy in place for legally collecting phone numbers and growing your customer list.
It is also important to have written consent from subscribers so that if you’re ever accused of non-compliance, you can prove that you have consent from that individual.
The following are some useful ways of collecting phone numbers from potential customers:
Setting up a code
When your customers are willing to opt into your list, a 5-6 digit phone number is used as confirmation.
Customers text that code number to join your list and messages are then sent from that number.
This code is considered to be the backbone of an SMS marketing campaign.
Creating a unique keyword
This refers to a unique SMS marketing term that people would have to text in order to join your list.
It is important to choose a keyword that your customer would easily remember, as well as something relevant to your brand.
Using pop-ups on mobile devices
One good way of attracting your customers would be to use pop-ups on your website only for those who use mobile devices.
This will likely increase your conversion rate and customers will be more inclined to shop on their phones.
Offering perks to subscribers
People are often cautious when it comes to giving their phone numbers. One way of encouraging them would be by offering perks or discounts in the form of contests, giveaways, monthly offers, free samples and shipping offers.
SMS marketing is best for sending urgent requests, time-sensitive information, and messages that you want the customer to see immediately. It surely helps you to build a relationship with your customer and increase brand awareness.