Learn from our 16 years of SMS experience
We know SMS inside out
So what is SMS Marketing and why should you use it... We could write pages about this subject, but lets try and sum it up very quickly with some facts that have held up for many years across a very broad range of small/large business, government, local council and charity clients...
Firstly, at iTagg we often say 'SMS Communications' as well as 'Marketing', because we believe SMS gives a unique way of creating lots of individual and personalised conversations. The days of bulk marketing being about buying a list of recipients from a data provider and just blasting out a single bland message are almost over. Unlike email marketing which often still seems to employ this 'spray and pray' method to talk 'at' people, SMS allows brands to have a 2 way conversation, engage with existing customers and users, and to tailor and personalise each message and track individual replies, clicks and optouts.
SMS is a very highly targeted communications and marketing tool that should be employed by every business and other organisation, and in the toolbox of every digital marketing agency.
It is well established that SMS communications and marketing is much more effective than email. 25% of people open a marketing email. 98% open a text message - oh and they do it within a few minutes. Enough said!
SMS allows a brand to contact users or customers who really want to hear from them. People tend not to opt-in to receive SMS from just anybody; they are very selective. So when you find them on your list it's because they are a loyal follower and interested in your services and products, or because they asked to be updated with alerts and reminders. SMS is also an effective way of communicating with remote staff.
SMS messages can be upto 1,440 characters long, but to keep the cost to a single credit 160 characters is the usual limit. This makes a brand think very carefully about what they want to say it. When a person receives a well written and succinct communications and marketing SMS, they know instantly what it's about. Call to action and engagement will follow very quickly, often as a simple click-through to your website or landing page or a text reply such as 'YES I want more info or a callback'. But SMS is also good at driving footfall into stores, restaurants, etc, often with a voucher code within the SMS to show at the til. The value of an SMS campaign can be very carefully measured, down to individual clicks, replies, optouts and online/offline purchases.
Do some planning before you embark on any SMS communications and marketing... There are a number of options and important ground rules to think through. Firstly, don't just buy in a list of supposedly opted-in mobile numbers ready to blast out a bulk SMS. Ideally you are going to be texting your existing customers, users or staff. Make sure your contracts with them and any privacy and opt-in policies are up to date. Are you even allowed to text them; just because they entered their mobile number into your website it does not necessarily mean you have got the right permissions. Get to know the ICO and PECR and understand the regulations and laws that govern your use of electronic communication and the privacy and rights of the people you are texting.
Once you're ready to prepare an SMS communications and marketing campaign you need to consider the best call to action. Do you want a click-through to your mobile website or an SMS reply requesting more information or a callback. Do you send the SMS "from" a virtual mobile number, shortcode or brandname. What are the implications on how easy it is for people to respond or optout. What are the costs to users for responding or opting out. What times of the day and days of the week should and can you text. How often should you contact people by SMS to be effective and how much is too much. Are there any tricks to make the SMS look nicer on the phones.
As you can see there are many questions and issues to consider. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation and start planning how you can get the most from SMS communications and marketing.
"and another thing ... In 2002 Steve Procter and iTagg ran their very first SMS service to provide goal alerts for the Korea/Japan World Cup. Lots of texts, but not many 'England scores' ones!" see more...