Harnessing the power of text message marketing for small business

Topic: SMS Marketing

Modern-day consumers are overloaded with digital stimuli and information. So as a small business, how exactly can you grab their attention and ensure you stand out from the sea of competition? 

Text message marketing, which involves using text messages or SMS to promote your business, products and services, can be a great way to engage directly with your customers. But what makes this channel so effective? And how can small businesses take advantage of it?

The benefits of SMS marketing for small businesses

  • Target customers where they’re most likely to be found – recent research shows that 91% of the world owns a mobile phone. By engaging with customers via this channel, you’re reaching them where they already are.
  • It’s personal – consumers tend to be more inclined to give away their emails than phone numbers, as the latter is an intimately personal contact detail. If you can connect with customers via text, there’s the potential to build deeper relationships.
  • Two-way communication is possible – customers can reply to businesses, which mimics the natural conversations they have with loved ones. This too can help strengthen the relationship between you and your individual customers.
  • It complements other channels, like email – where email is better for longer form communication, text is great for shorter messages. You can also give your campaigns an extra boost by following up via SMS, such as promoting an upcoming sale via email and then sending a reminder via text.

What industries could benefit from text message marketing?

Here are some of the small businesses that could benefit the most from text message marketing: 

  • Boiler engineers 
  • Gardeners
  • Gyms 
  • Local restaurants or takeaways 
  • Newsagents 
  • Off licenses 
  • Window cleaners 

4 text message marketing tips for small businesses 

1. Acquire new customers

Use text message marketing to acquire new customers. Entice new customers to make a purchase by offering them a discount code or coupon they can’t resist when they sign up for SMS messages. 

For example, you can offer new customers a 20% discount with their first purchase when they text PROMO to your number and opt into your SMS services. 

Once your customers are familiar with your business, they will be more likely to purchase products or services in the future. Don’t forget, it’s much easier to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one, so make sure you offer high-quality communication that is of value. 

2. Get to know customer preferences 

Surveys, questionnaires and polls can be a great way to help you improve your understanding of customer needs and preferences. Use SMS to send them out to customers. Not only is it quick and easy to reach a diverse set of customers (in bulk!), but it also boasts higher response rates than any other channel. 

For example, our recent research found that 40% of global consumers stated they’d be more likely to fill in a customer survey or review if asked via text/SMS.

3. Improve engagement

Connecting with customers is crucial for all businesses. This is particularly the case for small businesses, as great customer engagement can be what differentiates you from your competitors. 

SMS literally places your brand right into your customers’ hands. After all, this channel boasts open rates of up to 98%. So take advantage of this to boost the likelihood of your messages being seen and read. 

Here are some examples of messages you can send via text/SMS:

  • Appointment reminders (with the option to reschedule)
  • Sales and discounts alerts
  • Back in stock alerts
  • Order updates

4. Enable two-way communication 

Another way you can make the most of SMS marketing is by using it to enhance your customer service experience. This is thanks to this channel’s ability to allow two-way communication between a business and its customers.

If your customer has a query, they can text your business number rather than waiting on hold or in a queue. This is convenient for both the customer and your employees.

For example, if you’re a restauranteur, your customers could make reservations via text rather than ringing up. You can also send out reminders of upcoming bookings, with the option to reschedule and reduce the likelihood of no-shows. It’s quick and easy for customers to do this. And your staff can spend less time answering the phone and more time doing the tasks that really matter.

5. Increase sales

With its excellent message engagement rates, SMS marketing is an excellent way to promote sales and boost conversions. Send updates about your new products, offer attractive incentives, and remind customers about upcoming sales or restocked items. 

In our global survey of 3,000+ consumers, 81% of respondents said they would consider purchasing from a business as a result of a marketing message received via text/SMS. Furthermore, consumers respond well to timely notifications, including notifications of one-time discounts, sales reminders and back in stock alerts.

Text message marketing: It’s one ideal way to directly connect with customers

With open rates of up to 98%, text message marketing can be a cost-efficient and effective way to engage directly with your customers. This direct and authentic form of communication can help you acquire customers, increase engagement, foster brand loyalty and more. 

Though people are generally more inclined to give away email addresses than phone numbers, if you can obtain a customer’s number, it’s the perfect chance to build trust and a long lasting connection.

To learn more about text message marketing, download our guide, which covers the five essentials every small business needs to know about.

Author Avatar
Prachi Bametha

Marketing Coordinator, Esendex Australia