Mobile Marketing with SMS

Mobile marketing with SMS first started in the 1990s when the first commercial text message was sent. Twenty years later and SMS is still the go-to mobile marketing solution, despite the growth of smartphone ownership and the alternative mobile marketing options now available.

Although some of these alternative mobile marketing options have their value in specific circumstances, group SMS mobile marketing consistently delivers impressive results across a broad spectrum of applications. This can be attributed to several factors:

  • More people have access to mobile devices capable of receiving SMS messages.
  • You do not need any technical skills to send, receive or reply to an SMS message.
  • SMS messages are immediate, intimate, and - from a marketer´s perspective - inexpensive.
  • Mobile marketing with SMS is a permission-based activity, so organizations are only communicating with people who want to hear what they have to say.

What is Group SMS Mobile Marketing?

Group SMS mobile marketing is an effective way of sending a message to a group of contacts simultaneously using a browser-based platform. The reason for using a browser-based platform - rather than sending a group text message from your cellphone - is that contacts are easier to manage on the platform, the platform is cheaper to use, and - as you will discover below - there is so much more you can do with a browser-based platform.

In order to conduct mobile marketing with SMS using a browser-based platform, you have to subscribe to a group messaging service. The service provider will allocate you a username and password which you use to log into the platform. Once logged in, you simply upload your group of contacts, write your message and click send. Within minutes your contacts will be receiving your message wherever they are, whatever they are doing.

Features of a Group Messaging Platform

Group messaging platforms are packed full of features that can enhance your marketing message and increase its impact. As with the platforms themselves, the features only take a little getting used to before you will be using them with every SMS text message you send. The most useful features of a group messaging platform include:

  • The ability to schedule messages in advance. This feature can be used to send one-off SMS mobile marketing messages at a time when they will achieve the greatest impact, used to schedule drip-fed or recurring campaigns, or used to send individual messages out on your contacts´ birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  • The ability to attached multimedia (MMS) files to your messages. The impact of mobile marketing with SMS can be greatly enhanced with images, audio and video files. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words
  • The ability to save sent SMS messages as templates. This may not seem like a big deal to smaller organizations, or marketing executives with time on their hands to compose a new message with every SMS blast, but being able to recycle previously sent marketing messages is a blessing for many people.
  • The ability to sort your contacts into groups and subgroups. When you first start mobile marketing by SMS, you will likely only have a small database of contacts. However, as your database grows, the ability to sort your contacts into groups according to their interests/roles can ensure that they only receive text messages that are relevant to them.

As well as helping to save money by avoiding “text wastage” - sending text messages to people who have no interest in them - this final feature can make management of your database much easier. If you already have a substantial database of contacts, group messaging platforms already integrate with many popular management applications, and APIs exist to build the platforms into your own bespoke applications if required.

The Advantages of Mobile Marketing with SMS

The biggest advantage of mobile marketing with SMS is that SMS messaging is considered to be one of the most intimate forms of communication. People only have to hear the ringtone of an incoming message and they will stop what they are doing, reach for their cellphone, and open the message. Research has shown that 91% of people keep their cellphones within reach at all times, and that 83% of all SMS messages are opened within 90 seconds of delivery.

Other research has revealed that most people will open SMS messages before any other form of mobile communication (emails, IMs, tweets, etc.), that 31% of people will respond to a survey conducted by SMS within six minutes, and that group SMS mobile marketing produces engagement rates six to eight times higher than can be achieved by group email marketing. Our case studies include many examples to support these advantages of mobile marketing with SMS.

Group SMS Mobile Marketing for the Retail Industry

The retail industry uses group SMS mobile marketing more than any other industry. Retailers from Bloomingdales to Burger King use group SMS mobile marketing because of its reach, its simplicity of use and its cost-effectiveness. Furthermore, depending on their age, between 48% and 75% of consumers have indicated they prefer SMS communications for marketing messages, loyalty program notifications and surveys.

Most people have been exposed to some type of retail mobile marketing by SMS - typically in the form of “text [keyword] to [short code number] to take advantage of [offer]”. When people respond to the offer, they opt into the retailer´s group SMS mobile marketing service and are added to the retailer´s database of contacts to receive future marketing messages. Mobile marketing with SMS can be used in many different scenarios by retailers, but undoubtedly the most effective is couponing.

With group SMS mobile marketing for the retail industry, coupons can be sent as attachments to text messages, as image MMS messages (“show this image at the register to get a 10% discount”) or as a QR Code (not recommended because older-model cellphones cannot read QR Codes). Out-of-store coupons, distributed as part of a mobile marketing campaign tend to have a redemption rate of 30% - 50%, plus drive customers to your store. Once inside the store, secondary in-store coupon offers redeem at a rate of 70% - 80%.

Other Uses for Mobile Marketing with SMS

Once you are familiar with group SMS mobile marketing, other uses of for mobile marketing with SMS seem to appear everywhere you look. Political parties, churches and schools use group SMS mobile marketing to solicit donations and engage voters, parishioners and students. All three organizations have a particular interest in connecting with the “text generation” and are keen to have them opt in to receive their SMS text messages - whether the messages are of a commercial nature or not.  

Using the same group messaging platform as is used for group SMS mobile marketing, political parties can encourage young voters to on Election Day to “Get Out the Vote”, while churches can increase attendances at services, ministries and church events with carefully timed SMS reminders. Schools can use a group messaging platform to advise students of extracurricular activities, or warn students of campus alerts at times when data networks may be overloaded.

Other uses for mobile marketing with SMS include informing jobseekers of new employment opportunities, and alerting homebuyers to new properties on the market. Because of the immediacy of SMS messaging, these services are particularly effective and highly subscribed. The immediacy of SMS messaging is also a bonus for football fans keeping up to date with the score on game day. Most football teams now use group SMS mobile marketing for this purpose among others.

Try Group SMS Mobile Marketing for Free

If you would like to know more about mobile marketing with SMS, we invite you to try group SMS mobile marketing for free via our “Free and EZ” program. Our “Free and EZ” program has no subscription fees, allows you to send up to 250 SMS messages free of charge each month, and provides access to our fully-enabled group messaging platform. While only a demo keyword is included in our “Free and EZ” offer, this opportunity will help you evaluate whether group SMS mobile marketing will benefit your business.

For further information about our free mobile marketing with SMS offer, do not hesitate to contact our team of Client Success Managers. Our team will guide you through the process of registering your account, will explain more about the features of the group messaging platform, and will organize “Click-to-Join” website widgets and your demo keyword so you can start building your database of contacts right away.

Only your email address is required to take advantage of our “Free and EZ” offer. There are no credit cards required, no contracts to sign, and no obligation for you to subscribe to a higher level of service at any time. We feel that mobile marketing with SMS is the best way to generate customer engagement, increase brand awareness, and shape future marketing campaigns. We are convinced that, once you have tried our “Free and EZ” free group SMS mobile marketing offer, you will feel that way too.