Marketing with SMS/Text

Why isn’t everyone doing more SMS marketing and less email marketing?   The open rate statistics of SMS versus email are overwhelming.


Email stats are:   Open rate 22.83%          Click through rate 2.75%

(Stats from Mail Chip)


SMS stats are:  Open rate 97-98% within 2-3 minutes

Click through rate of 35 to 40%

(Blended stats from several sources)


The facts and figures

Email remains a popular channel for businesses, attracted by its low cost.  But it’s the bigger picture that businesses often overlook or are unaware of. The volume of businesses using email is astronomical, making the marketing platform extremely cluttered.

Think about your email inbox right now: how many notifications will be glaring at you?  Thinking more about this, no doubt there’ll be emails you immediately delete every time without even opening.  When email inboxes are flooded with the unwanted and the unrequested, it’s easy to see why a well-meaning, perfectly legitimate marketing mail might get lost and ignored.

What’s more, email providers such as Google and Microsoft now provide advanced solutions that automatically segment or hide marketing and communications emails before users even see them.

Text messages, however, are not burdened with the challenge of attracting your attention.  When you receive a text, your phone lights up and catches your eye – leading to a higher likelihood of an instant pick up. If your phone isn’t within immediate reach, you’ll certainly pick it up by the end of the day. In fact, most phones will continue to remind users that they have received a text message until it’s opened, something that can certainly be used to the advantage of your business.

SMS marketing also gives you the ability to put offers and information directly into the hands of your customers. If used well this could be an effective marketing strategy and present the opportunity to build customer loyalty.

Anecdotally, some of the concerns I have heard is being afraid of being labeled a spammer.  No one likes to receive unsolicited SMS marketing messages.  So what is the answer?  I might suggest starting conservatively by only texting existing customers.  Perhaps start with customer service messages, than ease your way into marketing messages.

Customer service messages might be something such as:

“Your product shipped today, click here for tracking information.”

Then follow that up with a text a few days later.  “Hello Bill, I trust you received (product A).  We would love to get some feedback.  “Click here to take a two question survey.”

Then ease into marketing with a message such as, “Hello Bill, Thank you again for your order of product A.  We now have in stock a great companion product you might be interested in.  Take a look here.”

Just like email, of course you must give instructions on how to stop receiving text messages and immediately comply if they do in fact opt out of marketing messages.  So judicious use of SMS for marketing is important.

Bottom line, creative marketing companies will have some real advantages by using SMS thoughtfully rather than continue to use email exclusively.

If this is interesting and you’d like to brain storm on an idea or two feel free to comment or just give me a call.  My cell is 612-237-8445.