Six Things You Didn’t Know About SMS Marketing

You probably send and receive SMS text messages every day. You also have probably heard about the success of mobile apps and maybe your plans for 2012 include building your own app too. But as a marketer, you may not have considered that SMS is one of the best forms of mobile marketing.

With nearly every mobile phone on Earth capable of receiving a text message, SMS marketing is the only sure way of reaching the pockets of your customers.

1. You can use branded alphanumeric Sender Ids

Just like your branded emails, your SMS marketing messages can appear to your customers with the name or identity of your choosing. This means that when your text arrives on the customer’s phone, your name, or location, or handle will appear as the sender, instead of simply a phone number.

Using a custom Sender ID is a great way to get instant recognition for your messages. It is best used for messages that don’t require a reply from the customer because the custom sender ID replaces the reply-to phone number.

2. There is Bulk SMS software; just like bulk email

Gathering and managing a database of mobile numbers, SMS campaigns, trigger messages, and unsubscribes is possible using bulk SMS tools from one of the bulk SMS providers.

Just like the email management tools you’re used to using, you can fully manage and support a robust list of contact numbers and customer information. Many of these SMS management tools also support API commands, so you can build SMS right into your app, website, game or other software.

3. SMS APIs are available for everyone to use

Businesses large and small are able to tap into the bulk SMS provider’s SMS API to provide greater control, functionality and integration with other systems. For example, your website registration form can ask for the customer’s mobile number to receive an SMS update when their order is shipped, or to confirm a transaction. Your web developer can easily hook this field to the SMS provider’s API allowing you to add the number and opt-in request to your SMS database.

But it’s not just businesses that can benefit from using a bulk SMS API. Many people use the tools and API to send low-cost SMS messages to their friends and family overseas where email or other digital communication is either forbidden or impractical.

4. Mobile purchasing is a big deal and getting bigger

If you use Google AdWords for mobile campaigns, you should know that the Google bot now analyses your website to determine its quality score when viewed on a mobile smartphone.

There is now no reason not to optimize your website for mobile. What’s more, this past Christmas season and current usage patterns demonstrate that more people than ever are using a mobile device to make purchases. With the right offers, mobile phones make a great tool for impulse purchases as well.

5. Accurate tracking

Most people have multiple email addresses (I currently have 6), so it can be difficult to keep track of a specific person across your lists. By contrast, most people only have one mobile phone number, two at most. This makes it easier to keep track of a particular number and match it to a specific person.

6. Easily blends with social platforms

With bulk SMS API tools, it’s easy to blend SMS marketing with social platforms. Promote your SMS programme or offers via your usual social media platforms and encourage your contacts to opt-in to receive value-added SMS messages from your business.

Keep the messages service oriented (such as appointment reminders or vouchers) and honor your customers with relevant SMS messages. Your marketing will never be more personal.