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Advantages of SMS Marketing & When to Use It

The advantages of SMS marketing are clear: with 98% open rates and an average click-through rate of 36%, SMS marketing remains a direct, powerful and personal way to reach customers quickly and effectively. As a veteran marketing channel, SMS continues to evolve and adapt to the changing consumer landscape, making it both relevant and effective for your 2024 campaigns.

Thinking of dipping your toes into the lucrative waters of SMS marketing? You’re not the only one!  

Sure, SMS marketing has been around for quite some time (since the early 00s), but it’s also evolved significantly over the last few years. Many brands now see it across various verticals as the most effective way to reach their customers quickly and effectively. In other words, it’s not the outdated, old-fashioned approach to marketing that many once saw it as! Not convinced? Then, read on, and perhaps the following will whet your appetite.

Is SMS marketing relevant for your brand? First we will delve into the benefits of SMS marketing, and then provide a checklist to see if the strategy is right for your business.

Benefits of SMS Marketing

SMS marketing has several advantages, and we’ve compiled the facts and figures to back it up! With over 6 billion mobile phone users worldwide and 90% of adults in the US owning a mobile phone, marketers are working with a huge potential audience for their SMS marketing campaigns. 

SMS marketing offers direct and instant customer communication, ensuring that your messages reach them promptly. It boasts high open rates, providing a reliable channel for timely promotions or important information. Additionally, its simplicity and ubiquity make it a cost-effective and efficient way to engage a broad audience:

  1. Consumers Prefer SMS
    Did you know that 62% of consumers prefer to receive text messages from businesses over any other form of communication (SimpleTexting)? Moreover, 64% of consumers believe businesses should use SMS more often to communicate with them (SalesForce).   But make sure that your customers are opted in – 75% of consumers want to receive SMS messages from brands after they’ve opted in (Mobile Marketer).
  2. Immediate Delivery
    The ease of SMS makes it a perfect way to market to your customers. Text message marketing is received instantaneously to users who are already carrying around their phones. Therefore, the odds are high that consumers will immediately see your message and hopefully take action.
  3. High Open Rates
    SMS messages have a 98% open rate! Compare this to just 20% for email marketing campaigns (Mobile Marketing Watch), which makes SMS marketing a pretty obvious choice for your marketing arsenal.
  4. Direct and Personal Approach
    SMS marketing allows you to quickly capture your audience’s attention and drive action. With tactics like sms segmentation, you can even personalize your text messages further, giving your customers the feeling that you are talking directly to them.
  5. High Customer Engagement
    The data shows that just over 80% of consumers will likely engage with a brand offering SMS incentives (SimpleTexting). The advantages of SMS in business communication can be seen by a Coca-Cola campaign. Coca-Cola ran a successful SMS marketing campaign asking customers to text in a code found on the inside of bottle caps for a chance to win prizes. Over 2.4 million people texted in codes driving engagement rates up a pretty impressive 7% from the previous year.
  6. Increase in Sales
    SMS marketing allows companies to have quick and easy campaigns for their customers. Look at how Domino’s increased sales by having customers perform a simple action when ordering: Fast-food giant Domino’s ran a successful SMS marketing campaign inviting new customers to text a pizza emoji to a specific number to place an order. The convenience and ease of the movement resonated with their customers and helped drive a 16% increase in online orders in the first quarter of the campaign. Not too shabby!

Immediate delivery, high open rates, a direct and personal approach, and the ability to quickly capture your audience’s attention and drive action –  SMS may very well be the missing piece in your marketing arsenal. 

But it’s not for every business! For many brands, email drives the results they’re looking for with the audience they’re marketing to. For others, push notifications will still be the golden ticket, powering growth year after year to reach their audience with hyper-engaging content. Not sure if it’s for you? What should you ask yourself if you’re considering making the foray into SMS?

Is SMS Marketing Beneficial for Your Business?

SMS marketing is not for every business! For many brands, email drives the results they’re looking for with the audience they’re marketing to. For others, push notifications will still be the golden ticket, powering growth year after year to reach their audience with hyper-engaging content. Not sure if it’s for you? What should you ask yourself if you’re considering making the foray into SMS?

Below are the questions to ask before starting a SMS marketing campaign: 

  1. Who is our target audience, and will they likely respond to SMS marketing? If your audience is tech-savvy and uses their mobile devices regularly, you’re missing a trick if you’re not already on board with SMS marketing. If, however, your audience is more engaged with your website or regularly converts via your email campaigns, it may not be a smart investment. 
  1. Do we often run limited-time offers that we need to get to our customers fast? Those impressive open and click-thru rates for SMS that we mentioned above mean that if you want to execute campaigns quickly and see results even faster – and you do so regularly – SMS could be the perfect approach; 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of being received, and enjoy an average click-through rate of 36%. 
  1. Do we work with segmented audiences? If that’s the case, you’re already halfway there; SMS – like all marketing efforts – is super-effective when campaigns are targeted.  And because this type of messaging is often seen as more personal than other forms of marketing communication, the more targeted and personalized, the more likely the recipient is to respond. Bottom line? If you’re working with segmented audiences, SMS marketing is a no-brainer. 
  1. Do we already have an existing omnichannel strategy – and could it benefit from another customer touchpoint?  Marketers who use three or more marketing channels enjoy purchase/engagement rates up to 250% higher than those using single channels (G2). Adding SMS into your marketing mix makes it powerful when strategically aligned with your other channels. So, for example, a customer might see an ad for your product on social, then receive an email with more information, and finally receive an SMS with a time-sensitive discount code to encourage them to make a purchase.  
  1. Do we struggle with limited customer reach because of spam filters or push notification opt-ins?  While there are a ton of ways to improve push opt-in and email deliverability (and yes, we can help!), SMS is one of the best channels for keeping users engaged – they’ve got lower opt-out rates than push notifications (the average opt-out rate for SMS across all campaigns is less than 5% – Upland Software). You’ll find it easier to get to the top of your customer’s inbox (something increasingly difficult to achieve with push). 
  1. Do we have the right tech in place to help us make a success of our SMS marketing efforts – quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively?  Hey, we get it. Some businesses might feel overwhelmed by the technical side of SMS marketing. And whilst there’s no denying that setting up an SMS campaign requires at least some technical know-how (show us a marketing channel that doesn’t!), businesses may be unsure about choosing the right SMS platform or integrating SMS marketing with their existing marketing channels. If that sounds like you, we can help with that too. 
  1. Will our budget stretch to another marketing channel? Show us a marketing team that isn’t working with an increasingly constrained budget and we’ll show you a unicorn tap dancing on a rainbow. Sure, businesses may worry about the cost of SMS marketing and whether it’s worth the investment, but we think it’s worth remembering that SMS marketing can be a highly cost-effective way to reach customers and drive conversions – and compared with other channels, it’s often much less costly, and if you’re doing it right, can deliver stellar returns. 

Why SMS Marketing with Optimove?  

OptiText (our native SMS tool) makes it easy for you to elevate your SMS marketing as an integral part of a greater marketing strategy, allowing you to start capitalizing on the benefits of native SMS in one integrated platform.   

More importantly, OptiText enables you to streamline campaigns by consolidating all their marketing efforts into one multichannel platform.

So there you have it! If you’ve run through these questions and think there could be synergy between your current marketing efforts and SMS marketing (and we’ll bet there is!), there’s never been a better time to get started. If you’re ready to learn more about how smart SMS marketing can elevate your brand – and how we can help you reach these dizzy heights – contact us to Request a Demo

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Pauline Fyfe

Pauline is a content writer, copywriter, and marketing professional who specializes in writing for start-ups, scale-ups and growing tech brands. She graduated from Central Saint Martin’s in London with an MA in Design at a time when the Internet was just coming into being. Deciding that’s where her real interests lay, she’s pursued a career focused on digital marketing ever since - and never looked back!