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SMS: The Growing Mobile Marketing Giant

05.08.2013 / Posted in Articles, Digital Marketing, Direct Marketing

The marketing world is changing and changing fast. Consumers no longer just go online—they go online on the go. In the United States, more than 93 percent of adults and 78 percent of teens own a mobile phone.

Concurrently, the use of SMS (which stands for “short message service” but which most people call “texting”) continues to grow. According to Experian’s marketing service arm, 48 percent of adults aged 18 to 24 and 47 percent of people aged 25 to 34 feel that conversations via text message are just as meaningful as telephone calls.

Smart companies take advantage of this. Here’s how you can, too:

Why SMS Works for Marketing

What makes SMS highly effective?

  • Simplicity: SMS is easy, fast, and inexpensive.
  • Trust: SMS creates a one-on-one relationship between the brand and individual that gives consumer a richer, more personal experience.
  • Reach: SMS gives brands a captive audience for the majority of the day. And at a staggering 98 percent, open rates for SMS are significantly higher than for e-mail marketing.

Building an SMS Campaign Plan

An SMS campaign is slightly different than a typical marketing campaign—but not by much. (To read our series on developing marketing strategy, click here).

Step One: Define and Gather Your Audience

Who do you want to target? As with all marketing campaigns, you can’t develop an effective SMS campaign without defined audiences.

Also, you need people to message. Companies must build SMS audiences through their other marketing channels. Asking for mobile number opt-ins on Web forms, e-mail messages, and even at the point of sales has become a marketing best practice.

Step Two: Determine What to Say

As one piece of the marketing mix, SMS campaigns should fit into the company’s overall marketing strategy and plan and tie in with all company communication in tone and personality. (For more on how to develop effective marketing messages, click here.)

A few tips on SMS messaging:

  • Brevity: Every word counts when you have 160 characters or less. Short, sweet, to the point, and compelling are critical.
  • Urgency: Users respond quickly to SMS—or not at all. Unlike other marketing media, recipients rarely revisit texts. Making offers highly time sensitive—such as an expiring offer code—can get people to act and act quickly.
  • Creativity: SMS are all text. Companies can’t rely on great design to achieve their goals—yet they must be creative. A few years ago, Harley Davidson had success with a “Twelve Days of Christmas” promotion via SMS that featured a deal each day. (To read more about the promotion, click here.)

Step Three: Track Results

As with any marketing program, companies need to understand how to determine success and how to adjust the campaign for better results. (For more on how to measure marketing, download our white paper.)

Need help developing your campaign and monitoring it’s results? Call FrogDog today!

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