Time and time again, there have been business owners who are pretty much new to the concept of using SMS as a tool for promoting their business and reaching out to even more customers.
With limited knowledge of the potential that text messaging has for businesses, entrepreneurs unwittingly play into the misconceptions of SMS marketing which is honestly understandable but at the same time costly.
Perhaps, it is due to the association of mobile communication with the younger audience or the highly casual nature of communication most commonly used in SMS that makes some business owners skeptical about the effectiveness of text as an entrepreneurial tool. Despite how SMS has largely and drastically dominated almost every industry’s target population, it is still important to adamantly shed light on the true benefits that text messaging for business can bring. Let’s break down the most common misconceptions about business SMS one by one:
FALLACY: SMS is used only for selling items
FACT: SMS is a very flexible, multi-purpose tool for businesses
With the keyword being ‘mobile’, there are indeed quite a number of transactions that can be accomplished more seamlessly through SMS. But apart from the practice of selling and exchanging goods, texting can also serve as a medium for businesses to promote their services, drive higher conversions, foster customer loyalty, gauge the efficiency of the services they offer by sending brief surveys, and build closer connections with their audience and fellow business owners. Beyond that, SMS functions impressively as a reference for you to send rewards to your end-users, integrate your email campaigns to deliver more flawless marketing strategies and track customer engagement in the long run.
FALLACY: Text messaging for business is spammy and intrusive to customer privacy
FACT: Opt-in and Opt-out helps eliminate the instance of customers receiving unwanted texts from business owners
Customers often react to promos and ads from businesses depending on how convenient it has been on their part to receive and take part in it. In the past, the edge of email marketing grew stale very quickly because the messages often end up in the end-users’ spam folders. This led to the instance of very low open rates. Majority of promotions, no matter how great, fell on deaf ears (or in this case blind eyes). The same scenario applies to phone calls and door-to-door sales—it is not openly welcomed and entertained by all customers.
Not quite promising when you’re only starting to advertise your products and project your brand to a wider market, right?
Thankfully, unlike the hassles brought about by these outdated marketing channels, SMS does not breach into the privacy or convenience of customers. It promotes a platform for business-to-customer communication that has zero spam. Businesses cannot reach customers unless the opt-in is activated through their mobile phones. End-users are provided with the option of allowing business owners to send them promotions via text (Opt-in), and stop their subscription to the text promos whenever they want (Opt-out).
FALLACY: It is only applicable for big brands and more established companies
FACT: Business SMS can fit any budget and workforce regardless of size
Most people assume that employing text messaging for their business is very costly. They anticipate the requirement of a larger budget in order to reach multiple channels through text. What they don’t realize is the cost-effective solution that mobile communication can bring. There are apps available that offer texting credits and packages at affordable rates, thereby catering to your current budget and existing manpower. Smaller campaigns can be operated with ease, too.
Likewise, SMS is perfectly suitable and adaptable to a wide variety of businesses. Whether you run a small, humble shop or a more widely recognized company, integrating text messaging into your communication channels for marketing and expanding your network of customers will leave your ad strategies with more room to expand and adapt. You acquire the capability to send limited promotions in bulk, build connections with potential business partners, as well as assist customers situated a bit far from where your main office is. In other words, you can achieve more of your objectives and core goals without having to spend a fortune.
FALLACY: Business text messaging or mobile marketing only appeals to the younger generation
FACT: Texting has been quite a staple in the lifestyles of both the older and younger generations
In the past, it is true that the younger individuals made use of mobile phones more often than the older generation did. But that isn’t the case these days. Now, there are as many mobile phones as there are people—from teens and young adults to working individuals and retirees. As a matter of fact, research shows that around 830 messages are sent and 726 are received among people who belong in the 35-44 age bracket. At the same time, among 18-24 year old individuals, an average total of 3,853 texts were found to have been exchanged in the past year. Baby boomers are also using text messaging a lot more frequently at present compared to when SMS was still starting to emerge as a communication channel.
Texting is very convenient and it bridges gaps between people no matter how big the distance. People regardless of age send and receive texts 24/7 while customers are able to express their concerns and reach out to businesses.
FALLACY: Tracking conversations and ROI on business text messaging is not ideal nor is it achievable
FACT: You can use SMS communication to assess customer engagement and changes in your revenue
Since SMS is mostly appreciated and used by customers due to the personalized nature of communication that it promotes, it is an effective tool for marketing and reaching out to your audience. A simple promotion or request sent to your customers via text will have the higher likelihood of getting a response as opposed to when you use other forms of communication to disseminate the promo to them. Focusing on the amount of response rates you get alone can help you gauge how many of your end-users are actively engaging in your promotions along with those who portray genuine interest in the updates regarding your services.
FALLACY: Creating campaigns for business text messaging is too tedious
FACT: SMS campaigns are timely and will take just a few minutes of your time
The SMS you send should contain sufficient information about the kind of services or products that you offer. But since it has limited characters, it may seem like quite a complicated task at first. As such, creativity plays a vital role when it comes to creating SMS campaigns that will really gauge the interest of your target audience. There are also SMS marketing apps that use long codes to help you save more time and resource when launching a campaign. Unlike short codes that take days to acquire an approval, it will only take a few hours for long codes to enable prompt initiation of business campaigns.
Text messaging for business is probably one of the easiest, most undemanding and most budget-friendly tools for marketing you can avail nowadays
Using text messaging for business does not demand much from your resources or your budget. As long as you have a clear and elaborate plan on how you intend to market your services and extend the reach of your brand across different demographics in the fastest and most hassle-free way possible, you will be able to have a better, more accurate judgment on how you can exhaust the advantages of SMS for it to fit the nature and demands of your business.