How to use SMS in marketing

How to use SMS in marketing and understand if your concept will work. With instant results, you can work out your ROI in minutes

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

What is the main benefit of using SMS in marketing

Your SMS messages get instant attention and mostly an instant response.

Unlike emails that may be stored for later retrieval and even newsletters that can be saved for the future, your marketing SMS promotes an action.

All actions won't be positive however you will soon learn to analyze the results and get a good idea if your income is greater than your spending.

First of all, this is achieved by test marketing. Take a sample of your base and send the message to that small list.
If it works to your satisfaction then continue on. However, if it does not work then make changes to the message and try again.

Testing the SMS market can deliver results

testing SMS

With SMS you only have a nominal 160 characters to play with so your message must be succinct and to the point.

  • Adding a christian name to the introduction can help.
  • Tell them what you want them to do, don't make them guess
  • Demand attention by crafting a great message
  • Always have a simple opt-out solution ( it's law)

Once you do this then it is all about the figures.
If you mail your entire base there is no second chance. That is why we test and test to ensure we will get rewards.

SMS marketing and your data base

The first thing to do is to segment your base into interest groups.

It is no good sending meat recipes to Vegans they don't care. However, you may have both groups represented in your base.

If you were sending cooking tips for Asparagus ( as an example) both groups would respond because we all love Asparagus.

Your data base represents significant value

Many of you will underestimate the commercial value of a great Database. One that contains not only names but email addresses, SMS numbers, and postal addresses.

First of all, when it is used properly it should return a positive income every time you mail the list. The amount of return will depend on your industry however it should be positive.

Secondly, the total database has a value-based around it's use as an Asset. This could be enhanced on the sale of a business where it will make a difference to the commercial price given.

Finally, it allows you to touch your base in different ways increasing the likelihood of a good return.

The seven touch theory

This is an advertising rule bought forward from the past that says;

“A client must be touched seven times before they will buy”
This is demonstrated with TV advertising where an advertisement is repeated ad nauseam until you either get it or hate it.

Using email, a newsletter, and SMS can grow the know and like functions of marketing and lead to trust and purchasing.

Does it work? Take a look at the large department stores and food vendors that appreciate you as a customer. They recognise that your spending is valuable to them so they go all out to keep you faithful.

SMS marketing campains

How to use SMS in marketing

Like all marketing, you need to be both consistent and persistent. However, you also need to recognise that overuse can harm the rewards.

That is where your analytics play a large role in the game. Understanding opt-out figures is a leading example and should always be carefully monitored.
You will have a regular trend of clients that ask to be left alone. This is natural as their needs change and they move on to other interests.
However, if this figure increases above the normal expected low percent consideration to change must happen.

For example;
When buying a new car you are open to all sorts of approaches because your level of interest is at maximum volume.

However, after the purchase, you don't want to be involved any longer in a tirade of information on new cars.

But, that is when the service offers begin, Insurance bargains, the must-have accessories start to roll in.

Marketing is ever-evolving and you need to be constantly on top of the game to keep your clientele from straying afar.

SMS messaging is multi functional

A client of mine had a regular quarterly sale. This was a carpark sale where they got rid of both slow-moving stock and new arrivals. Although they had many stores this was consistent with one location.
He had for some time used a full-page newspaper promotion to attract a following. The cost was about $8000 a page however it generally achieved a good reception.

We trialed SMS messaging in a two-stage promotion. One message a week before the sale and one on the morning of the deal.

The cost was about one-quarter of a news advertisement and the result was at least four times greater in turn-up and sales.

As a contact media SMS excels.

The cost saving benefits of SMS

How to use SMS in marketing
Marketing on a budget

When we organise a marketing campaign many small parts contribute to the end product. Many of these parts include outside experts necessary to contribute to the package.
Your role is to put this all together and get it working.

An SMS broadcast takes just a few minutes to prepare a message and at the push of a button, thousands of messages go to the market.

What's more the results start coming back within seconds. Today buyers are action takers that don't hang around considering the why's and wheres of a decision.

One recommendation is to always include yourself and key people in the first test. Errors are quickly noticed and you have time to make corrections.
In one such blast the customer forgot to identify themselves, the recipients had no idea where the message had come from and instantly opted out. Simple errors do happen even with the best of intentions.


SMS is not for everyone however when the need is right the results will certainly prove to be profitable in many ways.

You can test the market, achieve instant returns, and provide a low-cost assault on your customer base.

Chose your carrier carefully with a price in mind and look after your base because it is your Gold Mine of income.

How to use SMS in marketing by Peter Hanley

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