We are living in the digital age. Many of our day-to-day interactions take place over data streams, whether it be social media, email, or the internet broadly. Technology has put the tool to navigate the digital age into our pockets and our purses. It is hard to brush shoulders with someone in the U.S. that doesn’t carry a smartphone.
Pew Research reports that 97% of Americans own a mobile device of some kind — 85% of which own a smartphone. That is up from 35% in 2011. The age demographics that boast the largest segment of smartphone ownership are ages 18-29 at 96%, with ages 30-49 closely following at 95%.
Further mobile use data suggests that more than 8 in 10 U.S. adults with smartphones are online daily, and nearly 3 in 10 Americans say they go online “almost constantly.”
What are they doing on their smartphones? Well, besides engaging on various social media platforms, many are using their smartphones as the primary tool to get their news; 57% of American adults get their news from mobile devices, according to Pew Research. But social media and news are not the only things they are doing with their phones — online shopping is a growing digital tidal wave.
Of course, the days of walking into a store to browse, shop, and buy are still lingering about. But the online storefront is quickly advancing. In 2021, mobile e-commerce retail revenue via smartphones in the U.S. is expected to peak at 345 billion dollars. That is from smartphone-only retail purchasing. The number is staggering.
The digital shift in consumer habits and buying reprioritized marketing and advertising efforts for most businesses. Those unwilling to jump aboard the e-commerce train will be left at the station because there are no signs of online buyers slowing down. Due to this, many businesses have shifted their marketing focus to mobile marketing.
For businesses looking to compete in the digital economy, mobile marketing is not optional. Customers must be met where they are; their phones. Mobile marketing is multi-channel. It seeks to meet customers on their smart devices through various ways, whether browsers, social media, apps, email, or SMS.
A vast majority of mobile marketing budgets go simply to mobile advertising, usually through mobile browser pop-up ads, social media sponsored ads, ads via mobile apps and games.
The next most popular tactic is mobile email marketing. Companies and online merchants work hard to grow their subscriber list. Email marketing usually takes the form of sending subscribers promotional material on products or services.
One form of digital mobile marketing strategy growing in popularity is SMS (Short Message Service) marketing, also called text message marketing.
SMS provides a direct link to customers and seeks to engage those subscribers through short text messages, usually with promotional offer links through a brand’s SMS short code. It could link to discounts or coupons, upcoming sales, and new products. Although SMS marketing can send out service alerts to subscribers, it is often a call-to-action link.
For SMS marketing to be effective, businesses must understand consumer data laws; getting permission to text consumers with promotional offers. But this is easily done. Most brands gain permission to contact customers through opt-in — keywords to a brand’s SMS short code — or through security features located on their websites — contact forms, checkout information, verification methods, etc.
SMS marketing is a growing trend among businesses that understand the digital market. They have seen the same data as referenced above. Smartphone accessibility and usage is growing by the day, and consumers are taking advantage of the ease of use to make their purchase decisions. SMS marketing is one trend that cannot be neglected for brands looking to take advantage of the ecommerce economy.
The reasons for adopting the trend of SMS marketing abound, but here are ten reasons that brands should jump on board this mobile marketing strategy.
Most people have their phones at arm’s reach at all times. SMS marketing is the fastest way to reach them directly. Once a customer has subscribed or given permission to text them, brands can reach out to them in a flash. Not only that, companies with SMS short codes can reach vast amounts of customers at once.
Not only is it the fastest way to reach customers, but it also offers the best opportunity for them to actually see your message. According to data from Business 2 Community, it takes customers 90 seconds to open a text message on average — less than two minutes.
Email marketing or text message marketing? Well, for many businesses, email marketing has been the go-to in mobile marketing; but it shouldn’t be. Marketing data shows a higher open rate for text messages compared to emails — 99% versus 28-33%, respectively.
The same marketing data states that the average response rate for text messages is roughly 45%. The average response rate for email is only 6%. Higher response rates offer better opportunities to turn customer responses into sales.
As already stated above, 85% of Americans own a smartphone, with ages 18 - 49 being the oldest demographic. SMS marketing allows brands to reach a wider audience and a range of ages at once — from Gen Z and beyond.
SMS marketing allows brands to engage with their customers in a variety of ways; quickly. Promotional offers, contests, reward programs, and marketing campaigns can all be run through a brand’s mobile subscriber list. Customers can also be reminded of upcoming events, appointments, or webinars.
Brands can choose to purchase dedicated SMS short codes; five-digit numbers that are unique to the brand, used for high-volume text messaging. Furthermore, various text message templates can be used and are easy to create — from generic promotional offer templates to personalized birthday message templates.
SMS marketing is not just about selling to a customer; it can also retain a customer. Customer retention is on the mind of most brands, and SMS messaging gives them an opportunity to send customers short surveys directly asking for feedback on buying experience, site navigation, and more.
SMS marketing lets businesses track and manage customer engagement easier. Also, most SMS marketing efforts can easily be tracked for basic reporting. That data can help show you if the marketing efforts and campaigns are effective.
Most marketing efforts and campaigns are made to reach a large target audience at once, so naturally, they are usually quite generic. However, with SMS marketing, messaging can be personalized. This works great for sending birthday coupon codes or discounts. Say goodbye to the robotic talk, “Greetings, Valued Customer.”
SMS marketing expands the digital toolbox that brands can use to reach existing and potential customers. One tool that should be in the toolbox of every e-commerce business is an abandoned cart recovery tool.
Most mobile marketing efforts are focused on email marketing. This includes abandoned cart recovery efforts. However, brands looking to take advantage of the trend of SMS marketing should not overlook its effectiveness in cart recovery — for all the email vs. text messaging reasons given above.
The abandoned cart is a problem for all e-commerce businesses, so is the effort to recover the sale. LiveRecover is a tool that specializes in converting those abandoned carts into sales by using personalized SMS messaging strategies — helping brands truly maximize their SMS marketing efforts.
Through e-commerce integrations, LiveRecover gathers customer contact information, which they’ve consented to, and reaches out to those potential customers for you via SMS messaging.
Most potential customers allow uncertainty or a few simple questions to stand in the way of purchasing a product, whether it questions shipping or products. LiveRecover uses real people to engage real customers; no automated messaging, no robot speak.
SMS marketing seeks to improve the brand’s bottom line by meeting the customer where they are—online and on their phone. It boasts advantages that email marketing simply cannot compete with. It’s time to jump on board.