We live in a digital age and almost everyone uses mobile phones. This makes SMS marketing a valuable tool for the growth of your business in the 21st century. According to this report says 90% of SMS are read within 15 minutes of being received. This means 9 out of 10 receivers read your messages. Can you believe what tremendous power you have for promoting your products or services?

So where to start? Here’s the answer.

  1. Select your SMS service vendor

The first thing to do is to choose a reliable SMS service provider. There are hundreds of SMS providers in the world and you should choose the one that is right for you and for your pocket. Developer’s Home discusses 13 questions that you should ask yourself when choosing an SMS service provider. You should ask yourself, “Is it good for my pocket or how much does 1 SMS message cost?” There may be some hidden costs and it’s a good idea to check that. Some vendors also propose minimum purchase requirements and this may not be what you want. Check that. For the complete list of questions go to Developer’s Home.

  1. Be clear about legal issues

Once you have chosen your SMS provider, think about legal issues. Some jurisdictions impose sanctions against SMS messages that do not have opt-in/opt-out options.  This options should be easily identifiable and applicable. Your text also should not look spammy.

  1. Send your first bulk message

After selecting your SMS vendor and being clear about legalities of that jurisdiction, you are ready to send your first bulk message. You may have some opt-out during the first try. Once you have established your customers, SMS will become a great way of doing your business.

  1. Promote SMS service!

There may be times when your business is dead. The best idea is to come up with some “free stuff” to offer to your customers. For example, if you are a restaurant and you don’t see many people coming on that day, you can send an SMS saying the first 10 visitors will get a free meal. Or, if you want to promote an upcoming event, you can offer free admission or something for the first 20 people who reply.

  1. Use a smart strategy

It is not easy to create the text of your SMS messages. Brit Tammeorg suggests 6 SMS marketing tips for small businesses. “To craft quality messages” is one of the tips. The author suggests putting the name of your business first. This is important for the customer to be sure you are not spam. Then use a call to action. Just by asking a client to confirm participation is a huge step in your marketing strategy. Tammeorg suggests being specific. Not just say there is a sale, but what products are on sale and what kind of discount is offered. Finally, use simple language that everyone understands.

  1. Time is money

Timing is everything for good SMS marketing. Since most SMS messages are opened within minutes, you want to send the message on the day of the event or close to that. To send an SMS long before is a waste of time and money. Most will just forget about your message.

  1. Frequency matters

You don’t want to be too pushy. So sending SMS messages too frequently just annoys the receivers and they may decide to opt out. On the other hand, you also do not want to get out of the minds of your customers. Sending messages that share with them some “sweets” is a great way to stay in the field. Brit Tammeorg suggests 4-6 messages per month or 1-2 messages per week. However, the best method is to ask a marketing expert who can help determine the appropriate number of message for your particular industry.

Customers also like personalized messages. Automatic messages with birthday greetings is a great way to show your interest in the person as a valuable customer. Messages with “names” on them are also great for personalization.

Conclusion

SMS marketing is an excellent tool for promoting your products and service in a digital age when almost everyone uses cell phones. Engaging in SMS marketing may seem scary as you don’t know where to start. The first two steps are to choose a good SMS vendor and to research the legal requirements of a country. Then it becomes easier yet detailed work is still required. You need to clearly speak to your customers. Be specific and use an easy language. You can promote by offering something “free”. Also, you should think about when to send the messages and how frequently you should send them.

With these simple steps, you soon will know more about the specifics of SMS marketing and run your business successfully!