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Why and How to Build Business Value with SMS Marketing

Mobile marketing is all the buzz – and it should be.  After all, 87% of the world’s population carry a mobile device that potentially links them to their favorite products and services.  Of all the mobile applications out there to choose from SMS is still the king, whether you think it seems cool or not. 

 If you’re thinking of selling your business, SMS marketing is a relatively quick and incredibly inexpensive way to boost value by demonstrating a quantifiable list of engaged customers. This list isn’t just attractive to potential buyers who want revenue the minute they take over, but in many cases it’s also reasonable to consider it an asset to which you can assign value.

Why You Should Market with SMS

 1. It reaches more people. 

Short Message Service, also known as text message communication, still proves to be the number one method favored by most people to get information.  And even though it seems that everyone you know has a smartphone, “feature” phones without full internet capability, still outnumber smart phones two to one. SMS is still powerful in the mobile arena because you don’t need a smartphone, or a data plan to get a text message.

 2. It’s convenient.

From personal messages to learning more about your favorite vendor’s deals, getting a short 160 character text is easy and convenient.  Because they are short, texts are read in a few seconds and most are opened within the first 4 minutes of receiving them. Getting a text alert can be unobtrusive whether you are sitting in a meeting or swinging the kids at the playground.

 3. It has a high response rate.

More businesses have adopted text message marketing in the past 16 months after seeing how it adds to their bottom line.  The primary investment is minimal with at times a 20% - 60% response rate.  Traditional forms of advertising such as newspaper, TV, radio, mailings have never met those rates consistently and hover around 2% - 8% at best. In this economy small business marketers who stick to traditional forms of direct campaigns are missing out on making a serious impact with their business.

 4. It’s measurable.

SMS marketing also trumps traditional marketing in an area that businesses devote millions to:  measuring results. Traditional forms of advertising can take weeks, even months to track results.  And even then, marketers are often left wondering what it was about their campaign that generated those specific returns.  As a result, small businesses spend thousands on testing different versions of their campaign, all in the hopes of finding the Holy Grail of a direct marketing campaign.  But with text message marketing, expensive and time-consuming testing is a thing of the past.  It’s more immediate and easily measurable.

How to Market with SMS

 1. Prepare to build an opt-in list.

For a text message mobile campaign to be effective a business needs to set themselves up for success by building a customer based opt-in list. No one will receive a text from a business unless they have voluntarily opted into that particular business’ list. Opting-in is simple as it involves merely texting a word to a shortcode. Often the word may be the name of a business and the shortcode is like a telephone number, but usually only 5 digits long. It’s that easy. Once a business has a list built and it continues to build, its circle of influence grows quickly. Here are a just a few tips to assure a business gets the most from using SMS as part of their marketing strategy:

 2. Start with a call to action.

If you want someone to want to learn more about your business you’ve got to give them a reward for their curiosity.  Invite people to join your mobile list to get a free gift, for example. Yesterday I joined a local sandwich shop’s list because they offered me ½ off the price of my sandwich if I would text their name to a short 5 digit number and become

a first time opt-in customer.

 3. Give customers loyalty incentives.

If a business wants to keep customers coming back they have to use incentives. They can do that with mobile coupons issued to opted-in clients only.  Building a customer loyalty program that will offer additional savings on their purchases and let select customers know when there are specials running.  Deals can be offered on overstocked items or perishable goods that need to move quickly.  A service business never has to have an empty chair or a lost appointment. This sets up a win-win customer affinity program.  

 4. Don’t over text.

Sure, people want to know what’s going on, but maybe not everyday.  At some point one too many text may be the one that will have them texting “Stop”.  Many businesses have a diverse clientele and different groups can be set up within that business to get different text alerts so the entire opt-in list doesn’t have to receive every text sent. Target marketing is an easy advantage.

 This article just brushes the tip of the mobile advertising iceberg where SMS is concerned. The power of mobile marketing is huge and SMS is an exciting aspect of marketing, because the number and ways that this application could be put to use are almost endless. It isn’t whiz-bang, but it is profitable-- something all business buyers want to see.

About Author

Mark Daoust is the owner of QuietLightBrokerage.com, one of the nations leading internet business brokers. Unlike many website brokers, QLB uses a hands on approach to assist buyers and sellers with navigating the complexities associated with buying or selling an online business.

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