Despite the numerous benefits of SMS marketing, there are still several myths that make small business owners hesitant about adopting a texting program and integrating it into their marketing efforts. However, it is important to know the realities of these myths so that you can make an educated decision on whether or not to explore a texting campaign for your business.
As you will see, texting is a lucrative marketing channel from which many companies, both big and small, can benefit.
Only Millennials text
One of the most perpetuated myths about SMS marketing is that only young people text. Companies often feel that if their primary clientele is not made up of millennials and generation Zers, they will not see any positive returns from implementing a texting campaign. However, the truth is that people of all ages text, including generation Xers, baby boomers, and the lost generation.
Although the percentage of older people who text might be lower than that of younger generations, it is not by much. Out of smartphone owners, 100 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds text, while 98 percent of people between 30 and 49 years old text, and 92 percent of those over the age of 50 text. When you combine all the age groups together, on average, 97 percent of smartphone owners text at least once a week.
The older generations text almost as much as Millennials and Gen Zers.
Considering that 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone, and the smartphone market share is now at 77 percent, these numbers are powerful. Even in the older age groups, the majority of people who own a cell phone have a smartphone.
So what does this mean for your small business? It means that whether you focus your marketing on millennials or baby boomers, you can have a strong return from an SMS marketing campaign.
People need smartphones to text
Marketers may hesitate to incorporate text messaging into their marketing endeavors because they feel that only a percentage of their clients will be able to receive the messages. Some think that texting only works with smartphones. However, that is not the case. Although the above statistics are related to smartphone ownership, your customers do not have to have smartphones to benefit from a texting campaign.
In fact, the beauty of SMS marketing is that it has a wider reach because people do not need special technology beyond an SMS-enabled phone to engage with your business. All cell phones on the market can send and receive text messages, even pay-as-you-go phones, and, since 95 percent of Americans have a cell phone, text marketing gives you access to a vast pool of potential clients.
Therefore, as you formulate your marketing strategy, consider that people from every age group, ethnicity, education level, and income level own a text-enabled cell phone. Some of these might not have ready access to email, web pages, or social media. However, they can receive text messages.
You need a special app to create a texting program
A similar myth to the idea that people need smartphones is that they need a special app to be part of the program -- or that you do. However, this is also inaccurate. There are mobile marketing programs out there that require special apps, but SMS marketing is not one of them. It uses the default message system that sends and receives SMS messages on any phone, no app required.
You can quickly access most group texting platforms from a computer.
As for your business, you also might not need to download a special program, depending on which provider you use. However, you will use a special platform to manage your campaigns, which is not unlike other marketing channels. Through this program, you have the ability to:
- Monitor your list
- Schedule text messages
- Review text message data
- Sync contacts from other programs
- Set up keywords
- Save message templates
- Create drip campaigns
The exact features of your program will depend on the company you use as your group texting provider.
You can typically access a group texting software or platform from different channels. These might be a website, or an app on your computer, tablet, and/or phone.
Big businesses are the only ones who benefit from SMS marketing
Some small business owners see the benefits of texting, but they still hesitate to adopt it because they just feel that it only helps big businesses. However, the reverse is true. SMS marketing is cost-effective and helps smaller businesses compete with larger companies.
How can it help a small business compete with a larger one? Because companies don't need a big budget to be successful with SMS marketing. SMS marketing is a text-based medium. Although you can incorporate some graphics with MMS (multimedia messaging), most companies stick with the text-based SMS messages, even the large corporations. Therefore, you do not have to worry about creating a beautiful graphic that costs thousands of dollars to produce, as you might with other marketing channels.
Another reason SMS marketing benefits small businesses is that it provides a way to engage directly with your customers. As a small business, one of your defining characteristics is your ability to have a one-to-one relationship with clients. Many customers care more about customer experience and engagement than other factors. Therefore, even if the big box stores or other major corporations can out-price you, you have the opportunity to out-service them by providing an amazing customer experience.
One way to do this is by implementing a texting campaign. There are many components of SMS marketing that facilitate a better experience for customers. These might include:
- Personalized tips
- Service reminders
- Exclusive events
- Coupons and offers
- Product insights
- Shopping guides
- VIP benefits
With a small price tag that can fit almost any budget, texting is tailor-made for smaller business.
People do not like to receive texts from businesses
Another myth that never seems to go away is that people simply do not like to receive texts from companies. Many businesses feel that people will see the messages as spam and that ultimately, the messages will have the opposite of the intended effect and turn people away from the company. However, the data does not show this to be true.
For one, only 1 percent of text messages are considered spam. Additionally, 70 percent of consumers feel that texting is a good way for businesses to get into contact with them. People want to receive texts from their favorite brands.
Additionally, text message marketing is a subscription-based service, which means you are only able to send marketing texts to people who have signed up to be part of your program. Therefore, you are texting to customers who want to hear from you, making texting that much more effective. Your audience is already engaged and has a positive feeling towards your business. Texting just provides a way to nourish that engagement.
So, what does this mean for you and your business? It means that you shouldn't be afraid to send your customers text messages. However, be sure that you send relevant and valuable information, and only to those who have signed up to be on your list. Additionally, limit the number of texts you send so that you do not oversaturate your customers. About two to four texts per month should suffice, though you might find that your customers want to hear from you more often.
SMS marketing is ineffective
Many marketers hesitate to use SMS marketing because they do not believe in its efficacy. Although it might not be as popular as other marketing channels, such as email, that does not mean it is ineffective. In fact, it means the opposite.
Because not every company uses SMS marketing, people are not receiving an enormous number of texts from businesses like they do with their email messages. This means taht text messages have a greater impact, and it is probably the reason for their 98 percent open rate. One of the benefits of this increased impact? SMS marketing also has a higher conversion rate than other marketing tactics.
Texting campaigns have the power to increase your business and bring in new customers.
People also carry their phones with them at all times, making it easy for them to see their message right away. This is likely one of the reasons that people open their texts within just a few minutes of receipt.
Therefore, when deciding the best way to cut through the enormous amount of marketing information that people receive and stand out from the competition, consider using text message marketing. You will have much less competition, improving the efficacy of your efforts.
SMS marketing takes too much time and effort
If you hesitate to incorporate SMS marketing because you feel it takes too much work or is too time-consuming, then you would be wrong. Although learning any new marketing channel takes some time and effort in the beginning, it is relatively easy to set up compared to other channels. Once you learn the basics of SMS marketing, then you will find it takes you significantly less time and effort than other channels to see results. You can schedule automatic messages, create templates, and more with your texting platform software.
These are just a few of the myths related to SMS marketing. Now that you see the truth, you are ready to overcome your hesitation and integrate texting into your marketing efforts.
Still have questions about the benefits of adding texting to your marketing efforts? Contact us, and we will help you out!