Using SMS for your marketing

How many times a day do you look at your mobile phone? 70? 80? Perhaps even more. It makes sense then that your customers are just the same. So why not put a message in front of them that you know they are going to see, read and most likely act upon.

If you created a full list of every form of marketing, there would be few that stood out as diverse, flexible, and effective as SMS marketing. What other medium for communication offers a 98% open rate? SMS originated in 1992, and since then every mobile handset manufactured world-wide is delivered with the capability of sending and receiving SMS messages. There is no need to download any App or worry about what your customers social networking platform preference is, SMS is the common denominator.

Whether it is the latest smartphone, or an old Nokia 6210, the message will be delivered.

Whether you want to broadcast an announcement, or offer a deal, text messaging is a highly effective way to do it. Furthermore, if it is a time sensitive message, a further SMS benefit is that most messages are read on average, within three minutes of being received.

In truth, any business that deals with the public, or has a large customer base and wants to encourage repeat business can take maximum advantage of SMS as a marketing tool.

Here are some industry examples that are incredibly well-suited to SMS marketing campaigns:

Restaurants & The Hospitality Sector:

If a restaurant or gastro pub has spare capacity during the slow part of the week, normally Mondays and Tuesdays, there is little point sending out an email with an incentive to book, it may not be read for days, perhaps weeks, maybe not at all because it gets blocked by the spam filter. None of these problems exist with SMS, messages are normally read within 3 minutes of being received and grab immediate attention. Include in that SMS the booking line number and the phone will ring.

It does not always have to be ‘money off’ schemes that are being conveyed. It could be that you just want to tell your public about a quiz night or live music, perhaps you are having a themed evening or showing sport at the weekend. Whatever your message is, because of the extraordinarily high open rate, you will get that message across to the biggest audience.

Summary Benefits:

  • Reminders for table bookings and order collection/delivery times.
  • Advising special theme nights or new menu items.
  • Promotions and vouchers for reduced price meals.
  • Lowered price deals for group bookings.
  • Information about daily specials.

Nightclubs & Bars

Nightclubs and bars generally try to attract a local customer base, unless they are in key tourist destinations where the reach needs to be much bigger to attract passing trade. As a thriving industry, competition is extreme amongst nightclubs and bars, with many trying to compete to offer the best deals and experiences.

SMS marketing hits the nail on the head with marketing for nightclubs and bars, both in terms of primary demographic and for ease of reach. Just make sure that the message is sent at the right time of the day, or the correct day of the week. No sense in telling anyone about what you have going on first thing in the morning, late afternoon or early evening will provide a much greater response.

Summary Benefits:

  • News about exciting events such as themed nights or special appearances.
  • Coupons for reduced price entry, free drinks, or discounts on food and drinks.
  • Group discounts that promote a greater brand appeal.
  • Polls to collect information on what customers want: be it favourite music, themes, or possible future events.

Retail and Health & Beauty:

Every type of high street retail store can benefit from the diverse uses of text marketing. With so much competition amongst retailers, getting your brand seen, along with your latest deals, is essential to generate ongoing interest.

If your clinic has booking voids during the day, or later the same week, a quick message to your customer base with the right incentive will fill the diary.

SMS marketing provides a quick and easy way to catch up with customers that are busy, whether they are local or online.

Summary Benefits:

  • Limited time promotional deals with only hours or days to act.
  • Vouchers and codes for discounts instore or online.
  • Alerts about the latest items in stock.
  • Multi-buy deals and codes.
  • New updates on the latest trends.
  • Flash sales to sell off old stock.

Sports Venues & Theatres:

Last minute ticket deals have long been the target for bargain hunters. Because of the time critical element of SMS campaigns and the fact that on average most are read within three minutes of being received, SMS is the perfect medium to let patrons know about the last remaining seats.

Letting your customers know about future events, sporting, musical or on stage, will also help with advance bookings. Simply include a URL to your web booking page in the text and bookings will be made.

Summary Benefits:

  • Limited time promotional deals with only hours or days to act.
  • Vouchers and codes for discounts instore or online.
  • Alerts about the latest items in stock.
  • Multi-buy deals and codes.
  • New updates on the latest trends.
  • Flash sales to sell off old stock.

If you have an accountant, they should be your first stop for business advice. If you don’t have an accountant or they can’t help, BuBul has a wide range of experts available. For more advice on using SMS in marketing your business, contact our expert* Alan on LinkedIn.

*We’ve picked experts we know and trust who are good at what they do. All of them will give you at least an extra 30 minutes free advice if you contact them and would then charge their normal prices. They don’t pay to be on BuBul and don’t give us any money from anything they earn as an expert.