What is text message marketing?

In text message marketing, marketers send promotional campaigns, transactional messages, and other marketing communications via text messages. This approach is primarily used for time-sensitive communications, as it allows brands to reach customers almost immediately on their mobile devices.

For marketers, SMS text message marketing is a highly useful channel to add to their omnichannel strategy, as it gives them a direct line of contact to customers that isn’t competing with a massively high volume of communications, which is the challenge with email.

How does text message marketing work?

Marketing text messages are typically sent from short codes, rather than full phone numbers. These codes are typically 5-6 digits long, and can either be linked to a specific sender or shared by a variety of senders using the same service.

In many cases, countries won’t allow for the sender information to be modified, and this means the text message will appear in your customer’s phone as if sent from the short code. This makes it vitally important to include the business name somewhere in the text message (ideally near the start so that it appears in the preview text) so that the customer knows who it’s coming from.

What is text message marketing used for?

While there are a myriad of creative ways that brands can use text message marketing, there are two common use cases that typically appeal to marketing teams.

The first is short-term promotions, particularly used for ecommerce and retail businesses. For example, if a brand has a time-sensitive discount code, sale, or sitewide promotion, using text message marketing as one of the communication channels can help drive more customers to their website.

The other most common use case for text message marketing is sending important updates around events that customers might have signed up for. With text messages, you can easily share any changes, cancellations, and real-time updates and there’s less of a chance they’ll get lost in their spam folder. This approach can also be used to share updates on a customer’s purchase, maintaining the relationship between brand and customer.

What are the benefits of text message marketing?

Marketers that make the most of their text message marketing channel experience a number of benefits:

  • It provides an additional communication channel that adds maturity and breadth to their omnichannel marketing strategy. In turn, this can enhance the customer experience and contribute to building a better reputation for the brand.
  • Text message marketing offers higher open and engagement rates than email. This means that it’s a more reliable channel when a brand needs to communicate timely and important marketing messages to their customers.
  • Almost everyone has a mobile phone, and it’s usually on their person, so text message marketing is as direct a line of communication as brands can have to the majority of their customers. That said, savvy marketing teams know not to overuse this channel in order to avoid friction.
  • It helps build trust and a more personal one-on-one relationship between brands and customers. This is particularly important as customers seek more personalized interactions from their brands.

With email and social media being such valuable communication channels for marketing teams, it can be easy to forget about text message marketing. However, with all the benefits it brings to the table, it’s an important feature of a successful omnichannel marketing strategy.