It’s considered the ugly brother to email marketing.
“I only get 160 characters? You have to be kidding me!”
Yet, businesses have been quietly using this marketing channel to generate high quality sales leads and produce consistent and predictable sales on demand.
What is this marketing channel?
In this article I’ll share with you the problems that exist with traditional online marketing and how SMS marketing solves those issues.
1) Mobile Is Where Your Customers Are…Right Now
If you’re not adjusting your marketing for mobile users you’re not in the game.
Most people will not leave their home without having their mobile phone
- 80% of internet users own a smartphone (Smart Insights)
- 48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine (Smart Insights)
- Users spend on average 69% of their media time on smartphones (comScore)
- 68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy. (Salesforce)
- 71% of marketers believe mobile marketing is core to their business. (Salesforce)
As we move into 2019 and beyond thesestatistics will increase meaning that even if you’re a one-person business you need to market to mobile users now before your competition shuts you out completely.
SMS marketinggives you the ability to connect directly with a mobile user without having any specialised marketing skills – if you’ve sent a text message to another person and create a special offer that person would love then you have skills to do SMS marketing!
This means you can generate sales without needing to know:
- No SEO skills to master
- No SPAM filters blocking your emails
- No algorithm updates that could kill your web traffic overnight
- No ad-blockers preventing your ads from showing
2) High TOR + 4 “P’s”= Quality Sales Leads
There is a reason why clicks, comments, hearts, shares and likes are referred to as ‘vanity metrics’.
They look good and make you feel like you’ve accomplished something but they rarely become quality sales leads and so will likely never convert to a sale.
What is a highly qualified sales lead?
I like to describe a quality lead as someone who fits as many of the 4 P’s as possible, that is someone who is:
- Pre-motivated and;
…On doing business with you.
In modern day marketing we typically create an email capture form on our website and then begin the nurturing process in an attempt to tick off each of these 4 “P’s”.
There are of course hurdles to overcome which prevent most email marketing funnels from succeeding.
- Delivery rates
- Open rates
- Attention pollution (due to the volume of daily emails vying for the prospects attention)
- Fake email addresses
It’s easy for someone to hand you their primary or secondary email address.
It’s a lot harder to get someone to give up their mobile number due to the personal relationship a person has with their phone.
I call this the threshold of resistance or “TOR”.
Ever wanted to buy something, had your credit card in hand but for some reason…you couldn’t pull the trigger?
This is TOR in action.
The higher the commitment the higher the TOR but if they do overcome this resistance it typically creates a higher quality lead or sales conversion because they have “put more skin in the game.”
Because the TOR is so high with SMS, only people who are serious about your product or service will want to give you their mobile number and join your SMS list.
Let’s imagine you own a car sales business and you place a sign on every car that reads:
Text “FinanceBMW1” to 99999 to see our financing options for this car.
You have a person who is:
- At the car yard.
- Standing in front of a car they like and;
- Has texted for finance options.
This makes themqualified, motivated, pre-disposed and pre-sold i.e. highly interested in that specific model of car.
That particular lead would be a lot easier to convert than someone who had dropped their email address into my website.
2) SMS Marketing Is Like Pre Year 2000 Email Marketing
In 1978, Gary Thuerk sent an email promoting DEC machines to 400 users. This resulted in $13 million worth of sales for DEC machines.
Bring back those days!
Due to novelty and low competitive threat this made email incredibly effective for generating sales but those days are now sadly long gone.
While far from a novelty, SMS marketingstill an incredibly under-used marketing channel which is similar to how email marketing used to be before email marketing became a standard operating procedure in business making it an incredibly tough place to compete.
Because of this mobile users SMS inbox, businesses are able to quietly generate leads, bookings and sales with little to no competitive threat.
4) SMS Let’s You Build Your Own Audience Platform
The best way to create stability and success for your business is to build and grow your own audience that isn’t controlled by another brand.
The reality is that relying on other platforms to drive sales for your business is a mistake which many influencers, marketers and business people are now starting to realize because you do not own these platforms and you are essentially growing someone else’s business.
If you were posting promotions and content to your Facebook followersbeforeFacebookupdated their algorithm which cut your reach to only 1% of your overall follower base.
Where once you would see loads of comments, shares and likes per post disappear to maybe 1 or 2 likes per post if you’re lucky.
If you’ve been advertising on Google for any length of time you’d notice the ever increasing ad costs due to competitors driving up the auctions.
If you’ve been emailing over the last 5+ years you’d have noticed how hard it is to actually get past the SPAM filters – in fact there are 455 words that could get your email sent straight to the junk folder never to be seen.
YouTubers are feeling the same pain right now with a lot of the big names going from earning 6 figures per month to getting cut in half and even going down to a few hundred dollars per month.
The list goes on.
Name any platform and you’ll see how businesses are being cheated (or will be cheated).
As people move their money from one platform to another the competition gets fierce, rules are broken by a few and eventually updates are made that unfortunately mean business overall loses.
SMS marketing has no police state-style restrictions (apart from sending SMS messages to people who have not opted in to your list which carries heavy legal penalties and for good reason).
Once you get people on to your list, you own that audience platform.
If you want to generate sales, send out a text message.
You don’t have to compete with other advertisers on how much each text will cost – it’s the same price every time.
There’s no algorithm update that will restrict your SMS messages to only 1% of your total audience like Facebook.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Are you currently using SMS inside your company? Leave your thoughts (good or bad) about SMS in the comments section below.
Jo Stevenson is the marketing strategist for Phone Card Selector a calling card service that helps people stay connected anywhere in the world for only a few cents per minute.