How SMS Marketing is Driving Sales

It should come as no surprise that internet usage increased during the pandemic. As everyone spent more time at home, many sought entertainment through more social media scrolling, Netflix watching, and E-Commerce shopping. And not only did overall usage increase, so too did mobile internet usage. In 2020 in the United States alone, the average adult spent upwards of three hours on their mobile phone daily. Sometimes that was even higher!

As we all know, one of the major functions of mobile phones is the ability to send text messages. We obviously use this to communicate with friends and family, but you may have noticed a recent shift involving businesses vying for customers’ phone numbers. This is because text message marketing has become a huge source of revenue. 

The technical name for this is SMS (short message service) marketing, and that’s how we’ll be referring to it throughout this article.

What is SMS marketing?

SMS marketing is likely exactly what you’re imagining. It’s the act of a retailer marketing to you through text message! Stores are using this in two main ways. 

The first way is through sales, as many stores now offer discount codes in exchange for submitting your number. You’ll see pop-ups on many E-Commerce sites advertising this. 

The second way is through the information you provide during checkout. Have you ever gone to an online store, entered in your contact information, and decided not to follow through with the purchase? You may have shortly after receiving a text message reminding you about your cart. It’s basically an abandoned cart text message (much like the emails we’re used to receiving).

Many online businesses are using one or both of the above to further engage with their customer base and ultimately increase sales. 

Why do businesses use text message marketing?

Businesses know that you are likely to view a text quickly. Most people will open texts within three minutes of receiving them. When you compare that number to a marketing tool like email campaigns which have a lousy 18% open rate, you can quickly see why businesses are shifting their focus to mobile phones and text message marketing. 

Marketing involves following a customer’s attention. Where the attention goes is where you want to place your business. 

When email first came into fruition, open rates were extremely high. In that time it made sense to pour money into email campaigns to drive products. But today, most people have their phone with them at all times and SMS marketing provides businesses a more efficient way to access their customer base instantly.

Is SMS marketing being used by many companies?

The short answer is yes. Businesses both small and large are opting to use a texting service to reach their followers and customers. Many are using the discount opt-in method mentioned above, where customers receive a discount code in exchange for submitting their phone number. This gives customers an incentive to purchase and in turn gives businesses the information they need for marketing. Companies like Chillhouse, Talking Out of Turn, Dae Hair, and more are all taking advantage of this discount opt-in method. 

After signing up for one of these opt-ins, you can expect to see new product alerts, sale details, and other text messages start hitting your inbox.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a great example of someone using SMS marketing well. Gary V started pushing the importance of text marketing years ago when he realized the value and potential that it held. In a single click, he could instantly get his followers’ attention. He continues to use this marketing method to not only send promotional and motivational content but also to engage with his audience. Yes, Gary V often replies and has conversations when followers message him back! This creates a personal bond and creates deeper brand loyalty. 

How do you use SMS marketing?

Text marketing may seem simple, but it’s a tool that can be used in many different ways. Let’s break down some popular SMS marketing methods.

Offering discounts and sales

To capture a customer’s phone number, an incentive must be in place. Most people aren’t going to provide their information if they’re not getting something in return.

For this reason, many businesses use a discount to ask customers to join their marketing list. They can offer a special reward in exchange for signing up that the user instantly receives when they enter their number. Businesses can then use this information to alert customers about future promos, products, and more.

Providing interactive content

SMS marketing offers instantaneous feedback, whether it’s through clicking a link or hitting reply. 

Businesses can use links and calls to action to encourage website traffic or involvement. Content that allows your subscribers to interact outside of just receiving a message will again create a personable relationship between you and the customer. 

You could prompt them to check out a new product listing or conduct a poll asking what color they’d want in this or that product. The options are endless! These relationships help build more trustworthy and reliable brands and increase sales in the long run. And participating in this way makes the customer feel valued.

Obtain feedback

As business owners, we all know the importance of feedback. We’re here for our customers, so it’s great to know exactly what they do and do not want. SMS can be used as a way to collect feedback. After a customer makes a purchase, an SMS check-in can be a great way to ask “how did we do?” and get some valuable feedback about your sales process and customer service.

This is an easy, free way to obtain instant consumer feedback. Not every customer will answer, but some will! 


SMS marketing is the future

Humans constantly move their focus and turn their attention in different directions. Because of this, businesses should consistently work to find the best way to catch that attention and use it to drive sales.

This is the basis of marketing in general. Find the attention, show the product(s), show why that customer needs that product, and then retain their attention long enough to drive a sale. This straightforward strategy will likely never change, but the methods used to follow it will change as technology evolves.

Before everything began to go digital and smartphones became what they are, one of the biggest methods of marketing was television. It was a way for businesses to bring the product and message to the living room of their customers. Billboards and radio broadcasts were also effective. Though they are still valuable in marketing, the shift to digital is undeniable. As mobile devices continue to strengthen, the effectiveness of past marketing strategies will continue to diminish.

Where SMS marketing is heading

SMS marketing is more personal than any other form of marketing. You do not get the same connection from a billboard that you get when you receive text from the CEO of a company. To the customer, receiving a text message from a business feels personal and like the business is a friend checking in or sharing a fun sale.

SMS Marketing will continue to grow until it is normal for every business to reach out via text. If you are starting or running a company, you should absolutely look into using it. It’s is a huge opportunity for deeper customer loyalty and increased revenue. If you’re interested in learning how you can use SMS marketing for your E-Commerce business, shoot me a message and I’d be happy to chat!

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Yours in success,

Sarah x