SMS Messaging is an ‘oldie but a goodie’.
SMS protocol predates the advent of smartphones by over a decade. But rather than become outdated, it has increased in use and popularity with 4.2 billion+ people around the world (source: MBA Online) sending 22 billion texts every day (source: Domo). Currently, text messaging is the most used data service in the world (source: Nielsen).
So although SMS stands for ‘short message service’, it could easily stand for super-duper marketing strategy, and one worthy of serious consideration.
SMS Texting is the digital equivalent of being able to tug on your customer’s sleeve no matter where they are, and say “Hey, check this out”. Your message will reach users within minutes of being sent and 99% of the recipients will open it (source: SinglePoint), with 95% doing so within 3 minutes of receiving it (Forbes).
That’s powerful stuff. So powerful it has created its own language of abbreviations and emojis.
So how can your business put this powerful medium to use?
Consider this case study from St. Mary’s University in Texas, as reported by Higher Education Marketing.
With a goal to send “meaningful messages” and “information you want”, St. Mary's used SMS to implement a voluntary student opt-in text messaging program allowing students to opt in by sharing their cell phone #, and receive texts messages targeted to their position in the enrollment funnel. This program saw great success at the University—30.8% of students in the SMS program submitted an application, compared to just 10.9% of all prospective student leads, and yield among those receiving text messages who paid a deposit was 16% higher than all other prospective student leads (42% compared to 26%). This also allowed the admissions team to better predict student enrollment (actual yield).
Key words in this study that apply to all business models using SMS:
‘Voluntary opt-in’- texting is permission based, which is both an attribute and a caution. Allowing users to opt-in gives you access to an audience who welcomes and expects engagement, resulting in a high conversion rate. But consent is also a requirement, as is the ability for your audience to opt-out at any time.
‘Meaningful messages’ and ‘information you want’- The brevity of message forces you to get to the point, while the functionality of texting allows you to seamlessly link to your website for offers that require more details.
‘Targeted to their position in the enrollment funnel’- This is classic segmentation, a powerful tool in determining which message is appropriate for which consumer. One size never does fit all applies to texting as well, and targeting your consumer allows you to customize incentives and links that directly relate to your audience desires.
That’s a lot for now, so take a break, check your texts (you know you want to), and read our upcoming blog to find out how you can put SMS Texting to work for you.