Direct, easy to manage and highly cost-effective, bulk SMS is known widely as the unsung hero of the marketing world. For all the praise heaped on social media and video marketing, text messaging goes about its business in a far more direct manner – cutting out the middle man and driving conversions wherever possible.
The fact that SMS is one of the most ubiquitous and trusted mobile technologies on the planet carries clear advantages. For one, according to Ofcom’s Communications Market Report 2013, 94 per cent of Brits own a mobile phone. This means that just six per cent of the entire British population are not a position to be reached via this channel.
It’s stats like these that encourage businesses to take the initiative and utilise one of the most popular technologies of a generation for their own gain. Recent improvements in SMS technology mean that companies can now deploy thousands of messages at a time – a technique labelled bulk SMS, which carries several benefits. Here are five of the most prominent…
1. Direct delivery, 24/7
Although bulk SMS is so much more than just a highly convenient way to advertise and communicate, it’s no surprise to see marketers investing in text messaging for the these reasons alone.
Bulk text messaging is available for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, meaning any message can be sent at any time. With the timing of messages now representing a huge priority for marketers investing in mobile-based advertising, the fact that texts can be delivered within seconds is a benefit that cannot be understated.
This also carries advantages for companies that wish to branch out of their home turf and reach customers in different territories. Bulk SMS can be sent worldwide from any location, so long as an active internet connection is present. This plays very much into the hands of businesses that plan on attracting an international audience.
The word ‘bulk’ may suggest a ‘scattergun’ or ‘Hail Mary’ approach to marketing but this could not be further from the truth. That’s why SMS service providers are always keen to stress that every single message is measurable, often through an easy-to-use management program.
It’s here that a company can examine their delivery, open, opt-out, click-through and conversion rates to determine the true value of their messages. The information gleaned from these metrics allows businesses to make informed decisions about their campaign and figure out ways of bolstering the effectiveness of their messages.
Agreeing to buy messages in bulk rather than paying for the deployment of each one through a company phone has clear financial advantages. Companies can pay below £5 for 100 texts at special business rates and deploy their messages whenever they wish. Of course there are always savings to be made by purchasing more messages outright. Opting for a low package can at least get the business acquainted with the software before they decide to upgrade their subscription.
With an SMS management service often coming free-of-charge, cost-effective, risk-free SMS is everything a business could want out of their new marketing platform.
Like email, bulk SMS enables the segmentation of an audience, allowing businesses to leverage customer data for highly targeted messages. Text messaging is the perfect way to reach out to customers on a personal level and ensure that every single message is relevant and highly targeted. With customer satisfaction now weighing heavily on the minds of marketers, SMS can be the gateway to personalisation.
Granted, email boasts a similar level of capability in terms of targeting, but research continues to prove that SMS has the upper hand when it comes to open rates. The battle for attention in the average email inbox is often a well-fought affair, with scores of messages slipping under the radar every single day. Subject lines and effective calls to action can change this, but too many companies falter under the weight of a user’s work and personal life.
SMS is different. Research from Ofcom shows that 81 per cent of smartphone users leave their mobiles switched on throughout the day, while 38 per cent of adults check their phones as soon as they get up. A text message will always flash up on the home screen, which is why bulk SMS achieves such high open rates. SMS remains a highly personal form of communication; one that is trusted universally.