With so many innovative methods of communication now available, you might think the humble text message outdated. But in fact, SMS marketing remains one of the most effective ways to connect with your customer base, and when used as part of a broader strategy, can help build engagement, relationships and loyalty.
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SMS marketing has emerged as one of the best ways to connect with customers. Consider these statistics: 

Marketing tactics through mobile messaging are one of the most affordable and impactful ways to reach customers. When used as part of a broader marketing strategy, SMS outreach can boost engagement, relationships, and loyalty. It’s direct, it’s personal, and it’s pretty much instant. 

sms marketing

However, SMS promotions are still an untapped resource for many businesses. More than 60% of brands still lack a formal strategy for using SMS marketing. Investing the time in exploring this marketing channel can give your company a significant competitive advantage. 

In this guide, we’ll break down the benefits of text message marketing, key strategies for making this tool work for your brand, and outline how platforms like REVIEWS.io can help you capitalize on SMS marketing’s full potential. 

Does SMS marketing work? 

In short: YES. SMS marketing rivals email marketing as one of the best channels for reaching and engaging with consumers. 

Mobile marketing provides access to a massive audience. More than 95% of Americans own a cell phone, and 85% own a smartphone specifically. Moreover, consumers are constantly on their phones:  98% of text messages are opened and read. It’s virtually guaranteed that when you send a text, your audience will receive and read it.

sms marketing stats
(Source: SMS Comparison)

Data also shows that consumers are willing to receive promotional messages from brands and companies they like. One survey found that more than 80% of consumers have opted in to at least one brand’s text message marketing program. Because rules governing SMS marketing require consumers to opt-in to receive text messages from brands, you can be sure that your message recipients want to hear from you. And, they are likely to read and respond to your campaign. 

This engaged audience nets huge benefits for your brand. Marketing texts prompt more than 50% of consumers to make a purchase; the ROI on SMS marketing campaigns is estimated at $71 for every dollar spent, proving that SMS marketing is one of most effective sales channels. 

Clearly, direct text marketing works, but it’s not a silver bullet for achieving your marketing goals overnight. Before investing your marketing budget in this outreach method, it’s worth weighing the pros and cons of text message marketing. 

What are the pros and cons of SMS marketing?

SMS marketing is a powerful tool for direct-to-consumer brands in particular. However, implementing this marketing strategy can be challenging. Here are some benefits and risks to consider related to SMS marketing. 

Pros of SMS marketing

  • High open rates: SMS boasts open rates exceeding 90%, compared to email's 20-30%. People are more likely to see your message. 
  • High engagement rates: Messages land directly on people's phones, promoting a high chance of quick engagement. Additionally, SMS can be easily personalized, leading to high click-through rates and responses to your call to action. Timely updates and personalized offers can foster a stronger connection with your customers.
  • Cost-effective: SMS marketing can be quite affordable compared to other marketing channels, especially with pay-as-you-go plans.
  • Permission-based: Since you need consent to add someone to your list, you're reaching a pre-engaged audience interested in your brand.
  • Versatile: SMS goes beyond promotions. Use it for appointment reminders, order confirmations, two-factor authentication, and more.
  • Easy to use: User-friendly platforms like REVIEWS.io simplify creating and launching SMS marketing campaigns.

Cons of SMS marketing

  • Content limitations: Due to SMS's limited character count, crafting clear and concise messages is crucial. While you can include links, you can't share rich media like images or videos. Some personalization is possible, but it may not be as detailed as with email marketing.
  • Opt-in requirement: Building your list requires people to explicitly opt in, which takes time and effort. Sending unwanted texts can damage your reputation and lead to unsubscribes. You also risk being penalized for spamming. 
  • Potential for high costs: Large-scale campaigns with frequent messages can become expensive depending on your pricing plan.
  • Delivery issues: Network issues or carrier limitations can occasionally prevent messages from reaching recipients.
  • Limited Integration: Integrating SMS marketing with other marketing channels might require additional tools or platforms.

Does SMS marketing perform better than email marketing?

Email has traditionally been one of the better-performing options for marketers. The average email open rate, according to MailChimp, is around 35%. Email clickthrough rates average around 2.6-3%.

sms marketing vs email marketing

Comparatively, SMS messages have an average response rate around 45%. SMS conversion rates show this marketing performs better than email marketing — but that doesn’t mean you should replace your email outreach with text message marketing. 

“Don’t treat your SMS like your email program,” said Morgan Mulloy, associate director of email marketing at Avex Designs. “Email is more of an ‘interact at your leisure’ channel, whereas SMS is intrusive. It’s literally at the palm of your customer’s hand. SMS is not the ‘blast every day’ channel. It’s the ‘quality over quantity’ channel.” 

When is SMS marketing most effective?

Text message marketing can be campaign-driven or transactional. It can highlight promotions and rewards, gather customer feedback, or share timely updates.

An effective strategy for transactional messages ensures customers are updated throughout the purchase process. Consider the following touchpoints:

  • Purchase acknowledgment: thank the customer for their purchase and give them peace of mind that their order has been processed.
  • Dispatch and delivery: let them know when their order is dispatched. Follow this up with timely delivery updates, preferably with tracking capability and rescheduling options.
  • Post-purchase: once delivery is complete, make sure this is acknowledged on your end, and give options for any failed deliveries. You can also use post-purchase messages to ensure everything was received as expected and invite the customer to leave either a company or product review.

With all transactional messages, consider timing carefully. You want the customer to know exactly who sent it and what purchase it is related to.

Why should your brand use SMS marketing?

Consumers have come to expect more from the brands they buy from. They’re no longer satisfied with impersonal transactions and now look for authentic experiences.

Push notifications and personalized messaging add a personal touch. The extra consideration given, particularly throughout the purchase process, strengthens the customer experience, encouraging trust, retention, loyalty, and positive word of mouth.

And once a customer is invested in your brand, they’re more likely to leave you glowing feedback. Again, you can use the power of SMS marketing here to drive review collection, with SMS review invites being three times more effective than email requests.

REVIEWS.io’s price plans all include our SMS Quick Invites feature, helping you connect with your customers where it counts. Visit our SMS review collection page to find out more, or start your free REVIEWS.io trial today.

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