Most businesses can benefit by incorporating an SMS strategy into their marketing plan. However, not every business will benefit the same from an SMS campaign. Here are the eight types of businesses that will see the most benefit from SMS campaigns:

  1. Businesses that use coupons and direct mail to increase sales
    I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this one because if your business uses coupons and you have not incorporated SMS mobile coupons then you are way behind the curve and already playing catch up. Stop reading this column go work on your campaign. SMS mobile coupons can cut your print and mailing costs by 90% while sending coupons directly to your customer’s phone. 98% of people read a text message within 5 minutes and businesses are seeing 15-35% redemption rates.
  2. Businesses who use TV or Radio (and want to increase their response rate)
    Before SMS if a business wanted to do a coupon strategy they had to use print. Today however, businesses can deliver coupons by adding an SMS offer to their TV and Radio commercials. In addition, by adding an SMS your business can glean customers from that media channel and reach out to them directly with future SMS offers. In my opinion, the opportunity to use the power of TV and Radio to brand your business AND increase response and conversion with SMS is the most overlooked opportunity in advertising.
  3. When you are NOT the low price leader in your category
    I have found that the low price category leaders do not do as well with SMS. Businesses who advertise themselves as “the lowest price everyday” don’t have a lot of margin to incorporate promotions. However, businesses that can offer specials or added value promotions do very well with SMS.
  4. Businesses that can offer special VIP services
    Everyone likes to feel like a VIP. If your business offers special services, limited quantities, be the first to know messages, or short cuts (no waiting) then SMS is a perfect strategy. Sending an SMS Text Blast to a specific group of VIP customers will both create demand and word of mouth.
  5. If you can increase sales by increasing customer frequency
    Many businesses experience the 20% rule, where 20% of your customers account for 80% of your business. In addition, these customers have a sales frequency cycle. They spend money with you once a week, once a month, or even once a year. If your business would benefit from increasing this frequency, then SMS Marketing is a must have marketing strategy. You can increase loyalty and frequency with timely messages. You can set up SMS drip campaigns that send individual text messages based on an opt-in date. You can do SMS birthday clubs, loyalty offers, and even iPad sign-in kiosks that will send individual text messages if the person has not checked-in over a set number of days.
  6. If your business does contest or sweepstakes
    Are you still using slips of paper and a fish bowl for your contests? Most businesses are and after the contest those little slips of paper get thrown into a bag and lost forever. With a Text to Win contest participants can enter to win from their phone, plus they are entered into your database for future marketing.
  7. If your business can implement a sale or promotion in minutes
    Some businesses are so large that even simple changes take an act of Congress. But if your small business can implement a promotion in minutes based on daily sales trends (slow night), the weather (rainy day sale), a competitor (they are having a sale), or just a whim, then SMS Text Marketing is right up your alley. Sending out a Text Blast, which goes directly to your customer’s phone wherever they are, takes minutes to set up. No production time, creative charges, media buys or postage.
  8. To link to an app or web page
    SMS Text Messaging is an easy and simple way to send your app or content to a customer.

Remember, customers must opt-in to your SMS campaign. By doing so they are making a conscious decision to receive your ad. They are basically saying, “yes I will accept your ad.” This is called permission-based model is one the reasons SMS is so powerful. Customers do not consider your text blast an ad. Instead, customers feel like they are part of a club, which increases the likely that they will respond to the ad.