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SMS marketing for local business: trends you’ll need in 2022

Discover how you can market your business effectively by adding text message campaigns to your marketing strategy.

How easy is it for you to cut through the noise and communicate with your customers?

Thanks to the convenience of mobile, customers now expect more from businesses and want to interact with them differently – through text message.

Find out how important text messaging has become for local businesses and how to use it effectively.

On December 8, I moderated a sponsored webinar presented by Matt Boyce, Marketing Director, and Austin Miller, Partner Marketing Manager of Podium.

They surveyed more than 1,000 customers to find out how consumers feel about texting with local businesses and how local businesses can take advantage of it.

In this quick webinar recap, you’ll get some tips and advice on making the most out of these insights. For more details, access the entire webinar.

The Evolution Of Business Messaging

The way businesses communicate constantly changes and evolves.

It started with the telegram, morphed into the postal service, and has continued to evolve into the rise of email.

The Problem: Now, our inboxes have become overloaded with emails.

The Answer: SMS messaging.

Consumers say that texting is an easy and convenient method of responding to businesses.

With an extremely high open rate of 98%, text message marketing is equivalent to the open rates of email marketing back in its heyday.

Text message click-through rates are at 18% – 6.9 times higher than email – but only 12% of local businesses use text messaging as a marketing tool.

This means most local businesses aren’t tapping into texting yet, and they’re ignoring many opportunities to better engage with their customers.

Your brand can be the front-runner.

Your brand can show that it cares, show that it respects your customers’ time, and leave a good impression by offering the conveniences of text messaging.

The Power Of Conversational Text Messaging

Your consumers crave conversations that go beyond message blasts.

  • 74% of consumers said they would text a local business as if they were an actual person.
  • About half of consumers say they are more likely to respond to a business’s text message if the employee introduces herself/himself.

The Marketing Advantage of Texting

When asked if consumers would like the ability to communicate with a local business via text message, this is what they had to say:

  • 24% – Yes, and I already do.
  • 43% – Yes, and I haven’t yet.

With a big desire to interact with businesses via text, there’s also a big chance for companies to set themselves apart through this channel.

Make your brand stand out by being the first to market SMS messaging in your niche.

When done well, you can gain an advantage and stand out from your competition.

Consumer Text Messaging Trends

Texting has a 209% increase in response rate compared to phone calls, emails, or even Facebook Messenger.

While consumers don’t typically respond to voicemails and calls, they will usually reply to a text.

Why? It’s quick and easy.

Consumers are looking for convenience when communicating with a business.

For example, you may discover that your customers really enjoy a text message reply outside of business hours.

Perhaps you’re able to provide instant answers or create a low barrier entry point to nurturing a new lead.

When you use text messages in your marketing and sales funnel, your customers will feel as if they have a special connection to your brand.

SMS Marketing Tips For Local Businesses

Podium conducted a survey with 1,000 respondents; their answers will give you insight into how to create the perfect SMS messaging strategy.

Offer Incentives

Podium found that customers would like local businesses to send:

  • Incentives (coupons, discounts, promo codes).
  • Loyalty offers and benefits.
  • “Back in stock” notifications.

Add Personalization

You can also make a stronger connection by adding personalization to your text messages.

Personalization, such as using the customer’s name, significantly impacts sales and customer service.

Sending Frequency

On average, Podium recommends sending text messages once per week or once a month.

However, the frequency of sending out promotional messages depends on the type of business.

Create A Frictionless Buying Experience 

Text messaging gives your business the ability to be proactive, nurture a client within minutes, and capture a sale.

Just being there to answer questions, provide immediate and valuable links, and show your lead that you care increases your potential to convert.

For example, within a short span of time you could:

  1. Create a frictionless, second method of payment for services within a text message experience.
  2. Build a sales funnel that starts with a Google search and moves the lead to a quick opt-in to begin the nurturing phase.
  3. Convert your lead with an effortless way to pay through SMS.
  4. Ask customers to leave a review, which helps optimize your page and get you to rank higher on Google.

Image Source: Podium

Text messaging is great because it’s already on everyone’s phone, and your customers don’t have to download another app to do all of this.

How To Avoid Unsubscribes

Consumers unsubscribe when businesses text them without permission or don’t recall signing up.

Make sure you have permission to text your customers by having them opt-in.

Other scenarios that lead to unsubscribes are:

  • Receiving too many messages.
  • Receiving messages that are irrelevant to them.
  • More.

by Heather Campbell
source: SEJ