Did you know that 80% of Americans send text messages? That equates to roughly 292 million people in the US.
SMS, also known as “short message service,” is the foundation of text messaging. You might know it as the green speech bubbles on your iPhone or the previously standard method of texting on Android (now it’s RCS, but we’ll get to that another time).
If you’ve ever opted in to receive a text message from a brand, business, creator, or your favorite public figure, you’ve signed up to participate in SMS marketing. This is a channel where a business can send not only promotional or transactional messages, but also directly connect with its audience at scale, all via SMS. In some ways, it’s similar to email marketing—you build a list of contacts and can send a message to the entire distribution list or to a specific segment. However, the key distinction is that sending a text to your audience is far more effective than sending an email to an audience of the same size.
Let’s break it down.
Open rate: 16% (Q4 ‘20)
Texting on Community
Open rate: 95%
If you sent an email to your audience of 1,000 contacts, only 160 people would open and view it. Do the same thing via Community’s text platform and 950 people will see it, as well as be far more likely to engage with the message.
In fact, we’ve found that the click-through rate on our platform is 6.4x greater than email and 78x greater than social media.
There’s a reason that 39% of businesses already use text messaging as part of their overall marketing strategy. It works.
We’ve seen Leaders (businesses or public figures that use Community) leverage the power of text to:
- Cultivate relationships: Engage in personal two-way conversations at scale using our powerful set of features.
- Keep audiences engaged: Send Members relevant content and important updates
- Drive revenue and impact: Offer exclusive discounts, incentives, and promotions to increase sales
- Elevate awareness: Launch sweepstakes, contests, activations, and polls to grow word-of-mouth efforts
- Generate leads: Use our tools to capture new prospects on your website, during webinars, live events, and more
Why SMS marketing?
Texting is a preferred method of communication with friends and family for most people. It gives your audience agency—they choose to opt in and receive these messages, it’s not passive.
It’s also the most native and familiar format on mobile. You’re just as likely to check a text from Mom as you are from your favorite brand.
Some of the benefits:
- There’s no app for your audience to download
- No ads or social media algorithms to block you from reading your messages
- Your text won’t get lost in an email inbox with unwanted spam
- Instant distribution and reach at scale
- Creates a safe space for your audience to connect
Does text message marketing really work?
We see an average open rate of 95% on text messages sent through Community’s platform, along with an average click-through rate of 59% and an engagement rate of 39%. You aren’t going to see that level of performance from social media, email, SEM, display, or traditional advertising channels.
Most consumers that live in a major city will see and/or hear thousands of ads a day from billboards, radio, TV commercials, website banners, social media, music streaming, email newsletters, and many more. Why aren’t we able to recall the thousands of ads we’re exposed to daily? Because they’re easy to ignore, unlike a text message, which is direct and personal.
Who is this a good fit for?
Anyone who has already built an audience. We’ve seen all kinds of businesses—nonprofits, fashion, ecommerce, media, fitness studios, CPG—and individuals who have benefited from engaging their audience via text messaging.
Are there any drawbacks?
As with any marketing channel, you’ll have your pros and cons.
One of the more common obstacles people encounter is growing their contact list. Since text messaging is federally regulated, there are strict guidelines via the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that require a fan or follower of your business to opt-in to receive text messages. If you have a loyal customer base and high engagement rates on your other channels, converting those people to text shouldn’t be difficult. For businesses that haven’t spent the time cultivating that relationship, it might require more promotional efforts.
Another is the use of shortcodes. Short codes are abbreviated phone numbers that are 5-6 digits long i.e. 440044. They’re expensive to purchase, so a lot of SMS marketing services use shared shortcodes—adding multiple accounts to one number—to reduce the cost. This can slow down message deliverability, eliminate any opportunity for branding, reduce brand trust, and create other technical issues. However, all major US cell carriers – Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile/Sprint – have recently announced they will implement a shared short code ban.
The last main factor that consumers might perceive as a drawback is the upfront cost of SMS marketing. Most SMS providers charge you for the shortcode and then charge you per text message sent on top of that, which can balloon easily.
Our solutions to these problems:
- For businesses that run on Shopify, we have an integration that allows you to capture phone numbers in the check out flow, making it easier to grow your audience
- We also offer dedicated support to clients to set them up for success and provide them with strategies tailored to their goals
- Community exclusively uses real 10-digit phone numbers, otherwise known as 10DLC. This gives everyone their own authentic number, enables two-way conversations, and builds brand trust.
- Our pricing is primarily based on the number of contacts you have, plus access to additional services and features, which turn into real savings in the long run.
Traditionally in SMS marketing, the communication has been one-sided, automated, and purely transactional. This leads to churn, decrease in brand affinity, and less customer engagement.
Community aims to change that. Our conversational marketing platform is built for personal communication at scale, meaning that you’ll be able to participate in multiple conversations simultaneously, which will lead to higher engagement, CTR, customer LTV, and ultimately, a better experience for your audience.
By joining Community, you also gain access to:
- Powerful filtering features to segment your audience (location, gender, age, interest, and more)
- Intelligent inbox organization
- Insights and analytics on text campaigns
- Tools to easily grow your SMS list on your website, through Shopify, and more
- 95% open rates
- 59% click-through rates
- 39% response rates
Want to learn more about how text message marketing can work for your business? Schedule a demo with us or text us at (310) 323-2202!