For a technology which has been around for a long time, SMS has taken a while to catch on as a way to do direct marketing. However, these days the short text messages which were an afterthought on the cellular system have become an important part of the direct marketing tool chest. Here’s what you need to know:
Cheaper than Direct Mail
As much as we are fans of direct mail campaigns, they are quite expensive and they can be difficult for some small businesses to use as a way to make sales to customers. The costs of printing and the costs of postage have become quite high and this has meant that people have been looking for alternatives to this traditional method of direct marketing.
E-mail Takes Some Marketing Efforts
E-mail of course has been used for some marketing efforts and we heartily recommend it as an inexpensive way to do direct marketing. It is quite inexpensive and still effective. However, as much as we’re fans of e-mail marketing, there are limits given that e-mails don’t always get opened by the people who receive them, meaning that you are losing a portion of your potential customers before they ever see our message.
SMS Gets Opened
By contrast, almost everyone will at least look at an SMS message that they receive on their cell phones. This means that you are able to get your message out to more people than you might otherwise manage to reach out to. Of course, the downside is that you have to be really concise since SMS messages are so short.
Crafting an SMS Message
When crafting an SMS message for your direct marketing campaign, consider it to be much like a Twitter message – it needs to be extremely short and get right to the point. “50% of 42” HDTV” along with a phone number or short web address is pretty much all you should be putting up on your SMS message rather than a long explanation. This means that SMS direct marketing isn’t going to be useful for everyone – your product needs to be one which lends itself to being explained in short, simple terms.
Who SMS Is Not For
Basically, if your product or service requires any kind of explanation, or if you are trying to raise money for a non profit which doesn’t have a super simple message (i.e. “help feed hungry Americans this Christmas”) then you should probably consider using some other form of direct marketing, such as direct mail or e-mail instead of SMS.