At SlickText, we’ve worked with more than 40,000 organizations, helping them use SMS marketing to successfully reach new audiences and reignite interest among existing customers. Although SMS marketing offers a reach and click-through rate that puts virtually every other form of mobile marketing to shame, there are a few persistent myths that keep some marketers from taking the plunge. We’re tackling the five biggest ones here.
Myth #1: SMS Marketing Equals SPAM
SMS marketing isn’t just another flavor of mobile advertising: it’s one of the most effective ways to communicate your organization’s message to your audience. Unlike traditional advertising, SMS marketing is permission-based—your consumers have agreed to receive texts from you—and that means that your communications will be welcome, and read quickly. In fact, text marketing produces engagement rates that are six to eight times higher than email. Researchers have also found that texts receive open rates as high as 98% and response rates of 45%.
SPAM messages, of course, are the dreaded, often overly-friendly texts that present offers that you couldn’t possibly need or want. If you get one of those, we’re sorry that you had to see it, but it wasn’t from us. They’re also illegal.
Fact Check: The Big Difference Between SPAM and SMS Marketing
Organizations are prohibited from sending unsolicited messages to mobile phones by The CAN-SPAM Act and The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). That would include, for example, sending texts to members of your church who provided contact information when they joined, or to customers who ordered a pizza online from your restaurant and entered their phone number with their order. Unless they have given explicit permission to receive text messages from you, you’re breaking the law—just as surely as the senders of one of those “you’ve won the lottery in imaginary country X” texts.
That means that compliance—understanding and following CAN-SPAM and TCPA regulations to the letter—is paramount to the success of your mass texting efforts. SlickText allows you to add double opt-in capabilities to your subscriber lists effortlessly. We also provide web opt-in forms so that they can give consent to receive messages through your website. With SlickText, you can be confident that your texts will not be sent to customers without permission.
Myth #2: SMS Marketing Equals Mobile Advertising
Although SMS is now seen as a game-changing marketing technology by many industry analysts, it is still often confused with mobile advertising. According to recent research, many consumers simply don’t enjoy seeing digital ads—especially not on their phones. About 70% of consumers find that many mobile ads are intrusive, poorly targeted, and disruptive to the mobile experience.
Many organizations with smaller budgets—such as churches, schools and local restaurants—are hesitant to use mobile marketing because of its reputation as an expensive hit-or-miss undertaking.
Perhaps because of this, most marketers—around 61%—haven’t yet tried SMS marketing.
That, according to researchers, is a huge mistake. More than 88% of wireless subscribers have a smartphone. That means that regardless of your organization’s size, you can reach the majority of your consumers throughout the day on a device that is almost always within an arm’s reach.
Fact Check: Why Consumers Love Text Marketing
According to a recent report, less than 11% of consumers stated that they regularly click on mobile ads. Another study revealed that only 35% of those consumers who see a mobile ad could recall it. That isn’t to say that traditional mobile advertising is too much of a risk to take if you are not part of a large organization. It just means that when choosing a method of mobile outreach, SMS marketing may offer the best ROI for your advertising spend.
With SMS marketing, your customers agree to receive text messages from you because they believe that connecting with you will bring them some meaningful value—VIP access to information or an offer.
If your primary goal is to inspire engagement in your audience, then connecting with your customers via SMS is a win-win proposition. You merely have to build that relationship by fulfilling your promise to offer consistent value. The best news? The vast majority of consumers who join SMS-based loyalty programs find their subscriptions rewarding. The proof? SMS subscribers opt-out less than 5% of the time. SlickText can be your trusted vehicle for delivering these important messages.
Myth #3: SMS Marketing is a One-Way Broadcast
If you’ve ever received a text message, and then tried to reply only to get the dreaded “sending fails” message notification, you know that there are few tech issues more frustrating. If you’re the owner of a small restaurant, and you’ve sent out details on a tantalizing addition to your current menu, your customers may have a question about the dish, reservations, or whether your restaurant is child-friendly. The frustration that they may experience if they can’t respond might cause you to lose your customer’s interest (and perhaps future bookings as well).
The reach text marketing has is unparalleled—not being able to engage in a two-way conversation with your customers means you’re missing a valuable opportunity to inspire action. According to a recent study, the marketing messages that consumers remember the most are short, impactful, and tailored to their specific interests.
SMS marketing allows your organization to create compelling, personalized messages that your audience will want to respond to immediately. Our two-way messaging /inboxing feature allows you to store incoming texts in an inbox or to reply and chat with subscribers on a thread by thread basis. SlickText is one of the only SMS services that offer this feature.
Fact Check: Texts Can Be Conversations
Some marketers believe that there’s no possibility of two-way interactivity between the organization sending the SMS and the recipient. In some cases, that may be true, but with SlickText, for example, consumers can reply directly to your text.
This means you’ll have more opportunities to spread your organization’s message and engage your targeted audience while gaining valuable feedback across platforms. How effective are offers delivered by SMS? Research shows that mobile coupons, for instance, are redeemed ten times more than online or print coupons. If your university is promoting a series of classes, for example, then using SMS marketing means that you can instantly confirm reservations and deliver a link to online study materials in a single text.
Myth #4: SMS Marketing is Text Only
If you’re at all familiar with social media platforms, you’ll know that for the most part, posts with images receive the most likes, comments, and shares from audiences of all ages. For some marketers, SMS marketing is a text-only tool, designed to send just short communications that lack the impact of an image. Despite the high response rates that SMS messaging receives, many organizations—such as restaurants—need a marketing technology that provides customers with pictures to illustrate daily deals and upcoming offers. We recommend that businesses tie SMS in with their current marketing strategy (social media, email, etc). That’s why we offer Facebook integration, email integration, email capture, and our most recent Zapier integration.
Fact Check: SMS Marketing is Also Multimedia Marketing
SMS marketing isn’t just text: it can be text with images, which SlickText can handle, or it could be text with a link to video, audio or other multimedia message. Multimedia messaging (MMS) allows marketers to use media to engage their audience and promote exclusive content. A theater might send out a promotional text about an upcoming film screening, and let recipients click on a link in the message to go to your website, view a trailer, and then purchase tickets online. A pizza restaurant may send a text with an image of the day’s special, with a link that lets their customers click to order.
Myth #5: Mass Texting is Only for Global Brands with Big Budgets
While SlickText has worked with some of America’s leading brands, we’ve also helped more than 40K organizations of every size develop a mass text messaging strategy that matches their goals, budgets and time constraints. If you’re part of a smaller business, then you may not have a marketing technology specialist in your marketing department—or a marketing department at all. That’s not an issue. SlickText will guide you through our fully-automated setup process, and be there throughout your campaign if you have any questions.
Fact Check: A Best-in-Class Platform Can Work for Small Businesses
Our clients give us lots of feedback on our products, and we always incorporate their changing needs into our offerings. Retailers have used our platform to engage existing customers with special offers and gain new ones using discounts tied to point-of-sale promotions.
Churches and ministries use SlickText to promote special events, update their congregations on church news, and offer downloadable audio content—such as sermons and digital music—to their members. Schools have taken advantage of our platform’s ability to send school closing announcements within a matter of seconds. Whatever your organization’s size, SlickText offers a robust platform that will make your marketing efforts hit the target every time.