Understanding The Basics Of Sms Technology To Get The Most Out Of It

Emma Brown
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Nowadays, there are a million and one options for marketing and communicating with customers. Thanks to technological advancements, there are more communication platforms than ever—each with its unique strengths and weaknesses. That said, complicated isn’t always better when it comes to effective marketing and customer engagement. Far from becoming obsolete, SMS technology has instead adapted to contemporary business needs. So, while integrating new communication channels remains essential, the impact of SMS marketing is still large enough to render it a non-negotiable business asset.

Photographer: Eirik Solheim | Source: Unsplash

SMS technology improves communication between businesses and their customers. Not only does it boost the reach of marketing operations, it also provides a superior customer service experience. Though the texting process is relatively simple, you’ll get the most out of it by using tried and tested software. With Landline Remover, you can craft the best SMS marketing campaign for your business—without wasting time or money.

SMS 101

SMS has proven itself to be a vital tool in the arsenal of any marketer. If you need to communicate something to your customers quickly and effectively, it is hard to do better than texting. Research reveals that millennials typically open texts within 90 seconds of receiving them. Perhaps most importantly, many customers want to engage with businesses via SMS. The same research finds that 83% of millennials prefer texting over calling and waiting to be served.

How Long Has SMS Technology Been Around?

Texting is a ubiquitous part of daily life. Nonetheless, this groundbreaking innovation had very humble beginnings. The first text sent in December 1992 was nothing much—just a simple message wishing the recipient a “Merry Christmas.” But dynamite comes in small packages, and SMS technology went on to have an explosive impact on the world. According to Forbes, a phenomenal 23 billion texts are sent globally every day.

Why Is SMS Technology So Popular?

A key part of texting’s popularity comes from its accessibility. Anyone with a cellphone and a valid SIM card can send and receive texts. Further, text messaging relies on cellular communication, which is often more widespread than internet networks. Added to that, it’s a particularly convenient option. Unlike phone calls, texts can be read and answered while completing other activities. They’re also easily accessible to hearing-impaired individuals.

What Are the Advantages and Limitations?

SMS technology is simple, which is both a blessing and a challenge. And while this simplicity has made its use commonplace, it also comes with some constraints. An SMS is limited to 160 characters. If you want better functionality, you’ll need to opt for an MMS. This texting method allows you to send up to 1,600 characters per message. You can also add multimedia, such as images, videos, and animations. But MMS also has its limits. Most notably, the recipient needs to have an MMS-compatible device—and an MMS costs more to send than an SMS.

Do You Need SMS Marketing Software?

Typically, texts are sent using a mobile phone. This isn’t adequate for marketers, who need to send bulk texts, create specific groups, and may want a fast way to personalize texts. Fortunately, there is SMS technology available for advanced texting needs, which includes using SMS marketing software to send texts from a computer.

The various types of software have different features. For instance, some prioritize ease of use while others focus on providing omnichannel functionality. If you plan on implementing a text marketing campaign, it’s crucial to find the right SMS marketing software to optimize your results.

SMS Technology and OTT Apps

SMS marketing is an extremely effective way of staying in touch with customers. However, it isn’t the only one. In recent years, over-the-top (OTT) apps have been on the rise. They get this name from their ability to bypass mobile networks and telecommunication companies, instead utilizing internet networks for communication. Common OTT chat apps include WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and Signal.

OTT apps may work better for some businesses than SMS technology. For example, they’re a good choice if you want to send long messages. Even though you can do something similar via SMS, these messages end up being spread over multiple texts, which may be confusing for the recipient.

It’s also important to consider relative costs. Generally speaking, SMSes are inexpensive and priced at just a few cents per message. With bulk texting, you can trim your budget further by using software like Landline Remover to get rid of unwanted and invalid numbers on your contact lists.

When your message requires multimedia, send an MMS. Alternatively, opt for an OTT app. The latter is the cheaper option, which also provides more robust capabilities. However, do note that the SMS’s apparent weakness in this regard can sometimes be a strength. For instance, not featuring multimedia may help marketers and design teams to keep the message simple and to the point.

Photographer: Shawn Fields | Source: Unsplash

Why Choose SMS Technology?

Although the use of OTT apps for marketing is spreading, it’s still a way off the popularity of SMS texting. A few significant weaknesses hold it back, such as serious concerns regarding user safety on OTT chat apps. Depending on the app, the software could be hacked. There might also be fake versions made to steal user data, send spam, and conduct scams.

Another issue is the huge number applications available. Some customers could be on WhatsApp, while others may be using Telegram. In addition, Apple has its own ecosystem, and Viber thrives in Europe. This diverse range of OTT chat apps makes it difficult to cater to every customer. In comparison, all cellphones accept the same SMS texts. And as you don’t have to worry about any compatibility issues, it’s a super convenient option. Moreover, not all cellphones have internet connectivity or are capable of downloading and using OTT chat apps. This isn’t the case with SMSes, which can be received by all mobile phones.

Experimenting with the latest communication platforms could open up your business to more customers. At the same time, consider that SMS technology still edges ahead of many other communication platforms in several ways. For example, SMS has a 98% open rate, which is higher than email’s often-cited 20% open rate. Plus, unlike email, SMSes aren’t liable to be hidden in the spam folder. The best solution is to adopt an omnichannel approach and allow customer interactions through a variety of methods.

How to Leverage SMS for Your Business

Mobile phones have become a permanent fixture for many people, affording a direct line of communication to your customers. Using SMS technology, you can send bulk texts, which allow you to reach multiple customers at once. You may want to use this if a new product has been released, another shop has opened, or if you have a sale running on the weekend.

Customer Segmentation

The right SMS marketing software enables customer segmentation. As such, you can divide your contact list into groups and send targeted bulk texts. For example, if your business is national and only your stores in New York are having a sale, you can send texts to New Yorkers alone. This lowers the cost of SMS marketing—and ensures you only contact the appropriate customers.

Bulk SMS Personalization

Just because you’re engaging customers via bulk texts, it doesn’t mean they can’t be personalized. Some software lets you include the recipient's name in such texts. This special touch helps to make your organization seem less like a faceless corporation and more like a friend. In turn, customers are likely to feel further connected to the brand.

eCommerce Applications

SMS technology also pairs quite well with online shopping. It’s very easy to include shortened links to online products and payment pages—or to take customers to FAQ pages explaining more about a new product. Many cellphones also have browsers, so tapping a link within an SMS from a mobile phone will take users straight to the relevant page.

SMS and Sales Enablement

According to a recent survey, the average American spent 2 hours and 54 minutes on their phones in 2022, with 71% saying they checked their phones within 10 minutes of waking up. With stats like these, it’s no wonder that SMSes and sales go so well together. To reap the maximum rewards, you have to know how to properly leverage SMS technology.

There are various scenarios where SMS channels can be used to improve the customer experience and maximize sales. For example, reminder texts will alert customers if they’ve left items in their online shopping cart. This may be just the nudge they need to complete the purchase.

Specific industries, such as real estate, also find SMS texting useful for reminding clients about appointments and viewings. This minimizes no-shows and late appearances, which makes everyone’s lives easier. There are plenty of other sectors that benefit from sending SMS reminders, including the medical and transport industries. In fact, SMS tools are a great way to take the stress out of any sales agent’s daily routine.

SMSes also have one major advantage over emails—how they make their recipients feel. Emails are typically associated with work and spam, so reading them is often not a priority for their recipients. In contrast, SMS texts tend to have different associations, ensuring that they are addressed with far greater urgency and enthusiasm. The immediacy of text messages can help to build a far friendlier relationship between your business and its clients. In turn, this can lead to increased brand loyalty and a more positive customer experience. Throwing personalized texts are into the mix will enhance this effect.

SMS Marketing Best Practices

SMS texting is a platform that comes with its own lingo and slang. It’s a relaxed form of communication used among friends and family, meaning the rules of grammar are less strict. Utilizing SMS texting, along with emojis, could be a wonderful way of forging relationships with customers to create a more approachable, human connection.

Know Your Audience

That said, customer relations need to be handled carefully. First, know your audience. Although using emojis might be the perfect strategy for millennials, it won’t necessarily work with pensioners who can’t decode SMS lingo. Second, choosing the wrong emojis or slang—or even using them in the wrong context—could lead to an embarrassing situation. In a worst-case scenario, customers could find the text offensive. So be sure you understand exactly what you’re sending!

Photographer: No Revisions | Source: Unsplash

The Power of Media

Depending on your particular business, including visual media along with text may be an effective angle. An MMS allows media to be added to a text, and despite that added cost, it may well be worth it. To illustrate, a restaurant could include a mouth-watering image of the dish of the day in its texts. The saying “a picture paints a thousand words” often holds true, and sometimes a simple visual makes a more convincing argument than a wordy text.

Timing Is Everything

Once you’ve got your SMS typed out, make sure to send it at the right time. What counts as the perfect time will depend on the business and your audience. In general, avoid texting customers late at night. Research suggests the best time for SMS marketing is between 9am and 12 noon on weekdays, as most people are awake and ready to check their phones.

The 5pm to 9pm evening slot on weekdays is also useful, as many people are back from work and are thus less distracted. Nonetheless, it’s advisable to avoid Mondays, as people tend to be dealing with a backlog of communication from the weekend, and your text may get lost in the communication deluge. Finally, bear in mind that these windows may change significantly, depending on the demands of certain niche industries.

Keep Communication Channels Open

The appropriate SMS technology makes communication a two-way street. There are many situations where it’s useful for customers to reply to a text. This might be to trigger an automated response or to speak to a service agent. In the case of customers who have placed orders, texting can make it easier for them to check on the progress of their order. Further, SMSes are a means of gathering feedback from customers after they have purchased a product or used your services.

SMS Marketing: Rules and Recommendations

An SMS, by design, forces you to be concise. You have just 160 characters to convey your message. This includes introducing your business and ensuring that the entire message aligns with your brand’s voice. For instance, a medical business that has a professional tone can’t suddenly use text lingo in SMSes. It’s a delicate balancing act that isn’t as easy as it looks.

When utilizing SMS technology for text marketing, remember that there are strict rules and regulations surrounding telemarketing. Depending on where your business is based, you may be liable to heavy fines and penalties if you’re found sending unsolicited texts to unwilling recipients.

To avoid such troubles, you want to make sure that only customers who’ve agreed to telemarketing will receive your SMS texts. A simple opt-in text is all that’s required. Then offer rewards as a drawcard to customers who opt in—perhaps an in-store discount or early access to an upcoming product. The path to opt-out should also be straightforward.

Despite the many benefits of SMS texting, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Above all, send your text messages in moderation. If not, you risk making your customers feel like they’re being constantly bombarded with messages. As such, instead of reacting positively to the texts, they’ll be far more likely to ignore them and eventually opt out. As a rule, send only those SMSes that matter—this means that customers will take your business’s communications seriously.

SMS Marketing Isn’t Going Anywhere

There are a multitude of communication platforms to consider when putting together your marketing strategy. Among these many choices, SMS marketing remains a remarkably effective option—notwithstanding the competition. Using SMS technology, you can send bulk texts and let all your customers know instantly about the latest deals and sales. SMSes are also great for sending reminders and for maintaining communication with your staff.

Because of the legislation surrounding SMS marketing, it’s vital that all the numbers on your contact list are numbers that have opted in. Further, you’ll need to check that there are no landline numbers—or fake numbers—on your contact list. By including landline numbers, you could chew through up to 30% of your text marketing budget. And although they can be manually removed, this is likely to be a tremendously time-consuming process. Landline Remover can solve this problem.

Get the Most Out of Text Marketing With Landline Remover

Landline Remover is the contact list scrubber that makes eliminating landline numbers, fake numbers, and do-not-call (DNC) numbers both cheap and convenient. Moreover, it’s easy to use. All you need to do is upload a CSV file and, in seconds, you’ll have your mobile numbers sorted from the rest.

Although there are other contact list scrubbers available on the market, their accuracy varies. Landline Remover, on the other hand, uses a DNC filter with data that's within 72 hours fresh from the Federal and State levels. In addition to reliability, Landline Remover sets itself apart through its uncomplicated payment system. There are no convoluted subscription plans involved. You just pay $0.002 per number checked, or $2 for 1,000 numbers.

Contact Landline Remover today to find out more—and claim 1,000 free credits!