Katy ratican headshot b w april 2021
Written by
Katy Ratican
10 May 2021
4 minutes
SMS texting: The secret weapon for small businesses
For local small businesses, SMS is the ideal medium to increase brand awareness, acquire and retain customers and increase their lifetime value
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Big brands have consultancies, data analytics teams, advertising agencies, market research departments, public relations personnel and access to social media influencers. What do small businesses have? SMS or short message service.

That’s right. If you’re an independent business, trusty SMS is your secret weapon.

Wait, did you just roll your eyes at the mention of SMS? Well, we’re not entirely surprised, as most small business owners are unaware of the power and influence of SMS marketing. Here are some stats about SMS that every small business needs to know:

The importance of SMS marketing

  • Close to 74% of consumers read all text messages

  • Millennials would rather receive appointment reminders through SMS

  • Text messages can decrease the number of missed appointments by 80%

  • 70% of consumers feel that text messages are an excellent medium for businesses to communicate with them

So, all the research shows that SMS is exceptionally effective and growing in popularity as a marketing medium. But what makes it particularly effective for independent businesses? Why should small businesses make it their primary arsenal to grow their business? Well, here are five good reasons for you to consider text messages.

5 reasons why small businesses should use SMS

1. It’s simple

SMS is the simplest form of digital communication in a world that’s increasingly turning to smartphones for everything from shopping and entertainment to business and professional services. But nobody needs an advanced phone or a gadget to read and reply to an SMS. All they need is a basic feature phone.

SMS is the perfect tool for reaching a wider potential audience. Plenty of people who have smartphones may not know how to use the more advanced features. But most of them would be comfortable with text messages. For local businesses that have been catering to customers for decades, SMS is the right medium to reach them.

2. It’s engaging

Research has shown that due to its ease of use, customers are more active on text than they are on social media or email. One reason is that text messages are the easiest medium for people to engage with. You can open your SMS, read new messages and exit the app without having to click on too many things or wait for new windows to load.

What this means is that there’s little resistance to opening an SMS. The consumer knows that they won’t have to go out of their way to engage with a text message.

3. It’s fast

All it takes is a few seconds to read a text message. You can do it while cooking dinner, waiting for a cab or during a commercial break on TV. With email or social media, that’s not the case. Customers may put off opening it because of the expected workload. You never know how long an email or social media post is going to be, not to mention the attachments.

SMS is also faster from the point of view of the small business sending it. If you have a limited-time offer, an SMS that gets opened immediately is the best medium for promoting it quickly to your customers. Who knows when the customer will go through their email or see your social media post?

4. It’s personal

You’ve been running your small business for years. You know the locality and its people. The relationships that you’ve built are more personal than professional. So why not send an SMS, which is the most personal of all mediums?

There are other ways to communicate, including Facebook Messenger, but the fact that it’s short and requires minimal effort, makes SMS special.

Plus, remember that text messages are how you communicate with your family and friends. That’s the reason the medium feels personal compared with others.

5. It’s easy to manage

SMS is one of the easiest platforms for small business owners to manage. You don’t have to start learning about Google algorithms or trending digital marketing terms. Text messaging is something you already know.

Texts are easy to write: so easy that you don’t need anyone else’s help and you can quickly customise them according to the recipients in order to humanise your business.

In short

SMS isn't a medium of the past. For small businesses and independent stores, it’s a marketing tool of the future. It’s exceedingly simple, effective and can be highly personalised. In other words, it is exactly the sort of marketing communication tool that small businesses should be using regularly.

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