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Updated Nov 06, 2023

Text Message Marketing: The Ultimate Mobile Engagement Tool

Learn how to keep your customers satisfied and engaged with this guide to using text messaging.

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Skye Schooley, Senior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
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Marketers continually look for ways to improve mobile engagement with customers. Several studies prove mobile as an effective platform for driving purchases. Keeping customers satisfied and happily engaged is something every brand and business wants to champion.

A growing number of mobile consumers prefer and appreciate the ease of access from a simple link in a text message. The simplicity and ubiquity of text messaging have enabled it to emerge as a differentiated business-to-consumer engagement channel. It offers several benefits to marketers looking to engage target shoppers on their mobile devices, ensuring their preference and convenience are respected.

While many marketers are still playing catch-up with mobile engagement, several recent trends suggest convenience holds the key in deepening mobile engagement and responding to consumer expectations. Text messaging is one such proven approach and it’s a highly effective engagement strategy for mobile marketers.

7 benefits of text message marketing

Text message marketing software is now used widely as a strategic component by retailers and brands for a wide range of mobile marketing use cases. Here are some successful examples and use cases of how text message marketing delivers a unique advantage to businesses.

1. Text messages have high open and response rates.

Consumers are constantly on their mobile devices, making it an easy platform to reach them on. Marketing-related text messages have an incredibly high open rate of about 99 percent, compared to the average email open rate, which is slightly over 30 percent, according to the Data & Marketing Association. Also, as mobile consumers place a considerable premium on convenience and simplicity, text messages are likely to command much higher ― and faster ― response rates than other approaches, such as email or app notifications.

2. You can take advantage of mobile coupons.

The mobile channel has become the first point of interaction between consumers and brands. No wonder marketers saw a tremendous opportunity in leveraging this trend to send tailored promotions and loyalty rewards, such as mobile coupons. Interestingly, with the mobile customer’s journey becoming mature, more consumers have come to prefer receiving mobile coupons over paper coupons.

According to Statista, almost 60 percent of United States consumers preferred digital coupons in 2023. Millennials chose this version the most, with 7 in 10 opting for them over paper ones. Gen Z also liked such digital savings, with 62 percent using them. Capital One Shopping found that the mobile coupon market is expected to hit $1.6 trillion by 2030.

3. It increases loyalty program engagement.

Making loyalty programs accessible via mobile devices is the most effective way to drive member engagement. Adding strong evidence to this is recent research from Insider Intelligence that shows 75 percent of consumers prefer loyalty programs accessible on their mobile as they shop online. Such data provides key insights about appealing to consumers who want to engage with loyalty programs from their smartphones via text messages.

A growing number of consumers prefer accessing rewards information from a link in a text message rather than through an app. Evidence consistently suggests that many companies use apps for mobile loyalty but more members prefer text engagement over apps.

4. It is a cost-effective form of marketing.

Text message marketing can be a highly cost-effective marketing method. This is because the only costs associated with this method of marketing involve using a text message service, which you most likely already have for your company anyhow. When compared to other types of marketing, this makes text message marketing an inexpensive alternative that yields great results.

FYIDid you know
Text message marketing is highly cost-efficient and known to be much more effective than many other forms of marketing.

5. Consumers can opt in and out easily.

Another benefit of text message marketing is that it is easy to opt in as well as opt out. Many businesses get the word out when customers visit websites as well as physical locations. By asking if the customer would like to receive special offers, coupons and more via text message, you can convince many customers to subscribe to your text message marketing service. Alternatively, if they no longer wish to be sent text messages from your company, opting out is as easy as either clicking a link or texting a few words to the sending

6. Delivery is direct and immediate.

One of the greatest benefits is that text message marketing is direct and immediate. In particular, short message service comparison found that text message marketing offers a read rate of 95 percent within three minutes of delivery, making it one of the best methods of marketing with minimal costs. Not only will most customers read your messages almost immediately but mobile marketing campaigns generate a return on investment as high as 45 percent.

7.  It can integrate with other channels. 

Text message marketing can be integrated easily with other channels. Although it can work as a stand-alone marketing method, it can also serve to enhance and support other marketing methods. For instance, you can use text message marketing to alert your customers to sales that may be advertised on social media platforms, to remind them to check and respond to emails and more.

Did You Know?Did you know
In a recent Statista survey, nearly half of respondents admitted to spending an average of five to six hours a day on their phones, excluding work-related smartphone use.

Best text message marketing solutions

If you’ve decided that text message marketing is right for your business, there are several great text message marketing services you can choose from. The best one for your company will depend on what features you need and how big your target audience is. You will also want to look at considerations such as affordability, scalability, usability and customer service. 

To help narrow down your search, we spent hours researching and analyzing the best text message marketing services available. Here are a few of our top choices.

Podium 

This all-in-one messaging platform allows you to use text messaging to send promotional messages to your subscribers but also to manage your online reputation. The platform comes with one central inbox that lets you communicate with customers and ask for feedback through text messages. It is also great for review management, allowing you to respond to online reviews in real time. For more information, check out our Podium review

Textedly

If your small business is looking for an affordable text message marketing platform, consider using Textedly. With multiple plan options, free trials and free incoming text messages, this service is especially ideal for growing businesses. You can access features like mass group texting, cross-program integration and custom keywords to reach your target audience. For more information, check out our review of Textedly.  

EZ Texting

EZ Texting has a feature-rich interface that allows you to automatically segment your subscribers by prompting them to text you a keyword describing their top interest. It has personalization features and enables you to set up drip campaigns, much as you would using email. To find out more, read our full EZ Texting review.

ProTexting

With ProTexting, you can send either individual or group messages, including messages to segmented lists. You can also have live, two-way conversations, which enables you to answer customers’ sales-related questions but also use the app for customer service. It has an appointment reminder module too, which is helpful for service and professional businesses. 

Twilio

Twilio is more than just a text marketing app. It is a full telecommunications interface that allows you to communicate via multiple channels including a call center, texting and VoIP with links to your customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning software for seamless sales support or customer service. In addition to simple texting, it can enable live conversations with customers using Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, live chat or email. See if Twilio is right for your business by reading our full Twilio review

SimpleTexting

As the name suggests, SimpleTexting’s user interface is intuitive and easy to use. It has built-in integrations with Salesforce, Mailchimp, HubSpot, Slack, Zoho CRM and Shopify, which makes it easy to draw data from your CRM, tie in email and reference your ecommerce offerings. SimpleTexting has real-time two-way communication and, although it is not itself a CRM, it does allow you to capture additional information about subscribers with custom fields. Discover more in our full SimpleTexting review.

Are you ready to start text marketing?

As businesses, brands and consumers move further toward a mobile-first world, there is a growing preference among consumers to connect with businesses in the same way they do with their social contacts, including family and friends. Text messaging is not only growing more powerful but is also more relevant for marketers and retailers.

With brands vying to deliver greater digital experiences with mobile devices, texting certainly emerges as an easier, faster and far more productive engagement vehicle than other methods. Marketers can use text messaging and pack them with surprises, delights and rewards and serve them to the mobile consumer, ensuring elements of choice and convenience are given due respect to earn customer equity and loyalty, thereby resulting in continued engagement and revenue.

Texting began as a simple tactic, largely applied for nonstrategic and small-scale communication activities. Fast forward to today, text messaging has become the most preferred method for brand communications and a must-have ingredient in the marketing toolkit for retailers.

Jennifer Dublino contributed to this article.

author image
Skye Schooley, Senior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
Skye Schooley is a dedicated business professional who is especially passionate about human resources and digital marketing. For more than a decade, she has helped clients navigate the employee recruitment and customer acquisition processes, ensuring small business owners have the knowledge they need to succeed and grow their companies. In recent years, Schooley has enjoyed evaluating and comparing HR software and other human resources solutions to help businesses find the tools and services that best suit their needs. With a degree in business communications, she excels at simplifying complicated subjects and interviewing business vendors and entrepreneurs to gain new insights. Her guidance spans various formats, including newsletters, long-form videos and YouTube Shorts, reflecting her commitment to providing valuable expertise in accessible ways.
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