SMS Marketing, the abbreviation for short message service marketing, is an avenue least explored by marketers. It is an advertising campaign that businesses can utilize to reach the target audience and urge them to purchase. As mentioned by Gartner, a marketing expert, mentioned that SMS marketing is an effective tactic, yet it is underutilized. Nonetheless, it has the power to increase one’s leads for higher revenue. And its efficiency to drive higher revenue to business is proven by many businesses.
Perhaps, the success of SMS marketing can all be rooted down to the fact that most individuals are holding their phones most of the time. Most people tend to read the message they receive as soon as they get notified. So, sending them a promotional message through their mobile device, whether they are connected to the internet or not, is the fastest way to reach them.
And when it comes to SMS marketing, you may want to send them a link that will redirect people to your target page. However, knowing that SHORT messages have character limits, adding a long and clunky link in your advertising messages seems inappropriate. Here is when SMS links play a crucial role.
If you’re new to SMS Links and SMS marketing, you are on the right page. Here, we are going to discuss SMS Links and SMS marketing. We also included some tips and tricks to make your SMS marketing more effective. Read on to learn more.
What are SMS Links?
Perhaps, SMS links are one of the critical factors in the success of your short message marketing. SMS links are short links specifically generated or created (through a link shortening service like Hero.link) to be used in SMS communications. They are also commonly referred to as mobile links or mobile tracking links. Unlike regular links, they are compact and short, which means using them can help you save space and character count in your text messages. Most importantly, it helps marketers to track the engagement of the links generated throughout the campaign period.
And since businesses use SMS links to determine user engagement metrics, corporations typically generate many unique links. Using unique links in every text message you send gives you the capability to define more specific statistics that can help you make a wiser marketing decision and make the most out of your every campaign. Some of the data you can collect through SMS links are who has clicked on your message and which channel or initiative is the source of your conversions.
It is important to remember that SMS links are meant to be clicked using mobile devices. And so, it is crucial to keep your landing pages optimized for mobile view. It will allow you to provide an excellent mobile experience for your visitors, which is essential in making them revisit you in the future.
However, many marketers are still hesitant to use short SMS links in their promotional text messages. Most of them believe that short links are detrimental to the deliverability of their text messages, which is not always the case. Alongside this misconception towards SMS links, many marketers are unaware of the vast range of benefits they can amass by utilizing SMS links in their messaging campaigns. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of using short SMS links for SMS.
Why Utilize Short SMS Links for SMS?
As previously mentioned, despite the utilization of SMS links in SMS Marketing offers marketers a massive number of benefits, many businesses are still unaware of them. Here are some of the advantages of using short SMS links in your SMS Marketing.
Increased Brand impression
Many link shortener services do not only allow you to generate short links, but you can also customize the domain of your new links, also called branded links. Including branded links in your messaging campaigns allows you to heighten the audience’s recognition of your product. In addition, it also helps you in growing your brand since your brand is earning an impression every time someone sees your link.
Short links are less likely to be marked as spam, especially if your links are customized and branded. And so, your messages are most likely to reach the audience if you are using short branded links in your text messages.
Decreased Character Count
SMS only allows you to send up to 160-character messages, and all the characters in your links are counted. So, to save character count, it is best to include short links instead.
Notably, messages that exceed the character limit are often split into two, breaking the links. As a result, the recipient cannot take action since the long links are useless if incomplete.
Long links look too spammy, so it can sometimes upstage your marketing campaign. As a result, recipients are less likely to do an action by clicking on your links since they believe it is suspicious. So, it is better to include short branded links in your messages. It is proven to have higher click-through rates, so your lead for revenue is also increased.
Notably, customizing your links also helps increase your link’s click-through rate. You can use a phrase that hints to your recipients what they should expect from the landing page. Giving your audience a clear expectation of where they will be redirected
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is an abbreviation for "short message service marketing." In this type of campaign, businesses utilize text messages to send customers promotional messages, content, deals, updates, and more.
SMS marketing, like email marketing, is an owned channel. This means you have total control over who receives an SMS marketing message, what material is shared, and when it is sent. With text marketing, you have complete control over the experience you provide your clients from start to finish.
You may also send MMS (multimedia message service) messages to your consumers in addition to SMS communications. This type of messaging enables you to transmit messages with images, videos, or GIFs alongside the text.
Advantages of SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing offers a wide range of advantages. Here are some of them.
- Higher open rates. SMS messages have up to 80 percent open rate, four times higher than email’s open rate (20 percent). This means that 80% of the messages you are sending are being opened and read by your recipients, which increases your leads for higher revenue.
- Trackability. Countless text marketing campaigns can be tracked and controlled straight from your PC, allowing you to acquire more accurate campaign statistics.
- Direct Channel - SMS is one of the most instantaneous channels accessible; with a read rate of 97% within 15 minutes of transmission, you can be confident that your time-sensitive messages will be received quickly. When paired with other popular channels like email and social media, a substantial 45 percent of SMS ads create a successful ROI, reaching above 50 percent.
- Integration with other channels. All channels in the marketing mix must work well together, and SMS is no exception. SMS is a great standalone channel, but you can also use it to augment and support other marketing channels like social media and email.
There are many more ways you can use SMS marketing to complement or optimize your other campaigns. For instance, the messages you send to your audience can notify them about your upcoming social media events. You can also use it to promote your exclusive online deals.
- Increase Customer Engagement. SMS marketing is a great way to enhance the way your brand engages with your audiences. As cited by Digital Marketing Magazine, 75 percent of consumers prefer receiving promotional adverts through text messages. It shows that people are way more receptive to text messages compared to other mediums of receiving promotions.
Getting Started with SMS Marketing
To get started with SMS messaging, you'll need the necessary tools and services, whether for marketing or service notifications. Depending on the ones you pick, the process of getting started will change. An example overview of the actions you'd need to follow to get started is provided below.
Step 1: Create a subscription list and collect consent.
If you're going to use SMS for marketing purposes, you'll need to create a strong subscriber list. There are various approaches you may use in building a robust subscriber list.
Notably, one of the best means to build a subscriber list is through a popup or flyout on-site form. It is a form that will prompt your website’s visitors to subscribe to text alerts that contain promotions and exclusive deals. You can ask for their email address and phone numbers through the form. Keep in mind that you should also include a statement that asks for subscribers’ permission to receive promotion through the medium they prefer.
If you already have an email subscribers list, you can send them SMS signup forms. It allows you to form a robust list of subscribers as your SMS subscribers are already existing subscribers.
Many businesses offer a coupon or an exclusive promo to entice visitors to subscribe to their SMS campaign.
Step 2: Choose an SMS service provider.
There are various SMS providers with whom you can collaborate to execute your SMS marketing. Notably, Salesforce Mobile Connect and Twilio are among the most prominent SMS providers used by most businesses. But, you should choose a provider that fits your budget and offers features and services that will meet your SMS marketing necessities.
When selecting your SMS marketing service provider, it is crucial to consider several factors to ensure that your service provider will meet your business’ marketing needs. Here is the list of the most critical factors you should consider in choosing an SMS service provider.
- Are they able to complement your email marketing? Email is still one of the top lead-generating mediums for many corporations. And so, it is best to ensure that your text messages campaign and email marketing complement each other. With that being said, you should choose an SMS marketing service provider that can send both your email and SMS messages simultaneously.
- Can they provide accurate tracking statistics? Tracking statistics is a vital part of your future decision-making. And so, it is crucial to ensure that the provider you use can provide accurate and up-to-date data about the engagement your SMS campaigns generated. Notably, using the same service provider for your email and SMS marketing ensures accurate data. Suppose you use a separate service for each channel. In that case, a purchase from a single customer will be attributed twice (if they received both email and text messages), which is already inaccurate. But, if you manage both email and SMS campaigns using one service, the purchase will only be attributed to the channel that the customer engaged with.
Step 3: Be aware of text messaging rules and restrictions.
You must also follow text message rules established by the government and industry authorities (such as the FCC, FTC, and TCPA), mobile carriers (such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile), and your messaging provider (e.g., Salesforce MobileConnect or Twilio). Being aware of all of the laws and regulations might be difficult if you're new to corporate SMS messages, but it's vital to understand to guarantee you comply. Your SMS provider would most likely assist you here, but your company's responsibility is to ensure it follows the regulations at the end of the day.
Step 4: Decide on a URL shortening service.
Like your SMS provider, you'll want to select a link shortening service that fits all of your features and functionality needs. Because each link in your communications will direct users to an essential location (for example, an appointment),
Some factors to examine are the service's track record of dependability, security procedures, API speed, and support services. It is also essential to find a solution that can work in tandem with your SMS provider. Click here to learn more about Hero.link’s uptime record, link management security, and advanced link management capabilities like redirects and stats.
Step 5: When sending text messages, follow the instructions provided by your service provider.
This step will almost certainly need the assistance of a developer or engineer, so make sure to contact anyone on your team who will be assisting with the technical setup. You may also wish to collaborate closely with your link shortening service. They should be able to assist you in ensuring that you are appropriately linked with your SMS provider's platform and that you can create the number of short links you require consistently.
7 Best Practices in SMS Marketing
Here are the seven best practices in successful SMS marketing.
1. Make your Message Short Yet Meaningful
Simply put, do not waste your recipients’ time by sending them messages that are long and often received by batch. Your recipients might have shown interest in your promotions, but they6 can also instantly opt to stop their subscription if they think you are wasting their time. Hence, aim to send compact and sharp messages that concisely communicate your points while offering value to your recipients.
Like in any marketing campaign, you should try for as much relevance and personalization as possible. Avoid using abbreviations in your content to conserve space, as this might come off as unprofessional. Instead, focus on producing a brief, powerful message that will be valuable to the receiver.
If you are to include links in your message, be wise and use a link shortening service. It will help you save character count. In addition, they also look more professional compared to using long and clunky links.
2. Complement other Marketing Channels
Perhaps, all marketers want their campaigns to be optimized as much as possible. And you can optimize your marketing campaigns by using each of your channels to complement the other.
For instance, you can use your email or social media channels to promote your SMS campaign and show people how to sign up.
Likewise, you can also use your text messaging campaign to optimize your other advertising channels. You may send a text message to your subscribers with instructions on how they can reach you through social media or hope they can sign-up for your email subscription campaign.
This marketing tactic is simple yet very powerful in optimizing all of your campaigns. In fact, it is not uncommon for companies to use this kind of tactic.
3. Don’t Go Overboard
Yes, you have their permission to send them promotional adverts through text messages, but you should still limit your campaign. You may not want to lose your subscribers just because you are sending promotional text messages too frequently.
Instead, try to send up to four text messages to your subscribers within a month. This means you can send a message on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. However, every business and customer is unique. So, you should also consider your engagement rates and metrics to determine how often you should send promotional SMS.
4. Schedule your Text Messages Wisely
For sure, you or your subscriber will not send a text message to your subscribers during midnight when they are sleeping soundly. But, you should still schedule your text messages properly.
You should determine the best time to send your subscriber an SMS advert, and you can do this by considering several factors. Here are some of the crucial factors you may consider to determine the best time to send your text messages.
- What are you promoting? The content or product you are promoting impacts the time frame you should send your messages. For example, if you are advertising content on your webpage, you should send the advertisement to your subscribers when they have the time to read the content. Meanwhile, if you are promoting a deal, know the perfect time when your subscribers are ready to make a purchase. These simple considerations are very straightforward yet have the power to maximize your ROI.
- How do your consumers engage with your adverts? Knowing your customers’ habits and past actions also plays a crucial role in determining when to send your SMS campaign. You can learn more about your subscribers by looking up and analyzing the data you tracked in the previous campaigns. It will help you determine the type of promotions they are most interested in and the best time to send them content.
5. Offer Exclusive Promotions
If you are advertising through text messages, consider sending them an exclusive value that you do not offer on your other channels. This gives your subscribers a reason to subscribe to your text campaign and stay being subscribed. Imagine what is most likely to happen if you offer a value they can also get using other channels they are already subscribed with. Yes, they are most likely to unsubscribe to your other channel and only stay on the channel they think is the most convenient. But if you are offering exclusive deals, discounts, or content access to a specific channel, they are most likely to subscribe and least likely to unsubscribe after some time.
6. Utilize MMS
Aside from sending a text message, you can also enhance your text campaign by sending your subscribers multimedia messaging services (MMS). This type of message allows you to include images, videos, and gifs. You may also use up to 1,600 characters of text. The campaign and the tone you want to set will determine if an MMS is appropriate and what media to employ.
Here are some of the best uses of MMS in text messaging campaigns.
- Send a preview of new arrivals.
- Send exclusive coupons to boost in-store sales.
- Send an invitation to in-store activities.
- Give early access to sales.
- Send a personalized greeting for a birthday or anniversary.
7. Use Short Branded Links
As previously mentioned, SMS messages should only consume up to 160 characters. So, including long links could be a big problem. Including a long link in your SMS will eat up most of the character count and leave less space for what you have to say. In addition, long links are also clunky and messy. As a result, they often upstage the campaign, making your ROI lower.
These are just a few of the many reasons marketers are recommended to use short branded links in their marketing campaigns. If you want to learn more reasons, you can read our article about short branded and customized links.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about SMS links and SMS Marketing.
Do SMS links affect my message’s deliverability rate?
If you are using generic links, it may affect the deliverability rate of your SMS messages. However, there are some ways you can prevent this from happening without sacrificing your short links. You can include branded links with a custom domain in your SMS messages, as it is proven to increase the deliverability of SMS marketing. Also, using branded links gives you more opportunities to increase brand impression.
Do I have to use SMS links?
You are not required to use SMS links in your marketing. However, we encouraged you to. SMS links are way shorter than long links and are generated explicitly for SMS marketing. In addition, it is proven by many businesses that incorporating SMS links in your text messaging campaign can offer various benefits, including a higher click-through rate, higher ROI, and more.
Should SMS be connected to other marketing channels?
Yes. Though SMS is a separate marketing channel, you can still connect them to your other marketing channel. It is also commonplace for businesses to use SMS Marketing to complement and optimize their other marketing channels.
For example, you can send a text message to your subscribers urging them to follow you on social media or read your content.
You can also use your other channel to complement and optimize your SMS campaign.
What is the best way to use SMS?
There are several ways to use SMS to meet specific critical goals in a marketing stack, especially if you don't have an app or your app isn't doing as well as you'd want as a direct messaging channel. It's also an excellent medium for immediacy (delivery of important, time-sensitive notifications), increasing reach (particularly among app-less users), and cultivating loyalty (texts can make the relationship between brands and consumers personal).
Why is SMS marketing effective?
Most people are holding their phones most of the time they are awake. And so, it is best to reach them directly by sending a text message on their smartphones. This fact allows SMS Marketing to have an up to 98 percent of open rate. Just for comparison, email marketing only has up to 20 percent open rate.
What are SMS Links?
SMS Links are short links that are generated for SMS marketing purposes. They are compact and more professional-looking compared to long and clunky links. Using SMS links in your text messaging campaign allows you to enjoy a vast range of benefits, including a higher click-through rate and higher ROI.
Do SMS links help me achieve higher engagement?
Yes, SMS links also help you have a higher engagement. If you ask how, it is primarily because the audience trusts SMS links. And so, it achieves higher clicks and gives your campaign higher engagement. Notably, branded SMS links can achieve a higher engagement and click-through rate, which means you can generate more leads using them.
Can I customize the domain of my SMS links?
Of course. In fact, we recommend you customize the domain of your SMS links as it leads to a higher deliverability rate. Customizing the domain of your new links allows you to connect the link structure to your brand or the type of content they are linked to.
Can I track the engagement of my SMS Links?
Yes, and there are many ways you can use that. First, you can use the analytics tool of your short messages service provider. They track the engagement of your messages and record them. You can access them through your dashboard.
The second way to track the performance of your SMS links is through your short link provider. They are also recording every click of your short links. You can also access them in your dashboard.
The last method you can use to track the performance of your links is through Google analytics. Prior to tracking, you have to set a UTM parameter in your links so Google Analytics can track them. You also have a dashboard where you can access the data gathered through the UTM parameters you set.
How do branded links differ from short links?
Branded links use a custom domain, while short links use the domain of your link shortener. They are called branded links because they typically use your brand as the domain of your short links.
SMS Marketing offers many businesses the opportunity to attain higher engagement from their audience, which leads to higher revenue and return on investment. That is why many marketers are now using this channel to level up their marketing. And the number of businesses to utilize this marketing method will not stop getting bigger anytime soon.
Notably, one incorporation to SMS marketing that is also seeing constant growth over the years is the SMS links, which is also highly beneficial. SMS links allow you to save up space and take your marketing campaigns, of any channels, to another height. Sadly, many marketers are still hesitant to use SMS links in their marketing campaigns due to specific reasons, including wrong beliefs. They chose to utilize long links, affecting a campaign’s effectiveness and taking up too much character count. Also,l are missing many benefits that they can only achieve by using short SMS links.
Suppose you want to learn more about SMS links and other link services. In that case, do not hesitate to visit Hero.link’s website. By creating a free account, you can use our link shortening tool to condense your links. If you require more link shortening services such as branded links, SMS links, QR codes, and more, we also offer cost-effective premium plans that allow you to track links statistics. Get Started today to learn more.