Everyone is aware of the often-touted SMS facts; instant delivery to over 8 billion handsets worldwide, staggering open rates of 95% and messages that are read immediately. However, as impressive as these details are, SMS is still viewed as an archaic communication channel and more often than not; people are surprised that it is still in use. While the average person tends to prefer messaging apps (OTT) in order to communicate with their circle of friends and family, enterprises now understand the relevance of SMS as a channel for direct customer communication.
SMS has many applications that can be beneficial for brands. It has unrivaled reach as a communication channel and is an exceptionally reliable as a direct method of customer communication. 64% of the world’s population own a phone whereas only 48% are connected to the internet. The tangible benefit of SMS becomes evident when they become automated. A real time proactive SMS informing a client of a package delivery provides significantly more value for a customer than an email mentioning the same. Moreover, a customer could potentially reply to that communication telling the company that they will not be home at a certain time, thus creating a 2-way dialogue between the customer and brand.
Using SMS as a fallback channel is a way in which brands are crossing the online and the offline world. A reminder SMS urging a customer to check an old email can increase the open rate of that email campaign by up to 30% In a retail context, Click-and-collect solutions give customers all the convenience and ease of online shopping and once an item is ready for collection, an SMS is sent to the customer informing them to pick up their purchases at their desired location. Thus giving more convenience, control and value to the end user.
When a brand has decided to integrate SMS as part of their omnichannel marketing plan, there are a few key things that they should be aware of:
Making sure that customers are fully opted in to an SMS campaign is of paramount importance. In order to be GDPR compliant, the customer must give their explicit consent for opting in for such services; this gives the customer peace of mind knowing their data will not be used beyond the intended purposes.
Understanding local restrictions
The global SMS market is extremely fragmented; having a deep understanding of the local regulations for SMS sending is mission critical for success. For example, certain countries do not allow SMS to be sent on the weekends, whereas operators in some countries like to monitor their connections very closely and only let certain types of traffic pass.
Just as it is important to have customers correctly opted in for a campaign, managing opt-outs is just as important. Experienced SMS providers need to be able to consult brands in managing opt-outs. For example, can the end user respond to the message with Stop? Alternatively, can the opt-outs be managed via a link? Different markets have varying rules surrounding this.
Customers demand immediacy and relevancy when interacting with brands. By using SMS as part of the greater sphere of an omnichannel communication strategy, brands can expect to reach their customers instantaneously and elicit a reaction.
SMS is an extremely effective marketing tool when used correctly, the immediacy and directness of this channel should not be exploited under any circumstances. SMS succeeds where other channels fail and as such, should be used intelligently in order to preserve its effectiveness.
“I have been with DIMOCO Messaging for the past 2 years. Day to day I look after a mix of both retail and wholesale accounts. I am always keen to provide the soundest and most up to date information to my clients while simultaneously ensuring total and complete satisfaction with DIMOCO.”
Sales Account Manager, DIMOCO Messaging
DIMOCO’s global SMS network allows for worldwide SMS sending. We enable you to reach your customers no matter where they are in the world. If you are wondering how SMS can be used as part of your Omnichannel marketing plan, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Head of Corporate Communications
DIMOCO Corporate Headquarters
Tel: +43 1 33 66 888-2059