[fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][one_full last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” hover_type=”none” link=”” border_position=”all” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ animation_offset=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text]You’re sending email campaigns. You’re blogging, you’re tweeting, you’re producing persuasive marketing literature both on and offline. But if you’re not incorporating SMS into your B2B marketing strategy, you’re missing a trick.
The power of SMS is pervasive. Your prospects won’t think twice about deleting emails without reading them, scrolling past the flashy CTAs on your website without a second glance and ignoring your display ads altogether. But the odds are: those same prospects will always open up a text message. And therein lies the value of SMS for B2B marketers.
It’s simple: SMS text message is the quickest, most certain way of putting your content in front of people. It’s not just the fact that well over 6 billion people worldwide own a mobile phone. It’s not even the fact that SMS boasts a 98 per cent open rate, as well as an average response rate that falls within 90 seconds.
It’s the fact that people like receiving SMS messages. In an age where telephone calls are deemed laborious and ever-more old-fashioned; where we’re bombarded with emails to such an extent that we have saturated junk folders, the simple SMS remains unobtrusively popular.
So popular, in fact, that 64 per cent of people across the globe think businesses should use SMS more often to interact with customers, and 70 per cent deem it a great way to win their attention. B2B prospects are customers too – and they react to SMS in precisely the same way we all do. Don’t forget that.
The current SMS landscape
When most people think of SMS messages in a business context, they either think of awful PPI spam texts or of handy delivery notifications. Simple offers and large-scale marketing campaigns are less common via SMS, particularly in the B2B landscape. Which begs the question: why?
Perhaps B2B marketers are reluctant to spam their prospects. If so, that’s an invalid concern, as 75 per cent of people would like to have messages sent to them via SMS, and almost a third of consumers have actively subscribed to mobile marketing.
Or perhaps B2B marketers are concerned that SMS is too distanced from the corporate world. Again, that concern would be unfounded, as over 80 per cent of people use text messaging for business, and 15 per cent said that more than half their messages are for business purposes.
Perhaps conversion rates are called into question. Once again, the stats are compelling. Sales prospects who receive SMS messages convert at a 40 per cent higher rate, and around two thirds of mobile marketing subscribers have made a purchase as a direct result of a relevant SMS.
If those stats don’t convince you to consider SMS, you might want to reread them.
Real life examples
Compelling cases of SMS use are fairly common in the B2C scene. From Bohemian Guitars achieving a 98 per cent growth in sales after a text campaign, to IHOP’s SMS strategy increasing mobile coupon redemption by 10 per cent, B2C brands are garnering great results from text.
But why should they reap all the rewards? Slowly but surely, more and more B2B brands are incorporating SMS into their marketing strategies. Take a look at Bloomberg – who send subscribers real-time financial news. Or Etrade, who send stock market smart alerts via SMS. Or American Airlines, who send up to the minute flight information to business travellers.
All these brands use SMS to deliver information directly to the fingertips of prospects. And it doesn’t just have to be information. By all means, B2B brands can use SMS to send key updates, alerts, news and announcements. But you can (and should) also send offers, discount codes, video, and surprise and delight campaigns as part of a broader marketing strategy.
Text messages as marketing tools
To truly turn SMS messages into marketing tools, you need to invest in the right software. Choose a solution that integrates seamlessly with your CRM and email systems, so you can use extracted fields to create personalised content.
Choose a solution that can send automated SMS messages in response to individual inbound messages, as well as mass, scheduled content at specific dates and times. That way, you can execute large scale campaigns just as effectively as bespoke individual texts.And of course, choose a solution that lets you track results. With feature-rich SMS automation software, you can turn the simple SMS into a powerful content supplement within your B2B content marketing calendar.
SMS just makes sense. Texting is the most widely-used mobile app, with 97 per cent of mobile phone owners using it at least once a day.
Your B2B customers all own mobiles, too. There’s simply no channel that connects and converts them as immediately as SMS.