SMS marketing in 2020


How much time a day do you spend on your phone? From Millenials to baby boomers, Americans spend 5-6 hours a day on their phone.

Good, bad, or indifferent, we’re on our phones a lot. 

Are you making the most of that for your business?

Welcome to the Quick Guide to SMS Marketing in 2020, where you’ll learn what SMS marketing is, how it works, and how to get started with it for your business.

The Quick Guide to SMS Marketing in 2020


What is SMS Marketing?


SMS marketing stands for Short Message Service Marketing, but it’s also known as Text Marketing. An SMS message is simply a text message, and that’s why it can be such a powerful marketing tool–but more on that later.

Basically, with SMS marketing you can automate messages to send to your prospects, leads, and customers to share information with them. It’s like email marketing, but short and sweet.

Depending on your industry, there are lots of ways to use text marketing. You can:

  • Alert customers to a sale going on in your store
  • Spread the news about a new product
  • Invite people to your launch party
  • Send links with resources for prospects
  • Circulate customer satisfaction surveys
  • Remind clients about appointments
  • And more


How Does SMS Marketing Work?


Before we begin, it’s time to get some definitions straight. There are two main terms to know when it comes to SMS marketing:

  • Shortcode — A shortcode is a 5-6 digit number that people can text to opt-in to your SMS marketing campaign. 
  • Keyword — When it comes to SMS marketing, a keyword is a unique code, term, or phrase that people text to the shortcode number so you know which campaign they want to opt-in to. 

For example, your company’s shortcode might be 200-200. If you run a pizza restaurant, you might ask clients to text “DEEP DISH” to 200-200 to get updates on your specials.

This is how an SMS campaign works:

  1. The user texts a keyword to your shortcode.
  2. Your SMS provider asks them to opt-in to receiving your messages
  3. They (hopefully) agree 
  4. You can send them (and everyone else on your list) timely updates, offers, reminders, and more.

Of course, you can also send text marketing messages to just one person. You can create automated campaigns that are triggered by certain actions like buying something at your store or visiting your restaurant.

person using SMS marketing


SMS Marketing Best Practices


Before you dive headfirst into text marketing, make sure to follow these best practices:

Don’t go overboard 


We all know that person who texts us WAY too much. Don’t be that person to your customers. That means you shouldn’t be sending dozens of texts a week–or even a month! People already get so many notifications on their phone that if you pester them without creating loyalty or providing them with value first, you can say goodbye to them forever.

Pick the right times


It seems obvious that you shouldn’t send texts at times that people find inconvenient or bothersome — for example, 5 am is probably not when people will be receptive to your message.

However, one of the great things about SMS marketing is how quick and timely it is, so you should also make use of this. For example, if you own a nightclub, sending a text at 9 pm about your drink specials for the evening makes perfect sense. It’s different for every industry and company, so try out a few times and see what works best.

Follow the rules


When people allow you “into” their phone, there’s a level of trust happening. Don’t take advantage of that by breaking the rules (and laws) of text texting. Never buy or sell numbers, and always have users opt-in before you start sending them marketing messages. Otherwise, you’ll just seem spammy and you’ll probably lose that customer.

Integrate SMS marketing into the rest of your marketing strategy


If you want to see real results, you’ll have to seamlessly integrate your SMS marketing strategy into your overarching digital marketing strategy. That means making SMS an extension of your email campaigns, social media campaigns, PPC campaigns, and more.

Need help with any or all of the above? We’re inThink, and we’re here to guide you through it all. Call or email us today to see how SMS marketing could work for your local business.