Short Message Service (SMS) technology was developed well over 30 years ago, and while digital messaging capabilities have expanded to a variety of other channels, the tried and tested SMS is still an essential way to deliver real-time relevance with your customers as part of a sophisticated multi-channel strategy. And Swrve enables your brand to do just that.
The Benefits of SMS
SMS is a great alternative to push notifications and emails, and although it has its limits, it has clear advantages over those other channels. The most obvious benefit SMS messaging has over push notifications is that your app does not need to be installed on a customer’s device for an SMS to be delivered to them, allowing a brand to reach a huge amount of customers in a very short space of time, typically garnering high response rates.
SMS response rates are also huge in comparison to email, with studies showing open rates of 82% and CTR of 36% on average. There’s no getting lost in a ‘promotions’ or ‘updates’ tab; instead your SMS message will go straight into the main messages menu along with a customer’s conversations with family and friends, where it will almost certainly be seen.
The Need for Real-time Relevance
This visibility brings with it a huge amount of responsibility. Like all customer interactions in the digital age, brands should only deliver messages that are relevant to an individual customer. This is particularly the case for SMS, as clogging up a message inbox with an unwanted and unrelated offer will likely lead to a user opting out. After all, SMS is not the optimal medium for many types of marketing communications. Be wise about what you use them for, and orchestrate strategically across relevant channels.
But for messages suited to SMS, Swrve’s customer engagement platform enables your brand to add personalized content, define target audiences, and specify when and how often to send messages, so that users are only receiving messages that are contextual, helpful, and relevant to them at a 1:1 level. The days of all your customers receiving the same SMS should be a thing of the past. Furthermore, view campaign results with detailed reports and analytics to identify with confidence how SMS is performing, and act in real time on the findings to continually improve your customer engagement.
Types of SMS Campaigns
Let’s take a look briefly at some ways in which SMS can be used to strengthen your multi-channel customer engagement strategy.
Operational Messages: SMS is perfect for delivering operational messages. There’s nothing flashy about them, they simply supply the necessary information, such as a change of flight status or service downtime, in a fast and reliable way that has a high probability of being seen by the intended target.
Transactional Messages: Like operational messages, transactional messages are well suited to SMS. Confirm a customer’s order has been dispatched, along with the tracking code for the shipment. Useful messages like these help to gain your customer’s trust, and train them to interact with your marketing messages.
Promotional Messages: While we don’t advise you to go overboard with promotional messages, SMS can be a useful channel for delivering them. They’re great for time sensitive offers, like a flash sale on flights. Use your customer’s behavioral data to optimize these campaigns. For instance, if a particular user was unresponsive to email and push, try a personalized SMS. On the other hand, if they’ve interacted with your other comms, do not overload them via SMS!
Customer Satisfaction Messages: Although in-app surveys have revolutionized how customer satisfaction can be collected, seeing truly impressive completion rates, SMS is still incredibly important, especially for users without the app. Request customer feedback and link to an easy to complete survey via a URL.
It can be easy to forget about the benefits, and indeed the importance of, SMS as a channel in the age of apps. However, it would be foolish to do neglect it for all of the reasons mentioned above. As the tech landscape continues to evolve, along with consumer expectations, it’s crucial to utilize them in a savvy multichannel strategy.
To learn more about how Swrve integrates SMS with your other digital channels, get in touch with us today and we’ll schedule a demo.