For any type of business, whether retail or service or even a medical practice, it’s important, if you’ve invested in marketing, that your marketing efforts are working, right? At Miller Public Relations, we’d like to propose that, if you’re not already, you take a serious look at using a simple tool that has some great numbers backing up its success. SMS marketing needs to be part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Here’s why.
Text messages have an open rate of 98 percent*! And a 209 percent higher response rate than emails or phone calls. What, what?! It’s true. And last year (oh, 2020), 48.7 million people chose to receive SMS marketing messages**. This is a train you want to board.
What is SMS Marketing?
First, a working definition. SMS marketing is sending promotional campaigns or transactional messages for marketing purposes using text messages (SMS). These messages are mostly meant to communicate time-sensitive offers, updates and alerts to people who have consented to receive these messages from your business.
Should I Use SMS Marketing?
Yes!! Candidly, if you’re not already, you’re already behind. As our world continues to change, more and more people of all ages are turning to SMS or text messaging to get the information they need from businesses, and that includes medical practices.
“Not using SMS to communicate with your customers, patients and even leads is essentially leaving yourself in the dark ages. People want easy access to the people who will be providing them services. SMS is a perfect tool for that.”
–Amanda Polk, Vice President of Miller Public Relations
Why is SMS Marketing So Effective?
Let us count the ways!
- Reach more people. 3.8 billion is the number of people that own smartphones in 2021.
- High engagement. Around 90% of SMS messages are read within three minutes of receiving them. This makes SMS super helpful in delivering critical information with a high success rate.
- Complement to email marketing. The two are better together! SMS lets you get out instant messages while email follows up with the details (long-form copy).
Best Practices for SMS Marketing
Our vice president Amanda Polk was recently interviewed by one of our preferred technology vendors, and she spoke about some best practices for SMS marketing. These are tips we share with our clients when implementing this tool, and we’d love to share them with you, too:
Get permission. This is the most important part! Remember that just because you have a lead’s contact information, it doesn’t mean you’re allowed to text them without their permission. There are different ways to obtain consent for your SMS campaigns; one way is to send an opt-out text informing prospects that they can write “STOP” whenever they wish.
We really recommend working with an experienced marketing team when setting up an SMS campaign. That way, you can feel confident your SMS campaign won’t violate HIPAA rules and regulations. Violations can earn you hefty fines, and you could also end up being dropped by carriers, among other problems.
Build relationships. You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on a first date, right? In the same way, don’t try to close the deal the first time you reach out to a lead. Instead, use SMS to establish a relationship, connecting and educating, and then eventually persuading them to come to your practice for an evaluation/consultation/appointment. Again, an experienced team can help you establish a pace and tone that will build rapport and trust with leads, moving them further down the sales funnel.
Keep the Message Short, but Don’t Omit a CTA. Do you like long texts? Exactly. Users will peace out if you send long messages. Most people don’t have the patience or time to scroll through a wordy SMS. Impress them with a brief message! A concise text that addresses all the main points, of course, with a strong call to action included.
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Your SMS Marketing: Next Level With Help From Miller Public Relations
SMS has quickly become a marketing frontrunner, and for a good reason. This communication tool has CRAZY GOOD open rates and a highly receptive audience. All this can add up to an impressive ROI on your marketing spend.
Ready to implement SMS marketing into your digital marketing strategy? We’d love to help. Let’s talk.