Now that the majority of adult consumers carry a smartphone with them nearly 24-hours a day, SMS marketing (aka “text messages”) are a great way to engage your audience, providing them with useful information, special offers, and other opportunities at just the right time. The key is to use SMS power wisely so you see a return on your investment without being annoying or intrusive.
Nearly every industry can successfully use SMS marketing to expand their customer service, attract genuine leads, and build their brand. To prove it, we’ve compiled a list of 10 industries that can use SMS marketing to help increase business along with examples of how to do it.
- The healthcare industry. We put these guys at the top of the lists because if there’s any place where they lose revenue it’s in missed appointments. You can use SMS marketing to provide your clients with appointment reminders at specific times, like one week and one day prior. A recent study showed that the use of SMS for patient reminders cut back significantly on no-shows and late arrivals. Other examples of SMS opportunities are to offer health tips or special time-sensitive promos on your products and services (if you’re a LASIK surgery provider for example). SMS marketing can be a useful tool to help with operations and keeping you on your audience’s radar screen.
- Service-related industries. Appointment reminders can also benefit other service-related industries such as home maintenance technicians, automotive repair centers, etc. Again, a missed appointment means lost revenue and the chance that your client might make an appointment with a competitor. Your friendly text reminder doesn’t require a reply and clients will appreciate it.
- Retail establishments. Are you in communication with your most regular clients? Once you’ve captured their phone number, you have an easy means of promoting upcoming sales and events. You can create a VIP guest list for extra-special promotions and giveaways. Consider using text-only coupons and discount codes for consumers who subscribe.
- Entertainment venues. Everything you include in your email marketing reminders can be condensed and sent in a text. Many people use junk email accounts so they don’t have to deal with spam, which means your email announcements might go overlooked. SMS marketing means you can send information about upcoming concerts, meal specials, pre-sale ticket opportunities etc., in just a few sentences and a CTA.
- Restaurants and food vendors. Whether you are a happening restaurant in the heart of downtown or a small food truck specializing in underground events, SMS marketing is an easy-breezy way to keep in touch with your favorite foodies. Offer them a little something special when they show you the text in the restaurant, let them know about your weekly specials and menu items, or engage in a conversation requesting their input for new menu items.
- Real estate brokers and agents. How often are you sitting at your desk? Exactly. You need a marketing platform that is efficient and portable, and SMS is the perfect match. Open houses, seasonal or vacation rental offers, and updates on the current market can all be sent while you are out and about, tending to your face-to-face clients. Another cool feature? Offering SMS info on your brokerage signs so that a prospective buyer can text and instantly receive a video tour and related info. In the meantime, YOU get a text alert so you can instantly call the prospective buyer and offer an in-person tour.
- Online companies. Is your business run completely online? Offer a place where your customers can provide their contact information so you can use SMS too! Product offers and sales are among the possibilities. But you can also ask for additional customer feedback or use SMS to conduct polls or contests (or to drive traffic to your social media accounts). Don’t forget to include URL links back to your eCommerce site, making it easy for your customers to stop by again. Mobile marketing is becoming increasingly important, especially if your company doesn’t have a brick and mortar storefront.
- Media. If you work in television, radio, or publishing, SMS marketing can be used to get viewers, listeners and readers to pay attention. Create captivating messages that will make them take note. Do a countdown leading up to a big premier or book release. Let them know when your station is going to be hosting or attending an exciting event. Provide a URL link to your website for them to find out more.
- Education. Perhaps one of the most revolutionary uses for SMS marketing is in the education sector. Administrators and teachers can communicate broadly with parents and students regarding upcoming holidays, test dates, assignment due dates, parent-teacher conferences, or security alerts.
- Employers. Perhaps one of the most important ways SMS can be used is right in your very own company. It is a way to communicate instantly, with all of your employees. This is especially valuable for companies with scattered branches, employees who are frequently traveling for business, or with huge warehouses or industrial environments where verbal communication is more challenging. It prevents the risk of an unopened or junkmailed email messages or an accidentally deleted voice mail.
- Creative SMS marketing can help to increase business in virtually any industry. How are you using it in yours?