Marketing these days can be a challenge. With everyone vying for a fraction of everyone else’s limited attention spans, a small business needs to get creative to thrive in the attention economy. One way to do this is through SMS marketing.

SMS—an abbreviation for “short message service“—is an ideal way to reach a large audience quickly. Using text messages as a conduit to reach a larger audience isn’t a new idea, but it is still a valuable one.

Using messaging can offer personalized service, quick access to promotions, opportunities to save on products, and much more.

As part of your business’ marketing plan, you may want to consider using a text message marketing solution to increase customer engagement and return customers. For example, you can integrate an SMS gateway API with your business system in order to send bulk text messages. This type of gateway facilitates SMS integrations, as it allows you to combine your existing communication applications with a bulk SMS service in order to create more leads and get conversions.

Here are five features of SMS marketing solutions you should know about using SMS marketing.

Impact Metrics & Open Rates

Every time you send a text message out to your customers, they may react to it in different ways. What if there were metrics or some way you could measure how each message performs?

Metrics such as open rate and impact measure how well your subscribers are reacting to your messages.

Open rates for text messages can reach up to 99% based solely on how easy it is to access a text compared to an email.

With each message being measured for its impact, you gain a clear line of visibility and insight into what’s working with your marketing strategy…and what isn’t.

Combining Messages and Purchase History

What if you could personalize messages to your customers without compromising user data or privacy? A good text message marketing solution/service can do just that.

With a good mobile marketing platform, you can gather first-party data to use for more efficient marketing. Then you can tie purchase history into your marketing messages.

If certain subscribers are drawn more toward coffee or soda, you may offer them beverage discounts.

If they’re coming in more often in the afternoon, they might benefit from a lunch promotion.

The sky really is the limit with what you can accomplish by using these different metrics to inform your messaging.  

Fraud Prevention

While you’re trying to use text message marketing to your organization’s advantage, there are sadly some individuals who might choose to commit fraud via your messages.

There are a few mitigation methods to minimize and prevent fraud. A powerful mobile marketing platform is useful for preventing fraud.

Whether it’s stopping customers from repeatedly using an expired coupon/promo message or preventing multiple redemptions (known as redemption fraud), a good marketing platform can serve a dual function as both a promoter and a monitor. 

Time and Enhance Your Promotions

Do you have an amazing promotion ready to go, but want to set a time limit on it? Use built-in time limits and expiration dates for certain messages.

We’ve all likely signed up for marketing messages from our favorite brands and received those reminders.

You can use a colorful, rich content message, SMS message, or multimedia message to send similar ones to your customers that will engage and convince them to take advantage of a given promotion.

You can also combine your text message promotion with social media, your restaurant’s app, or email marketing to maximize conversion rates.

Maybe you can run a contest on social media to ask for sign-ups for your text message marketing. Then, you send new subscribers a 10% off coupon or something similar, with a time limit.

The customer can share the coupon through email and get maybe receive more rewards for helping others sign up.

In this manner, you’re increasing loyalty, conversion, and retention all through a simple promotion. 

Understand Your Returns

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Calculations for your return on investment can be tough if you rely on yourself to figure them out. You’re busy and have a restaurant to run, so leaving the analytics to the software is likely your best bet.

A good mobile marketing platform should be user-friendly and supply information on how well each of your marketing messages is performing.

You can also glean insight into other performance vectors as well, such as loyalty.

Interaction rate and length are crucial metrics that measure how often do customers open and interact with the ads on your website, social media, or texts?

The longer the interaction time, the more engaging the ad. That could lead to a conversion and more customers long-term.

Conversions are also important because each one is an indication you’re doing something right with your marketing.

The challenge comes with retaining them. Marketing doesn’t stop at the conversion, so knowing your retention rates are essential to gauge whether you’re marketing is working or not.

On the other hand, churn rates—how often customers abandon your restaurant or stop doing business with it entirely—should also be monitored carefully.

If you’re churning a lot of customers then it’s time to re-assess your marketing plan.

Finally, measuring customer satisfaction and referrals are key to seeing the success of a particular marketing plan.