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12 Ways Small Businesses Can Use SMS Marketing

From sending event invites to reminding customers about their appointments, here are the 12 answers to the question, "What are some helpful ways we can use SMS marketing for small businesses?"

  • Text Event Invites

  • Celebrate With Happy Birthday Notes and Deals

  • Send Courtesy Payment Reminders for Recurring Orders

  • Recover Abandoned Carts

  • Gather Customer Feedback

  • Update on Shipping Details

  • Notify for Product Restocks

  • Tailor SMS Discounts to Measure Results

  • Work Magic With SMS Geofencing

  • Cross-Sell Promotional Messages

  • Confirm Customer Order

  • Remind Customers of Their Appointments

Text Event Invites

As a small business, we have discovered the incredible utility of SMS marketing for the growth of our business. Event invites, in particular, have been an incredibly profitable tool not only for filling seats at the events but also for increasing engagement with our customers and following.

Knowing that most people check their phones at least once an hour, having your message delivered directly to their device is hugely impactful. Additionally, it allows us to easily track the effectiveness of each campaign, since we can track open rates and response times.

Antreas Koutis, Administrative Manager, Financer

Celebrate With Happy Birthday Notes and Deals

One of my go-to strategies for SMS marketing, especially for small local businesses, is birthday texts. If you have your customer’s birthday date, send them a friendly “happy birthday” SMS when the day arrives. Even if you don’t couple the message with a deal offer, it’s still good business and cultivates company recognition.

If you can, however, couple the friendly birthday message with a special offer or discount, it can be powerful. People ‌feel good on their birthdays and will spend a little to treat themselves. Thus, something like the offer of a free accessory or 50% off their next service can pay big dividends.

Send Courtesy Payment Reminders for Recurring Orders

One of the best uses of SMS marketing for us is sending payment reminders before a new product ships.

We’re focused on quality customer service, and hyper-transparency is a sizable piece of that. We never want one of our convenient, recurring orders to come as a surprise to anyone, so we give our customers ample opportunity to change their subscriptions before a payment hits their bank account.

Recover Abandoned Carts

Abandoned cart recovery is an effective way to convert potential customers into paying customers.

You can use SMS marketing to send a reminder to customers who added items to their cart but didn’t complete the purchase. A friendly text message like “Hey there, we noticed you left some items in your cart. Don't miss out on this offer and finish your purchase now!" can be enough of a nudge to grab their attention and bring them back to your website or store.

Todd Saunders, General Manager, BIG Safety

Gather Customer Feedback

SMS marketing is a great way to gather customer feedback. In fact, it's actually one of the best ways to gather customer feedback because it's convenient and quick. And, since you can use it as a reminder after they have made the purchase, it gives you a chance to follow up with customers immediately after a purchase, which increases the chances that they'll respond to your request. This is especially important if you're running an e-commerce store, as it makes them feel you care about their experience and want to make sure that they're happy with the purchase. It also builds a stronger relationship with your customers and can help you keep them in the long run.

Arkadiusz Terpilowski, Head of Growth & Co-Founder, Primetric

Update on Shipping Details

I rarely subscribe to SMS marketing or give my consent to text me from companies, but when I do, it's because they offer shipping and tracking updates via text.

It's easy just to tap a link and see where your order is at and when to expect it. When this feature is offered, I'll allow them to text me once in a while with their promotional content.

I may not be interested in it, but I don't unsubscribe due to the tracking feature. When you give a customer something of extreme value, like the status of their order through SMS, you're likely to keep them around for promotional SMS marketing.

Notify for Product Restocks

Use SMS marketing to notify customers of new product restocks. For example, it can frustrate customers when your best sellers are out of stock—and sometimes email isn't quick enough to get the message out fast enough. Texting is the most convenient method for notifying customers so they can purchase the restocked item quickly.

Susan Shaffer, President, Pneuma Nitric Oxide

Tailor SMS Discounts to Measure Results

SMS marketing is a great way for small businesses to reach their customers. It allows them to send specially targeted promotional messages, discounts, and other offers directly to their customers' phones.

This makes it easier for customers to take advantage of special deals and helps the business build rapport and purchasing rhythm with customers. SMS marketing also allows small businesses to track their campaigns and measure the success of their efforts. This helps them optimize their campaigns for better results and maximize ROI.

Work Magic With SMS Geofencing

SMS geofencing enables you to automatically text customers (or launch an SMS automation sequence) when they physically step within a designated geographical area. This can deliver transformative results because you have the advantage of proximity, as the set area is commonly within your locality. Highly streamlined mobile SMS campaigns can, to such recipients, resonate well with the audience. Relax, you don't need a 300 Elon Musk IQ to get this working. Basically, you determine the geofence radius where these SMS campaigns will be useful, ranging from city blocks to miles from you. Once you get mandatory permissions, you track subscribers who step into the geographical perimeter you monitor. RFID signals do really well for such geo-tracking, with an SMS provider beeping you when a subscriber enters the area you have geofenced.

Cross-Sell Promotional Messages

As a small business owner, I had the chance to try out an SMS marketing campaign, and it was a great experience! Cross-sell promotional messages were used to notify prospective customers of deals, discount codes, and other special promotions. It was amazing how much this technique attracted more attention to our products as compared to using traditional email marketing.

We also found that we could quickly build up our customer base by having users join mailing lists and opt in for deals—all done through personalized SMS messages sent straight to their cell phones.

All in all, SMS marketing was a great tool for us to help increase visibility and get our special promotions out there quickly.

Ludovic Chung-Sao, Lead Engineer & Founder, Zen Soundproof

Confirm Customer Orders

One great way to use SMS marketing for small businesses is to incorporate SMS messaging during the order process. Sending updates about shipping and order confirmations via SMS messaging is a great way to market your brand to your customers and enhance the customer experience.

You can also send a follow-up SMS message a couple of weeks after they get their order and give them the option to respond to a quick survey to talk about their experience with the product or service.

Remind Customers of Their Appointments

One of the best ways small businesses can leverage SMS marketing is to send customers a reminder before they're due for an appointment, such as a dental checkup or consulting session.

Not only does it remove the hassle of having to remember to book that next visit or purchase, but it also puts the customer in control and gives them flexibility with scheduling.

Of course, using SMS messaging for sales and promotional offers can also help stimulate business and keep your loyal customers coming back—after all, marketers have known for years that the key to success is often right in your pocket!

Carlos Trillo, Founder & CEO, Evinex

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