SMS marketing: Why it’s better than direct email

Is your fear of customers unsubscribing holding you back from SMS marketing in your trade business? Are you steering clear of SMS marketing because you’re worried your customers will perceive it as spam — and it’ll turn them off using your services? Be honest, does this sound like you?
In this article, you’ll see SMS marketing, when done correctly, will position your brand as friendly and useful. Why? Because it’s targeted. SMS marketing is a direct line to your customer, giving you the chance to create a personal connection. So, here’s how it can help you convert customers.

SMS marketing versus direct mail

While SMS marketing is sometimes viewed as spam or an intrusion of privacy *, it’s becoming an accepted way for businesses to communicate with us, especially when the message is designed to provide customers with value. Plus, with an average cost of 7 cents per 160-character message and whopping 98% open rate, it’s affordable and yields strong ROI!

The table below compares SMS marketing with direct email:

Type of marketing Open rate Response rate
Direct Email (EDM) 20% 90 minutes
SMS (Text messaging) 98% 90 seconds

What should my text message say?

A barrier to SMS marketing, also known as text message marketing, is not knowing what to say, or when to say it. To help you get started with SMS marketing in your trade business, we’ve created a 10-step guide, and some example templates, for your easy reference.

Basic steps to perfect your text message

  1. Know your customer
    Include their name, and local area, if possible.
  2. Identify yourself
    Include your name, and business name.
  3. Include a call-to-action.
    Make sure there’s a relevant action i.e Reply ‘YES’ for a quote.
  4. Offer something of value
    Call today for a discount.
  5. Use urgency
    This will press them to reply quicly, i.e. ‘today offer only’.
  6. Include an opt-out message
    Reply ‘STOP’ to opt-out.
  7. Timing is key
    Send during business hours only.
  8. Short and sweet
    The average text is 55 i.e. 160 characters.
  9. Keep it classy
    Avoid slang, swear words, spelling mistakes and abbreviations.
  10. Make consumers feel special
    Offer something engaging: “ People who used this product, also purchased XXX — we thought you might like it!”

Here’s 3 text message templates

1. More targeted template

Hi Nate 

We’ve got a technician in Sutherland tomorrow — we remembered that you’re close by. If you have anything you’d like us to take care of, we have space in the afternoon to stop by. 

Reply: YES, and we will book you in ASAP.

Reply STOP to opt-out.

2. Pair your message with an event

Hi Julian

Big storms are forecasted in Mona Vale this weekend with heavy downpours. To avoid flooding, book an emergency gutter cleaning service today. 

Reply: “BOOK ME”, and we will be in touch ASAP. Or give us a call on XXXXXXX and our team can assist. 

Stay Safe – Mike from Gutters.Co

Reply STOP to opt-out 

Hi Nancy

A friendly reminder Christmas lights can cause fires when a socket gets overloaded or if electrical wires are faulty. Need a few extra sockets, or just peace of mind that your outlets are safe? 

Reply: FIRE SAFE, and we will be in touch ASAP. 

Happy Holiday – John from Electrical Men. 

Reply STOP to opt-out.

3. Personalised texts

Note: Personalised texts need to be based on personalised information, gathered from a previous job or quote.

Hi Keith 

It’s Jimmy from Jimmy’s Bathrooms. 

It’s been a few years since your renovation, are you looking to upgrade again, or finally ready to update the ensuite? 

Reply: YES, and we will be in touch 

Reply STOP to opt-out.

Ready to give SMS marketing a try? If you’ve got marketing questions, or anything else, you’d like to run past Andy, book in a Game Plan Call.

* Please note: Australian law states you cannot send a text message to somebody who hasn’t willingly provided you with their details. This may have been through a previous job, or a contact form. Anybody who opts out must be moved to a DNR (do not ring) list immediately.