SMS stands for “Short Message Service” and is a way for small businesses to advertise and market their company to current or prospective customers.

While email marketing can still be an effective way to advertise your product or service, it’s not the only way. In fact, emails are oftentimes deleted before they’re even opened.

Text messages, on the other hand, are almost always opened within the first few minutes of receiving them.

SMS marketing is not just used to promote your company, though. It can also be used as a way to improve your company by sending out surveys via a text message.

The article “SMS surveys to satisfy customers” states that more and more companies are taking advantage of bulk text messaging by sending out a few questions to their customers asking about their personal experience with the company.

In turn, this gives the company a chance to improve and give the customers what they want.

See Benefits of SMS Marketing

In addition to using it to improve your small business, you can also use SMS marketing to get customers into your place of business and grow your company.

Benefits include:

  • Alerting customers of deals – A great way to get customers into your shop is to offer a deal or promotion. Your customers won’t just naturally know about your specials, so you’ll need to find a way to get the word out. Sending a mass text to customers is an almost guaranteed way to let them know about any upcoming deals or specials;
  • Bringing customers in during slow times – For restaurants, SMS marketing is a great way to get people in during your slower hours. If you work near an office building, for example, send a text message out during the early afternoon offering 25 percent off a meal if used before 4 p.m. that day. For those that missed lunch or perhaps want an early dinner, your coupon will be hard to pass up;
  • Monitoring effectiveness – With any marketing strategy, you’re going to want to monitor how well it’s performing. SMS marketing can be very easy to track and analyze. If it’s working, keep it up! And if not, you can always switch to a different form of marketing for your business.

Build Your SMS Marketing Campaign

In order to effectively market your small business via texting, you need to first get customers to sign up for your messages.

One way to do this is to offer a discount on their purchase for signing up.

When the customer is checking out at your store, ask if they’d like to join your texting list today and in return, they will receive 10 percent off their purchase. You can ask customers to spread the word to their friends and family members to grow your list even more.

In order to prevent people from unsubscribing, make sure not to send out text messages too much.

There’s a fine line between being helpful and being disruptive.

If you sell cars, for example, you may only need to send a message once every few months since most people do not car shop all that often. If you own a coffee shop, more frequent texts are suitable since people do usually buy coffee a few times per week.

If you own a small business, go ahead and give SMS marketing a try.

It’s relatively simple and can be a great, cost effective way to grow your business.

About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC. She writes on a variety of topics including small businesses, social media and personal finance.