How to do SMS marketing

While smartphones have become ubiquitous in South Africa (smartphone penetration was above 90% in 2019, according to ICASA), SMS marketing is still extremely important. It gives you significant reach to almost the entire population and doesn’t rely on your customers having mobile data on their phones.

3 reasons to use SMS marketing

SMS has a few advantages that keeps it relevant:

  1. Reach more consumers – Many South Africans live and work in remote areas, where even 3G is not available. SMS uses GSM, which reaches a much wider area, ensuring your consumers will receive your communication.
  1. No data required – The cost of data in SA is very high and it’s not a given that people will have it on their phones. However, every phone is able to receive an SMS, even if they have run out of data and airtime.
  1. Higher open rates compared to email – Consumers are much more likely to open and read an SMS – the open rate for SMS is as high as 98%, compared to just 20% for email.

SMS marketing tips

  • Have a clear message – An SMS has a 160-character limit, so your message should be clear, concise and to the point. Make sure you include an end date where applicable, such as if a promotion is valid for a limited time. When necessary, you can include a link to a webpage displaying more information.
  • Exclusive deals – Instead of simply informing consumers of promotions, you can send promo codes that can be used in-store or online to receive a discount. This is likely to draw customers to your store, where they might purchase additional items or services.
  • Target your consumers – Use data analytics to ensure that you are sending the right offers and material to the right customers. It’s possible to segment your database and only send SMSs to specific groups. For example, a general sale can go to your entire consumer base, while a special on specific items should go to those who are likely to buy them.
  • Time your SMSs – Your messages should be sent when users are most likely to read them. SMS promotions and sales work well as last-minute impulses, so send out communication shortly before a promotion or event starts.
  • Monitor your campaign – Bulk SMS services like SendEasy allow you to monitor the performance of your campaign in real-time. Analysing this data can provide valuable information on what promotions work best, and when the optimal time is to send out marketing.

Use a bulk SMS platform

Netgen’s SendEasy service is an affordable bulk SMS platform that is flexible and easy to use. Get in touch to find out more.

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