It’s one of the oldest forms of mobile communication, which we still use regularly. However, this can’t be the case if it’s being used by companies renowned for revolutionising industries with a forward-thinking attitude.

Brands such as Google, Facebook, Uber, Apple, and Airbnb all have SMS campaigns as part of their marketing strategies. SMS traffic is expected to reach 2.5 trillion by 2020. We’re not surprised.

With 98% of SMS messages being read within the first three minutes of delivery, who could blame companies for turning to SMS as a means of communication and marketing with customers. As a matter of fact, 8.6 trillion text messages are sent every year on average – six billion per day in the United States alone.

That’s over 20 times the amount of tweets and 12 times the number of Facebook messages sent daily. With all the messaging going on, it’s no wonder marketing teams are finding SMS marketing to be successful. In many industries, mobile messaging provides the most effective direct marketing channel.

Below are five innovative tips for businesses using SMS to create customer engagement, keep customers informed, and create offers and reward programmes.

1. Timing is key

As the saying goes, timing is everything. There are two important aspects of timing that you should pay attention to if you want your SMS campaign to be successful. First, open-ended messages are less successful than messages that have deals that expire.

Create the text of your SMS to portray that the deal 'expires soon' or something similar. You want to make sure your SMS messages are sent at opportune times. For example, when someone buys a particular product, you could send him or her an SMS message about a related product in hopes of getting him or her interested. Don’t be afraid to experiment with timing – SMS is very informal.

2. Discounts and coupons

There’s nothing new about businesses using SMS to distribute coupons and vouchers as a marketing tool. Making the most of a coupon campaign can prove to be a really effective strategy for businesses as it keeps customers engaged and interested in communicating with your brand.

3. Flash discounts

There’s nothing better than getting an alert on your phone and finding out that you just got a text message with a discount code out of the blue. Implementing a strategy is easy. Simply send out discount codes at random times, for no special occasion. It keeps your company in the minds of your customers and gives them a reason not to unsubscribe from your mobile marketing list.

The key to this strategy is to not have these deals accessible for mobile subscribers. That will give people even more of an incentive to join your list.

4. Compelling VIP offers

While giving customers discount coupons may not be enough to compel them to engage with your business, discount coupons coupled with a compelling free service is a recipe for success.

5. Do a weekly tip

This strategy combines SMS marketing and content marketing. Content marketing is an inbound technique that focuses on providing your audience with free value to get them to know, like, and trust you.

After providing your audience with so much value, they’ll be more likely to choose your service over a competitor. Start by sending out a weekly tip via SMS to people who have opted-in to your service. This tip should be something that’s related to your industry and is helpful.

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