SMS marketing has seen tremendous year-over-year growth, as more businesses try to harness the power of one-to-one communication via mobile. (Check out these stats from Mobile Monkey to learn why!) We’ve seen a number of changes over the past few years, and here are three big trends we expect to see in 2019.
Increase in Trigger-Based Messages
One of the most exciting opportunities for marketers is the ability to launch text messages as the result of a pre-defined trigger. Triggers can be nearly anything, sending out timely messages that can be acted upon immediately.
For example, let’s say a regional restaurant chain offers free curly fries every time the home town basketball team scores more than 110 points in a game. The restaurant can set a trigger to automatically send a free curly fries reminder SMS to its entire phone list the moment the team scores 110 points. They might even throw in an upsell, offering anyone who comes in within the next hour a large drink for the price of a small.
Triggers don’t have send messages to entire mailing lists. A financial institution that experienced a minor security breach that only affected customers in one branch can have an SMS message automatically sent out to that portion of its customer base, advising them to go online and check their account.
Triggers can even go to individuals. A hotel can create a trigger so that when an arriving guest’s plane is delayed, their customer receives an SMS asking if they’d like the hotel to arrange transportation or room service for when they arrive.
Increased B2B Marketing
Most text message marketing to date has focused on promotional SMS messages, but 2019 is going to be the year we see more lead nurturing and lead gen activities take place over SMS. The reason is simple. Younger workers prefer SMS messaging over most other types of communication.
Marketers trying to nurture and develop leads through SMS need to provide value at every interaction and segment their lists effectively so that recipients receive relevant messages for their stage in the buying cycle. Because Millennials don’t like to be over-bombarded with ads, successful B2B marketers will first develop an off-phone relationship with their prospects before shifting the relationship into text mode.
Shortcodes over Hashtags
Shortcodes are those four-to-six-digit numbers businesses use when they want people to send a text and enter a contest or take a survey. 2019 promises to be the year where all types of enterprises start publishing shortcodes along with hashtags on their marketing materials.
For all their popularity, hashtags provide limited benefit to businesses. They direct a user to see content, but they don’t create an engagement or interaction. Even if the customer looks for the hashtag, they still need to click on a link, and eventually provide some type of contact information.
Shortcodes, on the other hand, require an interaction for the customer to engage. Customers using the shortcode to communicate are indicating a high degree of intent to the business, as they’ve taken a concrete action. Once the customer reaches out through the shortcode, the business can respond to the immediate matter at hand and add the sender’s phone number to their phone list.
Are you ready for SMS Marketing in 2019? Talk to us today about our text messaging service for business, and start texting your customers tomorrow.