SMS Marketing for Local Businesses

In the age of mobile phones and similar gadgets, local businesses are faced with a question – to jump in the bandwagon or not. SMS marketing is said to bring on two benefits – announce sales and increase traffic to stores. One only has to take a look at the businesses which have successfully made use of SMS marketing and all the benefits that they were able to reap in order to judge for oneself the merits of this new marketing strategy.

One of the many businesses which have already made use of SMS marketing is Dutch Bros, a drive-through coffee shop chain. A branch in Caldwell, Idaho has garnered a large number of loyal customers by sending them text messages at least once in every month. Those who are part of their SMS list receive offers and deep discounts through text message. In fact, one of Dutch Bros. latest offers is to sell all their lattes, cappuccinos, espressos and coffees for just a dollar. Announced through SMS, there was a traffic jam of vehicles filled with customers all wanting to take advantage of that very generous offer. You have to admire Dutch Bros. efforts in strengthening their relationship with their customers with such kind of offer.

Short message service or SMS is a service that is more commonly known as texting. When it comes to marketing, the SMS model utilized is very much similar to that of email. Just like in any email marketing campaign, the customer has to opt to receive offers and promos through SMS and it is the responsibility of the local business to send these promised messages. It is crucial that customers are able to conveniently and easily opt out of the service as well.

In the July 2010 Pew Internet & American Life report said that 72 percent of mobile phone users send or receive text messages. There is currently an estimated 234 million Americans who own mobile phones. From that figure, one can safely assume that 170 million of Americans are texting. This is good news for any small business. This means that more often than not, their customers own a mobile phone and may be willing to receive offers through SMS.

Prior to launching a full on SMS marketing campaign, a business must be able to come up with an SMS list first. Building this list is very similar to building an email list. Businesses with websites can include opt-in offers. Discounts, special offers and rewards can be used to lure visitors to giving their mobile phone numbers.

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