SMS Marketing is an essential ingredient for any successful marketing campaign, with 98% of messages opened within the first three minutes of delivery. For business, the impact of text message penetration is now greater than ever before.

According to the Search Engine Journal, consumers who are sent text messages have a 40% higher conversion rate than those who are not sending text messages. The research reveals that '23.5 million people will respond to a business text message in 2017'.

A mobile-first society

Ofcom's latest figures estimate that 76% of adults now own a smartphone, while a staggering 94% own a mobile phone. In the United Kingdom alone, 37.2 million mobile users have opted in to receive text messages from brands and businesses.

By 2020, the number of mobile users who opt-in to receive a text from brands and businesses is expected to rise to 48.65 million. How can any marketer ignore these figures? SMS marketing helps you connect with your existing users, while also potentially allowing you to make new customers.

Here are Sendmode's top six tips for a successful SMS marketing campaign:

1. Be consistent

Even the best business plan will fail without dedication to consistency. Consistency establishes your reputation, and a once off, well-executed marketing campaign may show immediate results but business growth requires a track record of success.

2. Timing is key

You should take extra care with the timing of your messages. Making sure your timing is crucial to your SMS marketing campaign success. Not only do customers not want to receive a message late at night or early in the morning, but the chances of them reading or paying attention to your offer are significantly reduced.

You also want to make sure that you are giving your customers sufficient time to act on a message.

3. Monitor and analyse

Monitoring each campaign to make sure that you are sending the most relevant information to the most relevant audience will optimise your SMS marketing campaign.

4. Make your URLs shorter

If you want to include a link to an article, attachment, or mobile webpage, don't forget to shorten it. A longer link not only uses up valuable characters, but it looks extremely unprofessional and could be mistaken for spam by the receiver.

Bitly, Google URL Shortener, and are some of the top URL shortening providers, where you can also measure clicks on your links.

5. Restrict your messages

When it comes to sending an SMS online, it's important to get the balance right. How many times have you sent a message in the past month? According to research, 68% of consumers are happy to receive an SMS from a brand or business once a month or more – don't overdo it, moderation is the key to any success.

6. Get creative with your sender ID

Add a touch of personality to your SMS marketing campaign and bring a smile to your customer's face by changing your sender ID. After all, the days of businesses sticking to formal format with campaigns are beginning to be a thing of the past. Everyone loves a bit of humour they can identify with; it makes brands less intimidating to customers who may be confused by what you offer. Is SMS dead? Not at all.

A number of reports have been published recently, which forecast that application to person (A2P) SMS, which includes bulk SMS marketing, is set to grow rapidly and reach $70-billion by 2020. 'Global demand for A2P SMS market was valued at around USD $55-billion in 2014, and is expected to reach USD $70-billion in 2020, growing at a CAGR of around 4.0% between 2015 and 2020'.

The growth is fueled by a rapid rise in the number of businesses using bulk SMS as a communication and marketing tool. Bulk SMS services offer low cost and easy-to-use communication and can be used in a variety of ways for business, such as news alerts, notifications, promotional messages, news, polling contests, banking updates, flight alerts, etc.

Bulk SMS is one of the fastest growing service markets and is widely used throughout a host of industries such as banking, financial services, insurance, retail and marketing, healthcare, media, entertainment, and tourism.

Combined with asking your customer's permission to send them an SMS, known as permission-based marketing, bulk text gives a more immediate and healthier return on investment than any other marketing channel.

SMS is at a turning point in its history. As briefly discussed in The rise of RCS Messaging, Google has announced the expansion of its Rich Communications Service (RCS) and the rollout of an early access programme for the service.

The new Android message application – which supports SMS, MMS, and RCS messaging – will replace the current native messaging app for Android. The most exciting prospect for the service currently lies with businesses.

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