For a long time there were arguments that bulk SMS communication would become irrelevant in the face of instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram and South Africa’s discontinued Mxit.

But, this chap called SMS has stayed relevant and it continues to be used by universities, government departments and businesses to communicate with customers.

Remember that old school pager? Yeah those were the days, classic! Let’s not waste time showing our age ...

Here’s how SMS marketing has managed to remain relevant: 

It aids marketing during a crisis

SMS was and still is a popular way for brands and organisations to communicate with audiences and the public at large — especially during times of a brand or global crisis. 

Think about the global Covid-19 pandemic. It has been a fundamental communications tool used by governments to send residents SMSs on how to stay safe and other necessary updates. And for brands, such as banks, SMSs are used to communicate with clients to keep their confidential information safe.

For example, the South African Information Centre has warned clients to be wary of criminals working around the clock using the virus to engage in defrauding them. Interpol further urged banks and the government to consider the use of SMS to warn clients and citizens of any fraudulent activities involving their personal information. 

Ideal for sharing links and coupons 

From the infamous ‘please call me’ to ones accompanied with an advert in text format, SMS is a classic. 

For brands, it’s a great way to receive a bank SMS notification of transactions linked to your account. SMS is also ideal for sharing promotions such as supermarket specials. Links shared via SMS are great for helping clients navigate to a website or a direct page, saving them time from having to go through website content that is irrelevant to their current request.  

SMSes are also good for sharing activated coupons or codes; for example, some residential areas use an SMS-generated token to grant visitors access to the premises. What makes this so great is that, if your customers don’t have data, they can still access the text. 

SMS communication is great as a reminder for clients 

SMS is immediate and effective compared to other forms of text communication, such as email, as marketers are able to remind a client of a payment or even a time limited time sale.

SMSes land directly in the consumers’ inbox with or without airtime or data, meaning they receive your brand messages immediately.  

Take, for example, a car dealership reminding their clients that their vehicle is due for a service. This can improve consumer satisfaction as it’s direct communication. And, as a result, clients will feel they are well looked after, even throughout their after sale phase. 

SMS continues to dominate as a communication funnel for brands and personal use. How has the use of SMS served as a convenience for your brand? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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Integrated marketing communications strategies take a holistic view of how your brand’s message is delivered on all of its platforms. Read more about  Why integrated marketing communications is important.