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smsDavid Wachs is senior VP of mobile at digital marketing firm ePrize.

How many texts would you say you send each day? Hmm … a lot.

Today, texting is everywhere and everything to consumers According to the CTIA, 2.27 trillion text messages are sent every year, in the US alone, which is 6.3 billion per day or about 20 text messages per person every day.

But despite these huge numbers, when it comes to brands reaching their consumers, email marketing is still the more commonly used tactic. Even though text message marketing — which includes coupons, special offers, and participation in loyalty programs — is redeemed 8 or more times frequently than email, email marketing continues to prevail.

Why are marketers so unsure about SMS as an effective marketing channel? Would marketers be more open to implementing SMS practices if it felt like less of a mystery and they learned how to use SMS in tandem with email-based campaigns?

Of course, email marketing does have its benefits and each channel should be used appropriately to communicate with customers.

In fact, when used in tandem with SMS, marketers can effectively reach their target audience, engaging with a robust, multi-channel communication stream. We’re all familiar with the pros of email, but when you take a step back and look at what SMS based programs can offer, you’ll see the huge opportunity that your brand is missing by not embracing SMS.

Don’t believe me? Here are five reasons that might change your mind.

1. Put simply, SMS marketing is more effective

The numbers don’t lie.

The open rate of text promotions/offers is a whopping 98%! Compare that to the 22% open rate of emails. While an email might sit in a customer’s inbox all day, a text is read within minutes, making it a great channel for flash sales and same-day promotions.

2. Reach a highly engaged audience

Consumers opt in to mobile programs and make a careful decision on which text campaigns they choose. This differs from email campaigns, where consumers subscribe more generally for brands they may only be temporarily interested in.

Because users limit themselves to brands they truly care about when opting into SMS promotions, brands are able to market more directly to a captive, and loyal, target audience.

3. Build your brand conversation

While email communication is a one-way street, people can actually reply to an SMS promotion and engage with the brand through two-way SMS dialog.

By opening the doors of conversation between brand and consumer, and creating customer engagement, marketers ultimately create a stronger relationship and build brand trust.

4. Sell more and drive awareness

Unlike email, which tends to drive online sales, text promotions drive engagement to bring consumers in-store.

Once in-store, the consumer is more likely to buy other attractive products, and a consumer’s basket size is on average three times larger than if you drove their purchase online. SMS gets your consumer in the store and opens their eyes to additional offerings they might not otherwise have been interested in.

5. Measure your ad value

With so many customer acquisition points with SMS programs, brands can easily track where users are texting in to join (via in-store advertising, print advertising, etc.) and measure the relative effectiveness of that advertisement. This allows marketers to measure advertising in a way like never before, and is a valuable tool for marketers.

Marketers know that in order to stay relevant, they have to be where their consumers are. And consumers are mobile! Since we know texting is one of the most popular mobile activities today, brands are missing out on a major opportunity by not leveraging SMS based marketing.

SMS practices are not just an efficient way to reach today’s consumer but also the most relevant way to engage with them, build brand trust, and even track the effectiveness of advertising. If you’re not already engaging with customers via SMS based campaigns, it’s time to go mobile.

photo credit: Sifter via photopin cc

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