Short Message Service, also known as SMS and more commonly referred to as “text messaging”, is a fast, easy way of getting a brief word out to a vast number of people. However, due to its brevity, the would-be marketer has to carefully pick and choose the manner in which SMS is employed. The last thing any business wants is to turn people off.

So, how can you make the most of those 140 characters? Here are five ways that SMS marketing can grow your business.

Use SMS To Build Up An Email Distribution List

While more people read their text messages than they do their email, that’s no reason to abandon the latter. At least, more people open their emails than they do their snail mail, so it still does amount to something. Besides, it’s just as inexpensive to do as SMS marketing, so why not have them team up?

The article “6 Tips for Attracting More Clients to Your Consulting Business with SMS Marketing” tells us that you can use SMS to get users’ email addresses. Now, of course, most people won’t just sit back and give you their email addresses without some incentive. Many people are justifiably reluctant to impart too much personal information to too many people.

That’s why you need to a) explain why you want those emails, and b) show that you’re willing to reward people for sharing. It’s one thing to say “Give me your email address”, and another to say, “Use your email address to sign up for our important news of upcoming events, promotions, and discounts!”.

The above example fulfills both expectations because you’re telling people what you want their emails for, and dangling the reward for doing so!

Do A Survey

You would think that it’s impossible to do a survey via text messaging but believe it or not; you can pull it off. A short question, three short answers, and there you go. You can find out a lot of what’s on your customers’ minds if you go this way.

Encourage Feedback

You want your business to grow, but you want to make sure it stays relevant to your customer base. Fair enough. If you do an email campaign, put a shortcode in your direct mail buckslip and ask for customer comments. Find out what they like and don’t like about your text marketing, or even your company as a whole.

Send Out A Non-Marketing Message

Yes, your text messaging marketing campaign is meant to drum up business, but every once in a while, you need to throw in something that’s not just an attempt to get the customer to spend more with you. Maybe it’s a quote of the day, or a bit of trivia, or even a greeting message that corresponds with an upcoming holiday. By reaching out like this, your business remains in the front of their minds, and you are likely to experience a return visit as a result. It’s a small karmic investment, and it can pay off huge down the line.

Use Texting As A Means Of Following Up

When a customer makes a purchase or engages in a service you provide, you can implement a text-message follow-up procedure and ensure that the client is satisfied. This is also a good time to ask if they have any questions or suggestions on how you can improve. If the customer is happy, you can also take advantage of that goodwill and ask for referrals. Perhaps they have a few friends who could also benefit from your business!

There are a lot of other tips and strategies out there, just waiting to be discovered. In fact, here’s an article about “Mobile Marketing Success Tips”, that’s worth a good look.