It is an old cliché that the customer is king, but in difficult economic circumstances knowing one’s customers is critical, to the extent that it can make or break a business. Similarly, generating new customers as well as retaining existing ones are key, and SMS marketing, when managed from our cloud-based, performance marketing platform can play a substantial role in achieving your goals at both ends.

Optimise returns with proactive responses that close the deal

While SMS, email or telephonic marketing can all be used to retain customers, proactively responding to their needs can mean the difference between engendering ongoing customer loyalty or losing them to a competitor. In the financial services space, this could include emailing or SMSing a client when their premium is almost due, or sending an SMS to assist clients in changing the date when their debit order goes off their account. Another service along similar lines could entail using SMS to contact clients with an offer to adjust their existing insurance premium should they be experiencing financial problems.

There is a large untapped opportunity to offer more personalised customer service in this arena too, and doing so is far cheaper to a financial services provider than having to sign customers up again. It is said to cost between six and seven times more to acquire a new customer than to retain one after all.

Supported by a proactive sales force that is alerted to new leads or enquiries on recipients’ clicks, SMSs afford users an immediate way to follow-through on an opportunity as it arises, and close the deal.

Manage your message better

We are the only performance marketing platform that enables users to upload their own data by importing Excel, CSV, DMA and exclusion lists to manage directly. It automatically eliminates duplicates and the risk of accidentally sending SMSs to those on a ‘do not contact’ list, both of which are usually due to human error. Campaigns can also be timed to ensure that recipients don’t receive overlapping SMSs from the same brand. Messages can also be scheduled for certain times of the day and split-testing allows creative and list tracking for best performance in real-time.

Bounce management functionality further optimises the return and can in itself save 20% of marketing costs typically associated with bulk SMS campaigns.

These features help users to better manage their message and budget as sending duplicate SMSs for the same campaign not only annoys recipients, it also wastes money. The more campaigns one is running and thus SMSs being sent, the greater the cost savings and higher the conversions.

With sight of results as they happen via its live dashboard, our users can also track open rates, clicks, response rates and better manage revenue and margins.

Potential and opportunity

As to why companies should consider leveraging SMS marketing as opposed to other methods, 90% of messaging flows through text messages in South Africa. This is mainly because access to the internet and the high cost of data are still issues.  SMSs have a broad reach to an audience that do not need to have data on their phone in order to receive relevant messages or respond to them.  

As with email campaigns, having a deep understanding of the end-recipient of an SMS, and running targeted campaigns that reach the right people, are paramount. In the insurance space, that demographic is going to be closely aligned with clients who have the highest propensity to continue to pay their premiums for instance. Additionally, the purpose of targeting the right people with the most relevant message is twofold: to enhance the chances that they will respond and convert them into paying customers, while making sure that the marketing cost of sending the SMS is money well spent rather than needlessly wasted.

SMS on an upward trajectory

We transmit over 35 million SMSs each month, and this has been on an upward trend, doubling every quarter for the last three years. This only indicates that in the ongoing bid to better serve one’s customers, targeted, automated and measurable SMS is an increasingly potent tool and not one to be lightly ignored, now, or considering its growth to date, in the years to come.