When you run a website, you have a lot of ways to stay in touch with your users. There’s email marketing, push notifications, and even text messages. However, integrating SMS marketing into your web operation is a bit more involved than the other methods we mentioned.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what SMS marketing is and what type of businesses can benefit from it. Then we’ll introduce you to five of our favorite SMS marketing platforms you can use for your website.
A Quick Primer on SMS Marketing
SMS marketing is very popular, depending on what kind of services you use. If you check your phone right now, you’ll probably run across several text messages featuring offers, discounts, and even updates concerning some services.
When it comes to marketing, each delivery method has a level of ‘invasiveness’, so to speak. If you go to someone’s home and knock on their door to try and sell them a vacuum cleaner, that’s as invasive as it can get. Email marketing is effective but not very invasive, since people can always ignore messages or opt out of them entirely.
SMS marketing can be highly effective because it’s hard to ignore. When we get a text message, most of us will stop to read it, unlike email. In many ways, SMS marketing can be a lot more personal than phone calls or email.
Text messages also have the advantage of featuring incredibly high open rates. That’s great news if you’re running the kind of online business where using SMS marketing makes sense, which is what we’re going to talk about next.
The Types of Businesses That Can Benefit from SMS Marketing
SMS marketing can be a fantastic way to increase engagement for your business. However, the bad news is that this marketing method doesn’t work for all types of businesses.
For example, here are some types of websites where using SMS marketing doesn’t make much sense, and why:
- Blogs. Most users probably don’t want to get text messages concerning new posts. This means SMS marketing is out of the question unless you also offer a tangible product.
- Portfolios. Just like blogs, using SMS marketing to send out blasts about updates to your site doesn’t make sense in this scenario.
- Online communities. If you run an online forum, for example, you can send updates concerning posts users are subscribed to. However, we’re willing to bet most people would balk at the idea of getting those notifications via text message instead of email.
If you’re considering using SMS marketing, you need to ask yourself if the kind of communications you want to send wouldn’t be better suited to email or push notifications. In most cases, either or both of those methods would make users happier, since they’re less invasive.
However, there are two subsets of websites where using SMS marketing does make a lot of sense. Those are e-commerce and service websites.
With the former, you can keep users updated about discounts, problems with their orders, shipping statuses, and more. This is the kind of information people don’t mind receiving via text message and email.
As for service websites, SMS marketing can be a great way to give people updates about their accounts, remind them when renewals are coming up, and more. In these cases, the common denominator is that there are online transactions involved. Once people are willing to trust you with their money, they’re more likely to be open to receiving text messages from you.
In any case, you’ll need users to share their numbers with you if you want to send marketing materials to them. In the next section, we’ll introduce you to a few services you can use to handle the task.
5 Top SMS Marketing Services You Should Consider Using
When it comes to SMS marketing, there aren’t a lot of WordPress plugins you can use to integrate the feature directly into your site. We’re going to talk about our favorites below, but rest assured – you can use all these platforms with WordPress, both to collect phone numbers and target them.
1. WC – APG SMS Notifications
Despite its stiff-sounding name, this SMS plugin is our favorite option for integration with WooCommerce sites. What it does is enable you to send your customers SMS updates every time their order statuses change.
For example, if there’s a problem with someone’s purchase they’ll get an SMS, as well as when an item ships. As the store owner, you can even configure the plugin to send you text messages whenever you get a purchase, which is sure to help you keep your spirits up!
- Send SMS updates to your customers whenever their order statuses change.
- Integrate your store with multiple major SMS marketing services, such as Clockwork and BulkSMS.
- Get text notifications whenever you get a new purchase.
- Configure SMS notifications for custom order statuses.
- Customize the notifications your customers receive.
Price: The plugin is free to use, but you may need to pay for a subscription depending on which SMS marketing platform you use | More Information
Sendpulse is a all-in-one marketing service that supports email, push notifications, Viber updates, and SMSs. When it comes to SMS marketing, the platform enables you to deliver updates to over 200 countries, schedule messages, and even offer personalization.
With SMS personalization, you can address receivers directly by their names and share updates about anything you want with them. Plus, the platform enables you to create easy-to-use subscription forms you can place anywhere on your site (such as your checkout screen).
- Send text messages to recipients in over 200 countries.
- Schedule and personalize your SMS marketing campaigns.
- Set up complex autoresponder series.
- Design and place sign-up forms for your WordPress website.
Price: Free for up to 2,500 subscribers | More Information
Avochato works a bit differently than most other SMS marketing services you’ll run into. Instead of enabling you to add numbers to your contacts via a form, it gives you a phone number you can share with clients so they can reach you via text.
For example, you might tell your site’s visitors to text the word “Sale” to your number if they want to sign up for updates about discounts and offers. Once they do, you can stay in touch with them using features such as automated messages, and escalate to phone calls if clients want to.
You can also use Avochato to provide tech support via SMS, which makes it ideal for service websites. The platform’s price tag is a bit steep though, so we can only recommend it if you’re running a somewhat sizable operation.
- Let visitors sign up to receive SMS marketing messages by texting you first.
- Escalate text conversations to phone calls if customers request it.
- Integrate your SMS marketing operation with third-party platforms such as Salesforce.
- Provide tech support via text message.
Price: Plans start at $99 per month for up to 2,500 messages and unlimited contacts | More Information
Just like Sendpulse, Mailigen enables you to use a single platform to handle all your marketing needs. On top of SMSs, Mailigen also works with email, runs online surveys, and even integrates with social media platforms.
When it comes to SMS marketing, Mailigen provides you with an intuitive editor to compose your messages in. It also enables you to track their performance using in-depth analytics, and even run split tests to figure out what approaches work best.
- Tackle email and SMS marketing through the same platform.
- Design sign-up forms for both email and SMS marketing lists.
- Add social sharing options to your website.
- Run split tests to improve your marketing strategy.
Price: The platform offers a free trial and plans start at $10 per month for up to 500 subscribers | More Information
Where other platforms try to do everything all at once, TextMagic is 100% about SMS marketing. It enables you to send SMS campaigns through an easy-to-use dashboard and transform emails into text messages.
If you want to take your SMS marketing one step further, you can even carry out conversations via text using the platform. Plus, adding signup forms for your SMS marketing lists to your website is pretty simple, whether you’re using WordPress or another platform.
It’s also worth noting that TextMagic supports Zapier integrations. This means you can integrate it with dozens of other services through the platform, and get some cool interactions going between them.
- Design and send mass text messages to your subscribers.
- Convert your email marketing campaigns into text messages.
- Carry out conversations via text with your customers.
- Integrate your SMS marketing efforts with other third-party platforms using Zapier.
Price: TextMagic uses a Pay As You Go (PAYG) model for SMS marketing | More Information
There are a lot of online businesses that can benefit from using SMS marketing. For example, if you’re running an e-commerce store, you can use SMSs to send shipment updates or discount offers to your subscribers. Getting people to give you their phone numbers is harder than getting their emails, but once you have them, you’re golden.
As far as what services you can use to set up SMS marketing for your website, these are some of our top picks:
- WC – APG SMS Notifications: This plugin is perfect if you want to add SMS notifications to WooCommerce.
- Sendpulse: A great all-around SMS marketing platform that also supports email.
- Avochato: With this service, customers can subscribe to your SMS list by texting you first.
- Mailigen: On top of SMS marketing, Mailigen also enables you to run email campaigns and online surveys.
- TextMagic: If you want to use a PAYG system for your SMS marketing campaigns, this platform is the way to go.
Do you have any questions about how to use SMS marketing for your website? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Article image thumbnail by Belozersky / shutterstock.com