TMCnet Feature
April 21, 2021

6 Surprisingly Effective Ways to Use SMS in Your Business

Could SMS Be the Missing Ingredient in Your Business?

We all use SMS in our personal lives, but have you ever considered the role it could play in your business? There are more use cases than you probably realize. And the faster you identify them, the sooner they can be implemented into your own business for massive gains.

The Lowdown on SMS and Business

SMS, also known as text messaging, is a type of short-form communication that’s become ubiquitous in our society over the past 15 years. Most of us are very comfortable with it in our personal lives, but it still tends to lag behind other forms of communication in the business world.

However, for those businesses that do leverage SMS – both internally and in customer-facing scenarios – it provides rather generous benefits.

Here are some interesting (and eye-opening) statistics from

  • A whopping 5 billion people in the world can send and receive SMS messages.
  • 75 percent of consumers are okay with receiving SMS communications from businesses that they’ve opted into.
  • Text messages enjoy an astonishing 98 percent open rate (5X greater than email).
  • SMS messages have a 209 percent higher response rate than that of email, phone, or even Facebook (News - Alert).
  • 9 out of 10 text messages are read by the recipient within 3 minutes of being received.
  • The average American smartphone user checks their phone 47 times per day, or roughly once every 20 minutes.

All of those statistics are impressive, but do you want to hear the real kicker? The latest data shows that 64 percent of consumers believe businesses don’t contact them via SMS as much as they should! In other words, SMS doesn’t just get good results – there’s ample user-side demand.

SMS isn’t another cute marketing trend that will quickly become outdated and irrelevant – it’s a powerful force that businesses must reckon with to remain competitive and efficient in a connected world. And, thankfully, there’s a myriad of ways to leverage this touchpoint.

6 Practical Ways Your Business Can Use SMS

Don’t let SMS fool you. This isn’t just another way to send a message to a customer. It’s a versatile mode of communication that can facilitate both internal and external engagement on the fly. Here are some interesting use cases:

  1. SMS for Surveys

Businesses are swimming in data, yet most have no clue what their customers are thinking or feeling. In some cases, this is the result of poor strategic thinking. In other cases, businesses simply don’t know where to look. But sometimes businesses fail to collect the right data. They refuse to go directly to the source.

For decades, surveys have been used to help businesses understand how customers feel about products, services, customer service, and overall brand experiences. But unfortunately, surveys have a history of being clunky, inconvenient, and hard to distribute and collect at scale. Thankfully, those days are finally gone.

Surveys can now be sent via SMS, which allows businesses to reach customers on any device within minutes. You get real-time feedback – one question and answer at a time. It really is a game-changer in every sense.

If you’re already using surveys in other ways, adding SMS could dramatically improve results. According to one business owner who uses Delighted for SMS surveys, switching from email to SMS increased overall response rates from 10 percent to 22 percent. Not bad!

  1. SMS for Announcements

With 98 percent of text messages being read – and 90 percent of them opened within the first three minutes of being sent – SMS is the perfect channel for sending announcements, news, and updates to both customers and employees.

The key to successful SMS announcements is to respect the channel. This is not the place to send a 500-word press release. Keep it short, tight, and concise. If you can’t explain everything within two or three sentences, include a shortened hyperlink to direct people to an official announcement on your website.

  1. SMS for Appointment Reminders

If you run a service-based business, SMS is the perfect channel for sending appointment reminders and confirmations. It’s fast, easy, and hands-off. Best of all, it’ll actually increase the odds that the customer or client sees the reminder (thereby decreasing no-shows and improving profitability). On a related note, you can use SMS to send shipping notifications as well.

  1. SMS for Clever Marketing

SMS opens up a wealth of creative options in terms of marketing, promotions, and engagement. You can use MMS messaging to send images, videos, or even GIFs (when appropriate). This gives you an opportunity to further establish your brand’s personality and connect with consumers in a more personal way.

  1. SMS for Customer Service

Not everyone wants to pick up the phone and call a customer service line – particularly if they think they’ll have to wait on hold. And though it’s not perfect for every line of business, many companies can benefit from offering an SMS-based service option.

SMS typically isn’t good for intricate service issues, but can be useful in situations where automated technology – like a chatbot – can handle the answering on your behalf. Or if you have the staffing, you could even use human responses.

  1. SMS for Two-Factor Authentication

Finally, in a world where cybersecurity is no longer an optional investment, SMS can be leveraged for two-factor authentication. This includes for user accounts, as well as internally for your own employee accounts.

Make SMS a Part of Your Business

Worried that you’re behind the curve and that it’s too late to introduce SMS into your business strategy? Think again. reports that the number of people worldwide who will be able to send and receive text messages is supposed to grow by 20 percent by 2025 – from 5 billion to 6 billion. That means roughly 5 million people per week are becoming reachable via SMS for the first time ever. And though you don’t need to reach them all, you stand to benefit a lot by going after those who are currently in your target market.

SMS won’t save your business or single-handedly catapult your brand to the top of your industry. It can, however, help you scale in new ways in 2021 and beyond. Consider implementing a few of these clever techniques in the months ahead. You’ll be surprised by how effective they can be!

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