Users of SAP products understand the value of precise and up-to-the-minute data better than most. It powers business agility and allows for targeted customer engagement and marketing campaigns. In fact, building a multichannel digital marketing platform backed by data analytics has become de rigueur for businesses of all sizes. Commonly, customer engagement is accomplished using a variety of approaches, from custom-tailored apps to email contacts, and everything in between.
In order to gain an advantage over the competition, it’s necessary to find ways to rise above the noise in the market to reach consumers. To do it, marketers have to design strategies that take advantage of underutilized engagement channels. In a crowded digital space, this is a difficult but not impossible task. Believe it or not, there is still a primary method of reaching consumers that hasn’t been oversaturated. That method is through SMS.
The Case For SMS Marketing
Many marketing professionals have long ignored the possibilities of SMS marketing, believing it to be a gimmick that would irritate consumers. That goes a long way towards explaining why surveys have shown a low customer opt-in rate for business SMS services that weren’t a prioritized engagement channel. Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll notice that 91% of those consumers who reported opting-in to a business’s SMS channel also said that they found the service useful. That was only one percentage point lower than users of a business-specific app.
That statistic alone should be more than enough to get the attention of any marketing professional. The positives don’t end there, though. SMS marketing efforts also outperform when compared to other digital marketing channels, too. The advantages are particularly stark when compared to email. SMS messages have a 98% open rate, compared with 22% for email. In addition, SMS spam is still almost nonexistent, which should allay the common fear that consumers will associate legitimate messages with unwanted junk.
SAP Brings SMS Into the Fold
With their SMS 365 enterprise service, SAP has a ready-made solution for businesses to build their SMS marketing strategy upon. It integrates with the rest of the SAP software ecosystem, so companies that already use SAP platforms can easily add it to their digital marketing arsenal. It’s a global solution that boasts the ability to reach 99% of the world’s mobile users in more than 220 countries across over 1000 different mobile providers. This means that customers worldwide can be reached with sales messages, reminders (appointments, delivery notifications), and service alerts through well-designed automated campaigns and personally-triggered engagement efforts.
API Creates a World of Possibility
For some businesses, particularly those that are localized or region-specific, a global enterprise service like SMS 365 is overkill. Fortunately, there’s a vast, feature-rich marketplace of hardware and software solutions that take advantage of SAP’s API to integrate SMS services into the SAP ecosystem. One look at SMS Comparison’s Text Message Gateway page illustrates the breadth of options available to businesses of all sizes. Some of the services cater to individual countries, thus eliminating the unnecessary costs to end-users that don’t need a global reach. That serves to lower the barriers to entry for companies that are considering SMS as a viable means of generating additional customer touchpoints. The available options are all priced on a per-message basis, but the high potential conversion rates associated with an SMS marketing effort helps to ensure a high ROI in most instances.
An Unexplored Frontier, For Now
Although SMS marketing and customer engagement has been an available option for marketers for over two decades, it has remained somewhat under the radar. That won’t last for much longer though. The available data indicate that SMS usage by businesses is already beginning to increase. With response rates that are more than seven times higher than email, the only question is why it has taken so long for more businesses to notice it and adapt. For now, though, SMS still represents a way for businesses to reach their audience with a high success rate and without much competition. Smart marketers shouldn’t (and probably won’t) let that opportunity pass them by.