Example of an SMS marketing campaign

SMS marketing, says Mobile Marketer, is one of the best mediums available to promote your business. Undeniably, it’s a way to reach a huge audience of potential customers and keep in touch with them on a regular basis. But, in my opinion, it also has the potential to drive away your target audience and give your company a bad name if it’s misused or not properly planned.

The question remains: Is SMS marketing right for your business? First of all, consider who your target audience is. Mobile Marketer reports that more than 75 percent of mobile subscribers use text, which means the odds are in your favor that your target market will be text savvy. However, if your target audience isn’t into texting, your time and energy would clearly be better spent on another marketing medium.

Your next move is to come up with an SMS marketing campaign that your target audience will want to be a part of. Whether it’s a contest, coupon, percentage off, free gift, etc., that makes your target audience want to continue receiving your texts, your goal should be to not only encourage, but entice. For example, encourage your target audience to visit your Facebook page by enticing them with a 25 percent off coupon they can receive once they ‘like’ your page. Or, encourage them to stop by your retail location by enticing them with an upcoming sale. Keep in mind that by determining what the goal of your SMS campaign is upfront, you’ll have a much better chance at getting the results you want.

It’s important to remember, however, that you’re treading on potentially dangerous ground with SMS marketing, especially if you’re sending unsolicited texts (not encouraged.) Send too many texts and/or text at inappropriate times, and you risk angering your target audience. And thanks to social media, an angry person can spread their thoughts about your SMS campaign to hundreds, if not thousands, of people with just one update or tweet resulting in bad press that’ll continue to haunt you online for years.

Counter this risk by limiting your SMS campaign to only those who’ve opted in and always include an easy way for people to opt out. There’s nothing worse than finding yourself on some unwanted SMS list and no matter how many times you reply with “STOP,” you continue getting their annoying texts every single day. Be respectful of your target audience by coming up with an interactive marketing campaign geared to fit them and your SMS campaign can help you gain the exposure — and potential new or repeat business — you want.

Tell us your thoughts: Do you think SMS marketing is a good or bad idea for businesses?