We live in an age of unparalleled communication, and this is in large part due to two inventions of the 20th Century – the Internet and the mobile phone. Now, thanks to both of these aspects of the communication revolution, businesses can utilise technology to strengthen their communication and consequently their relationships with their customers. How? Through SMS Marketing.

But despite the powerful potential of this technology, some businesses still aren’t taking advantage of a medium that can reach into the pockets of millions of customers across the UK and beyond. This may be in part due to a lack of understanding about what SMS Marketing is and what it can do for small businesses. So to rectify that, here are five things to help demystify small business text messaging.

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1 You can send SMS messages from your computer

Yes that’s right, you don’t actually need to use a mobile phone to send text messages! Text Messaging services make it pos

sible for you to type your message using your computer keyboard and then send it straight from your desktop machine or laptop via the Internet. This can make SMS communications far more practical, whether you’re texting a single employee or a larger group of customers.

2 It can be used to market your businesses to customers

By capturing customers’ mobile phone details via a form on your website or a physical sign-up form in your store you can reach out to them in future to promote your business. The possibilities are vast and include marketing the arrival of your latest product, publicising a special offer or giving out discount codes that can be used on your website or in-store. Just be careful not to be too pushy or you may risk annoying your customers instead of persuading them.

3 You can send texts the way you want to

Many bulk messaging services give you a choice of how you actually send and receive text messages. For example you might want to send your messages from the comfort of your email account and receive responses right there in your inbox. Or you might prefer to send messages via a web-based application or even a program that’s physically installed on your PC or Mac.

4 It can be used to receive as well as send

SMS Marketing is a two-way street – as well as you being able to send messages to your customers from your computer, they can actually reply to your texts if you choose. This makes it possible to receive valuable feedback about your service, and learn more about what your customers like and don’t like.

5 SMS messaging can be integrated into your own applications

In addition to using SMS messaging to communicate with your customers and staff, you can also incorporate it into your own applications, if the provider offers a suitable application programming interface (API).  This can open up a whole new world of possibilities for businesses that use tailor-made software in their everyday operations, or those who provide applications to clients.