Did you know Australia has one of the highest rates of smartphone ownership in the world? That’s right, with as many as 81% of Australian adults now owning a smartphone, there are only four other countries around the globe where they’re more widely used.

With so many people being ‘connected’ everywhere they go, there’s never been more opportunity for businesses to get their marketing communications upfront and in the hands of target customers – literally. With this in mind, it’s probably not surprising that the use of SMS as a marketing channel grew by 197% between 2015 and 2017.

But while SMS marketing can be great for jumping the queue ahead of other digital communication channels, such as email and social media, here’s how SMS can work with your business’ wider multi-channel marketing strategy for a more powerful impact.

SMS marketing works well with email

SMS is exactly what it says on the tin, a Short Message Service. So, the amount of information you can communicate via SMS is very limited compared to email.

While your business will probably see value in sharing stories, tips and advice or details of offers and promotions via email, an SMS can be used to encourage existing or potential email subscribers to act. Specifically, an SMS can prompt customers to sign up to newsletters or choose their specific interests, or simply notify them that an exciting new email is waiting in their inbox.

SMS is an easy add-on too. If your business has been sending emails to customers for some time, you’ve probably already mastered your audience segmentation strategy by sending several emails to find out what approach works best. When you bring in SMS, you can immediately use this insight to develop messages that hit the mark with every type of customer.

Direct traffic to your website

As the seasons change, your business’ website is probably constantly being updated with offers and promotions, whether it’s for EOFY or to mark key holidays like Christmas and Easter. But that doesn’t mean your customers have your site in their favourite list of bookmarks. SMS is an effective tool to prompt website visitation by giving a compelling reason to visit along with a convenient link.

Use SMS to grow your social media following

Generating fun and excitement around your brand on social media is great for driving engagement. One of the most common ways to quickly increase your following is to hold competitions and prize-draws which are promoted through platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

With so many people choosing to check their social channels ‘on the go’, your business can make it easier for followers to enter social media competitions by creating text-to-win campaigns. What’s more, you can use your growing list of SMS contacts to let even more people know about competitions and campaigns you’re running through social channels.

Drive app downloads

As smartphones become more widely used, so are apps. It’s not surprising, then, that businesses are finding all kinds of ways to use apps to promote their products and services, as well as facilitate easy sales. But how do your target customers know you have an app?

Rather than relying on people to search your app in the app store, a simple SMS can alert your contacts of its existence (or shiny new features) with a quick link to the app store to download it.

Organise marketing events and refine your multichannel efforts

Depending on your type of business, you might hold a few offline events such as networking or one-off sales at a retail store. With SMS, you can create surveys, polls and questionnaires to inexpensively scope out interest in different types of events before committing to the investment. Once you’ve got the green light to go, SMS invites and RSVPs can accurately confirm your list of attendees. More general SMS surveys can also gather important data to refine your campaigns through other marketing channels.

There are many benefits to combining SMS with your overall marketing strategy, and they’ll only become more obvious in future. So, why not get ahead of the game – after all, your customers are already everywhere, so it’s probably wise for your business to be in as many places at once too.