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8| Minute Read – Written by Kimberley

The Ultimate SMS Marketing Guide

SMS Marketing Australia. What are the benefits? What are the laws?

It’s estimated that 5 billion people around the world have access to sending and receiving SMS communications. On top of that, the average person checks their phone 80 times every single day and Australians are no exceptions.

If SMS Marketing to Australians isn’t part of your overall strategy, you should be asking yourself why.

When we’re talking about vying for attention in the busy digital marketing world, there is no more attention spent than the attention spent on a mobile device. In almost every pocket of every person in Australia is a communication device so powerful, your business would be downright ignorant not to cater to it.

-> Download Now -> Free SMS Marketing Campaign Checklist


But is SMS marketing really as good as they say? And what are the laws in SMS marketing Australia?

We look at what SMS marketing is, its benefits, some interesting SMS marketing services statistics, 3 of the most popular SMS marketing campaigns along with examples of the messaging used in SMS marketing services. We round off by investigating the Australian laws around SMS marketing.

Contents of SMS Guide

SMS Marketing Campaign Checklist

1. Use our checklist to make sure you don’t miss a thing
2. Ideas for successful SMS campaigns
3. Find out how SMS and Email work hand in hand
sms marketing campaign checklist
Download Checklist

What is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing (short message service marketing) is a digital technique that uses text messaging to spread promotional material and messages. It is a marketing channel, similar to email marketing, that gives organisations the ability to message customers to their mobile device with marketing messages.

By capitalising on a powerful SMS marketing strategy you can reach more people, in more places, at pretty much any time of day. No matter whether your target audience is commuting to or from work, spending time with friends and family, or taking a short coffee break at the office, they are undoubtedly checking their phone. 

If SMS marketing isn’t a foundational part of your marketing strategy mix, it’s time to change that.

What Are The Benefits of SMS Marketing?

5 Key SMS Marketing Statistics

1. 60% of Australian Adults reliy solely on a mobile phone for home telecommunication. (Source: Australian Communications and Media Authority)

2. Over 70% of Australians aged 18-44 don’t have fixed-line phone service at home and only use a mobile phone. (Source: Australian Communications and Media Authority)

3. The SMS open rate in Australia is 94%, and 78% read every SMS.  For comparison, the Australian open rate for email is only 34%. (Source: Esendex)

4. Last year, there were 31.9 million mobile connections in Australia, equivalent to 130% of the population. (Source: Datareportal)

5. 96% of Australians use their mobile phone for sending messages. (Source: Statista)

Bulk SMS Marketing Tips: Planning a Great SMS Campaign

  • Decide on the goal of your SMS marketing campaign
    • As with any other marketing campaign strategy, your SMS campaign needs a measurable goal in order to guide your efforts. For example, your goal might be to have 50% of your audience click through to claim a voucher.
  • Build a Target Persona to represent your target audience
    • Now that you know your goal, consider who the best audience for your SMS campaign would be in order to reach that goal. Create a Target Persona to help yourself and your team fully understand the kind of person you’re talking to in your SMS.
  • Ask yourself: “Is SMS the best channel to reach this goal and audience?”
    • Whilst SMS is an effective channel, you run the risk of a high unsubscription rate if your audience does not appreciate receiving your campaign over SMS. Receiving promotional material over the phone can feel like an invasion of privacy to some. However, when the SMS content is valuable and timely – your audience is more likely to receive your SMS positively. Whilst a purely promotional campaign would do better sending via email, any extremely valuable information is best sent over SMS. Like exclusive offers with expiration dates, and last minute information about event changes.
  • Implement a bulk SMS marketing platform
    • You’re not going to send an SMS manually to hundreds of people, are you? That’s a recipe for thumb strain. Use a bulk SMS marketing platform to get your SMS campaign out quickly and smoothly to as many recipients as you like.
  • Design the content of your SMS (more on how to create engaging SMS content, below)
  • Ensure your SMS content is compliant with local SPAM laws (we’ve written about keeping your SMS communications legal, here)

-> Download Now -> Free SMS Marketing Campaign Checklist

What are the Laws of SMS Marketing in Australia?

  1. The Spam Act 2003 requires all marketing and commercial electronic messages (including email) must contain clear identification of the sender of the comms.

  2. SMS marketing Australia must contain a sender ID or you are required to start your text message with your business name.

  3. The cost of breaching the Spam Act 2003 for SMS marketing in Australia can be quite expensive – so play it safe and follow the rules.

  4. The Spam Act 2003 for all electronic messages including SMS follows these 3 rules:
    – Consent from recipients
    – Have an option to unsubscribe
    – Identify yourself as the sender

New SMS Rules From ACMA

To help protect Australians from these SMS scans, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has registered new rules.

The new rules have been developed by the telecommunications industry’s peak body, Communications Alliance, following a period of consultation with telecommunications providers.
  • Require all telecommunications providers to identify, trace and block SMS scams.
  • Require providers to publish information to assist their customers to proactively managing and reporting SMS scams
  • To share information about scam messages with other mobile providers and report identified scams to authorities

Swift Digital Overview

Swift Digital All-in-one internal communications software

Australia Data Storage, Email Automation, 100% Australian Owned, Custom Integration, Easy to Use

Learn More

4 SMS Best Practices

You want to be thoughtful in your approach to texting with candidates so your outreach is not perceived as spam.

There are some best practices to follow to ensure you’re not getting flagged by a carrier’s spam filter.

1. Keep your text messages concise (ideally under 160 characters). Lengthy messages are more likely to be flagged as spam.

2. Don’t include URLs in your cold outreach — carriers perceive this as spammy communication if there have been no previous text messages sent

3. Personalise your cold outreach with the candidate’s first name (use a name tag for bulk outreach)

4. Avoid aggressive, salesy, or pushy messaging communication, as candidates are more likely to mark you as spam and opt out of communication

SMS Marketing Examples: 3 Examples of Popular SMS Marketing Campaigns

1. Call To Action (CTA)

Including a call to action in your SMS marketing communications is not a new phenomenon, we add them to our emails, our digital advertising, print advertising and also in our SMS. Never include too many steps in your call to action. Make it simple and directive.

The example below gives the recipient two easy options. It directs the user to either click on the link or call the number to get their bonus SMS credits.

SMS Marketing Australia

2. Agile and Timely Execution

Being agile in your SMS marketing is something that many marketers want to try and embrace more. Responding in real-time is a great technique to ensure you get your audience at the right time and in the right place.

The SMS marketing example below is an example of targeting people with an SMS as they approach within a select location. This example is the University open day. It notifies people in real-time that an event is happening right now near them and encourages them to attend.

SMS Marketing Australia

In this example, an SMS is sent contacting people informing them of a special offer that is available at a specific location near them. This type of SMS marketing is in real-time and allows for flexibility.

SMS Marketing Australia

3. Keep the Coversation Flowing

With the average person checking their phone 47 times a day, SMS marketing really is a great communication tool to strike up and continue the conversation with your audience. It’s very easy for recipients to text back and is great for marketers trying to engage with their audience.

Start with sending an SMS that requires your audience to reply, again make the replying very easy and be crystal clear about what you want them to do. You could even automate your SMS as part of a wider email marketing campaign using software for SMS marketing and marketing automation software.

SMS Marketing Australia

The recipient replies ‘SWIFTFRIDAY’ within 5 minutes and they then receive another SMS with a code to redeem the offer. Use this SMS to also upsell or inform about other offers or discounts you may have.

SMS Marketing Australia

5 Reasons Why SMS Marketing is The Future (And Present)

1. SMS marketing in Australia has an engagement rate that outdoes most other channels

Whilst email and social media are integral channels for marketing, they are left in the dust when it comes to SMS engagement stats such as open and response rates.

SMS messages can boast a jaw-dropping 98% open rate, and 90% of marketing SMS campaigns receive a direct response. That’s an engagement rate that traditional marketers of the past would absolutely kill for.

2. People trust SMS messages more than other communications

SMS is seen as a trustworthy mode of communication, possibly because only 10% of SMS campaigns are considered SPAM (Source: DSIM); a low rate in comparison to email (where nearly 50% of campaigns raise a red flag).

The trusted nature of the channel might explain why 9 out of 10 of people surveyed said they prefer receiving branded messaging via SMS over other marketing channels.

3. The potential reach of SMS as a channel is pretty much… everyone

There are 7 billion subscriptions for SMS communications on this planet (Source: Mobile Marketing Watch); that’s one subscription for every human being. With a potential reach of – well, everybody – you’d be a fool not to capitalise on SMS marketing as part of your overarching marketing strategy.

4. Consumers make purchasing decisions on their phone

“Nearly half (48%) of people say they begin shopping by using their smartphone to do a search with a search engine… An astonishing 78% of mobile searches for local business information results in a purchase.” – Aviaro

It’s estimated that, worldwide, people spend over a trillion dollars every day on purchases influenced by mobile shopping. By driving traffic to your business’ site using SMS, you could leverage an increasingly important channel for on-the-go decision making. People are more likely to purchase from your business when making their decision on their phones. 

Mobile users have increased intention to purchase when searching for products on their phone versus other devices. 92% who search for a product on mobile will make a purchase.

5. Don’t get left behind - everyone’s texting

Whether you’re a consumer, or a brand representative, 80% of all people are using SMS software for business (Source: Rebrandly). This might explain other trends, such as 71% of marketers saying that SMS is the core of their strategy (Source: Aviaro). 

With consumers preferring SMS communications and using their mobile device to research brands and make purchases, it’s important that your company meets them where they’re at. 

Your potential customers want to experience your brand on their mobile device. Not only should SMS be a major part of your marketing mix, but it’s also important to make the online experience of your brand completely optimised for mobile. 

What are the SMS Marketing Providers?

A quick search on the internet will reveal that there are countless SMS marketing providers and software for SMS marketing out there. Here are some of the better known software for SMS marketing, including a couple based in Australia.

Name Features Based In
Twilio Offering SMS, voice, email and messenger communication solutions, Twilio also boasts plenty of intelligent automation and sequencing tools to make your SMS marketing smarter. USA
ClickSend A global cloud-based communications platform as a service offering SMS at its core. Also offers Facebook messenger / WhatsApp, email, voice, fax and post communication features. USA
Swift Digital Multi-channel marketing automation platform with SMS, email, events, landing pages and surveys. If you’re looking for the full package, then Swift’s platform could be for you. Data is stored in Australia making it a public sector favourite. Australia
Amio SMS is just one instant-messaging channel that Amio can facilitate. Built for enterprise sized businesses looking to connect with their audience across web chats and SMS, Amio offers plenty of integrations if you’re wanting to sync up your efforts. USA
SMS Solutions Australia Built specifically for bulk SMS broadcast, this application concentrates solely on SMS marketing capability. Includes automated sequencing and detailed reporting. Australia

Harness the Power of Automation Software for your SMS Campaigns

SMS Marketing isn’t just the future, it’s the present day. Without SMS as a core part of your marketing strategy, your brand runs the risk of lagging behind and failing to reap the benefits of the wider reach, and better engagement rates of catering to mobile devices.

Is your business currently using SMS and email as part of your wider strategy? Do you need help with the creation, automation, or increasing engagement?

Here at Swift Digital, we can help you with your email and SMS campaigns by providing tips on email and SMS best practices to make your next campaign a success! Start collecting SMS subscriptions today, and see how your ideal ROI is only a couple of text messages away.

To find out how your business can get the best out of Swift Digital’s SMS module, contact our team today.

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