Why SMS Should Be In Your 2023 Marketing Plan

As marketers begin to plan for 2023, they must tackle the challenges brought on by a potential recession, the ineffectiveness of Twitter as a distribution and engagement channel, and the importance of first-party data. Breaking through the digital clutter is becoming increasingly difficult, raising the question of how you can get messages seen by the right people. To meet these challenges, SMS should be added to any 2023 marketing plan. SMS offers a powerful way to cut through digital clutter and ensure brands reach their desired audiences. Let's talk through how SMS can help.

Audience Development

As social platforms become even more unreliable, marketers need to adapt and find new ways to reach audiences and distribute their message and content. This is where SMS really shines. Subtext is opt-in only, meaning every subscriber has chosen to hear from you. Coupled with a 97% view rate within 15 minutes, SMS becomes the best way to interrupt the scroll, grab your audience’s attention, and bring them to wherever you direct them. Subtext users are seeing an average CTR(click through rate) of 20%. To compare this to other distribution channels, the average for email and Facebook (which has the highest CTR of any social media platform) are 7% and 4%, respectively.

Let’s talk through an example. A Subtext client in the tech journalism space has an online deals campaign and wanted to engage their Subtext community to drive incremental revenue during Amazon Prime Day. In addition to SMS, they promoted affiliate deals across online articles, email, and display. Over the course of 5 days, the team sent 22 texts that averaged a 15% CTR with top performing texts ranging from 20-32%. Five of the top 25 most purchased Prime Day items were promoted through Subtext including one of which was shared exclusively with their SMS audience. 

Ultimately, what we’re seeing time and time again is that audiences reached via SMS are highly engaged and loyal. By reaching your most loyal fans in a setting that feels personal and intimate, marketers are able to drive meaningful engagement, traffic and revenue. 

Retaining Audiences

Subscriber fatigue has set in, as people are overwhelmed by the amount of unread content in their inbox and credit card statements filled with automatic recurring charges. Nevertheless, businesses understand the value of retention, as retaining customers costs 6-7 times less than acquiring new ones, and returning customers tend to spend more, purchase more items, and even refer their friends and family. What we’ve learned is that adding an SMS capability as a subscriber perk can actually reduce churn by 50% -60%. SMS helps build the loyalty necessary for retention and referrals. By talking to your customers in the same place they talk to their friends and family, you build trust. As Jennifer Hefty from Gannett said on her experience using Subtext “the relationships you form with your audience are just invaluable and inspiring.” 
A Subtext client that used SMS as a subscriber perk surveyed 1,500+ of their text subscribers to understand whether they should continue using the service. 75%+ said they would renew their subscription if Subtext was included. Of the respondents that said they intended to cancel their subscription, 60% said they would reconsider if Subtext was only offered to subscribers.

The New York Post offered Post Sports+ subscribers intimate access to their favorite beat reporters via text. Following the integration, 25% of Post Sports+ subscribers opted into at least 1 texting campaign, with over 41% of those subscribers opting into two or more campaigns. Molly Walker, NY Rangers beat reporter, reflected on her use of Subtext by saying “I feel there are a lot of people out there who genuinely enjoy getting daily updates about their favorite team and they respond as such, I get a lot of thank you’s.” These types of interactions with customers have proven to be invaluable to organizations looking to increase retention.  

First Party Data

In a recent BCG study, digitally mature brands leveraging first-party data in advanced marketing activations were able to achieve 1.5X – 2.9X higher revenue uplift. Consumers have voiced that they are willing to share personal information if it leads to a more curated experience, but want the protection from Safari, Mozilla and others to block third party cookies automatically, with Google expected to follow. As we discussed earlier, Subtext is an opt-in only platform meaning we help brands collect first party data. With customizable sign up forms, you can collect any information from demographic information to interests. In addition, we offer the ability to have subscribers self-segment. For example, if you want to know what subscribers are interested in soccer or football, you can ask them to text back the word “Football” or Soccer” and they will be automatically be tagged and assigned to that segment.

Most importantly, Subtext clients own their data. Not only do we not sell your subscriber data but you are able to use and take that information wherever you go. Another benefit of owning your data is that when you own the connection to your audience, you are no long renting your relationship with your audience from a social platform. You have access to them whenever, regardless of algorithms or website crashes. 

SMS is Good Business

What we’ve learned is that building deep, intimate relationships with your audience is simply good business. We know marketers have a lot on their plate in 2023 and adding another tool can seem overwhelming, even when the benefits are clear. We built the tool with that in mind, to make it as easy as possible for our customers to adapt. “It's a really easy to use interface that has a very quick learning curve that people can usually pick up really instantly” says Jennifer from Gannett. We’d love to walk you through the Subtext platform and show you how such a simple platform, can help drive your business in 2023. Sign up for a demo here. 

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