SMS marketing for B2B in the age of Millennials — does it work?

B2B SMS marketing
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We are living in an age of increasingly younger CEOs, marketers and sales execs. Millennials are no longer the “next generation.” They’re a part of the workforce today — including key members of your customers’ buying teams. 

As a B2B marketer, SMS may not rank as high as more traditional tactics like e-mail, display ads or social media, but that may be in part because it’s taken a demographic shift to create an audience that’s not only willing but prefers to receive information via text. 

Millennials love texting on their smartphones. An article on The Guardian suggests that millennials don’t like phone calls and would prefer an SMS-only phone to one that is voice-only.

Around 53 per cent prefer receiving texts vs. talking on the phone. The biggest reason is, basically, that a text message is less disruptive than a voice call. We may not like it when we’re watching them study their phones during a meeting, but it makes them productive. 

B2B marketers may be aware of the potential benefits of SMS marketing but are still skeptical. Does it really work?

The short answer — which is appropriate since we’re talking about SMS here — is yes. 

SMS Is Not Just An Engagement Channel But A Great Channel For Lead Generation

SMS messaging between brands and mobile device users are extremely effective. Why? The reasons are provided below:

  • SMS is a direct and immediate message delivery channel. 90 per cent of text messages are read within three minutes. This is a super easy and speedy way to reach business heads willing to give wings to your business.
  • Surveys form the backbone of effective brand messaging and you can receive quick feedback from B2B customers with the help of SMS. A feedback received in time greatly helps in improving the quality of the products and services.
  • The biggest advantage offered by SMS marketing for B2B businesses is that your messages are not filtered out by the SPAM filter. This is the most annoying aspect of email marketing. But, in the case of SMS marketing, you remain assure that your message will definitely reach the prospects leading to greater chances of lead conversion.

How To Maximize The Impact of SMS Marketing For B2B

  • First and foremost, create an SMS marketing list. Webinars are an effective way to create your email list. Team up with an influencer and launch your webinar using a platform like ClickMeeting. Share super useful advice that your target B2B audience needs the most. Grab phone numbers of all the webinar participants and you now have a super useful SMS marketing list of relevant prospects.
  • Do not over-commercialize your messages. Make it super easy for the users to opt-in and opt-out.
  • Provide value from your message. Do not send messages only to irritate the prospects. Send less but deliver the value with every message.
  • Segment your lists and send the right message to the right prospect. For example a company selling garments online might be interested in knowing how many extra leads they can generate each month when they use your SEO software. So, segment your lists and send personalized text messages that are hard to ignore.
  • Send offers that are hard to ignore like a demo or trial version of your product, or even a premium content asset. We all know the fact that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When you send something of value to your prospects, they are more likely to give back by purchasing your products and services.

A Word of Caution – Do Not Bombard Your B2B Prospects With Irrelevant Messages

Millenials are bombarded with advertisements. They won’t respond to your message unless they already know you.

Hence, the crux of the story is:

  • Understand the prospect and know about the needs and desires.
  • Befriend the prospect. Mention and tag the CEO/Marketing Head/ in social media.
  • Ask for their permission to share text messages.
  • Provide value to them by sending gifts and interacting with them via webinars.
  • Send SMS when you are fully aware that the prospect has fallen in love with your business. It will surely work!

Conclusion

SMS marketing may be one of the best ways to respect prospects in certain cases. Emails don’t always offer a better response rate and there are greater chances of your messages ending in the spam folder. SMS, on other hand reaches your prospect instantly and is read by the prospect within three minutes of receiving the message. Follow the advice given in this article and start generating more leads for your B2B business via relevant SMS marketing.

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Joydeep Bhattacharya

Joydeep Bhattacharya is the author of the popular SEO blog, SEOsandwitch.com and has been a digital marketing evangelist for the past 8 years. He is a certified Google Adwords and Analytics expert who helps brands take their online presence to the next level.