SMS marketing is one of the most widely used forms of marketing. It’s the process of sending customized messages to consumers to communicate updates, offers, and reminders using automated platforms.
SMS marketing is also one of the cheapest marketing techniques, but one with high effectiveness, boasting an open rate of 98%. The unparalleled reach that it provides is due to the vast number of mobile users, which is expected to double—if not triple—in the coming years. (1)
However, sending bulk text messages, which is the most common method of SMS marketing, has always been more of a shotgun approach than a clinical advertising shot. As a result, constantly engaging mobile users can be very challenging. That’s the case until artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer something that scientists refer to in journals. The advances in AI—particularly machine learning (ML)—have made SMS marketing more attractive and accountable as an advertising technique.
What’s machine learning?
Machine learning is a computer program’s ability to extract information, analyze big data, and learn from it. It’s essentially all about the power of machines to learn and adapt through their experience. (2)
What happens is that the system uses probability to decide or predict based on the available data. It then tries to find out if the prediction was right or wrong using feedback loops. This means the system will get smarter over time. The system’s predictions will get more and more accurate as a result. (2)
How is machine learning relevant to SMS marketing?
Text marketing software such as Drop Cowboy collects a significant amount of data. For instance, they store customer profiles and locations. They also record usage statistics. However, this data can’t predict the future; it only tells users what happened in the past. Only machine learning can help marketers make better decisions in the future using such data.
Specifically, machine learning is a critical element of modern SMS marketing due to the following reasons:
- Allows marketers to send the right messages: Machine learning automates the identification and triggering of marketing messages, eliminating the need for guesswork in different marketing campaigns. The right content can be sent to customers and prospects at the right time, since ML can mine and crunch vast amounts of consumer data at high speeds.
For instance, marketers can configure AI to send notifications to subscribed customers regarding new products or offerings that they might be interested in based on behavior patterns or habits. AI machine learning can handle seasonal sales, promotions, or even when a company simply wants to send shipping information to a customer.
- Makes SMS marketing agile: Sending the right SMS messages to hundreds or even thousands of people at the right time is no difficult task with machine learning’s help.
However, marketers also need to respond to customers or prospects in a targeted way. It means that they have to take into account context and perception interpretation, which can be challenging when dealing with multiple SMS messages simultaneously.
The good news is that text message advertising has also become agile and interactive, thanks to machine learning. This means that marketers through SMS marketing platforms can now tailor bespoke responses to each customer.
Chatbots are one AI development that make targeted responses in text message advertising possible. They can send instant replies to customers, remind them about deals, and even answer frequently asked questions by customers. The best thing about chatbots is that they can naturally converse and respond to human queries by collecting data and learning from the information collected through machine learning.
- Optimizes SMS marketing costs: With machine learning, businesses now can hold text message conversations with either a live person or an automated chatbot. Companies choose to automate in most cases, which translates to a significant reduction in manpower. Of course, less manpower needed means less staffing, which equals less expenditure.
- Allows SMS advertising platforms to work 24/7: AI machine learning allows SMS marketing systems to work for a business without having a break. This means the software can deal with queries with little to no wait time. For that reason, not only can companies optimize advertising costs but also earn more revenue through enhanced communication. Proof of it is the 41% of marketers who say the AI machine learning improved their company’s performance and accelerated its revenue growth. (3)
There’s no doubt that machine learning is quickly becoming a crucial tool in many businesses’ marketing operations—SMS marketing isn’t an exception. With AI machine learning, text message advertising has become smarter. It’s now a more capable and efficient channel that companies can use for insight-driven communication and real-time, intelligence-based customer engagement. Machine learning made these improvements possible while keeping SMS marketing cost-effective to deploy. Combine a marketer’s expertise with AI machine learning’s power, and you have a winning advertising formula.
- “What’s Old Is New Again: SMS Marketing”, Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2019/09/13/whats-old-is-new-again-sms-marketing/?sh=481103474673
- “Machine Learning”, Source: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/machine-learning.asp
- “2021 State Of Marketing AI Report”, Source: https://www.drift.com/insider/learn/books-reports/state-of-marketing-ai/