SMS Affiliate Marketing Can Be the Key to Converting in a Saturated Market

The average American checks their phone 96 times a day1, a fact that even just 10 years ago would have sounded absurd, but today it’s hardly surprising. We’re reliant on our phones now more than ever, and that means big things for one marketing channel in particular – SMS.

SMS open rates are impressive. According to numerous reports, as of 2020 SMS open rates were as high as 98%2. Compared to email, which garners a roughly 20% open rate (when done well), that makes SMS a marketer’s dream when it comes to visibility. Part of the reason for these high open rates boils down to the number of messages a typical user receives for each of these traffic types. For most people, they have far fewer SMS messages to sift through on a daily basis than email.

While many marketers are turning towards the tried and true content, search, social, and native affiliate channels, the undersaturated niche of SMS marketing could be the unsung hero for your brand.

Advantages of SMS Affiliate Marketing

One of the Highest Open and Engagement Rates in Marketing

We said it above but we’ll say it again – SMS open rates are some of the very highest of all marketing methods, sitting at an impressive 98%. That’s because compared to many other marketing methods, SMS marketing takes fewer steps to reach a user. Take email or even social, for example; the user will often get a notification, but to digest the marketer’s full message, they must then open an additional app or navigate to their account online to read the full message. With SMS, no additional app needs to load – users simply click the notification and with virtually no load time they receive a brand’s full message. Additionally, since the majority of texts a user receives are from their friends and family, most consumers are conditioned to check these messages often. Because of this, SMS marketing is far less likely to be ignored. 

A direct result of it’s higher than average open rates, SMS marketing sees some of the highest engagement rates of any marketing medium. That’s because, generally speaking, consumers prefer it! Nearly half of consumers surveyed said they preferred loyalty communications via SMS over any other marketing method, and 32% said they respond to promotional text messages3
Of course, there are rules to be followed. Unsolicited SMS messages are never allowed – both proof of opt-in, and an opt-out option will always be required. Working with a performance marketing network like Perform[cb] that institutes strong compliance standards with their affiliates can help marketers ensure the affiliate partners they work with are compliant with SMS opt-in rules.

Effective for Lead Generation, Sales, and Customer Loyalty

SMS marketing is effective for reaching numerous KPIs, including increasing sales, acquiring leads, and enhancing customer loyalty. It’s because of this flexibility that SMS marketing can be a valuable tool for so many verticals, including (but not limited to) e-commerce, finance, healthcare, travel, health & wellness, entertainment, and insurance. 

SMS marketing is an enticing option for lead generation and sales due to the sheer convenience of it. SMS messages are delivered directly to leads or consumers with no search effort on their end. Additionally, the simplicity of SMS marketing makes it more enticing for a lead to click your link. Thanks to SMS character limit, there’s no room for fluff, making it very hard for a lead or consumer to miss your call to action (a click on your link).

Even for KPIs outside of increased sales or lead generation, SMS marketing can also be a highly effective method for engaging and educating your target audience. Customer loyalty and increased customer lifetime value can be achieved through the help of SMS promotions or exclusive deals for customers signed up for notifications. 

Wide Reach

Reach is without a doubt one of the most notable benefits for marketers choosing to use this traffic type. Mobile phone use is steadily on the rise, and with an estimated 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide by the end of 20204, virtually all demographics are represented. On top of that, consumers are already more likely to make purchases directly from their phone than their other devices, with one 2019 study estimated 73%5 of online sales in 2020 would come from a mobile device.

Unlike other forms of digital marketing, internet connectivity is not required to market to consumers via text. This, in conjunction with the existing propensity for users to have their phones on them at all times, is what gives SMS its astounding reach.

Messages Delivered Instantly

The instantaneous nature of SMS marketing is yet another unique quality that shouldn’t be overlooked. Because consumers keep their phones so readily available, this increases the chances of your message being seen as soon as it’s delivered. In fact, 90% of text messages are ready within 3 minutes of being delivered6. For offers that have a tight deadline, say a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal, SMS can help marketers maximize sales in a single day.

The expedited nature of this marketing channel in turn allows marketers to make optimizations to their campaigns even more quickly. The faster a consumer takes action on an affiliate link, the sooner you’ll have a meaningful data set of results to analyze.

SMS marketing can be a powerful tool for your business when used strategically and with compliance in mind. Ready to add this channel to your marketing mix? Or perhaps you’re looking to improve your existing SMS affiliate marketing offers? Reach out to our team of experts to start getting the most out of your SMS campaigns.


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