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SMS: More Than Just Text Messaging

14 Feb 2023
Victoria Wallace

Today customers demand seamless digital experiences, relevant messaging and smooth delivery. While email marketing and social media are both crucial to brand awareness and engagement, you could be missing a trick if you’re not using an SMS sending service provider for airports.

Right now, there are over 71.8 million active mobile connections in the UK alone, and data shows SMS open rates as high as 98%. As a result, communications such as order confirmations, booking reminders, special offers and real-time updates are often more effectively delivered via SMS than other platforms (including email). So why aren’t more airports using it?

It comes down to a need for more awareness of SMS marketing, how to build compelling campaigns and even how to send text messages on a large scale. To help you realise its potential, we’ve put together a quick guide to SMS for airports, including what an SMS sending service for airports is, how to choose the best provider and our best practice tips for engaging airport customers via text messages.

What is an SMS sending service?

SMS stands for ‘Short Message Service’, and this type of message, usually delivered to a mobile phone, is also commonly called a text message. While mobile users often use SMS messages to send personal communications, businesses, including airports, can also use SMS messages to engage with customers. And that’s where an SMS sending service provider for airports comes in!

Airports with hundreds and thousands of customers in their CRM system can’t type out individual text messages to each person. It isn’t physically possible. But, they can work with an SMS sending service provider for airports, like Rezcomm. Our SMS Sending Service for airports enables you to send bulk messages to your customers in seconds and automate personal messages like booking reminders, offers and incentives to save time, effort and costs.

Additionally, you can use an SMS sending service alongside email to strengthen your airport’s internal communications strategy and keep employees connected to your business.

What makes a great SMS sending service provider?

Did you know that only 13% of companies offer texting as a communication channel, even though 89% of consumers say they prefer texting with businesses over any other mode of communication? One of the biggest concerns for airports is that they need help managing a new communication channel and engaging with customers and employees effectively. The solution? Choosing a great SMS sending service provider for airports. Here are some things to look for:

Easy to use – It’s crucial that the SMS sending service for airports you choose is user-friendly and doesn’t require a lot of technical know-how or training. It should also easily integrate with your existing airport CRM and marketing tools so you can get started quickly.

Automation – A great SMS sending service provider for airports will enable you to automate communications to your customers, such as reservation confirmations, tickets, updates and offers, so you can send them at the appropriate times to seamlessly and effectively engage at every stage of the customer lifecycle.

Measurable – Like with email marketing, it’s essential to measure and keep track of your SMS campaigns’ effectiveness. Ensure the SMS sending service provider for airports can track opening rates, engagement and conversions.

Flexible & cost-effective – When researching SMS service providers, you’ll find that some require you to send a specific number of text messages each month or come with expensive monthly tariffs. Instead, choose Rezcomm and benefit from our flexible pay-as-you-go service, which you can scale up or down as required.

Expertise – If you’re new to SMS marketing for airports, you’ll benefit from best practice tips and advice to help you make the most of your campaigns. Choose an experienced SMS service provider for airports like Rezcomm, and benefit from access to our airport marketing resources and ongoing support from our experts.

Engaging your customers

Now you’re clued up on how to send SMS messages to your airport customers at scale and what to look for in a provider, let’s move on to how to engage your customers via SMS.

We already know that SMS messages have fantastic opening rates, but you might be even more surprised that 90% are read within just 3 minutes of delivery. So, once you’ve gathered permission from your airport customers to send SMS messages, it’s well worth using this highly effective platform to communicate with them in the following ways:

New services & sales announcements

Introduced a new flight route or destination? Running a massive sale on flights and hotels on your airport ecommerce website? A mass SMS message is a great way to ensure your customers know about it.

Sharing offers and discounts

SMS-based discounts are preferable to customers and 10x more likely to influence a purchase than traditional paper vouchers. Include links that seamlessly take customers to your airport website to make additional purchases.

Communicating updates

SMS messaging is excellent for real-time communication and will prove particularly effective when passengers are at your airport. For example, your airport could share offers available that day at your stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and duty-free. It can also update passengers on queueing times and cross-sell Fast Track tickets to help them pass through security quickly.

Checking in with passengers during their time in your airport will help ensure you deliver a positive experience. Send them a link to your KPI and Feedback system and encourage them to leave feedback in exchange for a reward like a free coffee or extra loyalty points.

Building relationships & creating brand advocates

While an SMS sending service for airports helps automate announcements, updates and the sharing of discounts, it’s equally as helpful in sending meaningful customer interactions to improve the passenger journey, increase satisfaction and build loyalty.

Many of the principles of email marketing also apply to SMS marketing, including personalisation. Using an SMS sending service provider for airports like Rezcomm will enable you to gather and use data to segment your audience and ensure you’re targeting the right messages, at the right customers, and at the right time.

With an SMS sending service for airports, it’s possible to automate communications to increase customer engagement at every touchpoint of your passenger’s journey. For example:

Moment of purchase – When your customer makes a booking with your airport for parking, flights or lounge, your airport can send the confirmation and ticket via SMS for their convenience.

Countdown – When the customer is counting down until they fly, you can check in with them via SMS and reassure them of what to expect at the airport. It’s also an opportunity to remind them of any bookings they might still need to make. For example, Pre-order Food and Beverages, so they won’t have to queue up, or a Lounge reservation if they’ve shown interest in other ‘luxuries’ like Fast Track.

Send a link in your SMS that customers can easily tap to make their purchases to encourage them to spend additional money with your airport while improving their overall passenger experience.

At the airport – Check in with passengers as soon as they arrive at your airport via SMS to provide any critical updates or tell them about today’s offers. Remind them of additional purchases they can make to improve their journey through your airport, like Fast Track or Queueless Journeys and remember to gather their feedback.

Return home – Your airport’s communications with passengers should continue on their return home. Use your SMS sending service for airports to set up automated text messages to thank customers when they walk through arrivals and incentivise them (with loyalty points or rewards) to book another trip. Continuously check in with customers via SMS about offers they might be interested in or new services you’re developing to keep them in the loop and ensure your airport remains at the forefront of their minds next time they plan a trip.

These are just some ways your airport can use SMS messages to engage with customers, but we’re only scratching the surface! There’s a real opportunity here to step up your customer engagement and gain a huge advantage over your competitors.

Using SMS and Email together

Now we know what you’re thinking… ‘but my airport already uses email – isn’t it the best marketing tool for airports?

The truth is, it doesn’t have to be an ‘either/or.’ We believe the best results come from using SMS and email marketing together, which is why we have developed an Email / SMS Sending Service for airports as part of our Marketing modules. For more information, please download the Rezcomm Marketplace Brochure and book a meeting with our airport marketing experts to build a bespoke SMS strategy for your business.