You don’t have to read studies to know what a goldmine mobile phones are for marketers. It’s a rare sight to see an individual without a smartphone in their hands, and even a rarer sight to see someone without one at all. Whenever you hear a phone vibrate or ring, it seems like only nanoseconds pass when it’s answered.
With text message open rates bordering on nearly 100 percent, it’s a mystery why more businesses haven’t taken advantage of text marketing campaigns. Perhaps they haven’t gotten the message, but texting is an effective addition to any marketer’s toolbelt. What exactly do you send, though, and what rules and regulations do you need to know? Read on to find out; message and data rates do not apply.
Before you start sending texts left and right, there are a few steps you need to take to plan your text marketing campaign. To begin with, you need to narrow down what you want to accomplish. Depending on what you want to achieve, there’ll be different tactics you’ll want to utilize that will help you reach your end goal.
This will be easier once you know who your target audience is. Varying demographics will respond to a set of messages in unique ways, so it’s best to do some research on what kind of media will garner a higher interaction rate with your audience. Pinpointing who your target audience is will also make creating your mailing list a much simpler task.
You’ll want to study up on the many messaging tools you can choose from as well. These tools are relatively inexpensive and can help you send and schedule out your texts while simultaneously tracking the success rate of your text messaging campaign.
Texting may seem like a rule free zone, but with the implementation of the Telephone Consumer Protections Act, certain laws have been instated to protect consumers from being bombarded with unwanted texts. Similarly (although not laws), the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association and the Mobile Marketing Association have created their own guidelines of highly recommended practices. Here are a few that all best text message marketing companies follow:
● Always get permission from the individual first before including them in your text marketing campaign. This can easily be done by having them text your shortcode a specific phrase.
● Only send messages between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Keep in mind that this time restriction applies to the time zones of the people receiving your texts, not the time zone of the sender.
● Have an opt-in option on the initial text and opt-out option on the rest.
● For a minimum of six months, keep records of opting in and out incidents.
● Do not advertise smoking, drugs, or alcohol in your text messages.
● Depending on the marketing campaign, age verification should be used.
You can’t send just anything in your text marketing campaign. Nobody likes spam, and as soon as your text messages begin to come across as spammy, people will be opting out as quickly as they can. Prevent this by making your messages as clear as possible.
Let customers know what they’re signing up for and what kind of texts they can expect to receive. Make user experience as easy as possible. That being said, steer clear as much as possible from abbreviations and text messaging shorthand. If people can’t understand what you’re trying to say, your end goal will certainly be affected.
Give back to customers as well. Advertisements have their time and place, but what people like even more are special savings and deals like coupons and promotions. Get a feel for what people like and want as well by A/B testing and texting out polls and surveys.
It can feel like a drag when having to complete a survey or poll through email on your computer. By making it easier through just a click of a button on a text, completion rates will definitely go up, giving you helpful and beneficial information to integrate into your business decisions. Lastly, limit the amount of texts you send.
Customers will not be pleased if the reason why their phone is constantly going off is because of your text marketing campaign. Two to four texts a month seems to be the sweet spot for most campaigns, and make sure you make it clear it with your initial text how many messages a subscriber will receive. The more your customers know, the less likely they’ll opt out.
Texting is a big part of of many people’s lives. With this form of communication becoming one of the most preferred methods to talk with one another, it’s crazy how text marketing campaigns are not being used more widely. Once you have a plan and know the rules, what to send will come naturally. Marketing is all about meeting the customer where they are, and right now, they’re on their phones texting.