These days, it can seem like we’re buffeted by marketing messages from all sides.
Plenty of people ignore brand messaging on social media and only about 20 to 25 percent of marketing emails even get opened — and who knows how many of those only got opened by accident?
If you want to reach customers on a personal level, you need to reach them via SMS marketing.
Customers still trust the credibility of SMS marketing messages — that’s why 98 percent of SMS messages are opened within 15 minutes of receipt. But you can’t just open up your contacts list and start firing off messages.
It’s a little more complicated than that — you need a text message marketing solution, you need to follow regulations, and you need to understand at least the basics of composing mass marketing texts.
Find a Mass Texting Service
Mass texting or bulk texting allows you to send marketing texts to your entire customer list at once, or you can send more targeted texts to specific portions of your customer base.
Find an online SMS text messaging service, like Sakari (https://sakari.io/features/sms-online), that lets you use an online interface to send and receive SMS messages to and from customers.
Customers will need to be able to reply to ask for help and opt out, at the very least, and you might want to try surveys, polls, or other forms of messaging that require a reply.
Choose a platform that is scalable so it can keep up with your needs.
Understand the Regulations
If you want to send mass marketing texts in the United States, you need to follow guidelines established by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and enforced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The TCPA controls the use of telephone technology, including calls, texts, and faxes, to market to consumers in the U.S.
The TCPA requires that you get consent from customers before texting them any marketing messages, and that consent needs to be in writing.
If a specific customer is on the National Do Not Call Registry or a state-specific do not call registry, then you can’t send them marketing texts even if they give you written permission to do so.
You also have to offer customers the option to opt out of marketing texts, and respect it if they do.
Most companies obtain permission via keyword campaigns, encouraging customers to sign up for marketing texts by sending a keyword to a short code number. You can also get consent through a website form.
Once you have consent, you have to send an opt-in notice, including:
- The name of your company and the purpose of your messages (i.e., marketing);
- How many times a day, week, or month you plan to send texts;
- A link to your terms and conditions;
- A warning about the applicability of text message and data rates; and
- Opt-out and help request instructions.
You should include your business name and opt-out instructions in every marketing text.
Learn the Basics of Mass Marketing Texts
One great benefit of mass marketing texts is that you know customers who sign up for them are interested in what you have to offer.
That puts text message marketing a step ahead of more traditional channels, where you’re casting an ultra-wide net in the hope of catching just a few fish.
But marketing texts are easy to mess up.
The best rule of thumb is to keep marketing texts concise — text message character limits may be a thing of the past in most respects, but you should keep them in mind when composing marketing texts.
You’ll maintain the impact of your marketing message for that rare customer that does still have a 180-character limit, and you’ll hold everyone’s interest.
SMS marketing messages may have an astronomical open rate, but long marketing texts don’t get read.
Customers want to see what you’re offering, but they want to see it at a glance, so keep it short.
Open with a quick greeting, include your company name, briefly summarize your offer, and then end with a call-to-action (including a shortened URL as applicable) and opt-out instructions.
That will be enough to get your message across without compromising customer engagement.
If you’re looking for a new, more effective way to reach customers and drum up more business, text message marketing could be for you.
Marketing text messages go straight to your customers, and most customers look forward to getting exclusive discounts and information about their favorite brands.
Give your customers what they want, and forge a strong personal connection with them over text.