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Text Message Marketing 101: Getting The Most Out Of SMS

If your phone feels like a phantom limb, don’t be ashamed. Instead, rest assured that millions of other people feel the same. And, given that fact, the cell phone (and, in turn, text message marketing) is more valuable than ever. 

What Is Text Message Marketing?

Text message marketing allows you to use SMS (short message service) to communicate with your customers. You can send the word about news, sales, promotions, and even use SMS to generate reviews. All you need is a database that contains your customers’ names and phone numbers (though demographic information helps, too). 

Text message marketing brings about brand awareness in a personal way. There’s almost nothing more personal in our lives than our mobile phones, so when customers see a promotion there, it feels much more tailored to their individual experience. 

Beyond that, they’re also very likely to read a text if they receive it, since there’s no subject line to skim over or ad to click out of. 

Best Practices: Making The Most Of Text Message Marketing

The point of text message marketing is to connect with your customers, promote your brand, and grow your business. Here are some best practices in creating a successful and sustainable SMS campaign: 

Get Customers’ Permission First

When you use text message marketing, you want your audience to be open to the communication – not irritated by it. It’s crucial to get customers’ permission to send them texts before starting your campaign.

In addition to staying in the good graces of your customers, getting explicit, written permission is also a legal requirement. So, make sure they’ve opted in before you start communication. At Federated Media, we use a double opt-in as an extra protection for consumers and our clients.

Think Of Frequency and Timing

According to the TCPA, text messages can only be sent by businesses between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. (according to the time of the receiver). Your customers don’t want to be bothered by texts during quiet hours or, even worse, woken by them in the middle of the night! 

Along with timing comes thoughts of text frequency. Unlike billboards and social media ads, customers can’t ignore texts – at least, not easily. Spam messaging is annoying and, not only that, it’s illegal. Keep your text amount reasonable. We recommend 2-3 text messages per week at the most. 

Offer Incentives

People sign up for texts not only because they want to hear from you, but because there’s something in it for them. Offering incentives for signing up for texts (like a sign-up discount and special offers sent only to your text club) will get more names in your SMS database. 

Be Engaging, Yet Concise

We already talked about how personal people’s phones are. Because they’re so personal, each message you send to a customer is valuable. Be engaging in your message, but be direct so the customer knows exactly what you mean and what their next steps are.

Include Calls To Action

Your text messages should include calls to action that lead customers to follow through on the action you want them to perform. Make it even easier by including a link to click on or an offer code. You can also tell the customer to show the text message to a store associate when they stop in. Whatever it is, make sure the next step for the customer is clear!

Personalize Based On Preferences

Segment the messages you send based on your customers’ behavior and preferences. Relevant messages will always spark more engagement than those that have nothing to do with the person reading them. 

For example, if a customer recently attended an event you hosted, they’ll likely be interested in future events or services along its same vein. And, when you reach out to them about those things, they’ll appreciate the personal touch of being seen and known. 

Focus On “Right Now”

Many people read a text as soon as they receive it, and text messaging only requires short-term focus – not long-term. It’s very unlikely that a customer will remember an event happening in a month if you only remind them about it right now. So, instead of setting your gaze down the road, keep your eyes set on the present and what’s happening in real time (or in the very near future). 

Flex Your Creative Muscle

People see hundreds, if not thousands, of ads per day. That means you should always be thinking about what you can do to make yours stand out. Be creative with your text messaging; capitalize important words, use emojis, speak with language that’s on trend, and you’ll have a higher chance of snagging a customer’s attention. 

Test, Monitor, And Analyze

Check to see how your campaign is performing by checking delivery rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribes. If you send a link to your text club, make sure it has UTM parameters so you can analyze web traffic that came from that text message. 

Knowing your data encourages campaign improvement – every number is a learning experience. 

For example, take the time to see what types of texts garnered engagement and which ones prompted unsubscribes, and tailor your campaign accordingly. 

Include Other Channels

Text message marketing shouldn’t stand on its own. To see the best results, integrate it with your social media accounts and email marketing campaigns. 

Use SMS To Your Advantage

Texting is something most of us do every day – and we often take its power for granted. 

To see how beneficial texting can be for your business, turn to Federated Media. Let us craft an SMS marketing campaign that will engage your customers and drive ROI. Reach out to our team to get started today!

Written by Federated Media