Marketing With Text Messages

The mushrooming of text messaging today should be sufficient impetus to encourage marketers to leverage MMS sooner than later. So why aren’t more marketers employing text messages? One reason is that many marketers are used to telling stories and want to say a lot more than they can in a text. If you’re on the fence, consider that more than six billion smartphone users send in excess of 389 billion text messages every month. If that doesn’t convince you, further studies show that 97% to 98% of all text messages are opened!

Text Marketing Do’s

Studies also show that about 30% of customers respond to marketing text messages. The key to engaging customers is not only keeping your message short but also making the customers feel special and including things that entice them. Offers, digital coupons and special deals for visiting your location are excellent ideas.

Speak in everyday language and customize your texts when possible. Remember that if your text looks like spam, chances are it won’t be opened. Be clear, concise and avoid jargon.

Use A/B testing to determine what works best. Periodically split your customer base in two and send half one text message and the other half a different one.

As obvious as it may sound, be sure to brand your company or product. Many users delete a text when they see an unrecognizable number and no indication of the company or brand. Be sure to include one or both.

Text Marketing Don’ts

Use MMS instead of SMS, if possible. The difference is that you can add eye-catching visuals to your texts. And although you have upwards of 5,000 characters at your disposal, continue to keep your texts short.

Don’t forget to nurture existing customers by not only engaging them but also encouraging and rewarding them to share your text with friends and relatives. What a great way to acknowledge loyal customers.

If you’re just getting started, don’t forget to offer opt-in incentives. Studies show that the difference in offering incentives means about 98% of those who receive incentives don’t change their minds and opt-out within three days. What a great way to get business rolling!

Don’t forget to continue nurturing the customers who opted in. Keep the offers coming and acknowledge their loyalty.

Last, but not least, remember that the text landscape is forever changing. Don’t forget to designate someone to stay continuously updated on changes to the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act), the guidelines that dictate how companies may legally text marketing messages. This is important because while the penalties are small,  publicity from any violation, unintentional or not, could seriously impair or destroy a successful text marketing program.

Final Tip

Texting initially took off in popularity because of its immediacy and intimacy between people who were already close to one another. Customers who permit you to text trust you. You can best respect their decision by considering giving them “first dibs.”  Placing them first in texting special offers not only retains them but also encourages others to opt-in as well.