Did you know only 39% of businesses actively use text messaging as a form of marketing? Now think about how many times a day you look at your cell phone to send a text or check a notification. The average American checks their phone 47 times per day, which means you have 47 chances to have your marketing text read. Those odds sound pretty good!
What is SMS or text message marketing?
Text message marketing is simply sending a marketing message via text message. It has emerged as an essential tool for businesses that want to stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape. Whether you are running a drip campaign to drive customer engagement, sending out targeted text messages to reach existing customers, or using SMS text messaging for other promotional purposes, ignoring this powerful tool can have negative consequences for your brand.
You can use texts as a way to offer exclusive discounts, stir up excitement about a new product, deliver order confirmations and updates, or send appointment reminders. As long as you stay within the 160-character limit, the options are endless. People appreciate the ease at which they can reference their appointment time or show a cashier the coupon they received. Instead of sorting through the thousands of emails in their inbox, they can just open their texting app. In fact, 64% of people say appointment reminders are the most valuable texts they receive. Convenience goes a long way when it comes to customer satisfaction.
Let’s explore some of the reasons why text campaigns are so effective, as well as some tips for getting started with your own text message campaigns.
So, why is text message marketing so great?
Text message marketing is now the preferred way for businesses to reach out to customers according to 58% of people. It’s immediate, convenient, and can be very effective when used properly.
However, many companies ignore text message marketing or treat it as an afterthought. This is a mistake that can cost you dearly in terms of lost customers and sales.
If you’re not sending texts as a way to communicate with your customers, you’re missing out on a key opportunity to engage with your audience. Here are three reasons why text message marketing should be a fundamental part of your marketing strategy:
- They are read almost immediately – usually within 5 minutes.
- They have a high open rate – 98% of text messages get opened.
- Text messages are personal and familiar.
Don’t be a rule breaker
So why aren’t more businesses using text message marketing to their advantage? Some of the main reasons include a lack of understanding about how text message marketing works, concerns about privacy and spam, and a general reluctance to change. However, these reasons are quickly being debunked as more and more businesses see the value in text message marketing.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when starting out, such as understanding the law, crafting your message, and building a list of opt-ins. You are likely familiar with these regulations because they are used in email marketing as well. However, once you’ve overcome these hurdles, text message marketing is an incredibly effective way to reach your target audience.
If you’re ready to implement text message marketing, here are some tips to help you get started today. First, you must understand the law: Text message marketing is regulated by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the CAN-SPAM Act. Together they have developed strict guidelines about how businesses can use text messages.
In short, those guidelines indicate you must:
- Obtain and document consent
- Include a comprehensive opt-in message
- Only communicate between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm
- Include your business name in all messages sent
- Offer a way to opt-out of your messages and honor it
How to Get Started With Text Message Marketing
To create an effective text message marketing campaign, it is important to start with a strong strategy and thoughtful planning. This includes developing unique content that resonates with your target audience, mapping out drip campaigns that will be most effective at engaging leads and customers, and leveraging the power of text-based analytics and reporting tools. All while following the laws and regulations we previously went over.
Steps to get started:
- Select a vendor that provides bulk texting service plans. Read reviews and compare prices to find the best option for your business needs.
- Decide on your incentive – enticing customers with exclusive promotions that only the elite group of text subscribers will have access to.
- Craft your message into 160 characters with a call to action that they can’t ignore.
- Decide on graphics or videos to include that will quickly get their attention.
- Consider making your message interactive to encourage link clicks or text responses.
- Get your timing right. We know you can legally only send texts between 8 am and 9 pm, but texting is about immediacy so this requires a strategy. Let’s say a restaurant is sending out a text about happy hour cocktail specials. Send too early and you risk customers forgetting about it. But if you send it at 4:30 pm as people are about to get off work, you’ll be on their minds as they are making after-work plans.
- Review the results and metrics for every campaign so you know what works and what you need to stop doing. Change up your messages, offers, times sent, etc. so you can truly test your methods to find the winner.
The time is now
Text message marketing is growing in popularity amongst consumers, yet 61% of businesses aren’t taking advantage of this. Get ahead of the competition and get started today! Let’s face it, you’ll jump on the bandwagon eventually so why waste time? Text message marketing is included in our omnichannel marketing tool we call Amplify by Bluegrass, so if you’re one of the 61%, give us a call.
Interested in how Bluegrass can help?
See what we can do.
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