Text message marketing, also known as SMS marketing, is a form of digital marketing that uses text messages to communicate with your customers and prospects. Text message marketing can help you promote your products or services, build your brand awareness, and increase your customer loyalty and retention.
Text message marketing has many advantages over other marketing channels, such as:
- High open and click-through rates: Text messages have an average open rate of 98% and a click-through rate of 36%, which are much higher than email, social media, or web marketing.
- Instant and direct delivery: Text messages are delivered and read within seconds, and they reach your customers directly on their mobile devices, which they always have with them.
- Personal and interactive: Text messages allow you to personalize your messages based on your customer’s preferences, behavior, and location, and to engage them in a two-way conversation.
- Cost-effective and scalable: Text messages are relatively cheap to send and receive, and they can reach a large number of customers at once, regardless of their device or network.
How to Start Text Message Marketing?
To start text message marketing, you need to follow these steps:
- Choose a text message marketing service provider: This is the tool that you will use to send and receive text messages, manage your contacts, and track your results. You should look for a provider that offers features such as scheduling, mass texting, private numbers, recurring texts, contact list importing, organizational invites, two-way messaging, and MMS marketing.
- Choose your business’s text number: This is the phone number that you will use to send and receive text messages. You can choose between a short code, which is a five or six-digit number that is easy to remember and type, or a long code, which is a 10-digit number that looks like a regular phone number and can support voice calls as well.
- Set up a welcome text: This is the first text message that your customers will receive when they opt-in to your text message marketing. It should introduce your business, thank them for subscribing, and provide immediate value, such as a coupon code, a free trial, or a useful tip.
- Gather text marketing contacts: This is the most important step, as you need to build your list of customers and prospects who have given you permission to text them. You can use various methods to collect their phone numbers, such as:
- Online forms: You can add a field for phone number on your website, landing page, or social media page, and ask your visitors to fill it in exchange for a reward, such as a discount, a free ebook, or a contest entry.
- Keyword and shortcode: You can create a keyword that represents your business or offer, and ask your customers to text it to your shortcode to opt-in. For example, you can display a sign that says “Text PIZZA to 12345 to get 10% off your next order”.
- QR codes: You can create a QR code that links to your opt-in form or keyword and shortcode, and display it on your flyers, posters, or business cards. Your customers can scan the QR code with their smartphone camera and sign up for your text message marketing.
- In-person requests: You can ask your customers for their phone number when they visit your store, restaurant, or office, and explain the benefits of joining your text message marketing. You can also use a tablet or a kiosk to collect their phone numbers digitally.
How to Create Effective Text Message Marketing Campaigns?
To create effective text message marketing campaigns, you need to follow these best practices:
- Ensure they opt-in: You should always get your customers’ consent before texting them, and comply with the laws and regulations that govern text message marketing, such as the TCPA and the CTIA. You should also make it clear what they are signing up for, and how often they will receive your messages.
- Make opting-out easy: You should always give your customers the option to opt-out of your text message marketing at any time, and respect their choice. You should include a clear and simple instruction on how to opt-out, such as “Reply STOP to unsubscribe”, in every message you send.
- Reveal yourself: You should always identify your business name or brand in your text messages, so that your customers know who is texting them and why. You can use your business name as your sender ID, or include it in the beginning or end of your message.
- Consider timings carefully: You should always send your text messages at appropriate times, when your customers are most likely to read and respond to them. You should avoid sending messages too early or too late, or on weekends or holidays, unless it is relevant to your offer or audience. You should also consider your customers’ time zones, and adjust your schedule accordingly.
- Keep things short: You should always keep your text messages concise and clear, and avoid using unnecessary words or jargon. You should limit your messages to 160 characters or less, which is the standard length of an SMS message. If you need to send longer messages, you can use MMS marketing, which allows you to send up to 1,600 characters, as well as images, videos, or audio files.
- Remember your brand: You should always maintain your brand voice and tone in your text messages, and use language that reflects your personality and values. You should also use emojis, GIFs, or stickers to add some fun and emotion to your messages, if they suit your brand and audience.
How Text Message Marketing Can Help Your Business Grow?
Text message marketing can help your business grow in many ways, such as:
- Increasing sales and conversions: Text message marketing can help you drive more traffic to your website, store, or app, and encourage your customers to take action, such as making a purchase, booking an appointment, or signing up for a service. You can also use text messages to send reminders, confirmations, receipts, and thank-you notes, to increase customer satisfaction and retention.
- Building customer loyalty and referrals: Text message marketing can help you build a loyal and engaged customer base, by sending them personalized and relevant messages, such as birthday wishes, loyalty rewards, exclusive offers, and helpful tips. You can also use text messages to ask for feedback, reviews, or referrals, and to reward your customers for their loyalty and advocacy.
- Enhancing your marketing strategy: Text message marketing can help you enhance your overall marketing strategy, by integrating it with your other marketing channels, such as email, social media, or web. You can use text messages to complement and amplify your marketing campaigns, and to create a seamless and consistent customer experience across all touchpoints.
Text message marketing is a powerful and effective way to grow your business, if you use it correctly. By following the steps and tips in this article, you can master the art of text message marketing, and reap the benefits of this amazing marketing channel.