Text Message Marketing is Back!
You may have noticed a few years back that commercials and products asking you to text ‘JOIN’ to ‘COMPANY’ almost completely disappeared from the landscape. The early rise and fall of text message marketing had nothing to do with effectiveness, and everything to do with legal implications. A number of high profile cases saw companies get nailed with heavy fines as the laws changed to protect consumers from intrusive and uninvited messages. Armed with a better understanding of the legal issues, and user friendly technology, text message as an enterprise marketing solution is making a comeback. There are also very good solutions that allow small businesses to take advantage of text message marketing.
And the numbers for text message marketing are really, really good:
- 98% open rate (wait, what? Email averages around 20% when you do it right)
- 90%+ of all text messages are opened within 3 minutes (the average read is under 5 seconds!)
- 80%+ of surveyed consumers report opening every single text message they are sent
- 75% of surveyed consumers want to receive offers over SMS
Around 25% of all marketers are using text message marketing right now, but that number is growing. As that number grows, it follows that engagement statistics are likely to fall. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to add text message marketing to your overall marketing strategy! South Coast Inbound can help you get set up with a quality text message marketing platform, and make the most of the messages you send.
What we do:
Text Message Strategy
The most important questions that a text message marketer must ask prior to beginning a text message marketing campaign involve the type of message that will go out.
Introducing a new product?
Introducing a discounted rate on a service?
Reminding your customers about your weeknight specials?
Letting your customers know your holiday hours?
As with any inbound strategy, text message marketing works best as a customer engagement tool. Your customers want to hear from you! Clearly, messages that generate sales are easy to quantify, but even a message on a closing due to weather can go a long way into creating a lasting relationship with your most valued customers. Messages like limited time coupons and general business information are great cases for text message marketing. Determining your use will make a huge difference in how much you invest.
Do you want to fit text message marketing into your inbound strategy? We think so. Here are some other inbound marketing components, just in case you forgot.
Build the Opt In
People can sign a piece of paper to get your messages, but that’s no fun, is it!
The fun way to get your customers to join your text message distribution list is to invite them to text a certain word to a shortened phone number. The word is called a keyword. The number is a shortcode. A shortcode can be 5-6 numbers, and like any phone number, it can be random, or the numbers in the shortcode can correspond to a word or acronym as well.
Big companies often pay to own or lease their shortcode, especially if they need a meaningful number. Most small businesses actually share their shortcode with other small businesses through their service provider. The keyword differentiates the businesses, or campaigns within businesses.
Figuring this all out can take a little time! Text message marketing solutions sometimes offer one free keyword, or even unlimited keywords based on certain tiers of pricing. If you simply want to have customers opt into your database, a single keyword is all it takes. Proper planning is important both in determining keywords that work for different promotions, or to associate with different aspects of your business.
Now you need subscribers.
If you have a store front, make sure you have a poster or handout ready with the opt in message.
You can also present your opt in message on social media and in email blasts.
If you’ve gotten this far in the article, you are beginning to recognize how important text message marketing is. You also have a lot of ideas circling in your head that you know will drive business! But you can’t drive that business until you put the effort into marketing this new opportunity. Your effort to get people to volunteer their phone numbers for this service should be as pointed and persistent as selling any product or service.
Text Message Marketing Compliance
Text message marketers like to point to their ridiculously low opt out rates as a selling point for their service. People love getting texts!
That might change as more companies jump on the text message bandwagon. You must take steps to ensure that your messages remain welcome on their device. Part of that process includes sending the right number of messages at the right time, addressing the right subjects.
The other important piece is compliance. Fines for illegal texts can be hefty, particularly when you send thousands of messages with one click. Besides government regulations, there are also standards set by the CTIA that when violated could get you into trouble with the wireless carriers, potentially throttling your investment in text messaging technology.
South Coast Inbound is on top of all of these considerations, because you don’t have the time!
Check out the CTIA here.
Considering adding text message marketing to your overall strategy?