Multichannel marketing is the key to a successful business. What’s even more important is to include text messaging as one of the channels. Many surveys show that people prefer to receive text/ SMS messages from businesses instead of calls. A business's ability to communicate with its customers through SMS has grown rapidly in the last few years.
However, the success of your text message campaign depends on how well you plan and implement your text marketing strategy. Text messages are no doubt cost-effective, user-friendly, and have a wider reach. But they can bring positive results when you have a comprehensive plan to run the campaign.
Here, we read how to create effective text message campaigns for your business, irrespective of the business volume and industry.
● Get Consent First
Adhere to the guidelines set by CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) and TPCA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) when planning text marketing campaigns. The former insists that you include a disclaimer, ‘msg & data rates apply’ to auto-responses. TPCA makes it mandatory to get customer consent before adding them to SMS campaigns or sending them texts from your business account. You can get their consent through shortcodes, online forms, and other methods.
● Provide Clear Opt-Outs
It’s not enough to take consent from the customers. You also need to provide the details for ways to unsubscribe or opt out of your campaigns. Customers shouldn’t wonder how they can stop you from sending text messages (of course, an increase in opt-outs is a clear sign of a failed text message campaign). The link to opt-out should be added to every message you send the customers (including transactional ones).
● Identification Message
Set up an auto-responder to send an introductory first message to customers who newly subscribe to receive your text messages. This allows them to identify and save your number in the contact list. It is particularly useful if you allow two-way communication. Customers can look up your number from their phonebook and send a message. Don’t forget to include a shortened URL to the terms and conditions webpage.
● Don’t Spam
This is a golden rule for effective text message campaigns. You should send messages about the business. You can wish them on special occasions. You can even send funny messages, quotes, and pictures. But do not spam.
Now comes the tricky part. How do you know how much gets too much? This can change from one person to another. But reports show that sending 4-5 messages per month works during the initial period. Once the subscribers get used to your business, you can gradually increase the rate to 10 messages per month. Make sure the messages have something to offer (excluding transactional messages).
● That Perfect Timing
TPCA and CTIA already have guidelines about when a business should not message the customers (which includes the entire night time and early morning). However, you are free to send them text messages during the day. But what is the ‘right’ time to get more responses from customers?
10AM to 8PM works the best, though it’s better to avoid 4PM to 7PM when people leave work. Those driving will not see the message soon as you sent it. However, if you send it before they leave work, they can stop by your store or place an online order.
● SMS and MMS Messages
Text message campaigns are not limited to text messages. You can send and receive images, gifs, and short videos. In fact, sending MMS messages like images and gifs can increase the response rate and make your campaigns more successful. However, remember that network carriers have different price packages for MMS and SMS messages. MMS messages can be expensive (for you and customers).
● Track & Measure Clicks
How will you know if your text message campaign is effective? You need to use analytical tools to track and measure the clicks, leads, and results to determine the extent of success. This also allows you to tweak your strategy and increase its effectiveness. For example, segmenting your customers using a different identifier can put them in another group and result in higher responsiveness. It also helps customize the content for each customer segment and target market.
● Use Business Texting Software
Business texting software streamlines and automates your text message campaigns. From importing contacts to scheduling bulk messages, sending automated replies, and tracking the click-through rate, the software will handle everything on your behalf.
TXTImpact is a business text messaging software and service provider in the US since 2006. Our clients include businesses from several industries, be it retail, nonprofit, government, real estate, hospitality, entertainment, etc. Our business texting software is customizable and affordable. You can easily set it up and integrate it with your databases. TXTImpact can increase the success rate of your text message campaigns.