Your customers have their phones with them 24 hours a day. Most people sleep with their phones on the nightstand and when they wake up, the first thing they do is grab their phone and check it.
They’re not going to miss a text from your brand – and they may even look forward to receiving news and promotions via text.
SMS marketing offers your business a way to reach customers on a personal level, and engage with them in real-time.
It’s a great way to promote limited-time offers, send reminder texts, confirm and reschedule appointments, drive traffic to your website or social media channels, or survey your customers’ opinions.
Here’s what you need to know to make SMS marketing work for your business.
The FCC Closely Regulates SMS Text Marketing
One of the most important things to know when you launch SMS texting campaigns is that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has very specific rules about how you can send SMS marketing texts.
You’re forbidden to simply blast strangers’ phone numbers with your text messages out of the blue – and that wouldn’t be a very effective texting campaign strategy, anyway.
You need to get written permission from customers before you can engage with them via marketing text campaigns. Customers need to opt-in in writing and give you their phone number. You can use a keyword campaign to get consent from interested customers.
Simply ask customers to text a keyword to a shortcode mobile number in order to give their consent to receive marketing text messages from your brand.
In addition to getting consent from customers,
the FCC also requires you to refrain from sending marketing texts too late at night or too early in the morning. You’re allowed to send them between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.,
although sending them during regular business hours will probably be your best strategy for keeping customers interested in your text offers.
You have to make it easy for customers to opt out of receiving your text messages, too – customers must be able to opt-out by replying to any of your messages.
Finally, you have to make sure you identify yourself in texts and clarify your reason for texting – whether it’s to confirm an appointment, offer a personalized deal, get customer feedback, or something else.
Customers Love Engaging with Brands Via Text
Perhaps it’s because of the strict rules governing SMS marketing texts that customers seem to prefer them to any other form of mobile marketing. Marketing texts are opened 98 percent of the time, and usually within 15 minutes of receipt.
It makes sense if you think about it – the customers who are opening your texts are those who have an avowed interest in your brand and are already engaging with it on some level.
Customers prefer to communicate with their friends and family via text, too, so why wouldn’t they want to interact with a favorite brand that way? In fact, many people prefer engaging with their favorite brands over text, too.
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Keep SMS Marketing Texts Short, Sweet, and Timely
When you’re developing your text messaging campaign, remember that you only have 160 characters to work with. Not all of your customers will have unlimited texting, even these days.
Your marketing texts need to identify your business and disclose your offer (or other reason for texting) while still finding room for a pricing disclaimer and opt-out instructions.
So, you’ll need to keep your texts short, sweet, and to the point. It can be difficult to write a creative marketing text, but it’s important to keep your message concise and focused. Avoid hyperbole and don’t use any slang. Identify your brand and make a timely offer or request.
Text messaging is the perfect medium for sending out real-time offers – for example, a reminder that happy hour is coming up in 30 minutes or an offer for that day’s lunch special. Infusing the offers with a sense of exclusivity – “Show this text message to get half off!” – can keep your customers invested in your brand and subscribe to your marketing texts.
SMS marketing can be an excellent way to reach your customers everywhere they are. It offers you the chance to make time-sensitive offers and even personalize promotions based on your customers’ varying needs and desires.
Put together your own SMS text messaging campaign today, and find out just how much business you can drum up with nothing more than a few well-chosen words at the right time.