If you’re looking for an effective way to reach your customers where they are, you need to consider developing short message service (SMS) marketing campaigns. SMS marketing texts have a 98 percent open rate, which makes them much more effective than marketing emails, which have about a 21 percent open rate.
That’s because consumers like to interact with their favorite brands via text. As a result or protection acts, most people feel confident about signing up for marketing texts from a company they like. To make SMS marketing work for your business, make sure you’re compliant with regulations before you work on growing your subscriber list. Make your marketing text messages concise and use them to create value for the customer.
Know the Law
If you’re going to send marketing texts to your customers, it’s absolutely vital that you know and follow the laws that govern text message marketing. If you don’t, you could incur huge fines. The penalty for sending non-compliant marketing texts is $500 per text, or $1,500 if the FCC finds that you intentionally broke the law when you sent your marketing texts. These penalties will usually add up quickly, because companies don’t just send out one or two texts as part of a text messaging campaign – they send out thousands of them. If your text message marketing campaign consists of 2,000 texts and they’re not compliant, you could end up paying up to $3 million in fines if the FCC thinks you sent a noncompliant text on purpose. If they decide you didn’t do it on purpose, you could still be fined $1 million. That’s enough money to shut some companies down for good.
So make sure you’re following the law when it comes to sending mass marketing texts. The most important thing to remember is that the TCPA requires you to get consumers’ express written consent before you can send them marketing texts. That usually means getting them to opt in via text. Your express written consent offer must include the reason why you’re asking for their contact information, information regarding how often you plan to send marketing texts to the consumer, access to the terms and conditions of your marketing text program, an option to stop receiving texts by replying to a message, and a disclaimer stating that standard messaging rates will apply to your marketing texts.
You’re also limited as to what times of day you can send marketing texts. According to the TCPA, you can only send marketing texts between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. It’s a good idea to restrict yourself even further, sending texts only during regular business hours or, if you’re marketing a time-sensitive promotion, right at the appropriate time. (For example, if you’re advertising a lunch special at your restaurant, send the marketing text right before lunch.) Customers will be put off if you’re sending them texts at weird hours.
Grow Your Subscriber List
So, you’ll need to obtain consent from consumers before you can send them marketing texts. To put together successful texting campaigns, you’ll need to build a subscriber list.
You can do this by advertising your mobile texting program wherever you can. Create a shortcode that customers can text a keyword to if they want to enroll in your texting program. Promote that shortcode on your social media pages, store receipts, website, and emails. Put up physical advertisements in your place of business. Hand out promotional materials to your customers encouraging them to enroll in your text marketing programs.
Be Concise and Create Value
When you’re creating marketing texts, you only have 160 characters to work with, so it’s important to be concise. Speak directly to your audience and leave out the fluff. Identify your brand, but avoid hyping it up too much – you don’t want your text messages to have a spammy feel. You want to use your marketing texts as an opportunity to create value for your customers by providing real-time offers. Use an autoresponder to engage with customers in real time and keep them interested in your brand.
SMS marketing can be a hugely effective tool for promoting your business. You just need to make sure you follow the laws surrounding text message marketing, and use this medium to create real value for your customers. That way, they’ll stay subscribed to your texts and engage more deeply with your brand.