Small – and medium-sized businesses can benefit from business SMS greatly. Just think about this: Studies show that approximately 3.5 billion text messages are sent and received on a daily basis, business SMS is still an uncluttered marketing channel, and more than 80% of text messages are opened within five seconds.
Distributive Networks president Jeff Lee and his business SMS marketing campaign for former US President Barack Obama had sparked a trend back in 2008. He used a text blast in August 2008 to let some 2.9 million registered people know that Joe Biden was Obama’s pick for vice president. The campaign drummed up new cellphone numbers and so Lee used this as an opportunity to encourage more people to join the crusade either through donations or volunteering.
Soon after, big brands have followed suit by using business SMS to promote special offers and loyalty programs, with the goal to increase sales. If you want to join in on the fun, here are a few things you must do to get started.
Ask for your customer’s permission
Have your customers agreed to receive marketing offers from your company? It’s always a good idea to ask them fill-out an opt-in form before or after they made a purchase. The form must also indicate the method used for consent to marketing (e.g. email, telephone, application form, etc.), date and time, and location.
Customers should also be given the option to opt-out from receiving any offers from you. Ask them to reply “STOP” to your message if they no longer want to receive text messages from you, and indicate if such a transaction may be charged.
Don’t send spam messages
Spammers have found their way to hack into the country’s SMS infrastructure through the Internet. This allows them to send out texts and even make unwanted calls to millions of registered cellphone users. Hiring an unscrupulous agency to do your mobile SMS marketing is punishable by law, and cell carriers may even ban you from using their services ever again.
Choose the right Business SMS service provider
Choosing the right service provider will depend a lot on your budget and marketing goals. There are agencies that specialize in sending out coupons to your customers who happen to be around the area where your business is located. Meanwhile, there are those that offer a unique platform where you can use a short code(s), build a contact list, create and send messages and schedule your send-outs. The subscription price range from as low as $24 to $200 per month.
Don’t give up too soon
As with any marketing strategies, business SMS requires long-term commitment from the end-user. There are exceptional cases where a company’s short code has become part of its branding. The short code is painted into glass windows and posted in walls and on websites.
Additionally, clothing brands like Armani has also been known for inviting their SMS opt-ins first before anyone else to attend their new store openings, resulting in people camping out hours ahead of the launch. If you are in it for the long haul, it’d be a great idea to make your SMS marketing efforts part of your brand identity.