Want to send a text message to thousands of people at once? Mass texting is the answer for you! It helps you communicate with a large number of people at once and is a popular tool of marketing for modern businesses. This billion dollar industry has become so popular that a number of industries have started using it; NGOs, government organisations, real estate businesses, the retail industry and any other organisation you can think of. If you’re not already using it, what are you waiting for?
Not familiar with how to send
An SMS platform is a gateway that allows messages to be transmitted from a computer to mobile networks so it is what integrates businesses and their customers.
This will take you minutes. Just enter your basic details, choose a payment plan and you’re good to go!
You can upload all the contacts from the device you are operating through (a phone, laptop, cloud or wherever contacts are saved). If you don’t have pre-existing contacts, it’s not a problem. SMS platforms allow you to manually add contacts as well. The best platforms are those with web widgets. Web widgets are integrated with your account so that if customers fill out their details on any webpage linked to your account, their information is automatically saved!
Once these three steps are done, you are going to have to conduct an SMS Campaign. Don’t worry, it’s not complicated! When you choose a payment plan, you’ll notice that it comes with a shortcode and either one or multiple keywords. A shortcode is a unique number that you are issued with by the platform. It’s how your customers will recognise you. The keyword/s are words or phrases that are written within a text. Keywords and shortcodes are the 2 main components of an SMS Campaign. But how and why is an SMS Campaign conducted? Well, SMS marketing is permission based. Without the consent of customers, you cannot send them customers. If they do give their consent, you are also legally obliged to give them clear instructions on how to opt-out (which they can avail at any point in time if they wish to do so). This covers the consent area. Now we are left with the process of how customers subscribe or opt into a campaign. Businesses first contact customers by sending them a message asking them to subscribe. It may look like this on a customer’s mobile phone screen: Message from 89897. When they open the message, it will look similar to this ‘To receive weekly offers and discounts, reply with YES’. If the customer decides to reply with a YES, they will start to receive promotional text messages from the business. One last thing, if you want to be a responsible business, make sure you tell your customers how to unsubscribe. You can send reminder messages such as ‘Reply with NO to stop receiving messages from this number’. I know it sounds a bit of a hassle and it can be one with making the effort of getting customers to opt-in and then telling them how to unsubscribe. But at the end of the day, your customers are likely to appreciate you a lot more if you make the effort.
Keep it short and to the point
The only reason email hasn’t been as successful as text is because emails are longer to read. Most people are not willing to read long promotional messages. If you want to be effective, keep your text short and to the point. Customers are likely to just go through the text quickly so only add relevant information. If they need details, that’s what link shorteners are for!
Send them at appropriate hours
Trust me on this, customers are NOT going to appreciate receiving texts in the middle of the night or any time after working hours. So make your life easier and send out texts while in the office. The maximum that you can stretch working hours is 8 AM-9 PM. After that, if there’s anything to convey, just do it the next day! However, the nature of your business also determines working hours. 24/7 food chains like McDonald’s and online retail brands can send out texts till midnight if there is a spontaneous sale or discount which is redeemable only then.
Don’t be too early – or too late!
Take advantage of the immediacy of text messages. If most customers read them within seconds, then there’s no need to inform them a long time beforehand. With email, you would have to inform customers of, suppose, a sale days in advance. With SMS you could inform them merely hours earlier! This also helps if a decision is taken spontaneously. Take the example of slow business. There hasn’t been good customer turnout the past few days due to construction causing road blockage outside a clothing shop. Customers will naturally avoid that location, but if they’re given an incentive to visit, they will definitely go for it! Send out a tempting discount offer that they simply cannot resist and visit your store.
Read more: Retail Marketing Strategy
If you don’t send original and exciting offers, customers will eventually get bored and opt out of your campaign, and you definitely don’t want that right? There are a number of ways around this. Firstly, make sure you don’t bombard your customers with texts all the time. This will make each text less important and exciting. Texting them 2-3 times a month is more than enough. Moreover, phrase your texts in such a way that it arouses curiosity and makes them want to know more. You could send out a text saying ‘We have a huge SURPRISE coming up..’ and then add a hyperlink to direct them to the details. The surprise could be a sale or an event or any other occasion that is relevant to customers. Tempt them to know more and give them something that lives up to their expectations. Oh, and when it comes to events, make sure you send out text invites days earlier so customers can make the necessary arrangements to attend. In case you fear they’ll forget, a text reminder can always be sent out on the day of the event!
Make it personal
Pro tip: Always make your customers feel like the world revolves around them. Tell them how important they are to the business, but more importantly, show it to them. Doing that via text is absolutely easy. SMS platforms allow you to personalise each text to the recipient’s name, which can make them feel important. Moreover, send them texts on their birthdays, holidays and other personal events so that they feel remembered. They will know that they matter to the business and will, in turn, stay loyal to it (this is especially important for businesses that target only a specific market segment).
Grab your customers’ attention
Again, getting your customers’ attention means sending out exciting and tempting offers (I just can’t stress enough on this). Apart from this, use call to action buttons within your text e.g. click here for details. This way, customers are more likely to act on it and redeem coupons and discounts. Another way to get customer attention is to send something totally unique. Give them something that is different from what other companies are offering. Use caps lock, rhetorical questions, conversational tones and other such tactics to engage your customers.
Don’t send too many texts
Like I said, you don’t want your customers to get bored or annoyed. Sending too many texts (even if each text may offer an amazing bargain) customers are likely to stop reading them or be inclined to act on them. Like they say, excess of everything is bad so keep a balance to ensure your customers remain happy!
Break away from the clutter
There are so many marketing techniques thrown at customers these days that it has become difficult to stand out from the crowd. Companies need to have very good marketing teams to be able to do this. They need to be highly engaging. Suppose there’s a protest against Trump’s immigrant ban going on. If the majority supports it, offer them discounted food for going out on the streets! Similarly, the international football world cup (or cricket or whichever other sport) is taking place. Call out to all the sports lovers and invite them to your bar for a festive screening of the match and some flavourful drinks. Staying engaged in current events and joining the spirit of your customers will ensure that your business is the talk of the town!
Always identify yourself
Some of you might be thinking, this is such a basic thing to do, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses make this amateur mistake! (Don’t worry, it happens even to the best of us). Anyhow, make sure to introduce yourself with each text or sign off on it with your company name, especially if customers are new to your SMS campaign. Don’t depend on them to remember you. If they read a message without knowing who it’s from, they might not avail the offer which they may have done if they were aware of the brand name.
Allow 2-way communication
This not only adds to the personalisation element, but it also makes your customers feel at ease. Suppose whatever it is that you text them about (whether a sale or business hours) if they have further questions, will all of them make the effort of contacting customer care? Probably not. Allowing 2-way communication makes it easy enough for them to just text back with their queries. It also allows the company to gain feedback after a customer has purchased a product or service, thus improving product/service quality.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Out of our top picks, ExpressText is the best platform to go for. We chose it for a number of reasons; the first and foremost being cost. Whether you manage a large corporation or own a small business, the key to maximizing profit is minimizing costs. ExpressText offers the lowest prices in comparison to all the best platforms. Moreover, it offers amazing features. Whether its short links and 2-way communication to enhance your text messages, or easy billing and help videos to assist you better, ExpressText has it all! The only feature that it is yet to offer is MMS. However, it just launched its application which saves its users an abundant amount of time as it is convenient. Interested enough? Take a look at its online website now!
If you know how to send mass texts, don’t waste any more time because SMS is a communication channel that can bring you high profitability and success. In today’s competitive environment, businesses are looking for this very channel – one that doesn’t cost them and yet, puts them at the top of the industry.