Would you prefer using WhatsApp from your desktop or your phone? The latter, I’m sure. That’s because it is so much easier to search for something or perform a task with a device in your hand than having to open up a laptop or PC. Similarly, mass text messaging applications are more convenient than other traditional marketing tools. A mass text messaging app is a browser-based software application that sends out text messages to a large number of people simultaneously.
What is mass texting?
Mass text messaging is one of the most hyped marketing tools today. It has the highest open rates and ROI than any other marketing channel. Despite the profits that it can help a company earn, it is still an underutilised marketing channel. Marketers can take advantage of this opportunity to boost their sales through mass texting.
Mass Text Messaging Platforms
SMS platforms act as the middleman between customers and businesses communicating via text. These platforms make use of artificial intelligence software. They provide companies with features that enhance the use of text messages e.g. 2-way communication, web widgets, message forwarding, real-time reporting etc. One of the top SMS platforms in the US is ExpressText. It has gained high popularity due to one sole reason – affordability. It is also very easy to use which makes users all the more inclined towards it.
Mass Text Campaigns
There are two main components of an SMS Campaign: a 5-6 digit number known as a shortcode and a word or phrase known as the keyword. Campaign messages are sent out in order to gain the consent of customers for sending them promotional text messages. A campaign message looks like this: Send SUBSCRIBE to 98978 to receive promotional offers and updates from Kelly Co. If you own a smartphone, it is likely that you receive a number of texts similar to the one above. With so many companies overwhelming an individual customer with their marketing tactics, the goal of a marketer is to break through the clutter and send out a text message that is enticing and stands out from the crowd. Send an offer that is limited on time and irresistible!
Mass text messaging app
While online SMS platforms have been around for a while, the concept of SMS provider applications is fairly new. Only the most efficient and popular SMS providers run professionally crafted text messaging apps. ExpressText is one such platform that recently introduced its SMS application. A mass texting app is much more convenient than the web because it is easier to open something with one tap rather than looking up a website. Mobile applications prove to be the most effortless as a person is not tied to their desktops or requires the need to carry around heavy laptops. A mobile phone is small, easy to hold and something we carry around 24/7!
Features of mass texting apps
- Sending a mass text
The most basic feature and, of course, the whole purpose of a mass texting app is to send out mass texts. The most convenient platforms allow a large number of text messages to be sent simultaneously. ExpressText allows its users to send up to 100,000 messages at one time – and that too at a very reasonable price.
- Birthday text messages
To make sure customers remain loyal to your brand, you need to make them feel valued. It’s just like a relationship – making them feel special will ensure they remain happy! One way to do this is to send out a text wishing them a Happy Birthday every year. The great thing is that this process is automation. Advanced software only requires basic details such as the name and birth date of the client and it will do the rest! Thus, the only real effort is feeding the software client information.
- Scheduled text messages
This feature makes life easier for business employees. There are so many events which require frequent text messages to clients e.g. birthdays, Christmas, Independence Day, Labours Day, etc. What if the employee in charge of sending out text messages to customers falls sick on one of these occasions? He may be unable to deliver messages on time or forget, thus risking lower client retention. Scheduled text messages are the perfect solution. Employees can schedule texts to be sent out beforehand thus reducing any risks of delays in messages later. This can also result in flexible working hours e.g. if a text is scheduled to be sent out at 8 AM or 11 PM the employee does not have to manually send it out then. He/she can simply schedule it instead of having to spend extra hours in their office or even on their phone! The best thing about apps as compared to websites is that many times there is so much web traffic that sites are temporarily unreachable or take too long to load. System errors can also cause a website to be down. This is a much less frequent occurrence in applications; thus, making them more convenient and easier to use.
- Double opt-ins
You might be wondering what a double opt-in is. In a double opt-in, a user is required to confirm opt-in usually through their email address. While it requires more effort on the user’s part, it ensures that they have a high level of interest in the brand. Some critics argue that it reduces the effectiveness of a campaign as fewer users are willing to make more of an effort, while others highlight the fact that only the best and most interested users are part of the campaign. For this reason, both single opt-in and double-opt-in options are available for users on ExpressText as both have their pros and cons. A double-opt-in is more suitable if companies are focusing their campaigns on their loyal customers and fans of the brand. If they wish to attract new users, however, a single opt-in is more effective.
- Mobile keywords
ExpressText’s application offers multiple mobile keywords. However, the number of keywords varies with the package that a user opts for. In larger packages, there is a higher number of keywords whereas, in basic or starter packages, there is only one keyword.
- Unlimited groups
That’s the best thing about ExpressText; it lets you stay organised! No matter which package you opt for, you can create unlimited groups. Making groups saves a user an ample amount of time e.g. groups can be made based on loyal customers, new customers, etc. They can also be based upon age groups or product categories such as electronics, home, phone, etc. Not only does it cut down on time, but it is also highly effective because each group can be classified as a market segment, each of which is treated separately. The more focused an approach is towards a group, the more likely a profitable return is. Suppose a user does not create groups and sends out a single text message to promote a social media app to customers. It is likely that only the youth and the millennial segment will respond positively. The rest of the age groups may yield a low Return on Investment. However, if groups were created, each age group could have been targeted strategically to earn the maximum possible return.
- Short links
Short links, or hyperlinks, are one of those features which contribute majorly to the effectiveness of SMS. Text messages can remain short and to the point and yet contain all details through links. Short links serve other purposes as well e.g. directing customers to RSVP to events online, make online payments, view locations on the map and much more. ExpressText also offers short links as one of its many features that enhance SMS marketing.
- Automated replies
Since the recent popularity of SMS, many companies have introduced SMS customer support. Firstly, interacting with customers via an app is much more flexible than a website. Apps are designed to allow ease of use. Secondly, SMS apps that offer automated replies improve customer management. Even if a customer representative is not available at a given point in time, automated replies can be sent to customers to put them at ease for the time being and assure them that they will be contacted very soon.
Why should you download a mass texting app?
If you already use an online SMS platform, here’s a number of reasons why you should switch to the app:
What’s the cost of downloading a mass texting app? Zero! The only cost incurred is purchasing SMS packages to send out mass texts, which is the same as websites so there are no added charges of using an app.
That’s perhaps the major reason why users switch to apps. It’s right there on your desktop/phone and personalised for you. It’s also very convenient for employees because they can work from home. Customer representatives who had to spend long hours on phones or desktop computers dealing with customers can now do the same thing via apps at home. 2-way communication allows them to interact and deal with customer queries. They could be out and about and still be on the job by responding to customer messages by logging in to the app on their phone. This works well for companies since labor laws and regulations continue to get stricter in the US. Telecommuting allows employees more flexibility especially those who are pregnant, injured, old or unable to temporarily visit the office for any other reason.
Convenience, in turn, affects time. Applications save users a lot of time. They are usually already logged in to the user’s account or require a quick face recognition or touch ID software to log in. Websites, on the other hand, require passwords which take longer and are not as advanced as applications. Moreover, using a device that is accessible 24/7 is much less time consuming as having to carry a laptop around all the time or not having access to it when you are out. Since some SMS platforms provide more features on websites that are not available on apps as of yet, it is best to integrate the two and use websites when required.
To sum it all up, mass text messaging apps are a thing of the future. Did you know that 70% of web traffic comes from phones? This number increases every year as more and more people switch from desktops to phones. The goal here is to have easy access and not be limited to a place or device. The popularity of SMS marketing owes to the fact that it is intimate and personal, and that can only be the case if users have access to companies at all hours. Individuals can no longer live without their phones – it has become a necessity. Research shows that customers prefer businesses contacting them via SMS, so that’s another plus point for businesses! SMS marketing has already become an essential part of marketing strategies, but it is the introduction of mass texting apps that make this type of marketing even more effective.