Mass text service, also known as bulk text messaging, is a marketing tool that businesses in the retail industry and other
For those who are unfamiliar with mass text service, the process is easy and simple. A business is required to sign up with an SMS based platform. After creating an account, the business can either upload/import a contact list or add contacts directly. Then, all it takes is to type in a message and click on send. That single message will be sent to the whole contact list that was uploaded, but can also be sent to a small subgroup or selected contacts. Texts can also be customised to each recipient’s name and still be sent with one click. How does this happen? Data collected from customers is stored in a database and retrieved when required. However, businesses do not need to fret over this. All value-added features are available for easy use on SMS platforms.
An important aspect of SMS marketing is that it is permission based. Without the consent of customers, companies cannot send promotional texts to consumers. To gain permission, businesses have to create an ‘SMS campaign’. An SMS campaign consists of a keyword and shortcode. The shortcode is unique to each business (also provided by ExpressText). It is a short 4-5 digit code through which the business sends text messages. It is a replacement for the long numbers mainly because it is easy for customer’s to remember and join in the campaign at ease. The keyword, on the other hand is usually one word long which consumers write as the message. Businesses send out a text inviting consumers to join the campaign e.g. ‘Send BURGER to 8989’ to receive weekly updates and offers. Interested consumers will follow the instructions and thus, opt into the service. Businesses also need to make it clear to customers that they can opt out of the service as well. If they fail to take permission or allow consumers to opt out of the service, they are likely to face legal actions. Hence, businesses need to be careful in these matters in order to avoid such consequences.s
Technology has enabled text messaging services to have value-added features, which aid businesses in attracting potential customers. ExpressText offers many of these, such as hyperlinks. Since readers have short attention span, business text messages should be short and straight to the point. However, for those readers who are interested in details, hyperlinks can be added. These can lead to the official webpage of a business. In more specific situations for example A business sending out invites for an event via text, customers can use hyperlinks to purchase tickets online. Approximately 50% of consumers in the US make direct purchases after receiving a coupon via SMS. Other features include 2 way messaging. This is extremely useful if a business wants to set up customer support via SMS. As times are changing, many businesses are setting up SMS customer support. Customer care representatives are available 24 hours a day to cater for customer needs. This is convenient for both the customers and the company because SMS is direct, fast and convenient. ExpressText also allows for instant delivery, which can be very handy in time-sensitive situations. Suppose a business wants to introduce a flash sale in order to temporarily improve sales. The decision has been taken by managers at an emergency sales meeting and the sale starts tomorrow. What is the best way to get the word out? SMS. Statistics show that 75% of phones worldwide are enabled to receive SMS and 81% of Americans use SMS to communicate with each other on a daily basis. Moreover, only 10% of text messages are considered spam, so businesses are in luck! Since there is instant delivery and consumers check their phones frequently, the word for a flash sale will be out within minutes. Moreover, ExpressText allows businesses to track the effectiveness of their SMS campaigns through real-time reporting. Delivery report lists and graphs are used to view the percentage of delivered messages, failed messages, number of clicks on links, the open and read rate etc.
Other features include scheduled messages which make the process of sending out texts more convenient. This can also help to retain loyal customers e.g. sending out an automated text during customer’s birthday. This is a marketing strategy that is used to make customers feel special. Thus, leading to further transactions and high profitability. ExpressText works to make sure that businesses have a good experience. There are help videos available on the website to guide individuals or companies through the process of signing up and using the additional features, as well as monitoring their account. Moreover, there is an easy process for uploading contacts. These contacts can further be divided into groups based on market segments, and their additional information can be saved in a calendar.
SMS campaigns have over seven times greater performances as compared to Email campaigns.
Open rate of SMS is 99%.
Phone calls are 10 times slower than SMS.
96% of people who have smartphones do text.
The average response rate of text is 45%.
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These statistics are quite impressive, because this may be the only marketing method that has minimal or no disadvantages. It provides a number of benefits at an affordable price. Even companies who have resources to spend millions on adverts are resorting to SMS marketing. It is direct, intimate and an extremely fast way to get the message across. Traditional methods of marketing such as billboard Ads require thousands of dollars and still do not have the same outreach as SMS. What companies have begun to do is post the keyword and shortcode on billboards. When prospective customers pass by, they can see this information and then opt into the SMS campaign. Perhaps SMS is so popular because it is readily available in almost every phone. It also does not require an internet connection which means that texts can be transmitted quickly. All it requires is a sim and carrier signals.
ExpressText offers a variety of payment options so that businesses can choose the one which is most suitable for them. The 4 payment options include; basic, starter, advanced and premier. The first is priced at the US $24. It includes 500 messages and 1 keyword. The starter payment option is priced at $49 a month, with triple the amount of messages i.e. 1500 and 1 keyword. These options are suitable for smaller businesses that have a small target audience and fewer resources. For well-established businesses with large customers, ExpressText offers
Mass texting service is gaining popularity everyday. It is a marketing method that is suitable for all types of businesses regardless of their size. They can use SMS to send updates on the menu, pricing, event invites, sale announcements and any other kind of informations. SMS has narrowed down the gap between consumers and businesses. Thus, leading to better-shared knowledge between the two. The reason behind its effectiveness is also because it targets customers are likely to be interested in the brand or product rather than targetting the general market. This reduces costs and increases Return on Investment (ROI). Even Email creates a high return on investment, perhaps because costs incurred are low. However, no other method of marketing is as effective or profitable as SMS.
ExpressText has collaborated with various large and small companies, such as McDonalds and BMW. This is an example of its suitability for all types of companies. On its website, there is also a list of carriers that it supports, including AT&T, the most widely used carrier. For any queries, complaints and feedback, there is a help and support centre available on the website along with contact informations for further details.