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text message marketing best practices

Text Message Marketing Best Practices

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With SMS becoming a fast and widely accepted form of communication, which can be used to send information to a lot of people at the same time or to a specific targeted audience. It has therefore, made text message a desired platform for companies and businesses to promote their products and services. This marketing technique is known as text message marketing or SMS marketing. Text message marketing is a marketing technique that uses text messages to deliver advertisements or promotional texts to users. Text message marketing is one of the marketing techniques that companies and businesses utilize in order to promote their brands and products through mobile devices as they seek to connect with their customers and increase sales. In recent time, all mobile devices have the ability to receive and send text messages. The rise of mobile devices has made text message marketing an effective and affordable marketing technique. Compared to other marketing techniques like; email marketing, social media marketing, billboards, radio and television advertisement etc. Text message marketing is cheaper, direct and produces the desired result within a short period of time. Many advantages come with text message marketing, since most individuals have their mobile device with them most of the time. Companies and businesses have a higher chance of reaching out to customers and prospective customers in real time. Also, people are most likely to open text messages faster than emails. A recent research has shown that 98% of the text messages sent are received and opened within 3 minutes by the recipient. These statistics makes text message marketing the best choice.  

However, in order to get the desired result from text message marketing, companies and businesses need to know how to properly utilize the service. Texts are sacred and they are far more personal than emails and other marketing techniques. Apart from subscribing to a service provider like ExpressText which has the necessary facilities and features to provide an excellent text messaging experience for individuals and businesses. It is advisable and important for businesses to know the text message marketing best practices in order to properly utilize the marketing method and get the desired result. In this article the best practices would be listed, and they are: 

Understanding the laws

To start a text message marketing campaign, it is important for companies and businesses to know the laws that governs the use of text message. One of the laws that governs the use of text message marketing is the TCPA and it stands for Telephone Consumer Protection Act and it was passed into law in 1991. The TCPA limits the use of robo-dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded messages. When an individual or a company should violate the terms of TCPA it can lead to series of legal actions. People may bring suit in local small claims court or the state court for damages up to $500 for each violation. The CTIA also known as Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, it represents the US wireless communications industry and other companies throughout the mobile ecosystem in the united states, such as carriers and suppliers. The CTIA promotes the industry’s voluntary best practices. When a business or a company does not follow the terms or guidelines of the CTIA wireless carriers may not be pleased and therefore decide on the appropriate course of action, such as suspending the account of the business or the company. Some of the guidelines of being TCPA and CTIA compliant are: companies and business seeking to use the platform have to disclose that message and data rates apply, acquire the customer’s clear consent to receive promotional texts via SMS and also maintain a record of each customer’s consent. Customers are giving out their private information so companies or businesses have to protect the information. It is important for businesses and companies to comply with the laws in order to avoid actions that can hinder the progress and effectiveness of their text message marketing campaigns. 

Content and language

When sending promotional texts to customers, it is important for companies and businesses to keep it professional.  The content of the messages and the language used reflects the brand and represents the company or business. The company or business have to create contents that would increase their clientele. Such contents have to make customers willing to read the texts and patronize the brand. The content has to be short and straight to the point. If brands are sending in long messages, then they are not using the platform properly. Businesses need to look for a way to keep the content short and straight to the point. The choice of words a company or business use says a lot about their brand. Also, the limited amount of characters is not an excuse to use short languages or catchphrases. The tone of the language should be interactive and compelling. The text should include terms that relates to the business. The language has to be understood by everyone in that particular geographical location. Businesses should avoid sending other irrelevant messages with the text because it can end up annoying the readers with information that are not necessary. If a consumer should subscribe to receive promotional texts, then companies and business should try to send only promotional texts.  The way a business constructs their text messages shows how professional they are. 

Timing

There are various text message marketing best practices in order to have a successful marketing campaign, but one of the most important is timing. If companies or businesses want to experience successful results, they need to send promotional texts at the right time. Since text message marketing is a channel that allows businesses and companies to reach customers at virtually any hour of the day, they have to be careful that they are strategically timing the messages that they send out. Research has shown that promotional texts are more effective during business hours (10am – 8pm), whereas lifestyle-oriented activities like internet browsing and mobile application use dominate the early morning and late evening hours. The worst time of the day to send messages is during common rush hour times, when people don’t have the time to read or interact with their phone. This is generally between 6:30am – 8:30am and 4:00pm – 7:00pm. Also, Mondays occasionally have the lowest response rates, likely due to the fact that people are busy catching up on their work activities after the weekend. However, the best time of the day to send promotional texts will depend on the type of product or services the company is rendering. The best time for a restaurant to send out promotional texts is during lunch hours, weekends and holidays. If a business or company can eliminate bad timing and send their promotional texts at the right time, it would help to increase profit and customers. Many businesses and companies don’t pay attention to this factor and it greatly affects the way their promotional texts are being reacted to. 

Consent

It is very important for businesses or companies that intend to send SMS marketing messages to consumers to get their consent first, before going ahead to send promotional texts. Most individuals do not appreciate receiving texts from businesses that they are not subscribed to, they find it disturbing. Therefore, they won’t bother to go through the text to find out what it is about. It is easy for businesses to get the consent of their customers before sending text messages. Businesses can send a ‘consent’ text first, asking customers to send a word to a particular short code. For example, send “SUBSCRIBE” to 4802 to get marketing texts from a particular brand. If they reply by sending the word to the short code, it means they have given their consent to receive promotional texts from the said restaurant. This way businesses can get positive responses from their marketing texts. There are two common methods for receiving consumer consent and they are; Handset initiated opt-in and Double Opt-in. The Handset initiated opt-in method allows consumers to simply text in a keyword to a particular short code, with that they have given their consent. While Double Opt-in, involves one additional step. If a consumer fills out an online form and selects a checkbox to opt-in to receive promotional texts. The company or business is required to send the customer a text message from their short code asking the customer to confirm their subscription. 

Personalization

Businesses and companies are more likely to get positive responses from people if the messages they send out are personalized. Every customer wants to feel special and appreciated by their favorite brand. Businesses can give customers this feeling by personalizing the messages they send out to each customer. Business owners can write the name of the customer at the beginning of the text. When a customer sees that a particular text is addressed to them personally, it draws their attention and it gives them the zeal to read through the text and respond to it appropriately. When there is a good customer relationship between a brand and its customers, it helps to increase sales and also helps to draw new customers to the brand.  

Option to opt out

Companies and businesses have to make it clear to their consumers that they can opt out of their subscription if they wish to do so. Not only is this important to maintain an appropriate text message marketing campaign but it is also required by law (TCPA). There are two instances in which businesses and companies have to include the opt out option. The first is whenever a call to action is sent out to individuals to join a company’s marketing campaign, they must include the opt out instructions. It can be as simple as “Text STOP to opt out.” The second place brands would have to include option to opt out is after a customer opts into a company’s marketing campaign and receives their first confirmation text. In addition to welcome message, business owners also need to include opt out instructions among other information like “message and data rates may apply” this is in line with the terms and guidelines of CTIA. Reminding people of how they can unsubscribe from time to time this would keep a company’s marketing campaign clean and increase the customer’s responsiveness.  

Consistency

Consistency is a major key to success and achieving anything. This also applies when sending promotional text messages to people. Businesses and brands need to be consistent when sending out texts to their clients or prospective customers. For example, if a company sends text messages out on Wednesday by 12:00pm. It is professional and advisable for the business to send their subsequent messages during that period, so that their readers know when to expect a text from their favorite brand. It also helps the readers have it in mind that they are expecting a text, so when it comes they read it and respond to it appropriately. However, in an attempt to be consistent, it is important to understand when the texts are becoming too much. Three to four texts a month is still considered appropriate. 

In conclusion, text message marketing best practices are the tips that makes SMS marketing campaign successful. Text message can be a powerful marketing technique and as such it has to be properly utilized, any misuse can make a company or business to lose the money they have invested on their marketing campaign. The outside image of any business is very important and the way a business markets its products and services would determine how fast they would grow as a brand and increase their customers. Therefore, if companies or businesses can launch their marketing campaigns following the text message marketing best practices that are listed above, together with employing the service of a service provider like Express Text that is popularly known for providing companies and businesses with the facilities that they need at an affordable rate to start their marketing campaign. Then they are surely going to get positive results from their marketing campaign. 

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