Text Message Marketing Guide

Every business needs customers in order to generate a profit and increase brand recognition. It’s essential, and finding clients usually boils down to your marketing strategy.

Marketing is how you let people know that your business exists and what you can do for them. It’s how you promote your products or services, and it’s how you evolve your organization. But, there are many marketing strategies, and choosing from them can feel daunting—especially if marketing isn’t your specialty. The good news is that there are many tactics you can implement. One thing you can do is explore straightforward, easily managed strategies, such as text message marketing.

It’s an ideal marketing strategy for many businesses, including small and medium-sized companies, because you can easily control the budget, scale, and content of your campaign. Text message marketing is laser-focused, making it easy for you to run it in a way that's effective for your business. Read on to learn all the essentials you need to know to get started.

What is text message marketing?

Have you ever received a text message from a company trying to sell you something? Maybe they were offering an extended warranty for your mobile device or providing information on a super sale they're having.

This is text message marketing, and it's exactly what the name implies. This marketing technique encourages companies to reach out to people with special offers or advertisements via text messages. It’s a tried and true way to open marketing communication with potential customers, but before you dive right into it, there are a few important things to learn.

Understanding how text message marketing works

When it comes to implementing a text message marketing strategy, the keys are pretty straightforward. You want to send simple, direct messages that motivate customers to engage with your online or in-person resources.

Using the car warranty from earlier, a text message can mention a special offer and provide a link that allows the prospect to explore the proposal at length.

Text message marketing can target new and returning customers, and the campaigns easily adjust for seasonal offers, promotions, and any other adaptations that you deem pertinent.

Legality of text message marketing

First, we can discuss the legality of text message marketing. In the United States, regulations related to phone marketing are governed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC.) According to The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), businesses must obtain consent prior to sending marketing text messages.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) requires businesses to obtain consent before sending marketing text messages.

So, make sure to always ask for permission before sending promotional messages. Not only does this help protect consumer data and ensures you're a trustworthy brand, but it can keep your organization out of legal troubles.

How to create an SMS marketing campaign

If you’re interested in creating an SMS marketing campaign, you may wonder how to get started. You have a lot of options. For example, you can build a strategy from scratch or take advantage of countless resources that are already available.

Regardless of your approach, your text message marketing campaign starts with a simple question. What problem can you solve for your customers?

If you sell food, then you’re solving the problem of hunger. If you’re an accountant, you solve financial issues (often relating to taxes). Your business should solve a problem, and your text marketing campaigns will ensure you strategize around helping people find the solutions you offer.

Once you determine what solution you can provide, consider looking into a text message marketing platform. SMS services enable you to send multiple messages to different people automatically, making the process more efficient.

From there, you can explore the costs of text marketing and estimated returns to inform your marketing strategy.

Benefits of sending marketing text messages

Once you create your marketing campaign, you can reap the benefits of this effective methodology. Text messaging thrives as a marketing mechanism for a few reasons. For starters, 41% of consumers prefer to receive marketing messages via SMS than email (via Thrive Internet Marketing Agency), so they may be more receptive to correspondence in this format. Additionally, more than 97% of Americans own a cellphone. As a result, you can potentially have access to a large pool of people who own mobile devices.

41% of consumers prefer to receive marketing messages via SMS than email

Here are a few other benefits to keep in mind:

  • High open rates
  • Inexpensive strategy
  • Quick delivery
  • Boosts engagement
  • Easily integrate with other channels
  • Promotes customer loyalty

Best practices for effective text message marketing

If you want to make the most of your text messaging campaign, there are a few trade secrets that provide the most value.

Best practices for effective text message marketing

Ask for consent

As you already know, sending marketing texts without first obtaining consent is illegal.

Many companies make obtaining consent easy by asking for phone numbers when customers engage with online resources. For example, when you order a pizza online, you typically have to provide a phone number as part of the process. When you do, there may be an option that asks whether you want to give the pizza company permission to contact you with special offers and promotions.

This is often designed in the form of a small check box and is sometimes checked by default, so customers passively consent if they don’t take the time to read the fine print.

Even if you don’t want to be that aggressive, you can include the check box but leave it empty as a default setting. That way, anyone who wants to receive your marketing texts can easily and conveniently opt into the program.

Keep it simple and short

When it comes to marketing messages, simplicity is critical.People don’t like to read long texts, so you want your entire message to be easily consumed at a glance.

You can look at this blog as an example. Even though it covers a topic too complex for a single marketing text, the format gives some clues. None of the paragraphs are very long, and each point is made concisely within the text. Your marketing text messages need to mirror that style.

Make your point quickly and efficiently, so it doesn't take more than a few seconds to read the entire text.

Make it easy to unsubscribe

If you want to generate a lot of negativity towards your company, then, by all means, bombard people with text messages that they don’t want. Talk about an easy way to kill customer retention.

Or, you can skip this problem by including a simple unsubscribe link (or instructions) at the end of every marketing text. Whether you have an unsubscribe link or provide an SMS unsubscribe process (like testing STOP to your phone number), if it’s easy, you won’t irritate anyone who doesn’t enjoy receiving the messages.

Even though you have consent to send text messages, people have the right to change their minds, and respecting that right will always remain paramount to the process.

Stay on brand

This coincides with keeping things simple and short. Your text messages come with character limits. Optimize those limits by keeping your messaging concise and precise.

Staying on brand will help you with that. Don’t use text messages to get off topic or explore your latest niche product or idea. Text marketing reaches a large audience, so stick with the tried and true offers that you know work best.

If you need help keeping your text messaging brand, it's a good idea to send texts that reflect the voice and tone of your small business.

Know your audience

SMS marketing software easily automates the process. With that software, you'll find opportunities to collect usage data. You can see how users opt into your text marketing, how often they follow through on offers, and how long it takes for them to respond.

Use this data to gauge your audience and cater to what they like and personalize messages. It’s ok to run a promotional strategy that caters to limited offers and new niches, but remember how and why people are doing business with you in the first place.

Plus, text message marketing services can enable you to send bulk messages, including appointment reminders and more. Look for the text message marketing software that best meets your needs.

Have a CTA

This is easy to overlook, but it makes or breaks the whole process. Every marketing text should include a call to action (CTA). This is where you tell the customer how to take advantage of the offer.

Include a link to your website or special promotional landing page. Provide your address so that they can find your storefront easily. Most of all, tell them how to do business with you. If they need to come test drive a car, provide instructions. If they can order online, tell them.

Invite them directly to do business with you. Maintain the CTA at the end, and your engagement may skyrocket.

Text message marketing made simple

SMS text message marketing has a lot to offer. It can drive sales, help grow your audience, and transform how you measure success. It’s a powerful tool that you shouldn’t overlook.

While this tutorial is designed to help you get your foot in the door, it’s not the limit of what you can learn and do with text message marketing for small businesses.

If you want to take things further, Mailchimp can help. With Mailchimp, you can ensure your SMS marketing campaigns have the support of various comprehensive tools that can keep contacts engaged. From email marketing to behavioral targeting, we're here to support your endeavors.

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