Five Best Practices in Text Marketing

SMS marketing is an underestimated marketing tool in today’s age.  Did you know that 83.72% of the global population owns a smartphone?  To top that up, almost half of the respondents in a survey admitted to spending 5-6 hours on their phones, and that’s excluding the time they spend on their phones on work-related matters.

Marketers caught wind of this a long time ago. Since then, mobile marketing has grown into a crucial marketing tool over the past few decades.  Thanks to the native mobile messaging apps, you too, can enjoy higher revenues, and more exposure as 95% of your text messages are likely to be opened and read.

In this post, we crackdown on the best practices when it comes to text marketing.  Read on for more information.

1. Get the User’s Permission

Barging into your customer’s private inbox is not such a good idea.  Just because 91% of consumers are willing to sign up for text from brands they like doesn’t mean that businesses should send continuous text messages into their inbox without their permission.  In fact, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is against that:

“It shall be unlawful for any person within the United States, or any person outside the United States if the recipient is within the United States:

to initiate any telephone call to any residential telephone line using a artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message without the prior express consent of the called party, unless the call is initiated for emergency purposes or is exempted by rule or order by the Commission under paragraph”

(Source: Telephone Consumer Protection Act)

Besides, seeking the consumer’s consent demonstrates some basic etiquette.  The best text messaging services for business offer clear opt-in and opt-out options.

2. Create a Welcome Message for New Customers

The welcome message is a special text message sent to new customers when they sign up for your text messages.  It gives your new customer an opportunity to get to know you better and trust your brand. One way to ensure the success of this campaign is by creating a custom welcome message for each customer.

A customized text message could be as simple as this:

Hi James,

Thank you for signing up for our weekly updates. We trust that you made the right choice, but even so, we respect your privacy. If you wish to opt-out, please click this link [insert unsubscription link]. No hard feelings:)

Although it’s difficult to come up with creative words for each customer that walks into your gym, shop, or office, going that extra mile eventually helps you build rapport with your customers and increase their trust in your brand.

3. Offer a Free Gift with Every Lead

People will pay attention to your messages if there’s something in it for them.  Offering a free gift for every lead is a great way to entice prospects to take action. It’s also a proven method for increasing conversion rates for your events and promotions.  For example, if you offer some coupons, customers are more likely to subscribe to your SMS.

Additionally, gifting lets you learn more about your prospect.  For instance, you can trace your coupons and how many have been redeemed, when, and where.  This paints a clearer picture of who your customers are, where they’re from, and how your SMS strategy performed.

4. Be Proactive with Your Text Marketing

Being proactive with text marketing simply means being responsive, especially in sensitive industries such as banking and lending.  You want to use text marketing as a communication tool and not just a sales or marketing tool.  Your goal is to establish trust with your audience, so you should focus on fostering relationships.

Start with a greeting, and introduction of who you are and what you bring to the customer’s table. For example, if someone asks you “How are you?” in a text and you reply “I’m good! What about you?” they are more likely to reply because their question was answered.

If a person asks for advice on their future home, reply with suggestions that will help them solve their problem. It may seem like small talk, but it establishes trust between your business and potential customers.

5. Respond to Every Text in Real-Time

Customers are going to text you regarding the issues they come across.  They may have questions about your car products, and you don’t want to keep them waiting too long that they lose interest in your business.

Like normal relationships, communication is key in text marketing.  Respond to your real estate prospects in the least amount of time possible.  People want quick answers in a fast-paced world.  And, by giving them what they want, you stand out from the competitors who don’t.

Another way to respond quickly is by sending automated responses when your customer interacts with a specific function on your site/SMS.  A simple statement like “Thanks! We’re working on resolving this issue right now” conveys a good brand image.

Last but not least, stick to the context of the message.  Text message fields have about 160 characters.  With this little space, you have to say the most about your business in the least number of words.

At this point, you also want to:

  • Keep it simple
  • Think about your audience’s pain points
  • Always have a call to action

Context gives meaning and clarity to the messages a marketer wants to convey.  Go straight to the point and give the client a clear idea of what is being communicated.