Do you wonder how often you should send a marketing text messenger or what to say? Read here to learn 8 of the best practices every text marketer should follow.
Gone are the days of TV and print ads being the best forms of advertising. We’ve entered a new era.
Marketing is going mobile.
And what better way to connect with mobile phones than with text messages?
Text marketing provides many unique advantages to other forms of advertising. So what do you need to know to be a text marketer?
Here are 8 texting best practices to follow.
Perhaps no form of marketing is more invasive to somebody’s life than SMS marketing.
Texting is usually reserved for personal communication. You use text to talk to the people you know in real life — friends, family, and maybe even co-workers.
Receiving somebody’s phone number is a sort of rite of passage for individuals. It’s a special territory, and a text marketer should treat it as such.
The number one rule of SMS marketing is to get consent from the customer before sending them anything.
You can do this by having them check an offer box before they make a purchase on your website. Or you could run a contest or sweepstakes to let them voluntarily sign up. You can even have them text in a keyword to sign up for your regular marketing messages.
Regardless of how you do it, make sure you have their clear approval to send them messages via text.
The Need for Consent
Why the need for consent? The first reason is the legal issue.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 put in place protections for individuals from receiving unsolicited, automatically dialed telemarketing calls. An amendment that took effect in 2013 affirmed that SMS text messages also fell under the TCPA.
In other words, if you don’t receive consent to send automatic text marketing messages, you could be breaking the law. (IMPORTANT NOTE: I’m not a lawyer so consult one before you do anything!)
On top of the legal issues, sending unwanted text messages is simply poor form.
Nothing will upset a prospect or customer more than unwanted messages. So don’t abuse it… be a good text marketer, and get permission from EVERYONE before sending any messages.
Once you do get consent to text with someone, don’t loose their trust. Don’t spam people. Its a fast way to have somebody opt out of your messages and to lose customers.
As we mentioned above, text marketing is very invasive. Every text you send in interrupting someone’s life. And since people are already inundated with up to 5,000 ads every single day, it’s not pleasant to see that marketing creep into their personal messaging areas.
The potential backlash to a text ad gets worse the more often you do it. The more texts you send, the more likely you are to have the door slammed in your face.
What’s the right number of messages?
Well, it depends. Most businesses I know text once a week. A few text daily. And I know others who send out clusters of texts around a special event (like a Facebook Live event)… so they might send 2 or 3 in a day… but then not send anything for the days following.
When in doubt, less is more.
Remember that being able to send text ads to someone is a given privilege — don’t abuse it.
Keep It Short
You don’t exactly have a lot of room to work with when developing the copy for your text message.
A SMS text message is 160 characters or less. Some systems (like Betwext.com) allow you to send an MMS message of up to 300 characters! Any more than that and you risk your message being broken up and looking sloppy.
Short and sweet is the way to go with your text copy.
Don’t waste time here. Get right to the point.
Thats not the only tip about your text messages…
Text Marketers know that customers are expecting to get something special!
Use texting to really separate out your loyal customers.
Want a few ideas?
- Send your texting list early bird information. If you’re going to send info out to everyone, give them early access… and let them know they get early access! (This is for special events… not every day blog posts!)
- Give them something special – I know of a few restaurants that have secret menu items… but you only learn about them by being on the texting list.
- Send VIP customers info on a special event… again they have to be on the texting list to get the details!
- Send special coupons… send them out infrequently and you’ll surprise and reward your followers.
- Release limited edition items to your list… again, only if they are on your texting list!
Try passing along exclusive offers, or giving them access to a sale a few days before it goes live to the general public. Make sure you’re giving them something special.
Aim for Instant Action
Because text messages are so engaging for end users and because they are so short… you want to make sure you use a powerful call-to-action.
A call to action is simply a plain english explanation of what you want your customer or prospect to do next. Some examples include:
- Click here now.
- Click this link and watch the video.
- Read this article.
- Call us at this number.
- Reply with your answer.
- “Call us at xxx-xxx-xxxx to order your ____”
Calls to action are all about getting your customers to take quick action.
Use one every single time… and your results will skyrocket!
Regardless of what your message says, it’s important to make sure it get’s read so…
Find the Right Time
One of the challenges for a text marketer is knowing when the right time to send a message is.
The cool thing about texting is immediacy of the message delivery.
What do I mean by that?
When you send an email, it can sit unopened in an inbox for days. Text messages, on the other hand, are usually opened very quickly, often within minutes of arriving. YES – Minutes!
For some companies, specific days work better… like bars and nightclubs often see better engagement on Fridays and Saturdays.
Other businesses will benefit from texting at a certain time of day. For example, some restaurants send messages or even coupons an hour before dinner time. As you can imagine, engagement skyrockets when a message is delivered then!
Because message timing is very business dependent, be sure to track analytics of your messages. Use the data to evaluate the success and failures of your messages on different days, weeks, months and time slots.
Here’s another great texting tip…
Leverage Triggered Messages
Marketing automation isn’t just for emails!
Texts are a great tool for businesses that leverage marketing automation.
You can trigger messages to send when certain criteria are met. You can send a thank-you note after a purchase is made, or deliver a birthday wish and free dessert voucher when their big day comes.
Betwext.com has the ability to add welcome messages and even drip campaigns to go out over time!
Triggered messages are great because they’re relevant and the customer can reasonably expect them. You wouldn’t think a message is spammy if it came right after you interacted with the company. The customer knows you didn’t blast the same message out to everyone, and it makes them feel special.
And now for our final “best practice” tip every text marketer should know…
Even though they use text messages for communication, a text marketer doesn’t have an excuse to be unprofessional.
Refrain from using “text speak” in an attempt to seem cool, especially if it doesn’t match your brand’s personality. With the introduction of touch keyboards, emojis, and voice-to-text, the need for old-school text speak is in decline.
Unless you’re really crunched for characters, avoid using abbreviations if you can.
That said, don’t be afraid to test new features and functionality – especially if you market to a younger demographic – they will often be more forgiving of the advances in technology use!
How to be a Great Text Marketer
I hope today’s article gave you some great ideas on how to be a great text marketer. To learn more about getting started with business texting, or to learn how to promote your small business check out our special report… “The Ultimate Guide to Mobile Marketing”