With a 98% open-and-read rate, text message marketing can be a successful campaign for any customer-driven business. Whether informing customers about a new product, promoting a sale, organizing events, or inquiring about feedback, text message marketing has been increasing in popularity simply because it is a valuable outlet for instant customer engagement and the development of brand loyalty.
Though text messages contribute to business growth, such a marketing strategy should be carefully considered and explored before implementing because there can be various legal ramifications if text message marketing is not properly utilized.
Let’s discuss the do’s and don’t’s of text message marketing.
When properly utilized, text message marketing is an excellent way to communicate and engage with customers and continually improve products and services.
Plan to Adhere to Industry Standards of Text Message Marketing
Text messages have several personal features and customizations that need to be considered when being used for marketing purposes. Consider, for instance, how to tailor text messages to company goals and objectives, as well as consumer profiles. Remember that they should also abide by the regulations of both the text message and marketing industries.
Receive Permission Before Sending Texts
In order to send text messages, it is necessary to always request customers’ permission since text message marketing has specific rules and regulations it follows. Three ways to request permission from customers is through an opt-in text message, shortcode, or phone number provided via a physical or web form.
Keep Messages Brief and Send Essential Information
An appealing aspect of text messages is its identification as a short form of communication. When composing text messages to send to customers, keep them short and concise. One tactic to do so is to purchase mobile keywords. Another method is through the use of a shorthand URL that redirects customers to a web link for more information.
Use Customer Profiles to Personalize Text Messages
Since text message communication is very intimate, it is recommended to send a personal, customized message compared to a general basic text. Be sure to meet customer needs by sending text messages that highlight valuable information and foster engagement with the brand. Consider collecting client feedback in order to identify which types of messages should be sent to different cohorts based on demographics, buying patterns, interests, and geographic location. Text messages should keep these factors in mind to be personal, intimate, and honest. Such messages will not produce a successful campaign if they include overly-promotional language and strong marketing tones.
Less is More
A common mistake in text message marketing is sending too many messages to one customer in an attempt to attract higher engagement rates. Overdoing text messages will often overwhelm recipients and create information overload. Saturating recipients with information can lead to disruptive communication and unengaged clients.
Not only should text message marketing be productive and conducive to improving business, but all aspects of the campaign need to be legal. Text message marketing can be easily misdirected to the consequences of illegal actions, so it’s best to take precautions and ensure every piece is legal.
Don’t Send Spam
Clients interact with a business through its first text, which is always an introduction to the company and its products and services. Engage with customers — current or prospective — by ensuring the first message contains everything they need to know about the brand. When all necessary information is included in the initial contact, the message is less likely to be seen as spam.
Don’t Send texts to People Who Don’t Want Them
Be careful with text message marketing and the information being relayed to customers. Ensure each customer receives texts with content they opted-in for to prevent legal issues. If a customer opted-in for text messages regarding a loyalty program, for example, then don’t send them information related to sales or promotions. When customers opt-in to receive a text message service, they are giving the company permission to provide them with the information they are interested in learning. With that said, texts for the purpose of marketing should always include the option for customers to opt-out. Just like customers are provided the option to opt-in to special marketing texts, be sure to always include the option for customers to unsubscribe from text messaging services. It’s important to include this tidbit because customers may be subject to additional messaging fees and rates if they receive or respond to texts beyond what their cell phone plan allocates. To avoid legal troubles surrounding customers’ text messaging fees and additional rates, clearly communicate to them the option to continue receiving text message communication or opting out of the service. This way, customers are choosing how many texts to receive and they understand their additional charges, if there are any in the future.
Don’t Send Texts at Unusual Hours
When outlining a text message marketing strategy and scheduling automated texts, consider timezone or hours in the day for both the business and client. Of course, it’s best to send text messages at appropriate hours during the day — not in the middle of the night. Failing to account for when text messages are sent will result in an unsuccessful campaign and perhaps some frustrated customers.
Don’t Forget to Add a Call-to-Action
Texts need to be engaging and offer interaction with the customer; thus, including a call-to-action in the text message will have clients take more action toward the brand. Brand loyalty, for instance, can be established through a call-to-action. When including content such as “show this text to receive 10% off your store purchase,” customers who are associated with the brand will most likely show the text at the time of their purchase in-store so they can receive their discount.
Don’t Wait To the Last Minute to Create Your Campaign
Never leave text message marketing strategies last minute, although texts provide immediate engagement and communication. Take the time to plan out when to send relevant messages so texts can achieve the highest open-and-read rate. If information about a Christmas promotion will be relayed, for instance, then ensure customers have plenty of time to engage with it by sending the text weeks before Christmas shopping begins.
Text message marketing increases the chances of establishing a high customer engagement rate when the right strategies are implemented. Before starting a campaign, however, it is best to understand the legal guidelines for engaging with customers via text to avoid any legal consequences later.
If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to the DiAngelo Law team today.