Marketing has advanced with the growth and development of technology. There are diverse ways of reaching out to potential customers and text message marketing is one of them.
As a business owner or marketer who wants new ideas and strategies to boost sales, retain customers, improve your brand and attract a prompt response in the shortest time frame, you should consider text message marketing.
Text message marketing has a higher rate of success than any other means of mobile communication when used properly. This article is going to provide you with a better understanding of what text message marketing is all about.
What is Text Message Marketing?
Text message marketing or SMS marketing is a strategy used by companies or businesses to send out coupons, specials, promotions, alerts, etc. through highly targeted, permission-based, opt-in text messages.
It is also a means through which businesses reach their targeted customers via text. Each of these messages is restricted to only 160 characters. Text message marketing creates brand awareness, improve sales, educate customers, is used for promotions etc.
Why Text Message Marketing?
Many people check their phones more than 80 times a day and they’re likely checking for new messages. People check out for new text messages than emails, some don’t even check their emails for a long period of time.
Text message marketing is quick, easy, and straightforward, it is one of the fastest means to engage your target customers.
These are a few reasons why you should consider text message marketing as a means to boost your sales:
#1 Creates and increases customer awareness
Text message marketing is used to create and increase customer awareness about exclusive products, hot deals, and more. Your text could be about available discounts, new products in stock, or any other relevant information.
#2 It engages your customers
98% of people check their text messages more than their emails or any other form of communication. If you aim to get the attention of your targeted customers and receive a response immediately, then text message marketing is the best marketing strategy to employ.
#3 Easy to record
Text message marketing is very easy to record and track. It provides useful information and data to the marketing team and other departments in an organization concerning the return on investment.
It gives you information concerning customer feedback and how many clicks your links got.
#4 Effective and quick
Text message marketing is the quickest, cheapest, and most effective way to reach a wide range of customers to provoke an immediate positive response from them.
#5 It builds loyalty
Text message marketing isn’t always about sales-oriented messages targeted at increasing sales and profits alone. Constantly bombarding your targeted audience with a sales-based message might get your targeted customers disinterested in your business.
Text message marketing gives you the flexibility to include messages about sales discounts, exclusive offers, tips, and even promos from time to time to build a lasting and reputable brand.
Is Text Message Marketing legal?
Text message marketing is legal when you follow and apply the laws and regulations stated by different regulatory bodies. Countries like the US, UK, Australia, Canada, etc. have their own regulatory bodies, however, this article will be restricted to just the United States of America.
Regulatory bodies that over see text message marketing in the US include:
Mobile Marketing Association
This is a global non-profit trade association established to lead the growth of mobile marketing and its associated technologies. It established mobile media guidelines, creates laws that regulate mobile marketers and gives advice on laws for text message marketing.
Federal Communications Commission
FCC is a full-fledged independent government agency that regulates the radio, television, and phone industries. They ensure that content aired across media communications in the US is restricted to acceptable standards.
Cellular Telecommunication Industry Association
CTIA is a trade association representing the wireless communication industry in the US. They restrict unwanted text message marketing communication through phone calls, SMS, etc. They create laws for telecommunication companies to follow and help enforce some regulations.
Federal Trade Commission
FTC enforces federal consumer protection laws against fraud, unfair business practices and deception. Their laws and regulations include the FTC Act, Telemarketing Sales Act, Identity Theft Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and Clayton.
Text Message Marketing Laws
In order to protect consumers from receiving a barrage of unsolicited text messages, SMS marketing is regulated under US law. Therefore, marketers are obligated to follow certain codes of practice otherwise they face the risk of hefty penalties.
The legal requirements for conducting SMS marketing are governed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The two primary laws they enforce are the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the CAN-SPAM Act.
Businesses that do not comply with the statutory rights of US consumers could face fines of $500 up to $1500 per unsolicited text message.
What Are The Legal Requirements For Text Message Marketing?
The legal requirements for Text message marketing is the US includes:
The Telephone Customer Protection Act
TCPA governs all types of telecommunication in the US, one of its most important criteria for text message marketing is that you must obtain consent from individuals before sending them text messages about your business.
You can obtain consent from your customers or clients by having them signup for your text message on your website or by clicking the opt-in link. Written consent is very easy to obtain.
CAN SPAM ACT
CAN SPAM is an acronym for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003. The laws include:
- You must not have a misleading header
- Don’t use deceiving subject lines
- Identify the text message as an advert
- Tell your recipient or clients where you’re based
- Include an opt-out link
- Honor opt-out request immediately
- Be security conscious about what others are doing on your behalf
How Much Does Text Message Marketing For Small Businesses Cost?
The cost of text message marketing depends on the fee for sending the text and the cost of renting keywords. Different text message companies or platforms have their individual pricing model. The most common model is the monthly fee that includes a certain number of keywords and texts.
Major text message marketing platforms charge between $5 – $25 per keyword per month, and between $0.01 – $0.05 per text. They also offer a fixed number of text messages like 500 to over 30,000 and a fixed number of keywords like 2 – 10 for a fixed monthly rate.
You can pay between $25 to $500 and above per month depending on your text volume, the number of keywords, the online platform you signed a contract with, and other features.
Most text message marketing platforms allow free inbound messages and sub keywords. Sub keywords are usually words that provoke immediate action, examples are ‘STOP’, to opt-out of a future campaign.
How to do text message marketing
The following are guidelines to follow for a successful text message marketing strategy:
#1 Set out your goals
Before you start sending out a text to your targeted customers, you’ll need to set precise and clear goals or objectives on what you hope to achieve. Make sure the goals or objectives go together with your business or company’s main goals.
#2 Identify your target customers
You should have a target client base, people you hope to connect with through your corporate text, sending out text messages to your full contact list creates nothing but chaos.
#3 Draft out a sweet and straightforward message
Come up with very short and interesting content, remember you’re restricted to only 160 characters per text, so you have to include only relevant information, always apply shortened words. In the case of links, you can use bit.ly to avoid long links.
#4 Apply urgency to your text
Most of your text will be opened and read within a very short time frame, so, you have to take advantage of this by creating a sense of urgency. Your text should also include specific expiration dates and time frames to trigger immediate responses e.g, ‘2 days promo’, ‘Expires at noon’.
#5 Make valuable offers and include a call to action
When sending out text messages to your clients, always include irresistible offers, it could be discounts, exclusive offers, and any other tempting offer to provoke an immediate response.
Make sure to also include a call to action in your text to trigger a quick reply, e.g “Buy now”, “Shop” “Order”, or “Subscribe”, etc.
#6 Precise time
Don’t send out text messages at any time of the day. You need to study your audience and know when it’s best to reach out to them. If you also operate across International waters, always be considerate of the time difference in different regions or countries.
Best Text Messaging Marketing Platforms
The following are the best text message marketing platforms in 2022.
- Simple Texting
- Slick Text
This platform is a SAAS company that delivers the easiest, fastest, and reliable way to connect to your clients. It allows you to quickly and efficiently manage your customers.
The platform offers a very flexible plan for text message marketing starting from $19 per month for value, Essentials Starting from $29 per month, premium from $49 per month, and custom at $299 per month.
It is the best text message marketing platform for non-technical people who want some guidance. There’s a phone number, a pop-up, help chat, and lots more on it, you can text customers one on one or as a group.
After signing up, you’re asked if you want to use it to “Market and Engage”, “Delight Customers” or “Simplify Operations”. You also have an option to test text yourself.
Podium is a customer interaction platform that uses text messages to assist businesses to manage their customer relationship through messaging and customer feedback. It also helps improve your online reputation.
Additionally, it provides critical data showing your customer’s feelings towards your business, gives exceptional solutions to improve your business review, and ensures no messages are missed.
It is very easy and convenient to use, it provides reports on your daily business activities, the platform’s features include, customer feedback, competitive intelligence, sentiment analysis, corporate reporting, in-app messaging, etc. that helps you identify any weakness in your business that needs improvement. The pricing starts from $399 per month.
This great text message marketing service takes only a few seconds to send text messages across a wide range of people on this platform.
On Textedly, there is a 14 day free trial period, which grants you access to all features on the platform to try out with no fees attached. It also provides a guideline on how to use it.
The platform has a lot of pricing plans which includes, Bronze, Plus, Elite, Business, Enterprise, Silver, Premium, Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Champion. Each of which comes with a custom keyword and free incoming text message.
There’s a 20% discount for more text messages per month if you pay annually. It has a large variety of features and a dashboard that is easy to navigate.
4. Simple Texting
Simple texting is a reliable, low-cost way to create relevant conversations with your customer. The platform helps you send important and engaging messages to your target customers in a very simplified manner.
The text message marketing platform has amazing features to create and send text messages to your targeted customers. They have a very flexible plan to go with the budgets of different businesses or companies.
The cheapest and basic pricing plan offers 500 credits for $25 per month, all plans come with unlimited keywords. They also have a 14 day free trial period. They offer a 25% discount if you pay annually.
5. Slick Text
The text message marketing platform allows businesses to build and move traffic towards their business via effective text campaigns. It has an easy, user-friendly interface.
The features include an automation tool, where you can preschedule a text message to send at a specific date and time, an autoresponder to answer text promptly, custom keywords, and contact management tools.
The platform has over nine plans, for both small and large businesses. The plans have no restrictions on the number of contacts. The basic and cheapest pricing plan is $29 per month with 500 texts per month and 2 keywords, other plans include, Step up at $49 per month for 1000 text and 4 keywords, Lil bro at $79 per month for 2000 text, and 6 keywords, Big bro at $139 per month for 3600 text and 8 keywords.
There’s also an option for multimedia services, live chat support, free incoming message, mass text messages, mobile apps, surveys, and scheduling, etc.
A lot of businesses and companies use text message marketing as one of their marketing strategies to reach potential customers. Even though the use of mobile websites, email marketing, and apps appear to be common, text messages happen to be the simplest, cheapest, and most effective way of sending relevant information across to targeted customers.