What is text message marketing?
Text message marketing is just what it sounds like. It’s simply marketing to consumers via text messaging. Typically, text message marketing can improve your business plan by reaching goals outlined in the marketing piece of your plan.
There are two ways to do text message marketing: the right way and the wrong way. We’ll discuss each below to see how you can avoid the pitfalls of text message marketing the wrong way. And we’ll discuss how text message marketing the right way can improve your overall marketing strategy.
Text message marketing the wrong way
As a business owner, you need to understand that you can only text message market to people if they have consented to it. Consent is huge in text message marketing. It’s so important, in fact, that there are federal laws you must follow. In fact, it’s one of the first things you need to look at before you start text message marketing.
Texting Faux Pas
There are three major faux pas you need to avoid when text message marketing. They are outlined below.
- Texting too often – No one likes being text so much they feel overwhelmed. Don’t overwhelm your consumers. Text message market only as often as necessary. Find a schedule and stay on it. You don’t want your customers to get annoyed with you and opt-out of your messages.
- Texting irrelevant information – Don’t waste your customers time, and good nature. Make sure to send texts that contain information that’s going to be meaningful to the recipient. If it’s not, don’t send it.
- Texting out of normal business hours – Not only is it against federal TCPA compliance laws, but text message marketing too early or too late can result in significant monetary penalties. The do’s and don’ts of text message marketing are simple. Don’t treat customers like your crush and text them out of normal waking hours.
Segmenting your customers based on their purchase history is paramount to a successful text message marketing plan. When you tag your customers, what you are really doing is sorting them based off of what they have bought and have the potential to buy.
Businesses have no business group texting customers. Many problems arise from group texts such as privacy violation, reply all, and difficulty opting-out. You don’t need to deal with these issues, but the alternative, sending text messages one at a time is incredibly time-consuming. Don’t do that either.
Text message marketing the right way
Make sure you have consumers consent before sending them text message marketing. The easiest way to do this is by providing an opt-in, opt-out option. This way you not only follow federal laws, but show customers you care about their privacy. Plus, they’ll be won’t report your text message marketing as spam. It’s mutually beneficial in the long-run; you show customers respect, and they’ll do the same.
Text message marketing can improve your business’s overall marketing. Just make sure to practice the following tips to ensure your success.
- Texting regularly – Whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, get your text message marketing on a schedule and stick to it. Customers will appreciate the regularity. Often you can let customers know when to expect your text messages, that way they know when they are coming and look forward to them. For example, you can let customers know that each Friday, you’ll send a deal to them. This way they expect and look forward to your text messages. Plus, if you run multiple text message marketing campaigns, you can put each of them on a slightly different schedule. This way you can keep better track of them.
- Text pertinent information only – Texting customers with useful information or deals that they’ll actually use is exactly what text message marketing is all about. Design your text message marketing to reflect this. Make sure texts are simple and easily understood.
- Texting during business hours only – This should go without saying, but only text message customers during the normal business hours of the day. Customers will notice if texts come too early or too late in the day; and I can tell you right now they won’t appreciate it.
Tagging customers based off their purchase history is an essential part of text message marketing. You can even take existing customer data from a POS system and add pertinent information, such as name and phone number, to a text message marketing platform. Honestly, it’s one of the easiest ways to import customer data and tag it. You need to be able to separate customers based on what they are buying, so that you can market directly to their needs.
When you show customers that you are paying attention to them, they are more likely to share your brand and buy more stuff. That’s why tags are the best way to organize your data. Not because tags by themselves are so wonderful, but because of the insight you gain.
For example, after importing your POS system data, you see that for the past 7 years Jane Doe only buys handbags from you. So with that information, tag Jane under a tag such as “handbags.” Then, send texts to her, or others under the tag “handbags”, that only market your handbags.
Mass Text Messaging
Use a text message marketing platform to send mass text messages to customers. When you send mass texts, rather than group messages, the texts, no matter how many customers they are sent to, are all received individually. And as an added bonus, all the replies are individually sent to only you. This way if you need to start a conversation with a customer it’s both convenient and private.
When you choose to text message market the right way, you’ll have better ROI, customer relationships, and an easier time using your text message marketing platform. Businesses often get caught up in the novelty of text message marketing, the ability to send customers information at any time is a powerful tool. Be strategic.
Before jumping straight into text message marketing, start with your overall business plan. Align your text message marketing with your marketing goals outlined in your business plan. Then, proceed to import POS system data, tag it, and start sending mass text messages. Periodic evaluation of your text message marketing will provide insight into whether its achieving your marketing goals and contributing positively to your business plan.
Carrie Duford is currently a blogger for TextSanity. Since 2015, she’s blogged for companies such as Intermountain Healthcare and BYU News. When she isn’t writing, Carrie enjoys all things outdoors. You can reach her on LinkedIn. You can also follow TextSanity (https://textsanity.com/) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.