Business Text Messaging: Everything You Need to Know
Business text messaging is an effective way to contact and engage your customers and prospects. According to an Inc.com article, millennials check their phones an average of 150 times every day. And the rest of the population averages checking their phones between 80 and 300 times a day.
Businesses are starting to realize the most effective way to engage their contacts is through the phone in their pocket.
The Business Text Marketing Guide
What Is Business Text Messaging
- Short Message Service (SMS)
- Multimedia Message Service (MMS)
What is SMS?
- Sending reminders and text alerts to customers
- Sending information about a new product launch
- Sending appointment confirmations or reminders
- Sending special offer codes and sales discounts
- Sending shipping status updates
- Sending short surveys
What is MMS?
- Sending helpful troubleshooting videos
- Sending emergency weather alerts
- Sending product information
- Sending traffic notifications
- Sending friendly greetings
5 Benefits of Business Text Messaging
1. Text Messages Get Read
2. Text Messaging Doesn't Require Special Downloads
3. Text Messaging Doesn't Require an Internet Connection
4. Text Messages Drive Automation
5. Business Text Messaging is Easy
Business Text Messaging Best Practices
There are some unique best practices that businesses should adhere to in order to unlock the full potential of a business text messaging application. Additionally, just because you can send a text message to opted-in customers doesn't necessarily mean you should. Text messaging is an especially powerful digital communications tool, but it can also do more harm than good if used incorrectly.
Here are some simple reminders to guide your business text message marketing and communications efforts:
Ask for Permission to Send Text Messages
You must have users' consent before sending marketing messages. Sending business text messages only to opted-in contacts ensures that you remain compliant with texting guidelines enforced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Sending unsolicited text messages or engaging in other fraudulent activities may result in severe legal punishments including fines. Beyond these legal requirements, asking for permission guarantees that you're texting customers who actually want to receive your marketing messages and communications.
Give Users the Ability to Opt-Out
The Cellular Telecommunication Industry Association (CTIA), while not a governing body, recommends including appropriate disclaimers in any text message marketing or communications campaigns.
"Msg & Data rates may apply" is an industry standard.
Additionally, should text messaging subscribers want to opt out of ongoing marketing communications, they should be able to at any time. Typically, businesses will include "Text STOP to unsubscribe" in all text messages. This goes a long way towards establishing trust and building credibility with your target audience.
Make Your Messages Actionable
When sending customers text messages, make sure that the message is valuable and actionable. For example, when promoting a special sales event, give customers all the information they need to act on that sales event right now. Nothing is more frustrating than getting a special offer but having no idea how to accept it. Include clear next steps in your calls to action.
Measure Business Text Messaging Effectiveness
Finally, measure the impact of your business text messaging programs. Try to correlate these activities to revenues by performing an A/B test. For example, how did one sales promotion sent via text message perform against the same sales event sent via email? What types of messages really resonated with consumers? Use these findings to tailor your digital marketing and communications approach.
5 Ways for Building Your SMS Marketing List
Support for Both Large and Small Businesses:The system's features and functions should scale to meet the unique demands of both large and small businesses, regardless of the size of the user database.
Advanced features and Functionality:The best business text messaging providers offer advanced features and functionality that complement your business's goals and objectives. Moreover, business text messaging service provider features should address customer's unique pain points.
Reliability and Security:Advanced SMS and MMS providers institute rigorous security protocols to safeguard user data from malicious or nefarious activity.
Helpful Customer Support Teams:Support teams should be well-equipped to answer your questions or concerns and, when necessary, provide troubleshooting.
Affordability:You shouldn't have to sacrifice features and functions in exchange for costs.
Get Started with Business Text Messaging in 5 Easy Steps
Select a Provider:
Selecting a provider is a critical step toward success. Some providers, for instance, don't allow you to upload your existing opted-in contacts. This means you'll have to build your texting list from scratch. There's a lot of variables when it comes to choosing a provider. Of course, we recommend using EZ Texting.
Choose a Keyword and Short Code:
A Keyword and short code act as the driving mechanisms behind text messaging subscriptions. A Keyword is a single word or phrase that triggers the subscription, and the short code is the five or six-digit number to which they will text the keyword. When users text the Keyword to the right short code, they have officially opted-in for ongoing marketing and communications. Some providers, like EZ Texting, offer long codes, which support text-enabled land lines and EZ Chat from ten digit numbers.
Capture Subscriber Information:
Be sure to capture user information including name, phone number, and date of birth. This information can be used to create hyper-personalized interactions.
Send Marketing and Communication Messages:
Sending routine marketing and communication messages including sales notifications, reminders, special alerts, and more. Remember, these messages should be value-driven and packed with the information needed to elicit immediate action.
Analyze Results and Iterate:
Measure the effectiveness of your business text messaging initiatives and commit to routine iteration. Find the right marketing message that resonates with your target audience.