- Texts have a 98% open rate.
- They boast a 45% response rate.
- 33% of adults prefer texting to all other communications tools.
The writing (or texts, for that matter) is on the wall. Texting is a big part of the life of your contacts.
Also called bulk texting, a wide range of organizations leverage mass text marketing. Employers, restaurants, service companies, churches, and political parties send mass text messages to keep their contacts informed, generate engagement, and strengthen relationships. Even sports teams use mass text messaging to send out game-day traffic information and score updates.
Mass Texting: How to Send Messages
Mass text messages are sent through a bulk Short Message Service (SMS) service provider. These services have significant advantages over messaging apps and other forms of mass marketing; they are simple to use, have friendly pricing options, and offer a variety of features.
Mass text marketing is easy. There are no graphics to design or technical optimizations to make. All you have to do is log in, choose the group of contacts you'd like to send to, compose your message, schedule it, and analyze the results at a later time. For more on this process, check out How To Send Bulk Text Messages: A Step by Step Guide.
Mass Texting Tools
Before you start sending mass text messages, you have to create a database of contacts who've previously given you express permission to text them. Simply having their contact info or their past purchasing history with you do not qualify as consent.
There are several ways to begin building a strong list of contacts who want to hear from you. The best way to build a great list on autopilot is to leverage Keywords and short codes. You can get creative to provide an incentive to join your mass text marketing list.
For instance, a retailer might use a sign near the entrance to advertise a free item: "Text 'SHADES' to 474747 to get a free pair of sunglasses when you check out today." In that example 'SHADES' is the Keyword and 474747 is the short code.
Short codes are five or six digit numbers used to route texts to the right organization. A Keyword can be used only once for each short code. If you are sharing a short code with other organizations (most do), you'll have to find a keyword that no one else is using. Your mass texting platform should make this easy to do.
When someone uses a Keyword to opt-in, your text messaging platform will automatically put that contact inside the group in your account which corresponds with that keyword.
Another way to build your text messaging list is to use a sign-up widget on your website. Some text message marketing services offer a widget builder so that you can easily create, customize, and embed a form on your website or social media page. That way people who are looking at your site or social feed can opt-in to receive the messages which go to your text list. Make sure to let contacts know that this is a better way to ensure that they receive your messages.
You'll also want to cross-promote your text messaging campaigns through the other marketing channels you use, such as email, social media, print ads, etc.
Download The EZ Guide to Growing Your SMS Marketing Campaigns to get more great tips on expanding your contact list.
Mass Texting Analytics
As with any marketing platform, the best bulk text messaging services provide easy-to-consume reporting features which give you insight into how mass texting campaigns are working, which keywords are performing best, and which contact groups are most engaged.
Keep a close eye on delivery rates, open rates, and spikes in engagement. Use the insights you glean from this data to fine-tune your future mass texting campaigns and generate a better response from your contacts as you discover what makes them tick.
Make sure to look for a bulk texting platform which shows you reports which can be customized by date range with colorful and easy-to-read graphs which display the data visually for easier analysis.
Segmenting for Mass Texting Success
As your contacts database develops, you'll quickly realize that not every text should be sent to all your contacts. For example, if you own a pizza store, don't advertise a new meat lover's special to customers who responded to the 'VEGAN' keyword! You pay for every text you send out, so it makes sense to reach customers with an appropriate message that will deliver an ROI.
Your platform should make it easy to both manually and automatically sort contacts into sub-groups based on interest, purchase history, keyword use, etc. If your use of the 'DISCOUNT' keyword nets you 500 new contacts, the platform will automatically sort them into their own group. If you upload 1,000 contacts, you can manually sort them into customizable groups. (In EZ Texting, there is no limit to the number of Groups you can create.)
For example, imagine you want to send a mass text message advertising a weekend-only promotion to nine groups for a total of 2,000 contacts. Draft copy along the lines of"Get 20% off any purchase at the Main Street Mall, this weekend only! Use code PROMO20." You may want to select groups whose preferences, interests, and purchasing patterns would be reflected in the stores at the mall. While every text you send costs as little as a few pennies, you still want to get the maximum return for your spend, so avoid sending it to groups who are unlikely to convert on the offer.
You can even save your texts as a template for future marketing. If you plan on holding that same promotion at different times of the year, such as Black Friday, Valentine's Day, etc. your mass texting service should enable you to create a recurring text that is sent out at scheduled intervals. Like any other message, create the copy, select your groups, then set your recurring preferences. Your message will be sent out with the groups and delivery schedule you select.
One note: EZ Texting has a built-in feature that ensures a contact only receives a message once, even if they're on multiple lists. If a member of a church is in a group for choir, as well as for youth activities, that contact will still only receive one message.
Practical Applications for Mass TextingOnce you have developed your database of contacts and divided it into sub-groups, there are multiple practical applications for it. Check out how mass texting can generate results in a wide array of companies and organizations:
RetailIn addition to the features and advantages listed above, marketers use retail text message marketing to send coupons: their redemption rate is 8x higher on text than in email mass marketing.
Restaurants + HospitalityFrom handling spa reservations to dinner reservations, SMS marketing for restaurants and hospitality enables you to better message your customers, and with polling features, learn more about their interests and like. This helps you remarket to them in the future with their preferred foods, events, and services.
Health + FitnessGyms struggle to sell new memberships, and missed appointments can be a pain point for personal trainers. Health and fitness companies use SMS to get new customers, confirm session times, and even learn more about what their members want from them.
Real EstateMass text marketing campaigns can help brokers find new deals, assist realtors with advertising available properties, and even help property managers collect rent payments. You can even coordinate open houses, organize agents, and keep clients up-to-date with marketplace news. For more, check out How Real Estate Agents Can Use MMS for Marketing.
Religious OrganizationsFaith-based organizations can leverage mass texting in a variety of ways. They can remind younger congregants about youth group events, touch base with choir members about practice times, invite all members to big events, and even send out inspirational message and verses. There are a number of ways to use SMS for churches.
EmployersMass texting is an effective way to reach workers, such as delivery drivers or on-site warehouse workers who may be out of range of Internet connectivity. Texting is also an effective communications channel in times of emergency when data networks historically become overloaded. You can also leverage texting to fill job requisitions and manage applications.
Schools + UniversitiesMass texting services can help schools keep parents informed of closures, send out reports and permission slips, or keep them up-to-date on the curriculum being taught to their children. Students can also opt-in to receive reminders for club meetings and sports practices or to be advised about last-minute venue changes. For more, see SMS for schools and universities.
Nonprofits + Political PartiesPolitical groups and nonprofit organizations should make texting a cornerstone of their outreach efforts. They can use it to coordinate rallies and events, issue media responses, learn more about contactsâ€™ opinions on issues, or solicit donations. Nearly all groups use mass texting to encourage voting on election days.
How Mass Texting Can Generate Engagement and Develop Relationships
Bulk texting goes beyond sending messages; EZ Texting's platform was built to generate engagement and encourage feedback from contacts about their interests, preferences, and what they want from you. Once you build brand engagement and solidify a relationship with your customers, they are more likely to choose you over competitors.
The Value of Surveying Customers
One of the most effective use cases is simply asking customers more about what they like using a text to vote poll. For example, you can ask "What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Text chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry to 313131." You can use this information to create groups of customers while also guiding how much you stock of each flavor.
Another best practice is to ask an entertaining or thought-provoking question. This encourages prospects to text in, thereby growing your database. Also, people tend to share media they find interesting, and by sharing it or having it "go viral," your customers end up becoming your best marketers. This also reduces the number of texts you have to send out!
Mass MMS MarketingAnother form of text message is the Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) text. MMS allows you to attach files such as photos or short videos. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then maybe an MMS is worth a thousand texts? The advantage to an MMS is that they deliver greater impact, which leads to higher engagement. Case in point: what would get customers more excited about pizza? Telling them about it, or showing them a pie baked fresh from the oven? You can also integrate links into your images, which makes your MMS even more interactive.
Get Up-To-Speed on Marketing with Mass Texting
As you can see, there's a lot you can do with text message marketing. We've worked with over 50,000 organizations over the last decade to deliver phenomenal marketing results through mass texting. And we've learned a few things along the way. We know the power of mass text marketing, and we want you to experience that power for your own organization. So, we developed a free download which you can access to learn how to get your texting strategy off to a stellar start.
In our free Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing, you'll learn how to grow your contact list, increase engagement, create successful campaigns, and more.