Business Text Messaging: Everything You Need to Know
Business text messaging is an effective way to contact and engage your customers and prospects. 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.
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.
It's never been easier to start marketing through business text messaging. However, a lot of businesses are missing out on the benefits of business text messaging because they aren't sure how to get started, how to adopt a text messaging strategy, or how to implement it effectively.
In this guide, we discuss the value and benefits of business text messaging and give you all the tips, tools, and insider secrets you need to start business texting like a pro.
The Business Text Marketing Guide
90% of people respond
to text in 30 minutes
98% of consumers read
their incoming text
SMS messages are 134%
more likely to get
responses to texts over email
In-store and on-demand
coupons see a redemption
rate of 70% to 80%
Text messaging is proven to play a vital role in any mobile marketing and communications strategy. Not only does it have a broader reach than any other form of direct marketing, but it also uses an immediate and intimate channel of communication that consumers prefer.
What Is Business Text Messaging
For many consumers, mobile phones and texting are ubiquitous. If you want to reach customers directly, there is no better digital communications channel. However, before setting off on your business text messaging journey, it's helpful to take a closer look at text messaging as a whole. With a greater understanding of business text messaging, enterprises are well-equipped to craft high-impact marketing and communications initiatives.
To begin, business text messaging falls into two distinct categories: Short Message Service (SMS) and Multimedia Message Service (MMS).
What is SMS?
SMS is a text messaging service component supported by most telephone, internet, and mobile-ready systems and devices. Users send trillions of SMS messages per year. SMS supports alphanumeric messages of 160 characters or less.
Potential use cases for SMS messaging:
- 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?
MMS is a standard way to send multimedia content including images and videos, as well as text messages greater than 160 characters in length. Most MMS messages can support up to 500 KB of data, or a 30-second audio or video file.
The amount of content you can attach to an MMS message is dependent on the file size. For many businesses, however, MMS messaging is still the preferred communications channel, as imagery and videos typically evoke greater engagement compared to text-only communications.
Potential use cases for MMS messaging:
- Sending helpful troubleshooting videos
- Sending emergency weather alerts
- Sending product information
- Sending traffic notifications
- Sending friendly greetings
5 Benefits of Business Text Messaging
The benefits of business text messaging are boundless. Today, consumers are inundated with all types of digital communications including email, social messaging applications, social media, television, and more. As a leading and preferred digital communications channel, the benefits of business text messaging are hard to ignore.
1. Text Messages Get Read
Did you know that 83% of consumers open SMS messages within 90 seconds of receiving them?
Moreover, 92% of the U.S. population owns a mobile device capable of sending and receiving SMS notifications. Furthermore, more than 68% of the U.S. population owns a smartphone. Compared to other digital communications channels, text messaging is the most widely used, preferred. and accepted. If reaching your customers is a top priority, business text messaging is an effective approach instituted by the world's most effective businesses, enterprises, and institutions.
2. Text Messaging Doesn't Require Special Downloads
Unlike other messaging applications, text messaging is direct. Your contacts simply text a Keyword to a short code or long code, and they are opted-in to your texting list. Then, you can send messages directly to their devices — it's that easy!
3. Text Messaging Doesn't Require an Internet Connection
Don't have an internet connection? No problem. Text messaging doesn't require internet access. Those on-the-go businesses benefit from the ease-of-access that mobile text messaging provides.
4. Text Messages Drive Automation
For businesses focused on maximizing operational efficiency and effectiveness, business text messaging is an ideal solution to automate redundant processes. Text messaging is great for things like deliver confirmations, appointment reminders, and billing reminders! These types of text autoresponders make it easy for support teams and others to drive more meaningful, engaging, and intuitive interactions with customers.
5. Business Text Messaging is Easy
Sending a text message doesn't require any technical expertise or skills. Many business text messaging providers make onboarding and implementation simple and easy to understand.
EZ Texting customers can sign up and send a text message in less than 5 minutes!
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
If you're ready to start business text messaging, the first critical decision is on a texting service provider. Of course, we're partial to EZ Texting, and we think we provide the best features and service. However, you should evaluate multiple providers and choose the one you feel is the best fit for your organization. The following considerations will help you choose the best business texting service for your organization's unique needs.
You shouldn't have to sacrifice features and functions in exchange for costs.
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.
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.
Support for Both Large and Small Business
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.
Prioritizing the characteristics in an industry-leading business text messaging service provider will orient your business towards accelerated and sustained digital marketing and communications success.
Get Started with Business Text Messaging in 5 Easy Steps
Are you ready to begin your business text messaging journey? Follow these simple steps to streamline business text messaging adoption, implementation, and management:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
The Best Business Text Messaging Software: EZ Texting
In your search for the perfect business text messaging partner, consider partnering with an industry-leading service provider. EZ Texting might not be an ideal solution for every business or enterprise, but we hope to have the opportunity to earn your business. EZ Texting is trusted by more than 50,000 businesses and enterprises worldwide. We have sent over 4 billion text messages and counting!