Introduction to Group Text Messaging

Illustration of one to many

What is Group Texting?

Group texting offers growing businesses and organizations convenience and connectivity by allowing them to effortlessly engage large audiences in real-time conversations.

It serves as a virtual connection where ideas flow freely, fostering synergy and cohesion among team members regardless of location.

Importance of Group Text Messaging in Team Communication

Group texting empowers teams to synchronize their efforts, share insights, and make informed decisions faster, enhancing productivity and fostering a culture of collaboration.

It surpasses the limitations of traditional communication channels, offering instant connectivity that avoids geographical barriers and cross-channel noise from other brands.

Illustration of group text message to team

Illustration of phone evolution to group messaging

Evolution and Adoption of Group Texting Service

The evolution of group texting solutions mirrors the evolving needs of modern businesses. The journey has been marked by innovation and adaptation, from basic SMS platforms to sophisticated text messaging applications like EZ Texting.

Today, businesses across industries embrace group texting solutions as marketing communication essential, recognizing their efficiency and effectiveness in streamlining communication and driving measurable action at scale.

Benefits of Group SMS

Brands that use text marketing benefit from text marketing's incredible 98% open rate. Compared with the average open rate of email at 21%, you can see why many organizations are turning to group text messaging as a primary marketing and outreach channel.

And the benefits don't stop with phenomenal open rates. Imagine reaching all your customers at once via their preferred channel and nearly 70% of those recipients reading your message within 5 minutes.

Nothing gets your word out faster than a group text message.

Group texting helps thousands of businesses, community groups, schools, and faith-based organizations communicate with many people simultaneously.

Sending group texts is one of the most effective ways to notify, engage, and promote your organization.

This outreach strategy is a proven success and loaded with benefits, including:

  • Ease of Use: Short Message Service (SMS) software providers like EZ Texting make simple interfaces and can be accessed from any Internet-connected device on top of little-to-no text marketing experience.
  • Cost Effective: Texting costs just pennies per message. With open rates as high as 98%, group messaging yields a strong ROI for businesses that use it as part of their overall mobile marketing strategy.
  • Instant & Direct Communication: Group texting helps businesses overcome communication barriers, enabling instant information sharing and fostering a culture of transparency and accessibility among team members.
  • Real-Time Collaboration & Coordination: Group texting facilitates seamless collaboration by providing a platform for real-time discussions and decision-making. Teams can remain agile and responsive to evolving challenges and opportunities.
  • Increased Efficiency & Productivity: By harnessing the power of group texting, businesses can streamline communication workflows, reducing delays and bottlenecks, and empowering teams to accomplish tasks with greater efficiency and productivity.
  • Strengthened Team Bonding & Engagement: Group texting cultivates a sense of camaraderie and belonging among team members, promoting active participation and nurturing stronger interpersonal connections essential for driving collective success and innovation.

SMS Group Text Services for Organizations

Whether you realize it or not, you have probably been exposed to group text messages somehow.

The most common use of group texts is by retailers inviting customers to take advantage of a special offer by texting a keyword to a dedicated number—for example, "Text PIZZA to 858585."

However, retail is not the only industry in which group texting is used.

Group voting reminder text

SMS Group Texts for Political Organizations

Political organizations frequently utilize group texting throughout the year to connect with and categorize their supporters, sending text messages to boost donations, raise awareness for their cause, coordinate volunteers, and achieve various other goals!

Group Text Services for Retailers

Retailers often use group messaging to invite customers to take advantage of special offers. By texting a keyword to a dedicated number, the retailer can promote special deals.

For example, "Text PIZZA to 858585 to get weekly specials." The contact receives a confirmation text and instructions for opting out.

Retailers and other businesses use group texts to acquire, engage, and service customers.

Group sale text example

Group volunteer text example

Group Texting for Nonprofits

Nonprofits often use text messaging services to communicate policies, organize volunteers, and solicit contributions. If you belong to a community group, you may have subscribed to a group text message service to keep up-to-date with activities.

Group SMS for Schools

Higher education group texting often has the support of staff and administrators because it provides immediacy in spreading awareness to students of school events.

It can also be used to advise parents of school closures or synchronize campus personnel in the event of an emergency.

Many learning institutions have been advocates for mass text messaging during these times, as texting still works even when data networks become overloaded.

Group alert text example

Group event reminder example

Group Texting for Churches

Many churches are using group text messaging to communicate with their congregations.

This solution is used to send reminders about church services, Bible study classes, and community events, all of which have a proven history of attendance increases.

Texting also builds relationships with the next generation of congregants by communicating with them in a way that is relevant to their lifestyle.

Best Practices for Implementing Group Texting

Establish Clear Communication Guidelines

Define concise standards to ensure that group texting remains efficient and effective, aligning with your business objectives and brand voice.

 

Set Expectations for Frequency & Timing of Messages

Strike a balance between staying connected and respecting customers’ privacy by establishing norms regarding message frequency and appropriate timing to avoid overwhelming your contacts.

 

Personalize Messages for Relevance & Engagement

Tailor messages to resonate with recipients, leveraging personalization to boost engagement and foster a deeper connection between your business and its audience.

 

Ensure Compliance with Regulatory Requirements (e.g., TCPA)

Prioritize adherence to legal frameworks such as the TCPA to safeguard privacy and maintain trust, demonstrating your commitment to ethical communication practices.

How to Send a Group Text

  1. Sign Up for a service like EZ Texting

  2. Identify recipients

  3. Compose a message

  4. Send

  5. Monitor results and replies

In order to send group texts to large numbers of people, you’ll first have to subscribe to a group texting provider like EZ Texting.

Setting up a group texting account is usually free and easy (our setup takes less than 5 minutes). Once you’re logged in, you simply compose your message, upload your list of recipients, and click send.

Within minutes, your group of opted-in recipients will receive your message wherever they are, whatever they are doing.

Our mobile app allows you to access customers’ replies from any Internet-connected device; you don’t need to remain in front of your computer.

EZ Texting will track your text messages and report back on any items that weren't delivered.

You can even view stats about texts sent, messages received, and overall up-to-date contact counts. Using these analytics, you will be able to fine-tune your messages to create a greater impact in the future.

Most group texting software, like EZ Texting, includes helpful SMS marketing features that will allow you to save sent messages as templates and schedule messages in advance.

These features can be used to save you time and money when you have recurring messages to send, or when you want to congratulate each of your opted-in recipients on their birthdays.

This best practice is used by many businesses and organizations to strengthen their relationships with contacts.

How to Send a Group Text

Sending Group Texts to Segmented Groups

Sending Texts to Segmented Groups

Group texts also help you personalize messages by enabling you to send them to different groups.

Not every contact will care about every special offer, event, or volunteer opportunity, so by dividing your database into various groups, you can ensure each message you send is relevant.

A good example of this is a large department store that has customers with different interests.

By dividing them into groups based on interest levels or purchase history, you can avoid the scenario of sending health-focused contacts a special discount on cake frosting.

The benefits of this feature are two-fold:

  1. You reduce the number of messages you send out (and pay for)

  2. You avoid annoying contacts who aren't interested in a message

Subscribing to a group messaging service is free, but you still pay for what you send out under most plans.

While the cost per text is just pennies, no company or budget can afford to send a message out if there is no chance of seeing an ROI.

Group texts are suitable for all sizes of organizations, from small community groups to large multinational corporations.

Tools for Creating a Group Text Database

Before you subscribe to a group text message service, it is important to understand that this is a permission-based activity.

Just because a contact has made a purchase or provided you with their information does not mean you have permission to text them.

To create your database, you have to do three things:

  1. Invite new contacts to join your texting list

  2. Provide confirmation they've joined (and next steps, if applicable)

  3. Give them instructions on how they can opt out and inform them how often they'll be texted

As a best practice, consider using different strategies to create different groups. Keep reading to discover how easy this is to accomplish.

Creating a group text database

Keywords and Short Codes for Group Text Messages

Keyword is available for text campaign

Various tools are available to help you create a group messaging database, but none are simpler and more effective than Keywords and short codes.

Keywords are the words that you ask your potential contacts to text to a short code number in order to opt into the group message service. The example of this process we gave above was "Text PIZZA to 858585 to get weekly specials."

Your service provider provides keywords and short code numbers, which can be included free in a subscription package.

Most organizations tend to need just one keyword to create their group messaging database, but you can use multiple Keywords to market multiple offers simultaneously, pre-sort your database into interest sub-groups, or segment contacts geographically.

Other tools for creating a group messaging database include signup forms (widgets) which can be placed on your website or social media channels.

Forms are a great way to add customers to your database.

To get the most bang for your buck, consider offering a promotion or secret discount to entice people to sign up.

Further, each signup widget can be assigned its own keyword so customers are automatically funneled into different groups based on their interests.

The Difference between Group Messaging Software & a Group Text App

Some people may look at group texting software and think it performs the same function as a group text app. However, there are two significant differences. The first is that apps such as Skype and WhatsApp limit the number of members you can have in a group. The second is that these apps can only be used to contact other smartphone users (cell phones are a ‘similar but different’ product and can rarely run apps).

While mobile phone-based apps like the ones above have a lot of limitations, there are significant business and organizational advantages to using a group texting app like EZ Texting:

  • Texting has a higher customer satisfaction rating (90%) than any other communications channel
  • It can lower the cost of a $20 customer service call to just pennies
  • 44% of customers prefer receiving a message via text over any other medium
Group text marketing example

Generating Feedback and Encouraging Engagement with Group Texts

Add images to MMS text messages

Group texting isn’t just a way to break through the marketing clutter. It can also be a valuable tool to learn more about what your contacts like and want from you.

By adding polls and surveys to your group texts, you can invite your contacts to express their opinions on everything from finance and politics to their favorite pizza toppings.

Polls are easy to build on a group texting platform. You simply text a question like “What is your favorite pizza topping?”, and ask your customers to reply using Keywords that express their preferences.

This information can help shape future marketing campaigns, guide product development, and assist with stocking decisions.

Want to grow your database more organically?

Ask a provocative question in a text poll! Friends and colleagues are inclined to share media they find interesting; if the question you ask in your survey sparks a discussion, your question (and company info) can go viral in much the same way as a popular video posted on Facebook or YouTube.

Other tools you can use to encourage feedback and engagement include adding photos or files to your texts by sending a group MMS message. MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service). MMS group texting allows you to attach a picture (including gifs), audio, or video file either to complement your plain text message or to replace it completely.

You can also attach coupons to your group texts, add scannable QR codes, or integrate tiny URLs linking to web pages that provide further information.

Legal Requirements for Group Text Messaging

Justice smart phone icon

The legal requirements for group texting are contained within the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991.

A lot has changed in the past 25+ years, so the Act has frequently been updated—most noticeably following the passage of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

Compliance with the Act is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Organizations are also expected to adhere to the Mobile Marketing Association's Code of Conduct – even for non-commercial purposes.

The code includes best practices to protect the mobile channel from abuse, limit consumer backlash, and avoid the need for additional regulations.

In addition to the TCPA and Code of Conduct, phone carriers (the telephone companies that carry and deliver text messages) impose their own restrictions on what can be included in group texts. Most carriers will block messages containing any of the following:

  1. Violence

  2. Illegal drug use

  3. Adult material

  4. Profanity

  5. Hate speech

  6. Content deemed inappropriate

These restrictions apply to both SMS and MMS messages. Moreover, if you send text messages to your database containing material they do not want to receive or send them so frequently they become annoying, your members will start opting out.

Future Trends and Innovations in Group Texting

Future of group texting

AI-Powered Personalization & Recommendation Engines

This pertains to AI-powered algorithms that will analyze user behavior and preferences. These algorithms enable hyper-personalized messaging experiences tailored to each recipient, ultimately fostering deeper engagement and conversion rates.

 

Integration with Chatbots for Conversational Messaging

Embrace the future of customer interaction by seamlessly integrating group texting with chatbots. This will allow businesses to deliver proactive, conversational experiences that streamline communication, provide instant support, and drive customer satisfaction.

 

Enhanced Security & Privacy Measures

Stay ahead of evolving cybersecurity threats and privacy concerns with the implementation of robust encryption protocols, multi-factor authentication, and compliance frameworks. This will ensure that group texting remains a secure and trusted channel for business communication and engagement.

Free Advice about Sending Group Texts

Customer support

 

If the above article has increased your interest in group texting, and you’d like to know more, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Whether you are a Fortune 500 company, a mom-and-pop store, an educational institution, or a faith-based organization, our Client Success Managers have more than a decade of experience assisting groups of all sizes and are ready to help you.

Reach out and start a conversation with us today!

FAQs

Group texting, also known as mass texting or bulk messaging, is the practice of sending a single text message to multiple recipients simultaneously. It allows individuals or organizations to communicate with a group of people efficiently and effectively.

Group texting works by using specialized software or platforms that enable users to create a group or list of contacts and send a text message to everyone in that group at once. The message is typically composed and sent from a central interface, and recipients receive it on their mobile devices as individual text messages.

Efficiency: Group texting allows users to send one message to multiple recipients at the same time, saving time and effort compared to sending individual messages.

Convenience: It enables users to communicate with a large group of people quickly and easily, without the need for phone calls or email.

Engagement: Text messages have a high open and response rate, making group texting an effective way to engage with recipients and get their attention.

Real-time communication: Group texting allows for instant communication, making it ideal for sending time-sensitive information or urgent updates.

Group texting can benefit a wide range of individuals and organizations, including:

  • Event organizers 
  • Non-profit organizations 
  • Schools and educational institutions 
  • Sports teams and clubs 
  • Community groups 
  • Religious organizations 
  • Small businesses 
  • Healthcare providers 
  • Political campaigns

To start using group texting, you'll need to sign up for a group texting service or use a messaging platform that offers group texting features. Once you have access to the platform, you can create groups or lists of contacts, compose your message, and send it to the desired recipients.

While group texting and group messaging on smartphones serve a similar purpose (sending messages to multiple recipients), there are some differences. Group texting typically refers to sending text messages to multiple recipients using specialized software or platforms, while group messaging on smartphones often involves creating a group chat within a messaging app and sending messages within that chat.

Some limitations of group texting include:

Character limits: Most text messages have a character limit, so users may need to keep their messages concise.

Opt-out options: Users must provide recipients with the option to opt out of receiving future messages, as required by regulations.

Message delivery: While most messages are delivered instantly, factors like network congestion or recipient settings may affect delivery times.

Yes, many group texting platforms allow users to personalize messages by including recipient-specific information such as their name or other custom fields. Personalized messages can help increase engagement and make recipients feel more valued.

To ensure the success of your group texting campaigns, consider the following tips:

Segment your audience: Divide your contacts into smaller groups based on factors like demographics or interests to send more targeted messages.

Use clear calls to action: Include a clear call to action (CTA) in your messages to prompt recipients to take the desired action, such as visiting a website or making a purchase.

Monitor and analyze performance: Track metrics like open rates, response rates, and conversion rates to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns and make adjustments as needed.

Respect recipients' preferences: Always obtain proper consent from recipients before sending them text messages, and provide opt-out options to those who wish to unsubscribe from your communications.

Yes, group texting is compliant with regulations such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the CAN-SPAM Act, as long as users adhere to certain guidelines. This includes obtaining proper consent from recipients before sending them text messages, providing opt-out options, and following rules regarding message content and frequency.