Small business texting uses a channel of communication generally preferred by consumers to deliver your marketing messages directly to their mobile phones. As a form of direct marketing, SMS marketing for small business is the most cost-effective way to increase sales in a marketing environment dominated by big business. Indeed, text message marketing for small business works particularly well because of its immediacy and intimacy.
Small business SMS marketing can also help build brand awareness and customer loyalty. Because it is a permission-based activity, customers have to opt into your SMS marketing services. The process of opting-in to SMS marketing services only takes the press of a keypad, but it is an act your customers undertake consciously. It means that when you next run a small business texting campaign, it will be received by customers who want to hear what your business has to say.
Why SMS Texting for Business?
The reason SMS texting for business works so well is that 98% of the population has a mobile phone that can receive an SMS. Although small business marketing software exists for smartphones, only 68% of the population has access to an Internet-enabled device on which such services work. Consequently, if you run a small business texting campaign exclusively for Internet users, you are eliminating 30% of your potential customers.
It is not only the reach of SMS marketing services that makes texting for business so effective. 94% of SMS text messages are opened within three minutes of receipt, compared to an email open rate of just 22%. Business SMS marketing performs four to five times better than online advertising for creating brand awareness and increasing purchasing intent, and - when attached to texting campaigns for business SMS - coupons have a redemption rate up to eight times higher than coupons attached to email.
How to Start Text Message Marketing for Small Business
In order to start text message marketing for small business, you need to have a database of customers to send text messages to. A database of customers is quite easy to compile with “Click-to-Join” widgets on your website, Twitter account and Facebook page, and printed messages in your premises inviting customers to text a keyword to a short code number. For example, “text ‘donut’ to 313131 to get a free donut on your next visit”.
Keywords are usually included in subscription packages offered by providers of texting for business services. Service providers also usually let you use one of their shared short code numbers (such as “313131”) for free in your business SMS marketing. When a customer opts into your SMS marketing services via a website widget - or texts the keyword “donut” to 313131 - they are added to your database of customers and opted in to receive future text messages from your business.
Using Small Business Marketing Software for Text Message Marketing
When you subscribe to a text message service for small business, you also get access to the service provider´s small business marketing software. Often this is a browser-based platform that can be accessed from any Internet-connected device. You simply log into the small business marketing software, upload your database of customers, write your message and click send. Within minutes your customers will be reading your marketing message wherever they are, whatever they are doing.
Through the platform you can monitor delivery rates, open rates and spikes in engagement. If your customers reply to your business SMS marketing, the replies are received via the browser-based platform. The analytics collected by the platform can help you fine-tune your SMS marketing for small business in order to achieve greater response rates in future campaigns, while the platform has additional features that can help you increase engagement with small business texting.
How to Increase Engagement with Small Business Texting
It has already been mentioned that coupons are a great way to attract customers to your business and increase sales but, in addition to helping build a customer database, a text message service for small business can also help retain customers. By regularly texting special offers and promotions, text message marketing for small business can encourage customers to return to your business time and time again. And as your customers´ loyalty develops, they will introduce new customers to your business.
Another way to increase engagement with SMS marketing for small business is through polls. People love to express their opinions, and a poll asking them - for example - what their favorite donut is, is an example of small business texting campaign that would generate a lot of engagement. It is also an example of small business texting that would be shared among friends, families and colleagues, who would then send their own replies and be opted in to receive your future business SMS marketing messages.
Rules and Regulations for Business SMS Marketing
As well as being a permission-based activity, text message marketing for small business is subject to the rules and regulations of the 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). These rules and regulations are intended to prevent spamming and protect personal privacy. The Mobile Marketing Association has produced a Code of Conduct that condenses the TCPA into a series of “best practices” for SMS marketing for small business.
Text message marketing for small business is also subject to the rules of the companies who carry and deliver SMS text messages - collectively known as the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA). The CTIA stipulates that SMS marketing for small business must not contain content such as profanity, pornography or hate speech. The Association will also prevent the delivery of any small business texting campaign that endorses illegal drug use or violence.
Try Our Free Text Message Service for Small Business
EZ Texting is a leading provider of SMS marketing services for small business. Since 2006, we have provided simple-to-use, cost-effective small business marketing software for more than 50,000 clients. Now we are inviting you to try our text message service for small business for free. There are no contracts to sign, no credit card required, no set-up costs, and no obligation for you to subscribe to a higher level of service at any time.
To find out more about our free text message service for small business, contact our team of Client Success Managers today. Our team will explain the offer to you, guide you through the registration process and introduce you to the small business marketing software. You will even get a free demo keyword to use on one of our shared short code numbers, and a free “Click to Join” widget that you can place on your website to start building your customer database.
Small business texting is the most cost-effective way to increase sales and build customer loyalty in a marketing environment dominated by big business. Make sure you benefit from it the EZ Texting way!