Text Message Advertising
The EZ Guide
Americans sent over 208,000 texts in the time it took you to read this sentence
Because of the power of text message advertising, a growing number of those texts contained marketing messages.
The strength of text message advertising can be explained in four words—reach, engagement, simplicity, and cost.
- Reach: Over 5 billion people now have a mobile phone connection.
- Engagement: 98% of all text messages are read.
- Simplicity: You do not need any technical or design skills to send a text.
- Cost: Short Message Service (SMS) campaigns cost just pennies per text per recipient.
(Short on time? Click here to download our Free Text Advertising Guide to learn how to grow your contact list, increase engagement, and create successful text ad campaigns.)
Text advertising is particularly effective because it is a permission-based activity. Customers have to opt-in to an organization's text message advertising service before they can receive a marketing text message. This means that, when a business launches a text message ad campaign, contacts receiving it are already interested in what the business has to say.
Text Message Advertising Performance
Despite the emergence of other marketing channels such as social media marketing and inbound marketing, text advertising continues to perform better than any other marketing channel. According to Teradata, only 29% of Tweets, 21% of emails, and 12% of Facebook posts are ever read. Text messages, on the other hand, have an astonishing 98% read rate—90% within three minutes of sending.
A Cellit study found that coupons attached to a marketing text message have a redemption rate 8x higher than when attached to an email.
Getting Started with Text Message Advertising
There are only two things businesses need to get started with text message advertising—access to a bulk text messaging platform and a contact list of customers to advertise to. Getting access to a bulk text messaging platform is simple. You subscribe to a platform provider such as EZ Texting and use the service to conduct your text messaging campaign.
If you do not already have a contact list of customers to advertise to, building a contact list is also simple. Download our free guide to growing your subscriber list here.
After you sign up with EZ Texting, we supply you with tools, such as website “Click to Join” signup widgets, and keywords that you can ask contacts to text to a short code number—for example “Text ´DISCOUNT` to 313131 to receive 10% off your next order.”
When the customer texts the keyword ´DISCOUNT` to the short code number 313131, they opt-in to receive your text message advertising, and their details are added to your database. As your database grows, you can sort your customers into groups according to their specific interests. This enables you to send text advertising only to those for whom it is relevant. There are two benefits to this approach. You minimize your marketing costs, and you increase engagement because your messages are more relevant to each contact.
How to Send a Text Message
Once you have access to a mass text messaging platform and a database of contacts to advertise to, sending a marketing text message involves logging into the platform, uploading the group(s) of customers you want to message, composing your message, and clicking send. Within minutes your customers will be reading your message wherever they are, whatever they are doing.
You can monitor the success of your mobile marketing campaign via the bulk text messaging platform. The platform provides reports with data such as delivery rates, open rates, and spikes in engagement. The platform receives any replies to your text advertising and, as it can be accessed from any device with Internet service, you do not have to sit by your PC waiting for the data and the replies to roll in.
EZ Texting's features allow you to prepare your text ad campaign and schedule it to be sent when it will achieve the greatest impact. You can save sent messages as templates for a future mobile marketing campaign, saving you the hassle of recreating messages over and over again. Your text message advertising does not have to consist of just plain text. You can attach Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) files to each message to increase the impact of your text advertising.
Generating Engagement in a Text Messaging Campaign
It's important to remember that successful content marketing does not always contain a sales message. Keep an eye on engagement numbers as well as sales conversions.
One of the most effective ways to generate engagement in a text messaging campaign is through the use of polls. A poll attached to a text message can give businesses insight into their customers´ preferences and the factors that drive their purchasing intent.
Response rates for mobile marketing with text messaging polls are typically up to 8x higher than for email polls, giving you a far more accurate picture of your customers´ preferences and the factors that drive their purchasing habits.
By understanding contacts' preferences, you can segment them into groups based on interest to send them more personalized and targeted messages in the future.
Non-Retail Uses for Mobile Advertising
It’s not just the retail industry that engages in text message advertising. Churches, political groups, and schools take advantage of the intimacy and immediacy of a text message to solicit donations and build connections with parishioners, voters, and parents. Many other organizations use a bulk text messaging platform to advise residents of inclement weather or emergencies.
Using the same technology as businesses, churches can increase attendance at Sunday services, political parties can seek feedback on policy decisions, and schools can send home permission slips, reports, or gather opinions about what should be included in the school´s curricula.
Other non-retail uses for mobile messaging include communicating with employees, keeping sports fans up-to-date with the score on game day, and informing homebuyers when a new property comes on the market or when a property they have expressed an interest in drops in price. The practical uses for mobile marketing with text messaging are practically limitless.
The Rules about Text Message Advertising
In order to prevent spamming and protect personal privacy, there are rules about advertising with text messaging. These can be found within the 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which governs how you should build your customer database, stipulates that you give customers the opportunity to opt out of receiving your text messaging, and controls the frequency at which messages should be sent.
You should also be familiar with the Mobile Marketing Association´s Code of Conduct, even if you are not going to use a bulk text messaging platform to run a mobile marketing campaign. The Code of Conduct has been prepared with input from Verizon, Yahoo, and Microsoft, and contains guidelines for mobile marketing with text messaging to protect personal privacy with the aim of avoiding the need for further regulation.
When you embark on a text message marketing campaign, you will also be subject to the rules of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA). The CTIA rules have been developed by the telephone companies that deliver text message advertising and govern prohibited content such as profanity, pornography and hate speech. They also ban any text messaging campaign that endorses illegal drug use or violence.
Find Out More about Text Message Advertising from EZ Texting
EZ Texting has been providing text message marketing services to businesses and non-profit organizations for more than a decade. Our bulk text messaging platform has been designed to be easy to use, yet packed full of features that will help get your message heard, generate engagement, and build relationships with your customers.
If you would like to learn more about text message marketing from EZ Texting, get in touch with our team of Textperts. Our team will be able to answer any questions you have about how text advertising performs compared to other mobile marketing channels in your vertical, and give you tips about how you can generate engagement in your text advertising campaign.
We also offer businesses the opportunity to try text message marketing for with no obligation