Even though technology as developed more than most people could have imagined over the past decade, text message marketing remains one of the most cost-effective ways of acquiring customers, developing brand awareness and increasing sales.
Many of the world´s leading businesses - Ford, Walmart and Coca Cola, for example - use text message marketing as a means of means of connecting with customers, keeping their brands at the forefront of their customers´ minds, and promoting exclusive offers.
Smaller businesses also take advantage of the intimacy of text message marketing to drive customers to their premises. Text message marketing is the ideal vehicle for bars, restaurants and smaller retail enterprises to get their message heard in the noisy direct marketing environment.
Businesses and organizations outside of the retail market also make good use of text message marketing to connect with their contacts. Churches, political parties and charitable organizations can solicit donations via text, while football teams can use the same SMS technology to make sure their fans are kept up-to-date with the score on game days.
Why Text Message Marketing is Effective
Text message marketing is effective because nearly everybody has a mobile device capable of receiving an SMS message. Consequently text message marketing has a broader reach than any other channel of marketing communication.
In addition, people prefer to communicate by text. In 2014, a Gallup survey that revealed - in the under-50 age group - texting had become a more popular form of communication than email or phone calls - and twice as popular as communicating by social media.
A year later, Pew Research Center published a study that showed that 91% of Americans keep their mobile devices within arm´s reach at all times, and that 62% of cellphone users check their devices for new messages as soon as they wake up each day.
The intimacy of text messaging is a factor in the effectiveness of text message marketing. People tend not to give away their cellphone numbers without good cause. So, when a customer opts into a business´s text marketing service, it is a sign the customer wants to hear what the business has to say.
How to Start a Text Marketing Service
In order to start a text marketing service, you will need a bulk text messaging account. The account provider will supply you with the tools you need to build a database of customers and access to their bulk text messaging platform from which your text message marketing campaigns will be run.
Keywords and short codes are often the most effective tools to attract new customers. Your business simply advertises a promotion and invites potential customers to text a keyword (for example `offer`) to a short code (for example 313131) in order to take advantage of the promotion.
When the customer texts the keyword to the short code, they also receive a message inviting them to opt in to the business´s text marketing service in order to receive details of future promotions. If the customer chooses to opt in, they are added to a customer database maintained on the platform.
Other tools to attract new customers include “Click-to-Join” widgets that can be placed on your business website or Facebook page, or distributed via social media. If your business has an existing database of customers, most account providers can integrate their platforms with existing management tools.
Sending a Text Marketing Message
Once your business has developed a database of opted in customers, the process for sending a text marketing message is simple. You log into the account provider´s platform, upload the group(s) of customers to send the text marketing message to, compose the message and click send.
Within minutes, your database of customers will be reading about your latest promotion wherever they are, whatever they are doing. You can monitor delivery rates, open rates and spikes in engagement via the platform, which also receives any replies to your text marketing message.
Text messaging platforms often have additional features that can enhance the effectiveness of your text message marketing campaign. Scheduling features can be used to send a message at a time when it will get the most attention, or to run recurring campaigns and drip-fed campaigns.
Sent text marketing messages can be saved as templates and used for future marketing campaigns, and some bulk text messaging platforms give you the opportunity to connect with your customers using high-impact multimedia (MMS) messaging - pictures, videos and audio.
The Benefits of Sorting Customers into Groups
One of the key features of a bulk text messaging platform is the option to sort your customers into groups. This can be done manually as you get to know more about your customers´ preferences, or automatically by using different keywords for different marketing campaigns.
The primary advantage of sorting a database into groups is that your business can target selected promotions to those for whom they will have the most appeal. If, for example, you own a restaurant and want to promote a barbecue event, you might want to market the event exclusively to meat eaters.
This approach has the benefit of preventing vegetarian customers from opting out of your text marketing service because they are receiving promotions that are irrelevant to them, and it saves on your marketing costs.
Sorting your customers into groups and targeting selected promotions towards specific groups can help identify which marketing campaigns are working better than others. Along with the analytics provided by the bulk text messaging platform, this can help fine-tune future marketing campaigns.
Text Message Marketing from EZ Texting
Since 2006, EZ Texting has been a leading provider of text marketing services. Thousands of clients have used our services to acquire customers, develop brand awareness, and increase sales. From their feedback, we have developed an easy-to-use yet effective platform for text message marketing.
In addition to the features mentioned above, our platform enables you to personalize your text marketing messages with the recipients´ names, integrate QR codes and tiny URLs into your messages, and build polls by using multiple sub-keywords at no extra cost.
Our platform also integrates with most leading web applications, and we can provide a REST API to developers who want to build EZ Texting´s versatile and powerful functionality into their own applications - or recommend a developer if your business has an idea that EZ Texting´s platform would enhance.
All of our subscription options - including our “Free & EZ” pricing plan - include a minimum of one free keyword and use of a shared short code. Dedicated short codes and vanity short codes (for example ´468357`spells “hotels” on a keypad) can be acquired on request.
To find out more about text message marketing, or to try our “Free & EZ” pricing plan without cost, do not hesitate to get in touch and speak with one of our Client Success Managers. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you have about our text marketing services, and explain how you can start text message marketing quickly and easily.