Marketing has always been known as a field of business that is constantly evolving and shifting to fit the needs and wants of consumers in the present day. While the foundational concepts behind marketing generally stay the same, how they are expressed is changing every day. Incredibly successful marketing methods are being replaced and redesigned today to better fit what people are looking for in the world.
Text message-based marketing is one of the new ways that companies and marketers are looking to include in their marketing strategies. It’s a very fresh approach to marketing and interacting with customers and is one of the best ways to build genuine relationships with consumers. It is one of the most powerful ways to connect with a community genuinely because it’s based on actual interactions, unlike almost any other form of marketing today.
Here is everything you need to know about texting marketing and what it can do for you, your business, and your marketing.
What Is SMS Marketing?
To understand text-based marketing, it’s useful to know what SMS messages are. Fundamentally, they are the easiest and most accessible way to send text messages today. Even though the technology of SMS (Short Messaging System) texting was developed in the early ’90s, it’s still an incredibly powerful and commonly used way to communicate over the phone. It requires incredibly small amounts of data to work effectively, meaning SMS texts can be sent and received at very low costs and to a huge variety of people.
As cell phones have become less of a luxury and more of a necessity in the modern world, people have started to integrate cell phones into almost every aspect of their lives. As such, when using SMS marketing, you are actually marketing to people exactly where they are, which makes it feel like a very natural and organic way of marketing.
While it’s easy for a lot of advertising and marketing to feel very stiff and unnatural, text-based marketing capitalizes on people’s familiarity and comfort with their phones and texting.
SMS marketing is massively effective for a lot of reasons. For one, it is capable of reaching a massive amount of people incredibly quickly and easily. As of 2019, 81% percent of all adults in the United States own a smartphone, with that number rising every single year. Smartphones and texting have become an integral part of life in the modern world, which means almost everyone will be able to receive this marketing.
Another massive benefit of Text marketing is its incredibly high engagement rate and a very high ROI. Especially when compared to the effectiveness of email marketing, texts are much more likely to actually be read by the consumer, which means that they actually have a good chance of having an effect. Most people just glance over and delete emails, but texts are much more effective at capturing the attention of their recipients.
While texting is common in many well-known countries, it is also a system that works incredibly well in emerging markets. Often, in countries where Wi-Fi is uncommon or expensive, people tend to communicate through SMS primarily. This allows companies to interact with their communities, even when they don’t have access to the traditional internet. It opens many doors for both the companies and their communities, no matter where they come from.
Is SMS Marketing Allowed?
Something that is often concerning to people who are looking into SMS marketing is the legality of it. After all, nobody likes getting spam messages - to the point that they are illegal. It can often be hard to determine the difference between a marketing text and a spam text, so how can businesses be sure that their text marketing is fully legal and compliant with regulations?
Regulations are different for every country, so it is important to make sure that you know what is legal in your own specific situation. For the United States, there are a few important rules to follow when using texting marketing.
The Recipient Needs To Opt In
The first and most important rule to know is that you need to have the consent of every single person that you send text marketing messages to. This means that you need to produce evidence that they allowed you to send them messages and that they knew what they were signing up for.
Obtaining this consent is fairly easy and can be done through online forms, sign-up sheets, or a wide variety of other means. At the end of the day, as long as you can prove that they have given you consent to sending messages, you should be in the clear.
Don’t Send Messages After Curfew
While knowing when to send messages is important from a marketing standpoint, knowing when not to send messages is just as important. Many countries have times of the day that marketing messages cannot be sent, which need to be followed. Any texts sent outside of that time are highly inadvisable and may lead to legal issues.
For example, the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) only allows text marketing messages to be sent from the hours of 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Some countries only don’t allow marketing messages to be sent on Sundays. Every country has its own specific laws and regulations in place, so just make sure that you are following the law!
Make Sure Recipients Know How To Opt Out
When signing up for text messages, customers should be informed of how to opt-out of these messages. Often, the most common way this is done is by making it so that if they send the message “STOP” back to the company, it will automatically unsubscribe them from the messaging service. Just make sure that there are clear and easy-to-follow instructions to opting out of text marketing for every recipient.
There are a few other rules to follow, all of which can be found in the TCPA. The more specific rules and guidelines are included in this legal document, but these three are the most common mistakes companies make when using text marketing. Just focus on these, and you should be fully legal.
The SMS Lead Generation Process
SMS lead generation is one of the most powerful tools that SMS marketers have today. Functionally, the way it works is that when a recipient sends back a certain keyword, it automatically connects them with a way to get a solution to a need they have. For example, a lead generation text may read something along the lines of “Are you interested in getting 50% on our latest products? Text back ‘VICTORY’ to get access to this special sale today!” If they send back that keyword, that creates a lead and allows you to follow up with them.
How To Track The Lead Generation with Community
Community uses this concept but actually takes it further. One of the most powerful tools on our platform is called Clustering, and it allows you to group people into different response groups based on what message they send you. This allows you to respond to them specifically and have the most relevant and effective response possible. Clustering makes it easy to put different members of your Community into separate groups so that you can interact with them as effectively as possible.
You can use this for an even more effective form of lead generation. Based on their responses, Clustering filters people into specific groups and allows you to engage with them in real-time. Using lead generation is an incredibly powerful way to enhance the quality and effectiveness of your promotions and truly expand your ability to interact with your Community and consumer base.
An Example Of SMS Marketing
One incredible way that SMS marketing has worked in the past is with small business DecoExchange. In December of 2020, this small business sent out messages to its Community promoting its new inventory and provided a link to its product reveals and web stores. This generated a 20% click-through rate and $50,000 in sales in just 24 hours!
This just goes to show how effective SMS marketing is compared to email and advertising marketing. As long as you can get people in the doors, SMS marketing is here to ensure that you can have the most powerful marketing available today.
The world is constantly shifting, and the best way to market is almost always a moving target. But over the past few years, text message-based marketing has shown itself to be one of the most powerful tools on the market and can truly change the game in how you reach out to and develop your communities if you’re looking for new ways to modernize your marketing while maximizing your efficiency and effectiveness, check out Community today. Your future is only as strong as your community, and we are here to help you find massive success in both areas!
OMG, the text message turns 20. But has SMS peaked? | CNN
US smartphone ownership 2021 | Statista