How to Run an Effective Mass SMS Text Messaging Campaign
Capturing the attention of busy consumers and business decision makers is continually becoming more challenging amidst the growing digital "noise" we are inundated with. In this digital era, we all typically have our mobile devices close at hand and notifications set to vibrate or beep whenever a new text arrives in our inbox.
Opportunistic businesses have turned to mass SMS text messaging campaigns to capture the attention of device-carrying buyers everywhere.
SMS marketing messages are:
- Discreet and unobtrusive, messages aren’t perceived as spam
- Easy to act on, as everyone knows how to retrieve their messages and reply
- Cheap, as business SMS messages cost only cents per message, or can be included in certain telecommunications carrier plans
- Device agnostic — meaning any device, app, or tablet which can receive an SMS message is a viable target
Here are seven mass SMS marketing campaign strategies that can improve the profitability of your mobile marketing efforts:
1. Know the Limits of SMS Messages
A commercial SMS message can be up to 160 characters based on the GSM protocol. If you send longer messages, they will be broken up into multiple messages. If one part of the message is delayed due to battery failure or Internet outage, the message could be misunderstood and deleted. SMS texts also should use only GSM-7 characters, as opposed to custom fonts or characters, to be received properly.
If you want to send multimedia messages with images or videos, MMS services are available, though at higher costs.
2. Get Consent Before Sending Marketing Messages
It's very important to get some form of marketing opt-in consent before sending SMS texts to clients and prospects. Permission can come in the form of texting a single keyword to a specific short code address, like 867530, from promotional sweepstakes incentives, in-store offers, or more.
Every country has their own legislation which governs SMS message consent, such as Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation and the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). If explicit consent can’t be proven and there aren’t clear instructions on how to opt out of future marketing messages, a company can be fined $500 per violation for first-time offenders.
3. Frequency of Messages
Even though your prospect list will have expressed interest in receiving promotional messages to their mobile device, exceeding two to four messages per month is not advised. When you first gain consent for marketing messages, you should state how many times you will be sending messages.
The NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins were sued for sending more messages than they said they would, so defend your business against liability by sticking with your promised frequency or get consent before increasing the number of messages.
4. Be Friendly But Stay Professional
Although text messages between friends are packed with acronyms, emojis, and shorthand words, SMS marketing messages should be in a conversational tone. Be brief but don’t be too familiar, as it could jeopardize your credibility.
5. Be Timely
Mass SMS message campaigns should only be sent out during business hours. You should also have a compelling reason to send a message to a customer, like an exclusive sale for those who are opted in or a special limited-time event.
6. Be Relevant, Add Value, and Maintain Trust
If you have multiple audience segments — such as existing customers and prospects — be sure to send context-specific messages. If an existing customer receives a special offer only designed for new contracts, or vice-versa, you could alienate a key group of customers or prospects. Repetitive, vague, and generalized messages can erode your marketing list. There are five billion mobile subscribers according to GSMA Intelligence data from June 2017.
Wireless industry association CTIA published survey results which show that less than three percent of SMS messages they receive are spam vs. 53 percent of email is perceived as spam. 93 percent of those surveyed say they trust mobile communications as a communications platform. MarketingProfs data shows there are 74 trillion emails are sent every year vs. eight billion SMS messages. The open rate of texts is 98 percent vs. 20 percent for email marketing. It's more likely you'll get your message across in an SMS message than e-mail.
7. Have a Clear Call to Action
There are certainly compelling messages that marketers can include in their messages to get prospects and customers to act on an SMS message. The right SMS messaging software will let you customize your Call to Action (CTA) messaging and responses.
- Reply with _____ to vote/win/opt-in/opt-out: This message is clear, provides a specific result, and can expand your marketing list or ensure you have evidence of opt-ins.
- Buy Now: This is standard, but providing a key message and a link keeps the message short and the desired outcome specific.
- Show this text: Want to find out how well your SMS campaigns are performing? Have customers show the text in your store or provide a campaign code if they call in on the phone.
Are you interested in connecting with customers via mass SMS text messaging but don't know which application to use? Check out the FAQs about how to use 8x8 Virtual Office Mobile and Virtual Office Desktop as your SMS marketing hub.
Collaboration is key to the success of any business. Whether you are using the Virtual Office Mobile app or the 8x8 Virtual Office desktop app, 8x8 makes collaboration quick and simple. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.