Basic SMS Marketing Knowledge

The SMS Marketing Guidebook

What is a Keyword?

A keyword, or "textword" as referred to by the Slick Text team, is a word that's unique to your business or organization. Each keyword represents its own list. For example, if you owned a sporting goods store that sold skis in the winter and bikes in the summer, you might reserve both "SKI" and "BIKE" as two different keywords, and have customers sign up for the lists that pique their interest.

What is a Shortcode?

A "shortcode" is a 5 or 6 digit phone number specifically made for commercial use and mass mobile communications. They are regulated and held to a much higher standard than "longcodes" which are normal, 10 digit phone numbers. These numbers are shorter so they're easy to remember and type. All SMS marketing programs must use shortcodes to prevent legal implications to both the service provider and the business sending the text. SlickText.com's main shortcode is 31996.

What is an Auto-Reply?

An auto-reply, also known as an auto responder, is an automated message that gets sent to a subscriber after they've texted your keyword to a particular shortcode. Usually to confirm subscription, auto-replies let subscribers know that they successfully joined a text marketing list. In this message, you can also offer subscribers an incentive for joining, and let them know how often they'll be receiving messages, or how to unsubscribe.

What is Text Message Spam?

In the most generic form, spam is unwanted and/or unsolicited messages that are received by someone who has never elected to receive them. Spam takes many different forms. You're probably familiar with some of the most common, which include unwanted emails and phone calls.

Spam certainly occurs in the world of mobile as well but unlike email, SMS marketing laws are much more strict. There are some pretty hefty penalties and fines associated with text message spam. Some of the biggest individual lawsuits in history have reached $250 MM.

In addition to legal penalties, text message spam can severely damage your company's reputation and brand image. Spam will not be a problem for you and your business as long as you follow one basic rule: only market to people who have opted in.

Who Uses SMS Marketing?

Businesses and organizations in many different industries utilize SMS to communicate with customers and/or employees. If you work in a industry that has repeat customers or an organization that needs to reach mass amounts of people with updates and alerts, text messaging will be a powerful tool for you. To give you an ideas, here's examples of different industries that actively use our service.

  • Restaurants are using text message marketing to send mobile coupons, dinner specials, new dish alerts, healthy eating tips, reservation reminders, and even staff communication alerts.
  • Nightclubs and bars are using it to send coupons similar to restaurants but target more towards their clientele. They also run "text 2 win" contests, offer free cover charges, and event reminders.
  • Salons and spas are using SMS to send out appointment reminders, special offers, mobile coupons, and to fill schedule gaps due to appointment cancellations.
  • Schools use mass text messaging to send alerts, event reminders, cancellation notifications and more to parents and staff.
  • Churches are a huge consumer of bulk texting. Congregations all over the world use it as a tool for church-wide communication, event alerts/reminders, prayer requests, and daily devotionals.

These are just a few examples. The sky's the limit when it comes to leveraging SMS marketing.

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