Text Marketing / SMS Marketing Best Practices
Adhere to these guidlines and you'll be golden.
Text marketing, also known as SMS marketing, is an incredibly powerful method for marketing to your customers and reaching large amounts of people instantly. It has proven itself to be one of the most effective tools in a business's marketing arsenal and they are just beginning to realize its potential. It is important, however, that you abide by certain guidelines when using such a powerful tool.
There are several regulations, guidelines, laws and best practices that you should follow while utilizing text marketing. Because there are so many, we've consolidated them all into this list of things you should keep in mind. Follow these guidelines, and you'll be doing just fine!
You must have permission from subscribers to send them text marketing messages. If you don't have their permission, not only will you be breaking laws and possibly be subject to legal penalties, but it will also cause your business or organization look spammy, create a bad name for yourself, and annoy your customers.
So what is permission? How do I get it? If your subscribers are opting in by texting your keyword to 31996, then you already have permission. If you are manually uploading a list or adding your contacts one by one in the Slick Text dashboard, you'll either need verbal or written permission.
If you're confused about permission for text marketing, you can contact us here for more info.
Pay Attention to Frequency
Do not send texts all the time! Nobody wants to get an excessive amount of texts landing on their phone from your business. We recommend no more than 2 – 4 texts per month. Any more will annoy your customers. You will find them opting out and developing a poor attitude about your business.
You should also make sure to let your subscribers know how often you will be texting them. This is important! You need to be crystal clear about how many text messages they will be receiving from your business or organization.
An example would be adding this to the "auto reply" of your text marketing list: "Receive up to 4 msgs/ month".
Note that this doesn't have to be on every one of your text messages—just the initial auto reply that your subscribers receive when first signing up.
CTIA is an international nonprofit trade association that represents the wireless communications industry. They require you to include "Msg & Data rates may apply" on your "auto reply" message. Because this is so important, Slick Text adds this disclaimer to your auto reply message automatically so you don't get into trouble.
Note that your subscribers will only see this once! Only when they first join your list—not every time you send a text message.
Provide an Exit
Your subscribers need to know that they can opt out of your text marketing campaigns at any time. This is another thing that Slick Text does for you automatically in your auto reply.
When someone signs up for your SMS marketing list, in addition to "Msg & Data rates may apply", we also add "Txt STOP to cancel" to the end of your auto reply.
Again, this is included ONLY on your auto reply. They will not see this in every text you send out.
Text During Normal Hours
Only send text marketing messages during business hours. Seems pretty straight forward, right? Be courteous to your subscribers. We're sure they won't enjoy waking up to your texts in the middle of the night. Also, think about how "not smart" it is to send your texts outside of your business hours...
One of the many benefits of text marketing is to inspire immediate action from your customers; no one will visit your store in the middle of the night!
Use Common Language
Use text messaging shorthand as sparingly as possible. Although it does save you precious characters in your message, it can also look very unprofessional. You don't want your text marketing sounding like it was written by a 12 year old.
If you need to save characters in your text by using text messaging shorthand, start with the most obvious words first and try to keep it to a minimum!
Make sure every SMS marketing message is valuable to your subscribers! If your customers are willing to give you explicit permission to text them, make sure you give them something worth while in return.
Also, make sure you're not sending the same or very similar text messages every week. You need to keep things fresh and exciting for your subscribers so they feel glad to be part of your "special text program." If you're not giving your subscribers something valuable every time you send a message, chances are, it's not worth it for them. It's then likely they'll unsubscribe from your text list.