Text message marketing is an incredibly powerful method for reaching customers instantly. In order to maximize your success, however, it must be leveraged properly.
It has a completely different and more strict set of laws and regulations than traditional advertising methods. It’s crucial that marketers respect and follow all of these rules when designing their mobile programs.
Follow these guidelines for text message marketing best practices to add subscribers to your list and keep your churn rate low.
Be Clear About Your Program
Your subscribers should know what they’re getting into when they sign up for your program. This may only need to include a single sentence in your auto-reply. You just have to ensure that subscribers aren’t going to be surprised when that first text campaign hits their inbox.
This doesn’t have to be an essay on every service and deal you’ll be providing. It should be a quick, concise summary of what you’ll be offering and how customers can redeem your deals. This is easy to include in the auto reply new subscribers will receive upon sign up.
If you don’t, they’ll most likely opt out, since your text program isn’t what they thought it was upon signing up.
You must obtain permission from subscribers in order to send them text messages. It’s good practice, and required by law.
If subscribers are opting in by texting a keyword to your shortcode, you already have the permission you need. However, if you are manually uploading a list or adding subscribers one by one, you must have written consent before you can send a single message.
If you don’t get permission before texting, you’ll be spamming customers, breaking laws, and possibly subject to hefty legal penalties. It will damage your company’s image, create a bad name for yourself, and annoy your subscribers.
This is one of the most important text message marketing best practices you must follow.
Pay Attention to Frequency
Be careful not to spam your customers with messages all the time. They are entrusting you with their personal information in giving you their mobile phone numbers–don’t abuse it!
Shoot for a goal of two to four texts per month. Any more can annoy your customers, and you may find your churn rate rising.
Make sure your subscribers know how often they can expect to hear from you. You’ll need to be completely upfront about how many text messages they can expect to receive from your business or organization.
You can include your planned text frequency in the auto reply text that’s send when someone messages one of your keywords. This doesn’t have to be a part of every text message campaign, just the auto reply that your subscribers receive when first signing up or interacting with your messages.
The CTIA is a nonprofit trade organization that represents the wireless communications industry. They’re the group that requires you to include “Msg and Data rates may apply” in your texts to avoid any unexpected billing issues for subscribers.
This is another thing that you only have to cover in the initial auto reply when subscribers sign up for your texts. Your customers don’t need to see disclaimers every time you send them a message.
SlickText adds the necessary compliance statement to your auto reply responses automatically so you don’t find yourself in any sticky situations.
Provide an Exit
You don’t want to trap people on your list who don’t want to receive your messages. Your subscribers need to know that they can opt out of your marketing campaigns at any time.
When someone signs up for your text marketing list, in addition to “Msg and Data rates may apply”, you must also include “Txt STOP to cancel” in your auto reply.
While you don’t need to make it a part of every message, t’s a good idea to include opt out instructions in your text message campaigns from time to time. Consumers like transparency in advertising, and your text message program is no different.
Text During Normal Hours
Your subscribers don’t want to hear from you in the middle of the night.
Use common courtesy when considering when to text your customers. Nobody wants to get texts from businesses when they’re settled in for the evening. Wait until regular business hours before sending off that text message campaign.
One of the many benefits of text message marketing is that it can inspire immediate action from your customers. No one is going to visit your store outside of business hours. It’s wise to limit your messages to times when they can actually take advantage of your offers and information.
Use Common Language
Try to avoid using text messaging shorthand whenever possible.
Although it does save valuable characters in your message, using text slang can look unprofessional. You don’t want your text message campaigns to sound like they were hijacked by a teenager.
If you need to save characters and you absolutely must use shorthand in your message to do so, use it sparingly. Start with the most obvious words and try to keep it to a minimum. Your messages should be easy to read by all age groups and levels of tech ability.
Each text message campaign you send should hold some value for your subscribers.
If your customers are willing to give you permission to text them, make sure you give them something worthwhile in return. You can keep things fresh and exciting for your subscribers by mixing up the content you send them. Don’t bombard them with the same coupon or deal every week.
If you’re not providing sufficient value to your subscribers, you’ll know it fairly quickly. Keep an eye on your subscriber list–an influx of opt outs might mean it’s time to switch up your campaigns.
Let us take the guesswork out of making sure you’re following the text message marketing best practices. Contact us to learn more, or get a free review of your campaign.