Today’s consumers are mobile, with 91% of Americans in reach of a mobile device at all times. Consumers are sending and receiving messages of all types. Marketers are recognizing this pattern and turning frequently to text messaging as an efficient medium for communicating with existing customers and prospects. However, unlike phone calls, the rules of texting are not as clear. Because of the lack of rules, many people feel comfortable texting at any time or under any circumstances. These fundamental tips will provide you with a solid foundation of how to communicate a text marketing message.
1. Provide Value – Don’t send out a text message unless you have something important to say. Only send out text messages that will benefit the receiver such as texts including coupons or promotional offers. Your customers will be completely turned off by a text that doesn’t offer them anything.
2. Make It Personal – Just like a letter that is addressed to someone personally, he or she is more likely to read it when a name is included rather than a generic title like “Dear Valued Customer.” Text messages should be short, simple and personal. Make them feel special. Instead of saying that “you have opted-in,” say “you are now a part of our VIP program,” or something to that effect. Don’t go crazy with abbreviations; be clear and specific. Don’t feel compelled to fill out all 160 characters.
3. Timing is Everything – In order to communicate effectively with your audience, you need to find out what they will find valuable and when. Do not leave your recipients wondering what to do with your message. Add a call to action with a special deal or request a response. Text messages should not be used for billboard-type marketing. Also consider the timing of your message to be sensitive to the activity of daily life. Don’t send promotional messages after 9 p.m. or before 11 a.m.
4. Consider the Total Experience – While planning your campaigns, ensure you are optimizing the customer experience by linking to mobile-friendly sites. If consumers have to enter information, consider using a social log-in, such as Facebook, that can easily gather information. Collaborate with other departments at your company, so you can deliver the best content such as a video on YouTube or a VIP opportunity.
5. Give Customers Options – It can be very frustrating to individuals to continuously receive promotional messages when they are just not interested. If you tell people up front how it works, they are more likely to allow you to continue to send messages. “Reply ‘STOP’ to unsubscribe” is all you need to include in the text message to make it easy for recipients to opt-out.
While it may seem easy to send a text marketing message to a list of individuals, just like any other successful marketing campaign, understanding your audience is the key to accomplishing your campaign. Develop a campaign with careful consideration of factors that can impact its effectiveness, and you will be on your way to experiencing the outstanding response of a well-executed text campaign. Above all, use common sense as to what is acceptable.