sms advertising

How to Boost Customer Engagement with SMS Advertising

For every business owner, finding the right avenue for communicating with your customers is an essential step on the road to success. Some businesses work best by communicating through email, while those with mobile apps will often opt for using a push notification service. However, the most powerful way to reach customers and boost engagement is SMS advertising.

Despite the fact that SMS has been around for decades, mobile marketers are just now fully realizing the power of the platform. In this article, we are going to show exactly why SMS advertising is the best choice for increasing customer engagement. Along with this, we are also going to review a few strategies for using SMS for success. Let’s get started.

sms advertising

Relationship between engagement and SMS

If you are just entering the world of SMS advertising, you may not be aware of exactly how powerful this marketing tool can be, especially when it comes to engagement. While email marketing open rates usually hover around 20-30% (on a good day), 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of being received.

Not only does this show how powerful SMS can be, but it also shows how often your audience is near their phones. Along with these statistics, text messages are now such a common form of communication, customers are more willing to engage with brands through SMS advertising than almost any other method.

In customer retention marketing, we like to say “Go where your customers are.” In 2018, customers are on their phones, and you should be too.

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SMS best practices

So, now that you have more background on engagement and SMS advertising, let’s talk about best practices for making sure that your campaign lives up to these expectations. After all, it’s not enough to simply send out messages, you need to have purpose and direction for them to make an impact.

Here are a few best practices for crafting a text blast that’s sure to boost customer engagement:

  • Secure the opt-in: Not only is making sure your customers opt-in a best practice for SMS, it’s the law. Make sure you have the SMS opt-in before sending any marketing messages.
  • Include a call-to-action every time: SMS advertising is immediate, personal, and customers expect your messages to have a purpose. Include a call-to-action in every message, but only send messages when you have a call-to-action.
  • Keep timing in mind: Since your messages should have an immediate call to action, be aware of when you are sending messages. A good rule of thumb is to stay within business hours unless your company works outside of normal business hours.

By using each of these best practices, not only can your improve engagement, but your overall relationship with the customer.  

Strategies for increased engagement

With a few general best practices under your belt, let’s take a look at some specific SMS marketing strategies designed to increase engagement. While not all of these will apply to every company, the ideas behind them will work across every industry.

Surveys and polls

One of the best ways to engage customers with SMS advertising is through surveys and polls. These can be done a few ways, by either sending individual questions in a message or sending a link to fill out the survey online. Either way, this will show that you care about your customer’s feedback and will offer valuable user engagement metrics for your own uses.

When you are running this sort of campaign, it’s important to remember the best practices above and avoid being pushy. A very quick way to lose subscribers from your SMS messaging list is through pushy tactics and annoying messages. Instead of hounding your audience for answers, simply send the messages and collect results. Otherwise this strategy can do more harm than good.

Exclusive deals

Another way to engage customers in a unique way that offers benefits to both you and them is through exclusive deals. With the SMS opt-in, your audience for mass text messages will already be more limited than with something like email or social media. Reward these loyal customers that have taken the time to sign up by offering deals exclusive to your SMS list.

However, it doesn’t always have to be so segmented. Some marketers have seen success from using SMS advertising to highlight an offer in the store or an email. Not only does this kind of multichannel marketing ensure that your customers won’t miss an offer, but it leads to a more holistic marketing plan.

Loyalty programs

Over the last few years, many different companies across multiple industries have employed the customer retention technique of using a loyalty program. Customer loyalty programs reward consumers for sticking with one brand instead of shopping around. A great way to both increase engagement and highlight your customer loyalty program is through SMS marketing.

By sending updates on rewards points and redeemable items, marketers can keep their customers interested in the program. You can also increase engagement in the program by telling customers that may not be aware that you even have a loyalty program.

sms

Support

More companies than ever are using SMS as a way to run support for their customers. Since customers can become easily frustrated when they need support, being able to immediately respond to their requests is vital to improving the customer experience. SMS advertising allows for quick back and forth messaging, which is perfect for running support.

Another benefit of using SMS for support is that most of the messages can be automated ahead of time, leading to almost instant help for your customers. The more than you can automate in this regard, the better.

Final thoughts

Whether you are using SMS advertising to increase engagement, add more members to your loyalty program, or run support through marketing automation, each of the best practices and strategies we just reviewed can help you gain an advantage and provide the best service for your customers.

We hope that now that you have this knowledge under your belt, you are ready to take on the world, so get out there and get after it!


customer loyalty program

5 Tactics for Maximizing Your Customer Loyalty Program

Over the last few years, marketers have seen a rise in the popularity of customer loyalty programs as a tool for increased customer engagement. For some, this customer retention strategy has led to great success, while the other 77% of transaction-based programs fail in the first year. Obviously, there is some serious room for improvement when it comes to running a customer loyalty program.

Hoping to make your life easier and make sure you aren’t a part of that 77%, we have put together 5 tactics to help you get the most out of your customer loyalty program. In this article we will explore both the need for a customer loyalty program and best practices for maximizing its impact on your audience. Let’s take a look.

customer loyalty program

The need for a customer loyalty program

While you may have heard of businesses using a custom loyalty program, if you haven’t attempted to utilize one already, you may not see the necessity for one. For one, there is the commonly cited customer retention statistic that it costs anywhere from 5-7x more to attract a new customer than retain an existing one, meaning it is in your budget’s best interest to invest in attracting loyal customers.

However, a much more interesting statistic for those thinking about starting a customer loyalty program is that loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones. Not only do customers that are loyal cost you less money, but over time they will provide a higher ROI as well.

I’m not sure about you, but any program that has the potential to increase profits this way is worth getting involved with. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to simply have a customer loyalty program, you also need to run it well. Fortunately, we have 5 tactics for doing exactly that.

(1)  Reward referrals

One of the key goals of any customer loyalty program is to increase word of mouth referrals and create a community around your brand. An easy and effective way to get the word out and encourage this is by rewarding referrals. For instance, you can offer a free item or session every time someone invites a friend that becomes a customer.

According to Forrester Research, 70% of U.S. consumers say they trust brand and product recommends from friends and family. Not only that, but customers are 4x more likely to buy when recommended by a friend. So not only do your customers have a powerful voice when it comes to their friends, but if those friends become customers, they will likely be loyal customers too.

Each of these statistics provides evidence why you should reward your customers for bringing in referral business. This can both help you reduce churn rate and increase customer retention across the board, so make it a priority.

customer loyalty

(2)  Mix up the rewards to keep things fresh

The second tactic or technique for maximizing your customer loyalty program is to mix up the rewards your customers receive in order to keep things fresh. For example, while something like a free Starbucks gift card after 5 visits might be appealing to some people, other offerings might do a better job with other parts of your audience.

By keeping different rewards available to use when the situation calls, you are able to tailor the customer’s experience to their needs. When your audience feels that you care enough about them to give them exactly what they are looking for, they are far more likely to stay with you down the road.

(3)  Create engaging messaging

The next tactic we have for keeping around customers with a loyalty program is by creating engaging messaging. Customers are only going to engage with you and get involved in a program if they really feel as though they are a part of your brand’s community. By creating messaging that is engaging and relevant to them, you are much more likely to have a successful program.

Now, whether this messaging is sent through SMS, push notifications, email, or some other channel isn’t important. What is important is customers not only feel as if you care about them, but that they get the feeling you want them to be more engaged. As far as which channels to use, let’s take a look at #4.

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(4)  Promote the program through all possible channels

Another fatal flaw of customer loyalty programs that we see again and again is the lack of promotion around them. After all, how are your customers going to get involved with a loyalty program that they don’t even know exists? The way to maximize your program here is by promoting it through all possible channels.

We already mentioned channels like SMS and email, but places like social media and at your physical location can be just as important. Each of these different mobile marketing tools can increase engagement and make sure your audience knows about your program. While you don’t want to be annoying, your customers shouldn’t have to look far to find it.

loyalty program

(5)  Solicit feedback

The last tactic we have for improving and getting the most out of a customer loyalty program is to solicit feedback from your audience. Not only is this vital to determining the success of your program, but loyal customers will tend to be more honest about what they need from your company.

In the same way that you should use multiple channels to promote your customer loyalty program, you should do the same for getting feedback. Since this isn’t something customers will usually seek out on their own, it’s up to you to bring it to them in order to capture those user engagement metrics.  

Conclusion

At this point, we hope that you have a better understand of customer loyalty programs, the need for one in our present market, and how to maximize your own program to the best of your ability. All that is left is for you to get involved with a program and start making a difference in the lives of your customers. Why wait? Start today!


group texting service

The Pros and Cons of Using a Group Texting Service

As many businesses begin to use a group texting service in order to engage their customers, more and more people are starting to wonder about best practices for utilizing the platform. After all, the most important part of mobile marketing is choosing the right tools to accomplish your goals, so understand those tools is vital to success.

In this article, we are going to review the pros and cons of using a group texting service. It is our hope that through this exploration we will be able to provide a cohesive guide to group texting services so that when the time comes, you will be set up for success. Let’s get started.

group texting service

Group texting service vs. SMS marketing

Before we get into the different uses of a group texting service, we first want to make sure that we are on the same page when it comes to definitions. SMS marketing goes by quite a few different names, such as mass text marketing or business text messaging, so the question becomes: does group texting service fall into this category?

By definition, a group texting service is seen as a platform that allows two-way communication through messaging to a specific group of people. This is, more or less, the same definition as SMS marketing. Where the confusion comes from is apps like GroupMe that are not used for marketing purposes, but for group chats, where everyone can see everyone else’s’ messages.

Group messaging services, on the other hand, essential are a different way of saying SMS marketing, and these apps like GroupMe would be known as a group texting platform. It’s a slight difference, but it is worth explaining before we get into the pros and cons of the service. Now that that is out of the way, let’s take a look at pros of group texting services.

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Pros of a group texting service

The first thing you should know about group texting services is that they have been around for as long as SMS has been around. It’s just that until recently, no one had understood the powerful nature of a group texting service for engaging customers and spreading marketing messages.

Below are a few of the pros of using a group texting service and why it has become such a popular solution for many businesses.

The opt-in

While some view this as a con of using a group texting service, the SMS opt-in that limits who you can send messages to is actually what makes the service so effective. Although it can be difficult to add subscribers to the opt-in list, having to receiving consent from your audience before communication means that only the most dedicated customers will join.

Now, picture what you can do with an engaged audience like that. Actually, you don’t have to, as research from Rosetta found that customers that are actively engaged with brands make 90% more frequent purchases, spend 60% more in each transaction and are five times more likely to choose the brand in the future. Not too shabby if you ask us.

Speed

Another reason why group texting services have become so popular is due to the speed in which you can reach your audience. In fact, according to a recent report, close to 98% of SMS messages are read within 2 minutes of being sent.

This kind of efficient messaging simply can’t be found with other channels. By being able to notify your audience of updates in minutes, it’s important that you only reach out to them when you can add value to their experience right away. Otherwise it’s probably best to use other channels of communication.

Highly interactive

Along with both its speed and highly targeted audience, using a group texting service allows you to build a highly interactive audience. Most consumers today are used to sending and receiving text messages, so by meeting them where they already are, you are much more likely to engage with them well.

One way to get the most out of this aspect of mass text marketing is by running support through SMS. Customers can solve problems quickly by texting a response to your message and you can save time by automating common responses. Little tricks like this are what can take your group texting service from good to great.

Cons of a group texting service

Now that we have reviewed the pros of working with a group texting service, it’s time to take a look at the cons. Like any retention strategy or approach, there are flaws to SMS marketing. However, for those who can take these cons in stride and learn to work with them instead of against them, you can still run a successful campaign. Let’s take a look.

Character limit

When you compare the 160-character limit of a group texting service with those of other channels, one can soon see how limited SMS really is. Even Twitter now allows users up to 280 characters! Unfortunately, many mobile marketers don’t realize this before signing up for a group texting service.

Thankfully, there are a few different work arounds for this. One way to get the most out of your messages is by using MMS marketing, which is just like SMS, only you can have up to 500 characters. The other solution is to just go with it. By having to keep your messages short and sweet, you are forced to think about every word, often leading to better crafted messages than if there was no limit at all.

Read also: 8 Best Practices for Crafting the Perfect Text Blast

Best used in combination with other channels

Another flaw of group texting services is that while they can be used exclusively, they work best when used in combination with other channels. For instance, according to SmartInsights, a simple message asking “Have you read our email?” can improve email marketing open rates by anywhere from 20-30%.

Again, while many view this as a con, due to the fact that a group texting service doesn’t work as well in a vacuum, we see as a helpful guideline. Mobile marketers should be using all of the tools at their disposal regardless, but by incorporating SMS marketing, you can make all of them more powerful.

marketing via sms

Conclusion

We hope that this article has been eye-opening for anyone that is interested in starting a with a group texting service. As you begin to plan out your 2018 strategy, remember what you have learned about business text messaging and how you can turn even the flaws of a service to your advantage.


short code

How Using an SMS Short Code Can Improve Customer Engagement

Whether you have been using SMS marketing for a while or are just getting started, you are likely interesting in improving customer engagement through your campaign. After all, SMS is one of the best ways to get in touch with more customers at a quicker rate than any other mobile marketing tool. However, there is a way to improve engagement even more: using an SMS short code.

By utilizing an SMS short code and making the most out of your SMS campaign, you can not only generate better customer interactions, but increase customer retention as well. In this article, we are going to show you exactly how to do that. Let’s get into it.

short code

What is a short code?

First, let’s define what exactly we mean we talk about using an SMS short code. Short codes are 5-6 character codes that can be sent in response to a marketing text message for a variety of reasons. Popular uses of short codes include opting-in to SMS campaigns, getting additional information, receiving a discount code, and many others.

Even though short codes have been around for over a decade, mobile marketing professionals are just now understanding the power of using them to engage customers. Most of the drive behind the success of mass text marketing has come from the fact that it is so convenient. By using an SMS short code in your messages, you are making things even simpler for customers.

However, simply putting an SMS short code in your marketing messages is not enough to ensure improved customer engagement. Like any tool, it only works when used correctly. Next, we are going to show you exactly how to get the most out of short codes and the correct way to use them.

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SMS compliance

The first and most important part of using SMS short codes well is to be compliant with the rules surrounding SMS. Compliance here is not only a best practice, but it’s actually the law. The main thing that you need to know is that without consent, you should never send a customer a marketing message.

Thankfully, short codes actually make this process simpler than ever before. By sending a text asking customers to join your campaign with a short code that they can respond with, your first big hurdle will be behind you and you can focus on improving customer engagement.

Even though this can seem like a hassle, having these rules in place is what makes mass text marketing so powerful. For a full list of SMS compliance best practices, check out this article from SimplyCast.

Keeping customers up-to-date

Now that you have started to add new subscribers through opt-in campaigns, which we should mention should be an ongoing thing, the time has come to actually engage with them. There are a few ways you can do this, and almost all of them can be improved by using an SMS short code. For instance, keeping customers up-to-date on new products or services.

An SMS message like this can bring attention to the new offering, then request a short code to gain more information. Not only is this a convenient way to show customers your products, but when they send back a short code, you know they are interested. User engagement metrics like this are invaluable to you and your company, so take note.

sms short code

Running support

Another great way to improving your relationships with customers using short codes is by running support with them. An increasing number of companies are now doing this and finding it to be successful as it allows customers to get their questions answered in a timely manner. Compared with older technologies, SMS blows it out of the water.

Not only that, but by using an SMS short code in your support messages, you can automate almost the entire process. Let me explain: by linking up each of your short codes to the proper informational response, you can set up the support network for your business and then let it run automatically.

While there may be times when a customer needs a custom, non-automated response, most frequently asked questions are simple enough that they can be fully automated. This will save both you and your customers time, as well as show to your audience that you are on the ball.

Read also: 8 Best Practices for Writing the Perfect Text Blast

Special offers and promotions

One of the most common and effective ways to use SMS short codes is for running special offers and promotions. If you have interacted with a company lately through SMS, you likely are familiar with what I am referring to. For example, last week I received an offer from my gym about a savings deal for the holidays where I simply had to reply OFFER to take advantage of it.

Although this is just one example of a short code can be used, there are plenty of others. The best part about this sort of campaign is again, seeing what your customers are interested in, but also keeping your brand on their mind. While this tool has been shown to convert more customers, it might also simply be the reminder they need to make a purchase from you another time.

This sort of constant communication is what you should aim for with your SMS campaign. By making it easy for customers to find you and know about your company, the more likely they are to stick with you for the long haul.

text message short code

Improving mobile engagement overall

So, what happens when you combine each of these SMS short code best practices? Your mobile engagement will improve across the board. Customers in today’s digital world are looking for a company that will make their lives easier with less work on their part and using an SMS short code in your campaigns is one of the best ways to show them that that is the kind of company you are.

As always, we hope that you found this article helpful for running your own business text messaging campaign. However, this article will only be helpful if you apply what you have learned, so why wait? Get started today!


customer retention idea

5 Customer Retention Ideas to Implement in the New Year

Although we are still currently in the hubbub of the holiday season, business owners are already beginning to plan for the upcoming new year. In the interest of providing guidance for those planning out their 2018 marketing strategy, we have put together 5 customer retention ideas worth implementing in the year to come.

As the world continues to grow more digital every day, customer retention marketing is only going to become more important. Instead of waiting until it becomes a problem, each of these solutions is designed to be put into place as soon as possible. It is our hope that by reading this now, you will be more than prepared on January 1st to hit the ground running. Let’s get started.

customer retention idea

(1)  Focus on experience above all else

In today’s interconnected world, the power of the consumer has never been more apparent. This is why the overall customer experience has become one of the best ways to increase customer retention and reduce churn rate. In fact, in the same way that software development has begun to embrace user experience or UX, marketers need to embrace customer experience or CX.

This brings us to our first customer retention idea: make customer experience a focus above all else. This means that wherever and whenever possible, it is your job to make sure that customers are having a good experience with your company and that you are providing them value at every turn.

But why is this so important? Well, according to Bain and Company, “a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.” This is a pretty clear indication of the power of customer retention. However, it doesn’t stop there. In fact, research has found that a focus on the customer experience is enough to separate your brand from others, even if they have lower prices!

(2)  Proactively engage your audience

Gone are the days when simply responding to customers when they call was consider good enough. With this customer retention idea, you can take the customer experience to a whole new level. By proactively engaging your audience, you are able to preemptively solve customer problems and blow them away with your customer service.

One example of how you can do this is with customer feedback. The old methodology for this would include waiting to receive a comment, either positive or negative, and then addressing it from there. Instead, by utilizing user engagement metrics and understanding your audience, you can reach out to them soon after an interaction while your company is fresh on their mind.

While it is not a foregone conclusion that the freshness of their interaction will lead to more favorable feedback, it will likely lead to more accurate feedback, which is far more important. That being said, we don’t understand that while running a business it can be difficult to be this on top of the ball. After all, you’re not a robot, but that does give us a good idea.

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chatbot

(3)  Outsource to AI

As we move into 2018, artificial intelligence is only going to become more widespread and commonplace, so why not make the best of it? This is why we recommend outsourcing basic business functions to AI as a way to get the jump on this latest technology. Although this customer retention idea might sound like something out of a sci-fi novel, the impact it can have on your business is anything but fiction.

Whether it is automated emails, a chat-bot, or something else, AI is making it simple to be in constant connection with your audience (see #4) allowing you to note miss a beat. Now, we will say that this solution is often more expensive than others, but when it comes to the customers you are retaining and customer acquisition costs you are battling, it is well worth it.

(4)  Constant connectivity

Another retention strategy that customers are beginning to expect is constant connectivity. The internet never stops, so why should your business? Other than outsourcing to AI, there quite a few ways to connect with your audience. Some brands use social media, others use SMS marketing, but this customer retention idea includes a little bit of everything.

By combining each of the available tools at your disposal, you are able to present a constant and consistent brand image to your customers. Think about it this way, if a customer has to wonder how to get in contact with you regardless of the reasons, you have failed. Customers should always know how to contact you. If you can master this, customer retention won’t be a problem.

Next read: How to use mobile marketing tools to gain an advantage.

(5)  Educate customers throughout

Our final customer retention idea is aimed at aiding customers on their journey with your brand. In the end, if a customer doesn’t understand your product or design, it’s not on them, it’s on you. Thankfully, with how connected brands now are to their customers, getting them the education materials they need has never been easier.

As you onboard new customers and try to keep existing customers interested, try creating content around each stage of the journey. In the same way that constant connectivity ensures that customers never have to look far to find a way to talk to you, by giving them the information they need before they need it, customers will come to trust your business.

How you choose to use this trust is completed up to you, but having an educated and trusted base of customers is a great stride toward making it in the fight for customer retention.

customer interaction

Ultimate goal: A seamless customer journey

The final words we will leave you with are what should be your ultimate goal in your customer retention marketing endeavors: a seamless customer journey. From the moment they enter the funnel to the time they either churn or convert, your customers are in your hands. By creating a seamless journey that provides customers with everything they need, they are more equipped and inclined to continue working with your business.

As you review these 5 customer retention ideas and begin to plan out your 2018, keep this goal in mind. Although it may seem like your customers aren’t responding to your hard work, the end result will be more than worth it. So, what are you waiting for? Get to the drawing board!


text blast

Text Blast: 8 Best Practices For Crafting The Perfect SMS Blast

Once you have gotten your SMS marketing campaign, you may think that you are ready to hit the ground running and start converting more customers. However, simply setting up a campaign is only half the battle. The next part will be crafting the perfect message (or text blast) to reach your customers and engage them well.

Fortunately, as mobile marketing experts, we have what you need to help get started. In this article, we are going to review 8 best practices for creating the perfect text blast. With this knowledge, you will be one step closer to achieving the goals of your SMS and overall marketing campaign. Let’s get started.

text blast

Offer incentives for signing up

The first challenge of mass text marketing is building up an active and engaged following. A quick remedy to this is to offer incentives for signing up and opting in to your SMS campaign. Simply by offering something such as a coupon or special offer, you will be able to increase your SMS following and begin to pick up steam.

Read also: SMS Opt-in Best Practices for Increased Engagement

Once you have the kind of following you are looking for with your campaign, now is when the text blast will come into play. However, it should be said that adding new customers to your SMS list should be a focus throughout the campaign. Be sure to run a monthly campaign for the express purpose of adding new subscribers.

Make it easy

Now that you have begun your SMS campaign in earnest, the next step is to create a text blast to send out to your customers. At this point, due to the opt-in system, your customers will already have agreed to accept your messages, so the first one you send is vital to solidifying your place on their screens.

Our first piece of advice is pretty straightforward: make it easy. The reason customers love business text messaging is due to the simplicity of the channel. As marketers, you need to meet their expectations in this area, if not exceed them. If you have ever heard the expression K.I.S.S. (keep it short and simple), remember it when crafting your text blast.

Offer a clear, valuable solution

Part of keeping it simple is our next best practice: offer a clear, valuable solution. Due to the immediacy of SMS, unless you want your customers to take action within minutes of receiving your blast, you may want to wait before sending it. That being said, when you do include a call-to-action (CTA) in a text blast, which you always should, make it clear what you are asking for.

One good aspect of SMS marketing in a situation like this is being restricted to using only 160 characters. With such little wiggle room, business text messages have to get to the point as fast as possible, then offer a solution with an action that customers can take. If you use this formula for crafting your text blasts, you will be on your way to increased mobile user engagement.

text blast sms

Create a sense of urgency

There are times, however, when being clear and concise won’t be enough to earn a customer’s click or conversion. In these scenarios, it is up to you to create a sense of urgency with your text blast. Phrases such as ‘limited offer’ or ‘before Dec 31st’ are examples of using the right language to get your point across. That point being: act now before it’s too late.

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Even though this may seem difficult to do, remember that 98% of customers read SMS messages within 2 minutes of receiving them. This offers SMS an advantage that other channels just simply don’t have when it comes to building urgency, so don’t worry too much about it. As long as you are sticking to these best practices and not boring your customers, you will be fine.

Segment for success

Not everything is about the actual message when it comes to crafting a text blast. In fact, segmentation has nothing to do with the actual wording of your message, but everything to do with the success of your campaign. For example, if you were a gym owner, it would not make sense to send the same message to all of your active members as former members.

In order to do this well, create a few segments based on user engagement metrics to get the right message to the right people. For those who want to get even more detailed, you can create templates with personalized names and information to populate your SMS, giving customers the personal touch.

We don’t, however, recommend writing individual messages to customers. Not only would this be inefficient and time-consuming, but it would not present a good ROI either. Instead, create a few distinct customer segments and personalize when appropriate.

Support other channels

Another use of SMS marketing text blast is to support other channels. While there are times when it is appropriate to highlight the exclusivity of SMS (see next best practice), there are other times when you can support your other marketing channels with SMS.

In fact, according to Smart Insights, when customers received an SMS message after receiving an email, email open rates increased by 20-30%. Although this stat shows that SMS text blasts work to highlight email, you can use it to show off your social media channels or website as well. The channels you support with SMS aren’t important, what is important is that customers know where to find you when they need to, and using SMS here can do that better than most.

sms text blast

Be exclusive

Now, while we just said to support other channels, there are times when it pays to be exclusive with SMS. Going back to best practice one, having exclusive offers and incentives only available to your SMS subscribers now only rewards customers for being a part of your audience, but it can grow that audience at the same time.

Something that will be important to remember here is that SMS is not the end-all-be-all of marketing tools. Instead, it is simply a powerful tool that should be used when necessary to get a message to your customers. Avoid bashing other channels for the sake of highlighting SMS when running exclusive campaigns, simply show what you are doing with SMS and move on.

Automate support

The final best practice for crafting the perfect text blast is to automate support through SMS whenever possible. Most of the first steps in providing support to customers looking for help will be more or less the same, but by setting up each of the options with automatic responses. For instance, including a message that says ‘reply INFO’ to receive more on your services.

The key to SMS marketing and text blasts lies within being simple, but effective. If you can achieve this with your messages, you will no doubt find success in your SMS marketing endeavors. Now, with the right tools at your disposal, what are you waiting for?


sms opt-in

SMS Opt-In Best Practices for Optimal Results

One of the most challenging barriers of entry for people beginning SMS marketing campaigns is building up their audience. After all, with relatively strict guidelines on how subscribers can opt-in to SMS campaigns, it makes sense that it can take a while to build up a good following. This is why it is vital to a campaign’s success to nail the SMS opt-in the first time around.

In this article, we are going to review SMS opt-in best practices. It is our hope that by enticing followers with the right messaging early on, the rest of your campaign and those you run after will be more successful. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the world of SMS and mass text marketing.

sms opt-in

Importance of SMS opt-in

Now, before we get into the best practices, we quickly wanted to touch on the important of SMS opt-ins. Not only does having your customers either request or accept being a part of your list make them more receptive to messages, but is also legally required. The fastest way to have your mobile marketing campaign shut down is by falling to comply with these rules and regulations.

However, those who are hoping to begin their SMS marketing campaigns should not fret. In fact, this is a blessing in disguise. Like we mentioned, having an SMS opt-in can keep away users who are not interested in your services. Although most marketing professionals might say you want to reach as large of an audience as you can, the reason SMS marketing can boast a 98% open rate is because of restrictions like these.

Read also: 4 Secrets to Running a Successful SMS Advertising Campaign

Long story short: stick to the rules when it comes to the SMS opt-in and you will be set for a successful campaign. With that in mind, let’s look at the best way to land the opt-in and increase customer engagement.

Be upfront about your SMS campaign

The first best practice for SMS opt-ins is to be transparent and upfront with your customers about the SMS campaign you are running. What does this mean, exactly? It means that although special offers and promotions should be fun surprises, most of your campaign should be expected by your audience.

The way to do this is by setting the proper expectations, which user engagement metrics show improve customer relationships. Right off the bat from the first text your audience should know the following:

  • Purpose: Although they should already have some idea of the purpose of the campaign, given that they opted-in for it, you should still remind them of why you will be texting them.
  • Frequency: Next, you should let them know how often they should expect messages. Most SMS professionals advise less than 8 per month and no more than 2 per week, so try to keep your frequency within these boundaries.
  • SMS and data rates: Even though it is uncommon for mobile plans to have a set messaging limit, make sure you inform them that standard messaging rates do apply.
  • Privacy policy/terms and conditions: You can list the privacy policy, terms and conditions within the message, or you can simply include them within a call-to-action link. Regardless, you need to make this easy for your audience to access.

By sharing all of this with your audience from the get-go, you are building trust with them. If you can do this well, customers will be excited to receive messages from you, not dread them.

Automate when possible

The next part of running a smooth and efficient SMS opt-in is to automate as much as you possibly can. Customers value the instantaneous nature of SMS, so by automating you are able to cut down on the time spent by customers. Additionally, with the right platform, automations will make your life easier as well.

An easy way to do this is with SMS short codes, which allow users to text back such phrases as INFO or HELP to receive extra information on your product or offering. Then, you can craft automatic responses that you can couple with helpful tips or promotional coupon codes. Hopefully this kind of automation will become necessary as your audience continues to grow!

Keep messages within business hours

Another aspect of running a successful business text messaging campaign is keeping messages within business hours. Unless a user specifically requests a message after business hours or your business doesn’t keep normal hours (like a restaurant or gym), marketers sending out text blasts should never do so outside of 8-5.

This shows professionalism and courtesy on your part by respecting users and their time. In fact, when it boils down to it, SMS marketing is all about common sense and treating customers well. The quickest way to lose control of a campaign is by veering from this course, so keep this in mind when writing out branded messages.

Always follow industry guidelines

While we have already gone over industry guidelines, this is vital to creating a high-performing SMS campaign. Like Fight Club, we think this a rule that is worth repeating. Something that should be said as well is that providing a clear opt-out is important for your audience as well.

By knowing that they can stop messages at any point, customers feel more in control. This can be included at the bottom of the first few messages and then periodically throughout the campaign to keep it fresh in your audience’s minds.

Be patient

Finally, our last SMS opt-in best practice is to be patient. When you are first starting out, it can be easy to get discouraged by low engagement and click-through-rates. However, like more marketing, SMS takes time to evolve and become a well-oiled machine, you just have to give it that time to find itself.

Also, as customers become familiar with receiving text messages from a business, they will start to trust you more. Continue to provide valuable information with your messages and you will see the rewards for your patience. Not only that, but even if growth is slow, each of your customers has expressed interest in receiving these messages, so they are going to be your best audience. Don’t mess this up.

With each of these best practices in mind, we wish you good luck on your messages and SMS opt-ins!