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 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 text message 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.
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 text 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.
1. 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 when you send a text.
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.
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.
3. Highly interactive
Along with both its speed and highly targeted audience, using a group text messaging 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.
When you send a text, the most rewarding thing about it is that it doesn’t require advanced skills to do so (unlike so many other marketing tools).
Text message marketing is made even simpler today because SMS service software providers can help you send group text messages in seconds. This is done via a user-friendly interface on software such as Gleantap.
It’s modern, simple, and can be accessed from any connected device.
Today, many marketing strategies and tools can cost an arm and a leg. But group text messaging is fairly cheap.
Group texting costs around a few cents per message, depending on your service provider. Being a direct marketing tool with high response rates, text message marketing is widely popular today.
It can yield a strong ROI for businesses and helps keep customers constantly engaged.
SMS services have been at the forefront for businesses because of their mobility. In this day and age, almost everyone has a mobile phone.
This makes group texting an efficient way to communicate with customers – for minimal effort and budget.
Group text messages help businesses build rapport with clients while keeping engagement levels high. It’s a win-win situation if it’s implemented correctly.
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.
1. 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
2. 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.
3. Not everybody wants to follow the entire conversation
Group messages on things like email threads generally prompt you to hit “reply all” when you have new information to add – and everyone follows it.
However, group text messages are a bit different.
People react differently when following a conversation via SMS. They may want to stop following the chat once they have the essential information.
So, when you send a text, remember that long threads may annoy people.
4. Don’t assume everyone is active 24/7
We live with our phones very close by, but it’s important to remember people aren’t always active on text. They’re busy – and sometimes, only check messages when they need to send a text.
Group text messages can be tough to follow when you haven’t been part of a conversation for hours. Scrolling to catch up can be frustrating.
Just because you have some active members – doesn’t mean everyone’s happy to be the same.
5. Multiple messages at one time
Another con of group text messages is that people sometimes forget not to send multiple messages simultaneously.
A string of messages at once becomes annoying to people who are not engaged in the conversation or are busy with something else.
When sending texts, try to be vigilant of everyone’s time, space, and lives. You’re not the only business or person attempting to engage with them.
6. It may violate their privacy
When you set up a group text message or email with colleagues, you know everyone on the list.
But when you use group text messages with friends, customers, and vendors, you may not know everyone on the list. Discussions may offend someone, or if you’re in a work environment, you may mistakenly discuss a topic you’re not authorized to.
It’s vital to be vigilant here.
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 2021 strategy and beyond, remember what you have learned about business text messaging and how you can turn even the flaws of a service to your advantage.