SMS refers to Short Message Service. It might not really sound attractive, but business owners have reported significant turnover by using text message marketing for promoting their products. SMS is more effective as it alerts the recipient instantly. There are several innovative and effective ways in which you can use text messaging to reach out to your customers. It does not have to be anything fancy; just basic information is sufficient to retain the loyal customers if you are offering them exactly what they are looking for.
The present-day customer is bombarded with notifications and alerts from various apps in their phone throughout the say. Many people disable notifications to avoid this. However, text messages are a great way to reach out to customers. One reason for this is that messages give a personal vibe to the recipient. SMS marketing will not work for everyone as it can get intrusive and sometimes non-relevant too. The trick is to maintain a balance when sending out a message.
How is marketing done via text messages?
Marketing through text messages begins with creating a database of customer phone numbers whom you specifically want to target. The list can be built in a number of ways, but there are certain rules set up by governments for this. It involves getting the consent of customers whose numbers are added. Sending unsolicited commercial messages is prohibited and can lead to legal troubles in several countries. A lot of mobile marketing strategists like to use specialized online systems to manage their process of sending SMS. The system of sending text messages in bulk varies in range and price and functionality also. The most effective platforms for sending marketing text messages will give you a great combination of both cheap text messaging and web-based text messaging features. You must ensure that you are dealing with only reputed gateways for text messages as they provide reliability when it comes to delivering the message.
Getting customers consent is crucial before sending out commercial messages. There are two main types of consent that you need to take care of. These are:
1. Securing an express consent
There must be a checkbox on a form asking people to opt or not opt for a subscription to SMS on the internet or at the store. The checkbox should not get checked automatically or have a default setting. The person filling up the form should willingly select the checkbox to express consent for receiving commercial messages from your business.
When customers fill up an offline form for a survey or take part in any competition, you can get their consent at that time by asking them to check the box if they want to receive text messages.
Some businesses send text messages to customers who have been loyal to the brand for at least two years or have done business sometime in the last one year. Some people leave their business cards and if they agree you can send out marketing messages to them as well. If people drop their business cards in fishbowls at random trade show, it is usually an indication of willingness to receive marketing messages.
The recipients should be totally aware of the fact that they will receive commercial text messages in the near future. Consent should not be sought via sending out text messages to customers. Unsolicited messages can make your business lose credibility with the customers. If the client is dissatisfied, they are likely to tell others about it which is not good for business. You need to seek and establish a functioning business relationship with people. You must keep records of the consent as it can come handy later.
2. Getting a consent which is inferred
You can get an inferred consent through an already existing business relationship. If your organization has got a good relationship with customers and clients, then you can consider sending them text messages for promoting your business. You can also get inferred consent by conspicuously publishing a work number.
Getting consent is not complicated, but it is mandatory for sending any type of commercial messages or promotions. Several reputed brands have paid millions of dollars for lawsuits brought by angry customers who did not give consent to receive commercial texts. No business wants to face such situations, so it is better to be safe than sorry. The reputation of a brand is at stake, and just a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ from customers can take care of this.
You need to build the lists
Now that you have secured the consent, you need to build a list for your mobile marketing. It needs to be done with the utmost care and a solid intention. Mobile phone number and text message are a private means of communication. So, people do not like receiving messages which waste time and are not completely relevant to what they want. You must not let the customers feel that you are disturbing them or invading their privacy. So, you have to be extremely cautious in the way you generate the lists.
There are three ways for making such a list. They are –
- Through a website that has a checkbox for an SMS opt-in option
- Through a text message to dedicated response numbers and short-code
- Manually entering them on the basis of priority
You can get a complete guide to text marketing on the internet to help your business promotional campaigns run smoothly.
Text message marketing is highly effective. List the terms and conditions that are involved with your company’s marketing messages. Customers must have an easy way to unsubscribe from lists. Not everyone likes to receive commercial messages. So, business owners should ensure that they can easily opt out of the service if they wish.
A good text messaging service will include all the features mentioned above along with other regular and advanced features. Check with your service provider to find out what options you have before hiring their service. It is all a matter of choosing what is best for a specific business.