With Millennials and Generation Z becoming a larger and larger share of the buying force, you need to connect to them where they are. That means text message marketing.
What is SMS Marketing?
Text messages are also known as SMS, which stands for Short Message Service.
Text message marketing or SMS marketing is when a retailer connects with potential clients through text messages.
Think of it as a modern-day form of cold calling.
Is SMS Marketing Legal?
Text message marketing is legal, provided that you follow federal regulations.
You must allow the receiver to opt out. The idea is to protect mobile users from unwanted retail messages.
If you want to continue to text the customer, the customer must give you written consent and opt-in to receive text messages.
The site Textedly outlines several different forms of written consent.
Keyword texting is one of the more popular forms of written consent. This is when the business sends a customer a text message, and the customer texts back a keyword from their mobile device. The keyword is consent to receive text messages.
You can also ask a client to fill out a paper form opting into receiving text messages.
Similarly, you can have someone fill out an online form.
For new visitors to your website, you can ask them to opt-in on receiving text messages.
How Much Does SMS Marketing Cost?
The SMS marketing cost will vary depending on the company that you use. There are several companies on the market, and all of them offer something a little different for businesses.
Business News Daily evaluated some of the top text messaging services for businesses and came up with a list here.
The top three companies on the list are Textedly, Podium, and ProTexting.
Of the three, Textedly seems the most affordable. It has 12 different pricing tiers and starts as low as $24 per month.
How to Send Marketing Text Messages
Even though you’re sending a mass text message, you still want to run your text message campaign like any other marketing campaign.
That means customer segmentation.
You will group your customers and then send a text message that connects with them the best. The better you segment your customers; the more likely your text messages will make an impact.
You also want to remember that this is about connecting with your customers, not spamming them. Do not annoy customers with too many text messages.
How to Write a Marketing Text Message
When crafting the perfect marketing text message, there are a few things to remember.
Keep it Simple
No matter what the purpose of your text message is, remember to keep it simple. You want your text message to be brief and to the point. TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Read) is not an option.
Speaking of TLDR, try to avoid slang, emojis, etc., when possible. You want your customers to understand what you’re saying, and you don’t want your text message to look like spam.
Spam usually leads to blocked numbers and deleted text messages.
To avoid looking like a spam message, say “hello.” Start your text message with a brief intro, such as “Hi, this is Erika from Intentionally Inspirational.” After that, you can jump right into your short message.
Don’t Forget the Call to Action
Always include a call to action in your text message. Ideally, this call to action consists of a benefit for your customer.
Whether or not there’s a benefit, the call to action should be included in every text message. It’s the reason you’re texting in the first place.
Text Message Marketing for Small Business
For small businesses, text message marketing can make your team of one or two people seem like a team of ten.
Through text message marketing, you can get the word out about sales, invite people to store events, and update them on what’s happening in your company.
Most of all, you can offer customer support, allowing your customers to reach out to you if something goes wrong.
Another perk for small businesses is sending automated shipping reminders or order confirmations. They’re a way to connect with your customer and keep them informed without adding anything extra to your to-do list.
Text Message Marketing for Real Estate Investors
Text message marketing is also ideal for connecting with real estate investors.
The speed of text message marketing is vital. Through email, you can never guarantee that someone will see your email. With text messages, the connection is almost instantaneous.
People are conditioned to look at their phones when they receive a text message, even if they don’t open the message right away. What’s more, with Apple Watch and similar smartwatches, reading those text messages has become even more accessible.
Best of all, text messages feel personal. There’s a connection there, especially when crafted in a way that mentions the receiver by name.
As I explained in a previous post, that personal connection is essential when dealing with high-end and luxury customers like real estate investors.
How SMS Marketing Can Help Businesses
You’re probably thinking, this is all great information but is SMS marketing better than something like email marketing? The answer is yes.
According to Forbes, the average text message open rate is 98%. That’s right, 98%. That’s much higher than the reported 21% open rate for emails.
What’s more, the personalization that people feel when receiving a text message makes a difference in a person’s positive perception of a business.
As any business owner will tell you, a positive perception can make the difference between a sale or someone walking out the door.
Is SMS Marketing Worth It?
So, is SMS marketing or text message marketing worth it?
You should always go with the marketing form that you’re most comfortable with first.
That said, text message marketing is easy to learn, and it’s beneficial to most businesses. Not only are businesses who text message more likely to receive customer engagement, but they’re also spending less money on average when you consider the high level of engagement with text messages.
Text messages can cost as little as pennies per text, while things like Google ads and Facebook ads can vary in price, and engagement is much lower.
If you haven’t explored text message marketing to date, it’s definitely time to take a look.
Written by Erika Towne