Successful SMS Marketing
Have you thought about marketing with text messages or sending your customers service or appointment reminders via text?
It can be a powerful way to market and better serve your clients. But it comes with responsibility. There are certain laws, rules and guidelines that you should be aware of and follow. Some companies have been hit with large lawsuits for not following the rules and sending what was considered illegal text messages .... SPAM.
The 7 Commandments for Successful
You must have customer consent before sending marketing messages. Without consent, you may face heavy fines which can also damage your brand and annoy your customers.
How do you get consent?
If customers opt-in by texting your keyword, example: "MSG ME to 333898 to receive our texts,” that is considered consent.
If you want to import a list of contacts, you need consent … either spoken or written. An example would be to text an appointment reminder or a non-commercial message.
2. How Often Should I Text?
Don’t flood your contacts with messages. Don’t send more than 2 or 4 messages per month or you risk losing subscribers. Let your list know how often they can expect to receive a text from you. Some companies have been sued after sending more text messages than stated in their terms and conditions.
3. Bandwidth & Disclaimer
CTIA, representative of the U.S. wireless communications industry, requires that text marketers include the following information on any ads for your text campaign. This is out of respect for bandwidth use and potential charges. Example: “Msg & Data rates may apply.” This brief message alerts the customer that he may be charged by his carrier for receiving your text message.
4. Opt-Out / Unsubscribe
You must let your subscribers know they can opt-out or unsubscribe to your texts. If you use a SMS service, the opt-out statement is automatically included in the auto-confirmation message. Be sure to include opt-out instructions on any advertisements as well. The message could be as simple as “text STOP to unsubscribe.” Letting your customers know that they can stop your texts when ready, helps to establish trust.
5. SMS Hours
Be respectful of your customers' time by sending texts only during business hours. No one wants to hear a ping at 2 a.m. And how likely will they be to respond?
6. Watch Your Language
Obviously, don’t message profanity and even more important is text like an adult. Stay away from shorthand like “LOL”, “U” for “you” and other textese. It looks unprofessional.
7. Offer Value
You have permission to text your customers so offer them something of value such as discounts, event alerts, appointment reminders, etc. You could also mix it up by using MMS (multimedia marketing) or email campaigns.
Remember, if you don’t offer Value, they will unsubscribe.
There are a number of companies that offer SMS Marketing services. If you shop around for a company to help you with your messaging campaigns, be sure they follow the Rules.