Here’s Why You Should Be Marketing Via Text Message
If you want customers to come to your business, you need to get the word out — and that doesn’t just mean letting people know you exist. It’s also about keeping customers updated on business news, showcasing promotions, and even drawing in more business with specials and flash sales.
These days, you need a more flexible marketing channel to reach your audience. You need a form of marketing that customers trust and generally respond well to. You need text message marketing.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has very specific rules for how you can market to consumers via text message. Text message communications fall under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which was passed in 1991, initially to protect consumers from spam telemarketing calls. Under FCC guidelines laid out in the TCPA, you can only send marketing texts to consumers who have opted in writing to receive them. They could do so by texting a keyword from their mobile device, filling out a form online (including in a website popup), or filling out a hard copy form.
You also need to give customers a clear means of opting out of receiving your marketing texts if they get tired of them for whatever reason. Though it might seem counterintuitive, giving your customers a clear means of opting out of your marketing texts can make them more inclined to sign up for those texts, because they know they won’t be trapped in the agreement. And because they know they’re only receiving text messages they signed up for, customers trust marketing texts and usually open them immediately — in fact, 98 percent of marketing texts are opened within 15 minutes of receipt. Well not every text will lead to a sale, you can at least be assured that your marketing dollars aren’t being spent on advertisements that your customers won’t even look at.
Text messaging comes with a built-in sense of urgency — do you not check your texts as soon as possible after you hear that notification buzz? You can use bulk marketing texts to take advantage of that urgency and use it to promote spur-of-the-moment, time-sensitive deals, like your restaurant’s daily lunch special or your boutique’s flash sale. Customers tend to open their text messages quickly, so SMS marketing is the perfect channel to maximize your return on a time-sensitive offer.
Most customers are automatically more engaged with marketing texts because of the immediacy and sense of urgency that comes with the medium. So, customers are automatically more engaged before they’ve even opened your first bulk text — they have to be in order to even opt in to your text messaging program. They’ll read the texts you send them right away, and if they deem the information and offers you send to be valuable, they’ll develop more brand loyalty and be more engaged with your brand.
It’s true that you may not be able to cast as wide of a net with SMS marketing as you can with other channels, like social media marketing or even more traditional forms of advertising, like TV or radio. But is casting a wider net preferable to directly engaging with customers who are already interested in your products? Not necessarily. Casting a wider net may not bring in more customers simply because many of the fish that you might catch in that net just aren’t interested in your products and services. When you’re able to directly contact customers that you already know are interested, you’ll make more sales.
You’ll get more bang for your marketing buck by advertising via SMS, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to abandon all traditional forms of advertising. Traditional advertising still has its place, and text message marketing integrates well with other channels. You can send out marketing emails and then send marketing texts reminding customers to check their email for the special offer or mobile coupon therein. You can use SMS marketing to encourage more followers on social media or even to encourage customers to look out for your brand messaging in other media — for example, you could say something like, “Read this Sunday’s paper to get a coupon for half off!” It’s all about being creative with your tie-ins.
If you’re not marketing your products and services via SMS messaging, it’s time to start. There’s no better way to reach your customers directly than to find them right where they are — on their phones. Start putting together your first text message marketing campaign today, and watch your business grow.