Sample Text Message Marketing for Restaurants and Food Trucks

sample text message marketing for restaurants

No matter what kind of restaurant you are running, there is one truth that is universally acknowledged in the food industry: if no one eats it, it might as well not exist. It’s a harsh reality that even restaurants staffed by the most talented chefs can fade into obscurity without the support of an effective marketing strategy.

With over 275 million smartphone users in the U.S. alone, it should come as no surprise that texting is quickly becoming the most valuable marketing tool you can have in your arsenal, especially in the fast-moving world of the food industry. If you’re new to SMS marketing or just not sure you’ve been doing it right, these text message marketing samples for restaurants and food trucks can help you find your groove and boost your business’s success. Order up!

Sample Text Message Marketing for Restaurants

SMS and MMS marketing offers an impressive array of options for those in the business of making (and selling) good food. Automated texts provide an easy way to promptly answer frequently asked questions or send reminders about upcoming reservations. User group segmentation can allow larger enterprises with multiple restaurants to craft tailor-made texts for customers based on their location or even based on their preferences. You can also allow customers to use text-to-pay to conveniently pay for online orders either for delivery or pickup.

Below are just a few samples of the text marketing messages your restaurant will be likely to use the most often. After that, we’ll dive into examples specifically for food trucks.

When someone…

Opts-in to your subscriber listThis is the perfect time to thank new subscribers for their interest—typically with a special deal or discount code. This is also a great opportunity to ask their name so you can use it for personalized messaging down the line.“Thanks so much for signing up! Reply with your first name to receive a special coupon exclusively for new subscribers. Bon appetit!”
Has recently visitedEveryone loves being appreciated. Thank them for stopping by—ideally, with an added incentive to come back again soon. This is also an excellent time to ask them to fill out an easy text survey.“Thanks for stopping by, Jordan! We hope you enjoyed your lunch. Fill out a quick survey to let us know how we did and get a free appetizer with your next meal!”
Is a frequent customerThis person deserves VIP treatment. Make them feel special with a personalized thank-you note and an exclusive deal.“We love how much you love our pizza, Alexa. 🙂 Here’s a special gift just for you—show this QR code during your next visit to get 20% off any entrée!”
Hasn’t visited the restaurant recentlyA gentle reminder here and there can go a long way. Be sure to send regular updates about new menu items, weekly specials, open tables, and more. For a more targeted approach, you can use data from previous orders to suggest the user treat themselves to their favorite standby.“It’s been a while, Chandler! This weekend, why not treat yourself to your favorite chicken sandwich? (Show your waiter this text and get 10% off your order!)”
Opts-outIt’s hard to say goodbye, but there will always be customers who want to opt-out. A survey might be asking too much, but consider asking just one or two follow-up questions about why they unsubscribed so you can take steps to avoid more users opting-out for the same reasons.“We are sorry to see you go, and you’ll receive no more messages from us.  If you’d like to share your feedback with us or complete a short survey, just reply YES to this message.”

(For even more inspiration, check out this post.)

While these examples can be easily copied over to a text message as-is, the best approach will be to take an extra moment to tailor them to your brand’s personality and voice. Trendy establishments with a youthful vibe, for example, may want to include a few emojis—and maybe even share a few homemade memes down the road. Upscale restaurants may choose to avoid slang in favor of a more polite and carefully curated approach.

Text Message Examples for Food Trucks

While all of the above texts will work for restaurants of just about any shape and size, there are some special considerations to take into account when using SMS marketing for a food truck.

To that end, we’ve come up with a few text message marketing samples below that specifically speak to some of these unique needs.

When you…

Change locationsIf you want customers to come back, it’s critical that they know where to find you. Social media updates are too easily lost in the crowd. Keep SMS subscribers up-to-date on your schedule and let them know ASAP whenever there’s a last-minute change so they can always find you.“Hey, fajita fam! We’re on the move again—this week Taco Trinity will be heading down to South Beach for a bit of fun in the sun. See you there!”
Change your lookPlanning a makeover for your truck (or getting a new one)? Get your customers in on the fun (and make it easy for them to find you again when you’re done) by sharing before and after pictures with an MMS message.“Heads up, BBQ fans—our truck’s got a fresh new look! Be sure to stop by this week to see it for yourself—the first 10 customers get a 10% discount. ;)”
Change your menuFood trucks tend to change menus more frequently than regular restaurants. Avoid disappointed returning customers by using SMS to keep subscribers notified of what you’ll be serving on any given day or week. If the menu info you want to send takes you over the character limit of a single text, try sending it as an image in an MMS text instead.“It’s new menu Monday! Here’s what we’ll be serving up this week (2/1-2/7)…”
Get a catering requestFood trucks are a fan favorite when it comes to private or local events. Set up automated text responses during busy hours to let querying customers know you’re listening and will get back to them as soon as you can. Since these texts may or may not come from current subscribers, be sure to “sign” your texts with your business name.“Thanks so much for reaching out! It’s a bit hectic here at the moment, but we’ll be sure to get back to you first thing tomorrow.
– Fancy Free Fricassee”

Of course, there’s more to SMS marketing than merely choosing the right words and hitting send. So what do you need to do to ensure that you not only get your message across but that you evoke the responses you’re looking for?

Using SMS Marketing in the Food Industry Effectively

Before launching right into a new text message marketing campaign for your restaurant or food truck, be sure to familiarize yourself (or your team) with basic SMS marketing best practices

Timing is especially critical for food vendors, so be sure to always be conscious of when your messages will be best received. For example, you don’t want to ask someone about their meal right after they’ve placed their order—they probably haven’t even eaten yet.

Utilizing pictures and video effectively can also play a significant role in whetting your customers’ appetites—a picture, after all, is worth a thousand words and they say a video is worth a thousand pictures. For maximum impact, use MMS messaging to embed your pictures and videos directly into your texts rather than linking out to them. Linking out is a surefire way to reduce engagement. 

And finally, be sure to sign up for a solid text marketing platform. The right platform will give you all of the features you need to create the marketing campaigns of your dreams—and do so with ease! Look for a platform that boasts a user-friendly interface and features like unlimited keywords and user groups, autoresponders, and text-to-pay options. This will make it simpler than ever to get the right messages to the right people and generate greater engagement with your brand than ever before. What are you waiting for?

Ready to put some of these sample text marketing messages for restaurants and food trucks to good use? NorthText offers an easy-to-use SMS marketing platform that will allow you to set up a successful campaign within minutes. To find out more, reach out to us online or by phone or text at (312) 869-9070.

Ready to put some of these sample text marketing messages for restaurants and food trucks to good use? NorthText offers an easy-to-use SMS marketing platform that will allow you to set up a successful campaign within minutes. To find out more, reach out to us online or by phone or text at (312) 869-9070

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How to Pick the Best Text to Landline Service

A woman enabling text to landline service for her business

Imagine a message in a bottle, tossed from the bow of a ship into the ocean. It’s romantic, sure, but not a very effective method of communicating. There’s no guarantee of when the message will reach its intended recipient—or even whether it will reach them at all.

Running a business without the ability to send and receive texts in today’s increasingly mobile landscape is nearly as ineffective. Customers who have come to not only demand but expect SMS to be an option will try texting your number only to have their messages disappear into the void, leaving them feeling lost at sea. The worst part is that, more often than not, you won’t even know they ever tried to contact you. 

Most people are more likely to simply walk away and find someone who will answer them than keep knocking on a door that never opens.

If you really want to connect with your customers, SMS and MMS texting are a must—especially given that around 80 percent of incoming calls would be more effectively handled via text. Below, we’ll discuss how text to landline services work as well as how to choose the best text to landline service with which to grow your business.

How Text to Landline Services Work

Text to landline services do exactly what the name implies—they allow text messages to be sent to, and received by, phones with fixed-wire connections.

Normally, when a text-enabled landline phone receives an SMS or MMS message, the text is converted to a voice message. However, by partnering with the right texting service, you’ll alternatively be able to reroute those messages from your landline phone to a messaging app you can access from any mobile or desktop device.

This means that whether or not you have a mobile phone for your business, your customers will be able to text you (as 75 percent of them will prefer to do). Even better, you’ll be able to text them right back.

Choosing the Best Text to Landline Service

If you want the best for your customers and your business, then it follows that not just any texting service will do. When looking for the best text to landline service, look for one that will allow you to:

Keep your existing number. This is critical for companies who have been using (and advertising) an existing landline or VoIP number for years. Keeping your number means keeping all of the customers who are already familiar with it. Even for new businesses, however, this option is important as it will allow you to more easily change services later should a change become necessary.
Easily manage and organize multiple conversations.If you receive a large volume of messages per day or week, a user-friendly dashboard that makes it easy to keep track of all incoming and outgoing messages is essential. If you have multiple people involved in customer communications, be sure that multiple users can access and respond to messages with ease.
Save time and resources by streamlining communications.The beauty of texting is that it allows you to offer a more personalized experience for your customers while expending fewer resources to do so. To maximize this benefit, look for a service that will allow you to schedule messages and responses ahead of time and even automate responses to common requests and FAQs like, “What are your business hours?”
Send MMS as well as SMS messages.We live in the era of video, and sending multimedia messages (MMS) to your subscribers can be a powerful way to engage them in whatever announcements or offers you have for them. Make sure your chosen text to landline service allows you to send both SMS and MMS messages.
Accept text payments.Text-to-pay offers a quick, convenient alternative to paying via webform or mail order, and many customers will be happy to utilize it. The right text to landline service will allow you to accept these payments via the app, just like any other text exchange.

In short, the best text to landline service is one that will make it easier than ever to reach and effectively engage with your customers in a way that many customers prefer.

The Benefits of Enabling Text Messaging for Your Business

Still not sure whether a text to landline service is right for your business? Consider the following:

  • Enabling text as well as phone calls allows your customers to contact you according to their preferences and empowers you to ensure no inquiry is left unanswered. This makes for happier customers, and happier customers are more likely to become repeat customers.
  • Texts are quicker and easier to send and receive than other communications, taking only seconds to read and respond to. This means you’ll be able to address more messages more quickly, making for more happy customers.
  • Utilizing a text to landline service with an app you can access from anywhere makes it easier to keep in touch with your customers and clients, even when you’re not physically in your office. This can prove especially useful if, for example, your business requires you to travel often or if you work remotely.

Working with the best text to landline service will allow you to connect with more people more quickly and efficiently than ever before—without sacrificing that vital personal touch that lets your customers know they are not only listened to but heard.

Looking for a text to landline service that will make it as easy as possible to get—and stay—connected with your customers by text? NorthText offers an innovative texting platform that allows you to keep your existing number and enable texting in just a few easy steps. Plus, our proprietary image reduction tool will automatically resize image and video files for you to optimize your MMS communications. Contact us online or call or text us anytime at (312) 869-9070.

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Opt-In Text Message Examples & Tips

An opt-in text message received on a mobile phone

When potential customers subscribe to your text communications, it reflects their enthusiasm for your products or services—an important step that may influence their purchasing decisions later. This is why opt-in text messages and other similar strategies are crucial for the success of your marketing campaigns and need to be created with thought and care.

When it comes to text marketing, receiving the consent of potential subscribers to accept your messages is a top priority. Since it is illegal in the U.S.—according to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) guidelines—to send marketing text messages to someone who has not opted-in to receive them, you actually cannot send opt-in text messages prompting recipients to join your list.

But, fear not. You are here looking for opt-in text message examples and this article is going to show you the best strategies available to grow your subscriber list—legally—and expand the reach and effectiveness of your marketing messages.    

How to Gain Subscribers in Lieu of Opt-in Text Message Examples

SMS marketing messages have a 6X higher engagement rate than emails and recent SMS marketing statistics show that customers prefer to receive information via text as opposed to email. For messages that include order confirmation or tracking numbers, a customer usually provides contact details during the checkout process and, therefore, opts-in to receive relevant transactional text messages only, not promotional marketing messages. 

So, now that we’ve seen that customers often prefer and respond well to text messaging marketing, how do we get people to opt-in to your list? Here are three key strategies you can use, in lieu of opt-in text message examples, to grow your list of subscribers and raise your text marketing ROI:       

Create SMS Keywords

An SMS keyword is a unique brand-specific keyword for your marketing campaign that your audience can easily relate to. When customers text the SMS keyword to your provided number, they express their consent to receive your marketing messages. 

For example, a pizza restaurant might put a sign in their window prompting customers to text the word “PIZZA” for a discount on their next order as a way to encourage potential customers to join their subscriber list. Such keywords can also be used on social media and via email to promote the latest updates or promotions for your business. This is a way to connect with your audience, so keep things simple but don’t be afraid to be clever and engaging.       

Use Physical Signup Forms

If you have decent foot traffic in your store, you can always ask your customers to fill out their phone number on a paper signup sheet as a way of receiving exclusive offers or coupons. The conventional pen-and-paper signups at retail store checkouts still work and have proven to be an effective way to build a list of opt-in subscribers. People are generally happy to sign up but they are typically going to require an incentive to do so.    

Use Signup Widgets

While physical forms can help increase opt-ins offline, digital signup widgets can leverage the online traffic you receive on your website. Pop-up notifications are effective in prompting your audience to opt-in for text messages, as well as email. By incentivizing opt-ins via coupons or giveaways on your website, you can further increase opt-ins. 

I am sure we have all had the experience of being offered a 10-15% discount coupon from an online shopping website if we signup for email or text communication.

Additionally, to make things simple, some innovative SMS marketing platforms will offer you premade code snippets and customer support to help make including these widgets on your site as easy as possible, even if you are not technologically inclined.

Some Key Considerations

While these strategies are effective in connecting with your audience and converting them into your subscribers and potential customers, let’s solidify a few key considerations:

  • Incentivize: By offering discount coupons, promo codes, giveaways, and more, you can reliably convert your audience/customers into subscribers. 
  • Comply with CTIA guidelines: As a business, you need to comply with the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) guidelines that require obtaining a customer’s consent to receive your marketing messages. You must also be sure to provide a way for subscribers to opt-out at any time, should they choose to do so.  
  • Avoid aggressive efforts: Are you prompting your potential customers to receive your marketing messages too aggressively? Too many pop-up notifications on your website or frequent reminders through emails with opt-in requests can annoy your audience and make them leery of granting you additional ways to reach them.     

Text messages are a proven way to engage better with your audience and improve the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing efforts. The strategies we discussed are guaranteed to provide results. However, you need the right SMS marketing platform to make the process easy and manageable with the highest ROI.    

Using the Right Platform Will Set You up for Success

Before committing to an SMS delivery platform, there are certain features you will want to make sure you look out for: 

  • Unlimited keywords: Using many SMS keywords to appeal to different demographics you intend to target is a great way to improve engagement with them. The right text delivery platform will offer unlimited keyword. 
  • Auto-responders: When customers opt-in to receive your text messages, they expect real-time responses to their keywords and queries. An SMS marketing platform with an auto-response feature can help you effectively communicate with your subscribers and quickly provide them with the information they desire. 
  • Code snippets: To employ signup widgets on your website, you need snippets of HTML code to be embedded on your site to capture the responses of your audience, including their consent and phone numbers. The right text marketing platform can provide you with these code snippets for your website and make it easy to incorporate them.  
  • Technical support: A robust technical backend is crucial for building and maintaining an opt-in subscribers list. The right SMS marketing platform will provide you with APIs and code snippets and help integrate them onto your website. Additionally, they will have live, U.S.-based customer support should you ever need it.    

You need to ensure that an SMS marketing platform follows the best practices for cellular compliance to help shield you from any legal issues. And, sending text messages through the right platform not only improves the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns but connects you with customers in the way they prefer.   

NorthText can help you send effective text marketing campaigns while offering advanced features such as unlimited keywords, auto-responders, and code snippets. To learn more about how our affordable platform can benefit your business, contact us by phone or text at (312) 869-9070.    

NorthText’s can help you send effective text marketing campaigns while offering advanced features such as unlimited keywords, auto-responders, and code snippets. To learn more about how our affordable platform can benefit your business, contact us by phone or text at (312) 869-9070.

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Short Code Alternatives That Are Long on Value

A text marketing message received on a smartphone

Short codes have long been the accepted way for effective text marketing for businesses. This 5-6 digit, registered number offered higher SMS throughput and ensured that you could reliably reach a high volume of subscribers in seconds. Your potential customers could also opt-in to your SMS and MMS marketing messages by texting a keyword to this unique short code. With the benefits of high throughput and a short number that is easy for customers to remember, are there really any drawbacks?

Yes, there are. Let’s explore these drawbacks in the context of short code alternatives and help you choose the method best suited for your business. 

First, What’s Wrong with Short Codes?

They might seem like the perfect solution, but there are a few key facts that will quickly show you why so many businesses are turning away from short codes to short code alternatives.

Getting a dedicated short code approved and registered takes a provisioning time of anywhere between 8-12 weeks. That might not seem like too long, but they also cost about $2,500 per month to lease, and that is before messaging costs. To lower this cost, businesses used to use shared short codes, but this is a process that is slowly being phased out by many major carriers, like AT&T.

However, these disadvantages of short codes can be effectively addressed by the following short code alternatives.         

Short Code Alternatives for Your Business

There are two key short code alternatives that can support your business communication and marketing efforts in the currently changing landscape of the telecom industry. Let’s look at how these alternatives can work for your business.       

Ten-Digit Long Code (10 DLC) Messaging

Shared short codes are going away and making way for 10-digit long code messaging (10 DLC messaging). Telecom carriers aim to make these commercial long codes work like dedicated short codes while offering additional features. Some of the key advantages of 10 DLC numbers include higher messaging throughput than local long codes, lower costs compared to dedicated short codes, a dedicated communication line for businesses, and voice support.

The voice-enabled feature of 10 DLC numbers is one of the major benefits over dedicated short codes that adds a local touch to your business while letting you communicate with your audience through an approved local area code. 

However, 10 DLC messaging has not been widely rolled out so far and only the major cellular carriers have their own DLC messaging service. 

If you prefer an option that is more established, consider another effective alternative to short codes—toll-free messaging. 

Toll-Free Messaging 

Toll-free messaging offers you clear value over dedicated short codes, with voice-enabled features all at a fraction of the cost. The 10-digit toll-free numbers are also whitelisted, meaning they are deemed “good”—and not spam—until proven otherwise.

Perhaps best of all, the existing toll-free number for your business can be text-enabled to let you enjoy texting services from a number already familiar to your customers. Though the throughput rate of toll-free numbers is lower than that of dedicated short codes, it is higher than local 10-digit numbers. This means you can use toll-free messaging for sending out successful text blast campaigns from the phone number already associated with your business. 

With low setup cost, lesser provisioning time, and voice-enabled and text-enabled features, toll-free numbers can prove to be your best bet for text marketing campaigns in the long run. All you need is an affordable SMS delivery platform to text-enable your current toll-free business number.       

Text-Enabling Your Toll-Free Number with An Innovative SMS Delivery Platform 

By text-enabling your existing toll-free number through an SMS delivery platform, you can send mass texts to your subscribers, including MMS. Many times, customers actually prefer texting businesses over calling on the phone. The right text marketing platform can help initiate this text communication with your customers without negatively affecting your phone services at all.

Unlike shared short codes, toll-free messaging provides a secured communication channel, and to further enhance the security and deliverability of your marketing messages, the right text marketing platform will maintain a full audit trail of all SMS conversations. 

When it comes to communicating with your subscribers, you need to keep things simple and convenient for them. With robust technical support and affordable pricing, the right text delivery platform can offer you the flexibility to include both texting and voice calls for your existing toll-free number.

NorthText’s intuitive and affordable SMS delivery platform can help you enable your existing toll-free number for wider use. To learn more about our platform and services, call or text us anytime at (312) 869-9070.

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Video Marketing Ideas for Small Business

video marketing ideas for small business

For small or startup business owners, video marketing might seem like more of a luxury than a necessity. Video content continues to gain popularity and prevalence and this type of marketing will only become more vital in building brand awareness and strengthening customer relationships and engagement.

Luckily, video marketing is no longer only available to big businesses that can afford expensive television advertisements. In fact, 6 out of 10 consumers prefer watching videos online over watching TV. 

Video is in the hands of the people now, literally and figuratively, and even the smallest businesses can take advantage of this medium without going over budget. If you’re not sure where or how to get started, don’t worry, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best video marketing ideas for small businesses below, along with what you need to know before you start shooting.

Creating Videos on a Small Business Budget

Thanks to rapid technological innovations over the past decade, you no longer need an expensive camera or extensive productive crew to make, produce, and publish share-worthy video content. All you really need is a smartphone with a decent camera, an external microphone, an internet connection, and a little creativity.

Why do you need a microphone when your phone or computer already has one built-in? According to Steven Robertson of YouTube, as much as 90 percent of viewers don’t care about video quality at all, whereas audio quality can make or break viewer engagement. That being said, a cheap tripod wouldn’t be a bad idea either—$20 is a low price to pay to avoid shaky videos that look like they were shot during an earthquake.

You don’t need fancy software to shoot or edit your videos, especially when you’re just starting out and don’t know what content or style will best suit your brand image and your audience’s tastes. Most phones and computers these days come with free video recording and editing software that are serviceable enough. Additionally, many full-featured video editing platforms offer a free version with a simpler set of tools. 

It’s best to keep it simple—you can always upgrade your editing later once you better understand your viewers. 

You also don’t need to hire actors, set designers, or anyone else to make your videos. Some of the best video content is simple, straightforward, and personal—authenticity is key to building trust and rapport with your audience.

Creative Video Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

To begin, consider what exactly you are trying to achieve by utilizing video in your marketing. Are you trying to increase brand awareness? Sell more products? Inspire your audience? When choosing the format of videos to begin your marketing campaign, always keep your primary goal in mind.

Do you need some inspiration of your own? Here’s our list of truly creative video marketing ideas for a small business like yours to grow your reach, increase response rates, and boost revenue.

Introduce Your Identity and Values

What feels more personal to you, a written biography or a personal introduction? Video provides an excellent medium through which to make positive, lasting first impressions and for increasing brand awareness. This is a great place to start with your first few videos. Consider trying:

  • An introductory video familiarizing the audience with who you are, who’s on your team, what you do, and what your core values are.
  • An origin story video that gives viewers an idea of where you’re coming from and what your company is trying to achieve.
  • “A day in the life” type videos that spotlight the processes behind your products and services.
  • Educational videos that provide value to your customers while showing off your product or service features and your team members’ expertise.
  • Updates and announcements letting your audience know about upcoming changes, the current status of your business and offerings, etc.

Showcase Your Products or Services

Photographic proof doesn’t carry the weight it once did now that photo editing software is readily accessible to so many people. A good photo editor can adjust an image in a snap. Video, however, still takes much more effort and skill to manipulate without detection, making it the perfect medium through which to instill trust in the quality of your offerings. Consider trying:

  • Product demos showcasing new or top-selling products, including the benefits they provide and any competitive advantages they may offer.
  • Teasers for upcoming products or services to ramp up interest the way movie trailers do for soon-to-be-released films.
  • How-to videos demonstrating how to use certain products or services, especially those that may be more complicated or involved or that customers have struggled to understand on their own.
  • Social proof videos, such as testimonials or videos showcasing your products in action. Consumers consider peer reviews far more reliable than a company’s word alone and being able to see the person reviewing the product instills far more trust than a quick text blurb.

Build or Strengthen Community Relationships

Video is an incredible tool for spreading awareness, motivating viewers to take action, or simply inspiring feelings of goodwill—and by extension brand loyalty—among your viewers. Consider trying:

  • Call-to-action videos that tell a clear, relatable story about the problem you’re trying to solve (and why it matters), how you’re trying to solve it, and what actions the viewer can take to help make a difference—such as donating to a fund or sharing the video with others.
  • Live streams in which you directly engage with your audience, such as a live Q&A session or a quick tour of your workspace or facility. Be sure to record and share these discussions after the fact as well.
  • “Thank you” videos acknowledging your appreciation for your audience’s support. Personalized videos might be nice to send individually if you have a small client base, or more generally addressed “thank you’s” can be shared quickly with your audience as a whole.
  • Videos sharing user-generated content, such as videos of your products in action or content created for a contest.

None of the video marketing ideas for small businesses above are restricted to businesses within this or that industry. Starting a fashion design business or opening a boutique shop? Sharing testimonial type videos of real customers wearing and enjoying their purchases can help your company quickly gain traction. 

Looking to grow your small environmental nonprofit organization? A call-to-action video showing the natural beauty of the land you’re trying to preserve can boost donations and awareness for your cause. 

Regardless of your industry or budget, any one of these video marketing ideas for a small business could make for a great starting point from which to grow.

A Few Video Marketing Best Practices for Small Businesses

Perhaps the most important factor to keep in mind when creating your videos is shareability. After all, “viral” video content only goes viral when people are willing to send it to one another. This dissemination is what gets a video the views necessary to generate results.

A shareable video is:

  • Concise. While there is a time and place for longer video content, your main focus should be on short, easy-to-digest clips that can be viewed and shared as conveniently as possible. There’s a reason short-form platforms like TikTok caught on; videos that are only a few seconds or minutes long are much more approachable, easier to fit into a busy schedule, and easier to share across multiple platforms.
  • Valuable. Every one of your videos should do at least one of the following: entertain, educate, or inspire. The goal of a video is always for your viewers to walk away feeling like their time was well-spent—otherwise, they won’t share it, nor will they be likely to watch or listen to your next one.
  • Inclusive. Take care not to alienate potential viewers whenever possible—you never know who might be watching your content. Often, a family-friendly approach is best since it will be easy to share with the widest audience possible without fear of a negative outcome.

And of course, the more easily your video can be shared, the more widely it will be shared. To maximize this potential, try to keep videos under 30 seconds—ideally around 15 seconds—in length. If they are being shared via MMS, save them as MP4 files. MOV files work as well in a pinch but are slower and slightly less convenient when sent via MMS. 

Using videos in text message marketing (MMS marketing) allows your content to reach a wide but carefully targeted audience as quickly as possible. Direct your video to those people who will be the most likely to not only engage with it but also pass it on to others. After all, people are 1.5 times more likely to watch videos on their phones these days than on their computers.

To get the most people to watch your content as soon as possible, embed your videos in MMS (multimedia) text messages. This skips the step of your users having to click through a link or two to watch your video. The fewer clicks it takes to reach your content, the more people your content will reach.

Ready to start sharing a few of your own video marketing ideas for small business development? NorthText’s easy-to-use text marketing platform makes it easy to compose and send SMS and MMS messages alike—including video content. Call or text us anytime at (312) 869-9070, or reach out to us online today to get started. We will have you up and running in a matter of minutes.

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Short Code vs. Toll-Free: Which Is Best?

A person texting on a smartphone

When it comes to text marketing, both short codes and toll-free numbers are considered to be highly effective. As a marketer, with both of these options available, you might find yourself wondering which is better—shortcode vs. toll-free?

In this article, we will discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of both communication methods and show which best adheres to SMS marketing best practices.      

Short Code vs. Toll-Free Texting: The Basics

When deciding whether to use a short code vs. toll-free number for your text marketing campaigns, it is important to understand the key differences between these two channels.

What Is a Short Code?

A shortcode is a 5-6 digit number used to communicate with your audience through SMS and MMS messages. As a business, you can either choose a specific shortcode (vanity shortcode) or get assigned a random one (random shortcode). When customers send a specific keyword to your business’s shortcode, they opt-in to receive brand communications such as marketing messages, time-sensitive alerts, one-to-one verification messages, and transactional messages.   

Short Codes have a high SMS throughput, which historically means that messages sent through registered shortcodes are not filtered by telecom carriers as these shortcodes are approved by the carriers themselves.

The higher SMS throughput of shortcodes requires strict compliance with the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) standards. As a result, shortcodes are often subjected to random audits by the CTIA and telecom carriers to check the intended purposes of their registration by businesses.      

What Is a Toll-Free SMS Number? 

10-digit toll-free numbers are often used as dedicated communication lines for a business’s customer support or sales departments. Basically, your standard phone line. These numbers can prove to be a powerful alternative to shortcodes as they can be used for customer support calls and enabled to send and receive SMS messages. Toll-free numbers are ideal for customer interaction since they can accommodate conversational text and voice calls.  

Unlike traditional 10-digit phone numbers, toll-free numbers support a higher throughput of text messages because they are whitelisted and, therefore, deemed “good”—not spam—until proven otherwise.

Benefits and Drawbacks to Short Code vs. Toll-Free SMS

The table below shows the benefits and drawbacks of these text communication channels, based on certain key features:   

Short CodeToll-Free SMS
Voice capabilityNoYes
Conversational textingNoYes
Carrier filteringNoYes
Shared usageRestricted by carriersYes
Provisioning time8-12 weeksInstant
PriceHighLow

Comparing these features makes it quite obvious that getting a dedicated short code approved for your business is both a time-intensive and expensive process. It also needs to be mentioned that it is not possible to text conversationally or let customers call your business with a short code and you are not able to create and send text surveys either.

Utilizing a toll-free number for both conversational and mass texting is definitely an easier, cost-effective business solution.

Enabling a Toll-Free Number for Text with an SMS Delivery Platform

If your business already has an existing toll-free number, you can easily text-enable it with the help of the right SMS delivery platform. By deploying the same number for both voice calls and messaging, you can offer a better user experience to your customers and leverage the familiarity and trust of your primary phone number. 

When considering an SMS marketing platform, the following are key aspects you want to look for:

  • Whitelisted toll-free numbers: Toll-free numbers are virtual and can be programmed to block callers from certain area codes. The right text delivery platform should provide you with whitelisted toll-free numbers for voice calls and messages to let your audience connect with you from anywhere in the US, regardless of their area codes.   
  • Text-enabled business landline: By enabling texts on your existing landline, a text delivery platform helps you offer a true omnichannel experience to your customers through the same number. It also saves you from investing in a new number for text communications.     
  • Affordable: Pricing is one major aspect where toll-free numbers trump dedicated shortcodes, as they come without extra carrier surcharges. As a marketer, you need to ensure that an SMS marketing platform offers an affordable pricing model to help you enjoy the benefits of this effective marketing strategy without using your entire marketing budget.   
  • Technical support: You need dedicated backend technical support from an SMS marketing platform for API integration to enable text messaging for your existing toll-free numbers. The right SMS delivery platform should have US-based customer service always ready to help you.  

Leveraging these impressive features from the right SMS delivery platform can allow you to not only add text messaging capabilities to your business’s existing toll-free number but improve the overall reach and marketing success of your business at a price you can afford.        

With NorthText’s robust SMS delivery platform, you can use your current business phone number to receive and send text messages. Learn more about our affordable pricing for landline texting and text-enabling your existing toll-free number, contact us by phone or text at (312) 869-9070

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Video Marketing Statistics for 2021 and Beyond

User with tablet computer displaying video marketing icons on virtual screen

As a marketer, you are in a constant struggle to capture the attention of your audience, and we are going to show you how video marketing is one of the most effective ways to do so. Looking at some of the video marketing statistics for 2020 will make it clear what this technology has to offer and how to best use it. 

Compelling Video Marketing Statistics for 2021

It has been fifteen years since YouTube came into existence and redefined the way users interact with video. In recent years, the popularity of video has soared further with new platforms such as Vine, Snapchat, TikTok as well as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It is no secret that visual content drives high engagement and with video content accounting for 60% of downstream traffic, you can’t afford to miss your opportunity to connect to your audience via video marketing. 

The following video marketing statistics will give you an even better idea of the reach and effectiveness of video content, both in and out of the marketing context. Then, we are going to show you how to capitalize on that information to improve engagement with your audience. Let’s start by breaking these statistics down into three categories:      

Viewership

When we talk about video content for marketing, it primarily refers to video ads, tutorial videos, interviews, presentations, product demos, reviews, testimonials, and live streaming. Regardless of the type of video content, here are a few numbers that reflect the rise in viewership and the growing demand for video marketing:

  • Around 14.9% of millennials (aged between 26-35 years) watched 10-20 hours of online video per week across the globe.
  • In the U.S., the number of online users accessing digital video content was projected to reach 83.3 percent in 2020.  
  • Smartphones are the primary device used by viewers worldwide to access online videos, followed by computers, smart TVs, and other internet-connected devices. 

Engagement

Engagement, in terms of comments, shares, etc., on social media platforms reflects how well a video resonates with its target audience. Completion rate and view duration are among other powerful video marketing metrics to gauge an audience’s interest in the content.

  • In the first quarter of 2020, the completion rate for video ads in North America was reported to be 85%.
  • 30-second ads account for more impressions than 15-second ads and remain the preferred ad length for many advertisers.
  • The engagement rate for video posts on Facebook is the highest at 6.09%, compared to engagement with any other type of content on the platform.   

Effectiveness

With high viewership and engagement, it is quite clear that the sentiment towards video content and marketing is favorable. Video ads are instrumental in driving consumers to discover new brands and make purchasing decisions. As a result, video marketing is comfortably positioned as a key digital marketing strategy for modern business success.  

So, What Type of Video Marketing Should You Use? 

With the total number of smartphone users in the U.S. having been estimated to reach 275.66 million by 2020, and a significant percentage of these users preferring communication with businesses via text messages, multimedia messaging service (MMS) marketing has proven to be a very effective way to reach your audience with video. And, when you consider that no special app or even an internet connection is required to receive text messages, it speaks volumes about the success and reach that text marketing campaigns can have. 

Unlike standard SMS that only supports plain text, MMS can be considered to be an improved version of that traditional text message, in that it lets you include rich media like videos, audio clips, and images. Interestingly, MMS offers an increased character limit over SMS (500 to 5,000 depending on the platform), way over the typical 160 to 240 character limit for SMS messages. 

With the features offered by MMS, you can leverage the statistics shown above and create engaging marketing messages containing text as well as high-interest visual content. These potential benefits of MMS marketing help you successfully reach subscribers, and since these recipients have already opted-in as subscribers, you know that you are reaching an audience that is interested in the content you will be delivering. 

All you need is the right text marketing platform to take advantage of MMS marketing for your business and include it in your overall marketing strategy. 

Choosing the Right MMS Delivery Platform for Your Marketing Goals

Choosing the right text marketing platform for your text marketing campaigns can have a significant impact on the success of those campaigns. The right text marketing platform should offer a robust suite of features that make things easy for you and valuable for your audience. 

Some features you will definitely want to have are unlimited keywords, which let you connect with different audience segments, and the option to create multiple user groups to help you send targeted MMS texts that your recipients will find valuable and relevant. Additionally, auto-responders in a text delivery platform can improve real-time engagement with your subscribers, and choosing a text marketing platform with a full audit trail helps your business avoid legal liabilities and find peace of mind. 

Last but not the least, you need affordable pricing so that you can capitalize on the clear value shown in these statistics without breaking the bank or spending your entire marketing budget in one place.    

Are you wondering how to further leverage these video marketing statistics for 2021 to boost the success of your business NorthText’s robust platform with innovative features offers you one-stop solutions for SMS and MMS marketing campaigns. Contact us today by phone or text at (312) 869-9070 to get started. We can have you up and running within minutes.

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5 Key SMS Opt-In Best Practices for Marketing and Outreach

SMS opt-in best practices

For any business, an increase in the number of opt-in subscribers is a healthy sign that reflects a growing interest in its product or service. A clean list of opt-in subscribers is a valuable asset for a brand but requires consistent effort to grow and maintain. After all, you are not only competing with other businesses to grab the attention of your audience—while complying with legal guidelines—but also trying to convince customers to receive your text marketing messages. The trick is to incentivize your potential customers to subscribe to your text messages without appearing pushy or “spammy.” 

If this sounds difficult, or you are having trouble growing your list of opt-in subscribers, here are 5 SMS opt-in best practices that you can implement today.

5 SMS Opt-In Best Practices

When you are looking for ways to increase your number of SMS opt-in subscribers, there are a few key strategies and best practices that you need to consider. Let’s dive a little deeper and show how these best practices can improve the performance of your text marketing campaigns and the size of your opt-in subscriber lists.

Incentivize Your Audience

It is estimated that around 75% of customers are comfortable receiving text messages from businesses after opting-in. Such customers redeem SMS-delivered coupons 10 times more than those received through other marketing channels. Your potential audience is more likely to subscribe to your text messages when the call-to-action is supported by a clear incentive. By offering valuable incentives such as discounts or coupons, you can be sure to increase your opt-in subscriber conversion rates.  

Follow TCPA Guidelines

This is one of the most important considerations when growing your list of SMS opt-in subscribers. The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) guidelines make it outright illegal to purchase lists of phone numbers for text marketing campaigns. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the CAN-SPAM Act prohibit businesses from sending unsolicited commercial text messages without the explicit consent of the recipients. 

These guidelines also ensure that a recipient can opt-out of a subscriber’s list at any point. Disregarding these regulations can lead to heavy penalties as well as a loss of trust with customers. If the nuances of these rules are not known to you, be sure to consult the linked resources to be sure you are compliant with these laws. However, partnering with the right SMS marketing platform can save you the hassle of learning all of this information and give you peace of mind that your messages are fully compliant with all laws, as we will discuss later in this article.   

Use Brand-Specific SMS Keywords

As a marketer, you may want to uniquely target every segment of your audience demographics via text marketing. One of the best ways to do so, aside from keeping correspondence targeted and valuable for the recipient, is by using SMS keywords that potential subscribers can easily relate to your brand or product and that evoke something they may want. 

For example, a skincare company looking for new customers might encourage the audience to subscribe to its text messages by typing SMS keywords such as “Radiant” or “Glow”. By texting these on-brand keywords to the shortcode used by the company, customers can often redeem a specific offer while consenting to receive future text marketing messages. Don’t be afraid to get creative here!   

Provide Real-Time Responses

The faster you act as a business, the higher your chances are of converting potential customers into customers and opted-in subscribers. Since customers hold the power of purchase, it is important to value their time with immediate responses. With the help of an auto-responder feature, you can act quickly and efficiently so your customers feel that their time and effort is being valued and respected.              

Offer Relevant Information 

Opt-in subscribers are likely only going to stay if the information they receive is clear, concise, and relevant to their interests. We live in an era of spam messages, so peoples’ tolerance for irrelevant marketing material is low. Using innovative survey tools to collect information about your subscribers and segment your list is a great way to make sure they only receive the information that they want to receive and, therefore, remain subscribers for as long as possible.          

These opt-in best practices can help you grow your lists, maintain the subscribers you already have, and keep your recipients happy. However, just following these best practices is not always enough. You need the right SMS marketing platform to help you easily implement them into your text marketing campaign(s).     

Implementing SMS Opt-In Best Practices with an Innovative SMS Marketing Platform

SMS opt-in best practices, when implemented through the right SMS delivery platform, can help you grow and maintain your subscriber list(s). An innovative SMS marketing platform will be built with these best practices in mind, which means that properly implementing them is more about choosing the right tool and less about you having to do more work. Here are some essential features you will definitely want to look for:

  • Unlimited keywords: Unlimited keywords give you the flexibility to respond to a large variety of customer requests with relevant responses, immediately. This flexibility can let automated features like auto-responders provide helpful and relevant information to any customers that use your supplied keywords. 
  • Auto-responders: Targeted keywords are most effective when combined with real-time responses. An auto-response feature can help you connect instantly with your subscribers, allowing you to quickly capitalize on the short attention spans of most customers. 
  • Increased character limit: Creating marketing messages with relevant information about your business requires optimal usage of the standard, but oftentimes limited, 160 characters. A platform offering an increased limit of up to 240 characters can help you create better and more effective marketing messages. 
  • Audit trail: When it comes to SMS marketing, your platform should maintain a full audit trail of messages sent and received to protect you from legal liability. There are a lot of laws around marketing, making this feature a must-have.

The right SMS delivery platform will offer all of these features and at an affordable cost. Collecting new subscribers with the help of these SMS opt-in best practices will not be a struggle when you’re supported by an intuitive and innovative SMS marketing platform with great, prompt customer service.

NorthText easy-to-use platform implements these SMS opt-in best practices, allowing you to maintain and grow your opt-in subscriber list with ease and peace of mind. To learn more about how our affordable platform can benefit your business, contact us by phone or text at (312) 869-9070 and we can get you started in minutes.

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Example Marketing Text Messages for Takeaways and Restaurants

Restaurateur packs a takeaway order

As Guy Fieri once put it, “Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together.” Whether you’re a restaurateur or running a takeaway service, you want your food to do just that—bring people together. The more, of course, the merrier.

But, with so much competition out there these days, even the most delicious dishes and swiftest service won’t draw enough customers to last you a season if no one ever hears about your establishment. And in a mobile world, where as many as 96 percent of Americans own cell phones, one of the best ways to get the word out is through the use of text messaging.

Chances are you’ve written a text before, but maybe you don’t know how mass texting works. Or, perhaps you’re just not sure how to translate your brand personality and messaging into brief, character-limited messages. Whatever the case, don’t worry—this guide will go over how to use text marketing for your business, as well as some example marketing text messages for takeaways and restaurants that you can feel free to use or adapt as you see fit.

How to Use Text Marketing in the Food Industry

If you already have some experience using SMS and MMS marketing and are familiar with the basics of how it works, feel free to skip straight to the next section. If, however, this is your first time tinkering with text marketing, or if you need a refresher, you’ll likely want to know how it works before you worry about what to write.

The process is surprisingly simple:

  1. Give your customers a keyword they can use to opt-in with.

It is illegal to send any marketing messages before a user has opted in, so be sure not to skip this step. Your keyword can be anything you like, but it should be short, simple, and relevant. For example, you might hang a sign in your sushi bar that reads something like, “Want 10% off your next order? Text SUSHIFORME to 11123 to sign up for our mobile VIP program.” This is a common way to get new users to opt-in to your text marketing campaign.

  1. Follow up with a “thank you.”

Once a user opts-in, you should have an automatic response set up that will thank them for doing so—a little appreciation goes a long way. If you advertise an incentive for opting in, like the discount in the example above, be sure to include that here as well.

  1. Text subscribers regularly (but not too regularly) with valuable offers and info.

This is the meat of your SMS marketing entree; when customers opt-in, they expect value in return for their support. We’ll get into more specific examples below, but in general, your customers will be hoping to be the first to hear about things like limited-time deals, new menu items, seasonal specials, and more. Just don’t go overboard—a few messages per month is enough for most subscribers.

That’s all you’ll need to do to run a text marketing campaign for your takeaway or restaurant—but of course, running a successful campaign is sometimes easier said than done.

Examples of Marketing Text Messages for Takeaways and Restaurants

In the world of text message marketing, it’s not just what you say that matters but how you say it. Ideally, your messages should feel personal, but not invasive, and relevant. Subscribers should feel like they’re part of an exclusive group privy to the best deals and “inside” information. This not only motivates new users to sign up but also keeps current subscribers from opting out due to boredom or a lack of perceived value.

What you say depends on your goal—that is, the results you hope to get from sending this or that message. For example, if you want to promote a new menu item, the what of your message should include what the item is, when it will be available (and for how long, if it’s a limited-time offer), and some hint as to why customers should be excited to try it.

How you phrase your message depends on your desired effect—how you want your customers to feel, both about the text itself and your business in general. You might want to take a more serious tone if you own an elegant fine dining establishment, leaning more to full sentences with periods and a calmer presentation. A hip new takeaway catering largely to college-age students, on the other hand, might take a more informal approach, emojis and exclamation points optional.

Below is a list of example marketing text messages for takeaways and restaurants. They are organized by purpose and written in a straightforward, casual tone to help give you a clear template to start with—and they’re all 160 characters or less. However, keep in mind that some innovative SMS marketing platforms allow up to 240 characters. 

As you get more comfortable with text marketing, tweak the tone of your messages as necessary to better fit your business’s unique brand image.

(Another tip to keep in mind: when including a link to your app or website, be sure to use a link shortener to keep your message short and sweet.)

Type Purpose Example Marketing Text Messages
Sales and Promotions Promote a new item or service Tired of ordering the same old apps? Check out our chef’s latest creation—loaded baked sweet potatoes! Order now at [link].
Notify customers about a limited-time deal Ready for the weekend? Kick it off the right way with 20% off all drinks—today only! Come hang out with us or place your order now at [link].
Promote a seasonal item What better way to celebrate the holidays than with a mint chocolate chip or sugar cookie shake? Available now through January 1.
Offer subscribers an exclusive discount Here’s a little something special for our VIP mobile users—your next drink is on us! Order online now with promo code THANKSVMUCH
Notifications and Reminders Confirm an order or booking Thank you, James! Your order [confirmation code] has been confirmed for delivery at 7:00 PM. We hope you enjoy your dinner and hope to hear from you soon.
Update customer on delivery status Good news, Sandra. Your takeaway is on its way! Expect your food to arrive at 12:15 PM.
Notify customer a pickup order is ready Time to ring the dinner bell—your pickup order [confirmation number] is ready for collection. Enjoy!
Remind a customer about a reservation Max, we’re looking forward to seeing you at 6:30 PM tonight. (If you need to update or cancel your reservation, please call us at [phone number].)
Notify customer of an unexpected delay We are operating at max capacity tonight and won’t be able to fulfill your order for another 60 min. Is this OK? Text Y/N to confirm or cancel.
Event Announce an upcoming event Food fair is next weekend—we hope to see you there! Visit [link] to get your tickets now, before they run out.
Follow up after the event Thank you again to everyone who came out for Trivia Tuesday last night! Share your pics and ideas for next time using [unique hashtag]
Personalized Messaging Celebrate a customer’s birthday Happy birthday, Jacob! We got you a little something—enjoy a free dessert using the promo code HAPPYBDAY
Reach out to a customer who has been inactive Hey Sarah, are you hungry? Our menu has changed since the last time we heard from you—check out what’s new here: [link]
Reward a customer for a high level of activity Gary, did you know you’re our favorite? 🙂 Use promo code BFFS on your next order for free delivery—just because.
Offer a personalized recommendation Hey Shantel—did you know your favorite combo is on sale this weekend? Go ahead, treat yourself: [link]

Even something as short and simple as a quick text has almost limitless potential once you know how to put it to good use. What you say, and how you say it, can make all the difference between a happy repeat customer and an opt-out.

Tips for Implementing SMS and MMS Marketing Effectively

Beyond the text itself, there are other considerations you’ll need to keep in mind to craft truly successful marketing text messages for your takeaway or restaurant.

Timing, for example, is everything in the food industry. You don’t want anybody opting out just because you accidentally woke them at 3 AM with a text about a new side dish. But more than that, timing your messages just right—when customers are most likely to be hungry and thinking about their next meal—can play a significant role in boosting engagement and sales.

Another major differentiator between a moderately successful campaign and a truly great one is Multimedia (MMS) messages. Pictures and especially videos elevate your texts to a whole other level by playing to your customers’ appetites in a direct, mouthwatering way. After all, who among us hasn’t salivated over a photo of a juicy burger or a quick clip of a sizzling steak on the grill? Almost any one of the example texts above could be easily improved with the addition of a picture or short video clip to emphasize your point. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a video is worth 1,000 pictures. 

But using MMS isn’t just about whetting your users’ appetites, it’s also about standing out. As SMS texting becomes more prevalent in the marketing world, MMS will become more and more valuable as a means of setting your texts apart from the 40 others your average customer might be reading on any given day. Be sure to utilize MMS messaging to embed your photos and videos directly into your texts for the highest boost to engagement; every time you ask a recipient to follow a link you are guaranteed to lose engagement. 

This, of course, leads to one final tip for success: choose your text marketing service provider with care. Look for a service that includes shortcode verification and unlimited keywords, and a platform that will allow you to use both SMS and MMS messaging to reach your customers. The easier it is to use, the better, as you’ll spend less time trying to figure out how to hit “send” and more time bringing people together around the foods they love most.

Before you put these example marketing text messages for takeaways and restaurants to good use, you need a solid text marketing platform to build your campaign on. NorthText’s solutions include both SMS and MMS support and a user-friendly platform—our proprietary tech can even resize overlarge images and videos for MMS automatically so you won’t have to. Call or text us anytime at (312) 869-9070, or contact us online today to get started. We’ll have you up and running in minutes.

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SMS Notifications vs. Push Notifications: Which Is More Reliable?

SMS notification received on a smartphone

For every company, it is an ongoing struggle to choose the best method(s) for reaching out to your target audience. SMS notifications vs. push notifications is one common comparison being made, and discussing the pros and cons of these two notification types will be the focus of this piece. 

With an estimated 275.66 million smartphone users in the U.S. alone, both SMS notifications and push notifications seem like obvious ways to engage with your audience. But when it comes to effectiveness, which of these two methods is going to work best for you? Let’s look at some of the potential benefits and drawbacks of SMS notifications vs. push notifications to help you decide which you should be using.       

Using SMS Notifications vs. Push Notifications

With 95 percent of text messages being read within three minutes of being delivered, SMS notifications (text messages) are an excellent way to reliably reach your subscribers. Text messaging is a default feature in even the most basic mobile phones and does not require an internet connection to send or receive messages. Those two facts alone open up a huge amount of people that can be reached by text, vs. other means that may require more sophisticated devices and/or internet connections. 

This accessibility is clearly reflected in recent SMS marketing statistics which show that around 98% of total text messages are read, compared to only 20% of emails. And, texts have an average click-through rate (CTR) of 9.18% vs. only about 4% for emails. 

These robust numbers prove the potential of SMS notifications for reliably reaching out to future and existing customers. Here are a few other major advantages of SMS notifications: 

Benefits of SMS Notifications

  • There is no need for recipients to download any particular application for receiving SMS notifications.
  • SMS notifications facilitate two-way communication and allow the user to reply to your messages and get responses in real-time.
  • Once a recipient receives an SMS notification, the text message remains stored on the user’s device and can be read again until it is manually deleted from the inbox.   

With such clear benefits for SMS notifications, it may not be surprising that around 50% of U.S. consumers make direct purchases after receiving text messages from businesses that contain discount coupons or QR codes. 

Despite the clear and numerous advantages, SMS notifications do have their downsides too.  

Drawbacks of SMS Notifications

  • Legally, businesses need opt-in consent from recipients before sending them marketing messages via texts. 
  • SMS notifications do not provide any direct interface to view products during mobile shopping. Users need to click on the hyperlinks embedded in the messages to take them to the respective web pages. In other words, there is no real app interface.
  • Text messages are usually restricted to 160 characters, including spaces, leaving marketers with limited opportunity to describe their products or services. However, as we will discuss later, some innovative text marketing solutions offer up to 240 characters.     

In contrast, push notifications are the popup messages that smartphone users can receive once they download your business’s app. These notifications can include offers, greetings, or other account notices. Since push notifications do not interrupt a user’s current activity on the smartphone, some consider these notifications to be less intrusive than SMS notifications. Let’s see how push notifications might support your strategy for audience engagement: 

Benefits of Push Notifications

  • A user is already consenting to receive push notifications upon downloading the app. So, marketers need not worry about building opt-in subscribers lists for sending notifications over the app. However, you will typically need to advertise to get users to download your app. 
  • Around 46 percent of mobile device owners in the U.S. reported using mobile retail apps for shopping activities in December 2019. Push notifications are instrumental in influencing purchasing decisions for many smartphone users.   
  • The appearance of push notifications is dependent on the features of browsers and devices. Browsers such as Chrome and Firefox support unlimited character length for push notifications on Android devices. For iOS devices, app push notifications are limited to 4 lines and 178 characters that can include hyperlinks as well as rich media. 

Though push notifications are known for their ability to drive up app engagement by reminding users about special offers, discounts, etc., there are clear drawbacks as well. 

Drawbacks of Push Notifications       

  • Push notifications are solely dependent on app installation by users and offer only one-way communication—from business to audience. Additionally, users may need to manually enable or adjust these notifications depending on the device they are using. 
  • When unread app notifications appearing as badge counts are clicked upon and read, that badge counter is removed, unlike text messages that remain in the inbox until deleted.    
  • An increased volume of push notifications—6 to 10 notifications a week—can cause app fatigue, prompting users to stop using an app or worse, uninstall the app altogether from their devices.   

Choosing A Good SMS Notification Platform

When it comes to SMS notifications vs. push notifications, they both have their strengths and weaknesses. However, one of the most significant factors determining the success of SMS notifications, or a whole text marketing campaign, is the quality and feature set of the SMS marketing platform you use. 

The right platform can help you create engaging text messages with an increased character limit of up to 240 characters—above the character limit of many push notifications. The auto-response feature of an advanced SMS delivery platform lets you send real-time personalized responses to your subscribers, something that is difficult to accomplish through push notifications. With additional features, including unlimited keywords to target different demographics and a full audit trail to keep a track of all the messages sent to subscribers, you can further strengthen your text marketing strategy. 

An innovative, cost-effective, and user-friendly SMS delivery platform ensures that your audience receives quality text messages with information that is valuable to them. And most importantly, it ensures that this process is as simple as possible for you.      

With NorthText, you can create affordable and appealing text messages for your audience with unlimited keywords and an increased character limit over other services. For more information, contact us by phone or text at (312) 869-9070.

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