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 Alert Advantages and Disadvantages You Need to Know

A young man considers the advantages and disadvantages of opting in to an SMS alert system for public health updates

By definition, an alert is important and, more often than not, urgent. We may wish to be alerted to opportunities, such as a flash sale or pop-up event, or to significant changes in circumstances, such as a business opening new locations or closing down old ones. In emergency situations, being promptly alerted to danger helps us stay safe.

To be effective, an alert needs to be fast and to the point, and it needs to be reliable. This is why SMS alerts have become increasingly relied upon over the years—few other options can rival the efficiency and reach of a straightforward text blast.

Of course, no method of communication is completely perfect. Being aware of the various SMS alert advantages and disadvantages can help you make the best choices regarding when and how to effectively implement text alerts into your marketing and communications.

SMS Alert Advantages

SMS alerts offer several impressive advantages over other means of reaching a large audience:

  • Speed. An SMS alert takes seconds to send, and will typically be read by most of your audience within three minutes or less. 
  • Price. SMS alerts cost only pennies per message, making them one of the most cost-effective options for reaching out to large groups of people at once.
  • Wide reach. As many as 96% of Americans own cell phones of some kind, but about 15% of the population are still using older phones without internet access. SMS texts, which do not require an internet connection to send or receive, allow you to reliably reach both smartphone and flip phone users alike and with ease.
  • Reliability. People are far more likely to miss radio or television announcements or misplace print materials, such as flyers or brochures, than lose or forget to check their cell phones. Even emails only get opened by about two out of ten recipients, whereas SMS alerts have a 98% chance of being read.
  • Efficiency. Compared to a phone call—even an automated one—an SMS alert uses far less of a phone’s battery life, which can be a critical consideration during a crisis.

A text may not be the ideal method to get every kind of message across. However, if you need to make a point, and you need to make it now, an SMS alert is almost always your best option.

SMS Alert Disadvantages

Despite the many benefits of SMS alerts, here are a few potential disadvantages to be taken into consideration, as well as how to overcome them:

  • Authentication. Anyone can send a text, which means that readers may have reason to doubt the veracity of your messages if, for example, they forget to save your number after opting-in to text alerts. This can be easily avoided by always including an indication of your company’s identity when sending an alert.
  • Cell tower congestion. During an emergency, cell towers can sometimes become overwhelmed by the sheer number of messages being sent back and forth as people try to contact loved ones and sources of support. To minimize delays, try to send crisis alerts as early as possible. If you need to send multiple alerts, make sure all of the most important information is included in the very first one.
  • Character limit. While you can break an SMS alert into multiple texts, it’s not ideal—especially not during emergencies. To avoid annoying customers with multiple notifications or confusing them with multi-part texts received out of order, keep SMS alerts as concise as possible and save lengthier explanations for later. It is also worth mentioning that some innovative SMS platforms allow for increased character limits over the standard 160. That extra space could be crucial in times of emergency. 

In comparing these SMS alert advantages and disadvantages, it becomes clear that the benefits far outweigh the potential problems—most of which can be avoided or mitigated by following a few simple best practices.

SMS Alert Advantages and Disadvantages: Optimizing Your Approach

When weighing SMS alert advantages and disadvantages, it is important to keep in mind that texting is never your only option for reaching people. Knowing which kinds of messages are best suited to this format is key to optimizing your strategy.

Newsletters, staff letters, and other lengthier communications are all still best sent by email or other long-form methods. Personal, individual conversations may warrant 1:1 online chats or phone calls. SMS alerts, on the other hand, are best used when you need to share straightforward, time-sensitive information quickly with many people at once. New products, limited-time offers, and emergency updates are all ideal examples.

Another important consideration is the platform you use to send your SMS alerts. Look for one that offers useful features like auto-responders, user group segmentation, and unlimited sending. The more user-friendly, flexible, and reliable your text marketing service is, the simpler it will be to reach who you need to when you need to, every time.

NorthText is a seasoned and innovative provider of text marketing solutions. Our robust, intuitive platform can help you easily navigate the advantages and disadvantages of SMS alerts to optimize customer and employee engagement. To learn more, call or text us at (312) 869-9070 today!

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SMS & MMS Marketing: Image Use Best Practices

A man looking at an SMS marketing image on his cellphone

Simple images can convey powerful messages—a fact that SMS and MMS marketing techniques leverage to create captivating images that encourage recipients to engage with a brand. However, there might be times when the typical 160 SMS character limit is not enough to build an accurate representation of an idea in the mind of a recipient. SMS marketing images can solve that dilemma by helping to create a specific picture of the desired message.

SMS marketing images may seem easy to use, but they can add a layer of complexity to your marketing campaign. The image you choose for each text instantly becomes the center of attention and can mean the difference between a recipient moving on from your message or being engaged and inspired by it. In order to optimize the use of SMS marketing images as part of your text marketing campaign, it is important to become familiar with the following 7 best practices.

1. Choose Simple and Powerful Images

If there is one piece of advice to follow when selecting your image, it is this: simple images can put forward a powerful message. Using simple images in MMS marketing messages builds a vibrant representation of your brand which will immediately capture the recipient’s attention. To-the-point content helps build better conversion rates and reserves valuable characters for the name of the establishment and contact information. Just remember, what looks good on a computer screen might not translate well to a phone screen, so choose your images carefully.

2. Add Attention to MMS Messages With a Subject Line

MMS messaging allows you to include an eye-catching subject line that adds power to the image in your message. This subject line can further enhance a customer’s experience and encourage greater customer engagement. The subject line should feel personalized and give the reader a sense of urgency to act on the offer in the message, potentially swaying more customers towards your brand.

3. Use the Text Body to Compliment the Image

The body of the marketing message should be short and directly support the strong heading and photo you have selected. If something is of vital importance, include it in the text. Redirecting potential customers might cause them to lose interest in your message. Simply worded messaging that surrounds the selected image is best—remember, the primary focus of an MMS text is always the image. 

4. Integrate Incentives Into Your Texts

Including clearly visible incentives in MMS texts have been proven to improve marketing text response rates. Here are three common areas to place these valuable incentives:

  • Add a text-back code to the offer you are promoting. For example, send a photo of your daily special with the following message attached: Text “Lunch” to receive a 20% discount from 11-1.
  • Include MMS coupons that make special offers easy to redeem and understand. 
  • Add a scannable barcode or scannable QR code for easy mobile coupon redemption.

Supporting images with incentives can boost response rates and MMS promotion engagement numbers.

5. Create Focused Audience Groups

Sending out MMS marketing texts does not necessarily mean sending them out to every person on your contact list, nor does it mean that the same image will be attractive to all of your customers. By creating distinct groups to account for your different audiences, you open the door to increased promotion engagements while lowering the risk of recipients tapping the unsubscribe link. 

6. Become Familiar With Fair-Use Requirements

Before using images in your marketing texts, you must have permission to use or own the image you are about to send. While there is no shortage of free-use images on the internet, some of these come with fine print that prohibits their use in business media. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with the basics of image copyright will save you potential copyright issues later.

7. Ensure Proper Image Viewing on Mobile Devices

In order to ensure that images appear correctly on a recipient’s device, it is important to consider the overall quality of the image during the selection process. Keep in mind that smartphones default to an image size of 600px, although in some cases 320px may be ideal. The file size of the image should ideally be kept to a size less than 600KB, although some older phones may still be limited to a 300KB size for MMS images. 

Introduce SMS Marketing Images Into Your Text Campaign

Today’s typical customer has a short attention and is not loyal to any particular brand. Using SMS marketing images helps you capture this type of customer’s attention, ensuring they are quickly and easily engaged with your product. 

Take the guesswork out of using SMS marketing images by working with the tools from NorthText to establish your next successful campaign. Contact us by phone or text at (312) 869-9070.

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Key SMS Marketing Statistics for Growth in 2020+

A person receiving SMS marketing texts on their cell phone

As a marketer, you have probably heard about the effectiveness of text marketing for quickly and effectively reaching out to your customers. In fact, many brands prefer text messaging over email marketing nowadays due to its faster and more reliable engagement. This preference is backed by SMS marketing statistics for 2020 that highlight the advantage of text marketing over other conventional ways of connecting with your target audience. Here are some key SMS marketing statistics you need to be aware of before planning your next marketing campaign.

Some Interesting SMS Marketing Statistics for 2020

It is estimated that about 95% of text messages are read within the first three minutes. That is a degree of visibility that cannot be ignored in your overall marketing strategy. However, when talking about email marketing, there is more than an 80% chance that the mail will not be read. This is where SMS marketing bridges the communication gap between you and your audience. Let’s look at some of the interesting SMS marketing statistics for 2020 based on the following three parameters:

Usage

The widespread usage of smartphones and the number of text messages sent and received everyday emphasizes the powerful role that text marketing can play in business communication. Not to mention, many people associate text messages with information they want to receive while they associate email with things they would typically rather ignore.   

  • In 2020, the total number of smartphone users in the U.S. is expected to reach 275.66 million.
  • The number of text messages sent in the U.S. increased by 15.8% during the period between 2017 and 2018. As the number of smartphone users increases, this number can be expected to increase as well. 
  • 53% of marketers already use text messaging to reach out to their target audiences.

Demographics

With more than 81% of adults in the U.S. owning smartphones, it is interesting how the audience demographics of text marketing are rapidly changing. 

Effectiveness

The high open rate and faster response rate of text messages over emails show their effectiveness in connecting with your target audience. 

  • 95% of texts are read within 3 minutes of being sent, with an average response time of 90 seconds and a 6X higher engagement rate than emails.
  • 75% of customers like to receive special offers through texts. The Click Through Rate (CTR) for such texts is much higher (9.18%) than other channels such as Google AdWords (1.91%) or Facebook (0.90%).
  • More than 50% of consumers depend on QR codes and coupons received through text messages to make purchasing decisions.

These SMS marketing statistics in the U.S. speak for themselves. With a growing number of consumers preferring text messages over emails or phone calls and responding to them much more rapidly, it is time you focus on an affordable and reliable text marketing provider to deliver engaging messages to your target audience.

Strengthening Your Text Marketing Campaign with an Innovative SMS Delivery Platform

Whether your text marketing strategy is aiming for a niche audience or just trying to connect with the masses through bulk messaging, you need an integrated SMS delivery platform with innovative features at an affordable price. Here are some of the essential features that you need to look for in a text marketing platform:

  • Auto-response: Your customers need real-time responses to the queries they have after reading your message. With an auto-response feature, you can create different responses for an unlimited variety of keywords, allowing you to reach endless unique customers with certainty and ease.  
  • User groups: Your text messages should be specific to your audience demographics, so you should be able to create different user groups with the right SMS management platform.    
  • Survey creation: Surveys help you understand your customers’ responses and approach them accordingly with the right coupons and discounts. An SMS marketing platform can help you create such surveys for your audience. Having surveys right within your SMS messages also yields more client feedback than linking to external, third-party survey sites. 
  • Unlimited keywords: Your SMS marketing message needs to grab the attention of your audience through the characters available to you. The best way to optimize your messages is by using the right keywords that identify with your brand. A text marketing platform lets you create unlimited keywords for every user group or campaign.   
  • Incoming message dashboard: When you are sending bulk messages to many recipients, you need a platform that keeps it all organized. With an incoming message board, you can just glance through this compiled information to initiate one-on-one conversations with your subscribers.  
  • Audit trail: Keeping clear documentation of all text messages that are sent and received is the only way to keep you safe from legal liability. Choosing an SMS marketing platform that cannot perform this job for you could be a costly mistake. 
  • Expanded character limits: The industry-standard character limit for most SMS marketing tools is 160. However, more innovative SMS marketing tools allow for up to 240 characters per message. While you may not always need these extra characters, there could be times where they might make or break your SMS campaign’s success. 

Perhaps most importantly, you need an affordable pricing plan to deliver your text messages to your audience without depleting your whole marketing budget. An easy-to-use SMS marketing platform with all these features can help you take advantage of the current SMS marketing statistics of 2020 and strengthen the communication of your brand.     

NorthText’s robust SMS marketing platform helps you create text messages and surveys with unlimited keywords, deliver them quickly and securely to your audience, and promptly respond to their incoming messages. For quick and easy answers to any questions you have, contact us by phone or text at (312) 869-9070.

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SMS Marketing Best Practices to Reach Your Customers

SMS marketing best practices

SMS marketing, or text marketing, is rapidly emerging as the perfect complement to existing email and other traditional marketing campaigns. With the growing number of smartphone users across the globe, it is estimated that about 90 percent of text messages are read within the first three minutes. This provides a definite advantage over email marketing, where the open rates are considerably less—around 20 percent—and most emails are not opened with the same urgency as SMS text messages. 

Though text messages are not new, businesses have overlooked them as a way of marketing. However, with the higher open rates and responses, you can no longer afford to neglect SMS marketing as a very cost-effective and valuable way to reach your customers. With the help of the right delivery platform and a few SMS marketing best practices, you can interact better with your audience. 

SMS Marketing Best Practices for Audience Engagement

Though text message marketing can surely improve your ROI on marketing campaigns, there are definitely best practices to follow. While most text messages will be read very quickly, you do not want to annoy your audience with messages they find repetitious and irrelevant. That is why you need to implement the following SMS marketing best practices to offer value to your audience while minimizing the opt-out rate.

Provide Relevant Information

With SMS marketing, your message needs to be concise and engaging to catch the attention of your audience. Provide all the necessary information, including your business’s name, contact number, the details of your product or service, and the call-to-action. Consider using images instead of links whenever possible—a picture really is worth a thousand words!

Since a distinct benefit of using some SMS marketing providers over others is the increased character count in your marketing messages (as much as 240 vs. the industry standard 160), you can afford to put all this relevant information in your text. And perhaps most importantly, incorporate relevant keywords that subscribers can easily connect with your brand or business. 

Give Timely Responses

A text message is a way to personally connect with your customers. If they are responding to your marketing message, they are expecting a real-time response as well. Your timely response to their queries or replies can initiate critical actions such as purchases. An auto-responder can help you send instant follow-up text messages. 

Track Your Audience’s Engagement

Including trackable features, such as a text-specific discount code or a QR code, helps you to evaluate the ROI and overall success of the text marketing campaign. The number of people scanning your QR code provides meaningful insights about the location of your target audience and their purchase behavior. Plus, discount codes also motivate your audience to join the subscribers’ list.    

Let Your Subscribers Opt-Out Anytime

Not everyone in your audience would like to continue receiving your text messages. As a marketer, you need to let your subscribers opt-out anytime they want with a simple “Text STOP to unsubscribe” message. A simple to understand opt-out process will help you gain credibility and build a bigger audience in the long run. Also, it is better to let uninterested subscribers drop out at the very beginning of the text marketing campaign. This helps you optimize the character limit and put more conversion-oriented language into your message, instead of reiterating the option to opt-out in every message.     

Archive and Supervise Text Messages to Minimize Legal Liability

While text messages connect you with your audience on a personal level, without using the right service, they can also open you up to legal liability. Business communications through text messages must be monitored and saved, as this audit trail can help to minimize any legal liabilities. A high-quality SMS marketing service will provide this full audit trail feature to help keep your company safe and thriving. 

Though SMS marketing campaigns are unique to your business, these best practices ensure your success in delivering the right message to your audience and converting them to customers, regardless of the industry you’re in. To further transform text messaging into a powerful marketing tool, you need a low-cost, integrated platform with features that help you implement these best practices and more.    

Delivering the Right Message through an Affordable Text Marketing Platform

SMS marketing is not only about updating your audience with the latest announcements or confirming their purchases or subscriptions. You can send them any relevant information about specials, news, promotions, open appointments, and much more. Most importantly, you have the assurance that your customers will often see this information much sooner than emails. 

The catch is to connect with your customer base via the right keywords, receive their aggregated responses in a simple dashboard, and initiate one-on-one dialogues while keeping a clear trail of the information sent. As a business, you can’t do it all on your own! 

To streamline a text marketing campaign and evaluate its performance in terms of customer responses, you need:

  • An intuitive SMS marketing platform with robust features, such as autoresponders, increased character counts, and the ability to send images
  • The ability to create surveys, and manage and retarget responses
  • An incoming message dashboard
  • Unlimited user groups
  • Unlimited keywords 

You also need a low-cost plan to deliver a high volume of text messages to your target audience without breaking your marketing budget. And last but not least, you need a company that makes it fast and simple to get set up. 

Once you have all this necessary support in place, SMS marketing becomes a highly effective way to reach your audience with information they want to receive. 

NorthText’s user-friendly and affordable SMS marketing platform helps you create text messages with unlimited keywords, delivers them to your audience promptly, and makes following these SMS marketing best practices simple. For quick and easy answers to any questions you have, contact us by phone or text at (312) 869-9070.

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