A happy female customer on her cellphone responding to a text blast marketing message

You’ve got something to say to your customers, and you need to say it now. Maybe it’s a flash sale or a new product you want to announce immediately. Whatever the case, one thing’s for sure: snail mail won’t do! Email has long been the go-to solution for this scenario, but what about texting?

Text blast marketing is an extremely effective strategy for getting a single message out to a large number of customers quickly and efficiently. While an email might allow you more leeway in terms of word count and visual customization, a text message gets straight to the point and is more likely to (a) get read and (b) evoke a response. Recent reports show texts have an open rate of 98% vs. the 20% open rate of emails and texts have a 45% read rate vs. only 6% for emails. 

So how does text blasting work?

How to Use Text Blast Marketing

Let’s start by discussing what a text blast is. Like a group text, a text blast allows you to reach multiple people at once—only much more effectively. There is no limit on how many customers you can reach with a text blast. And, if a customer replies to a text blast, their response is sent only to your company, rather than the entire recipient group.

Implementing a text blast is about as simple as it gets. You can get your message out in just three steps or less:

  1. Find a text delivery platform. If you don’t already have a text marketing service in mind, finding one is a vital first step in effectively incorporating text blasts into your marketing strategy. At the end of this article, we will discuss what features you want to be sure to look for. 
  1. Establish your audience. Be sure your message is getting to the right people, and only the right people, in your customer base. If you don’t have any subscribers yet, build a list first using opt-ins.
  1. Send your message. Once you’ve chosen who you will be sending it to, all that’s left to do is compose your message and either send it right away or schedule it for the appropriate time.

That’s all it takes to send a text blast! Of course, sending an effective text blast requires a little more work. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when planning a text blast marketing campaign:

  • Check the time. Make sure you are sending during normal waking hours, taking time zone differences into account if necessary.
  • Choose your words carefully. Avoid idioms and figurative language that may be difficult for non-native speakers to understand. It is best to be simple and direct.
  • Include disclaimers. Reminders such as “Msg & Data rates may apply” aren’t just a matter of common courtesy—they’re required.
  • Include an opt-out option. Ideally, your customers won’t use it, but simply having the option is important to many. And, like the disclaimers, it’s also a legal requirement.
  • Avoid duplication. Even if it’s not a verbatim copy, duplicate content can quickly devalue your campaign in your customers’ eyes, making them more likely to opt-out. Texts are short, so aim to keep things fresh and engaging.
  • Check your sending schedule. Too high of a volume of messages in too short of a time is the easiest way to drive your customers to opt-out. Space out your texts and try to send no more than two to four or so per month. Additionally, you can poll your recipients on how frequently or infrequently they would prefer to be contacted. 
  • Include multimedia, when appropriate. For informational or emergency texts, SMS (text-only) texting is usually best. But, for promotional messages or anything you want to encourage a response to—especially a fast response—MMS (multimedia) texting allows you to include an image or video element that will add extra oomph. Science says humans take 10 seconds or more to decide on the value of text, whereas images evoke a mental and emotional reaction in a matter of milliseconds.

Once you know how to send a good text blast, it’s time to make sure you know when to use this marketing method and when another method could be the better choice.

When Should You Use a Text Blast?

Not every message is ideally sent via text blast. If, for example, your message requires a lengthy explanation, or is meant to be a more casual or general communiqué, email might be the better choice. Likewise, more personalized messages, such as shipping notifications or product highlights based on past purchase history, are best kept between you and individual customers.

If, however, you have a message that needs to reach many customers in a timely manner, text blasting offers the quickest, simplest, and most effective solution. Here are a few examples of the best uses for a text blast:

  • Sales. Whether it’s a 24-hour flash sale, a holiday discount, or a limited-time coupon code offer, customers are generally keen on saving money. Text blasting gets the word out immediately, giving your customers the widest window possible in which to take advantage of a new deal. 
  • Promos. Got a new product, service, or feature to show off, or a giveaway to promote? A text blast allows you to tell all of your customers at once—or gives you the option of targeting only those customers who will be most interested. Exclusive text-only offers also provide further incentive for new subscribers to opt-in and for current ones to stay subscribed.
  • Event reminders. A quick text is all it takes to let customers know about an exciting upcoming event, such as a store reopening or live performance, and a targeted text blast can make sure ticket holders don’t forget when or where to show up when the time comes.
  • Contests or voting opportunities. Participating in contests or votes doesn’t get more convenient than doing so by text. Customers can easily opt-in to contests by replying with a keyword or clicking on a link, and voting may be as simple as typing a quick “yes” or “no” and hitting the send button.
  • Time-sensitive alerts. Send emergency alerts by text to reliably reach the most people in the shortest amount of time. Text blasts can also be ideal for automated appointment reminders or important updates regarding major changes in your company’s operating hours, offerings, or policies.

Text blasting can be used effectively in almost any industry, from retail stores and restaurants to entertainment venues, healthcare providers, tax firms, and more. But to truly make the most of a new campaign, it’s important to work with the right innovative text marketing service.

Finding the Right Text Marketing Service

Running a text blast marketing campaign is relatively simple, but finding the perfect text service provider isn’t always as easy. A good text marketing service will, first and foremost, be easy and intuitive to use. In case you do run into challenges or have any questions, their customer support team should always be ready to help—with a real person available on the phone.

Some other things to look for when choosing a service include:

  • Convenience. It only makes sense that a text marketing service offers a phone app version of their platform, whether or not they have a desktop version as well. Having a mobile app gives you the freedom to work on your campaign anytime, anywhere.
  • Features. The more features the better, as long as they are easy and intuitive to use. In particular, look for services that offer MMS texting as well as multiple opt-in options for your customers, such as web forms or text-to-join opt-ins to maximize the reach of your text blasts and other marketing efforts. Automation features are also highly valuable for scheduling text blasts, like appointment reminders or confirmations that don’t lose value by reusing the same basic verbiage.
  • Demos. Does this service offer online demos to watch or do they offer a free trial period? The more you know about how the service works ahead of time, the better you will be able to judge how well it will suit your needs.
  • Compliance. To prevent legal issues in the future, do your due diligence now—make sure your provider follows best practices for cellular compliance before you buy into their service. Make sure the service will shield you from liability as opposed to introducing you to more!
  • Data security. Make sure that your provider of choice offers secure data storage and won’t sell or otherwise share your data. Your data should belong to you, not to your text marketing provider.

When opting in, your customers are trusting you to provide them with good value in return for that trust. It only makes sense to choose a text marketing provider that will do the same for you.

Looking to start a new text blast marketing campaign? With NorthText, you can send text blasts out to an unlimited number of customers in a matter of seconds. Our innovative image resizing feature allows you to send images more quickly and easily than ever, and unlike other providers, our platform also offers the option to send video over a toll-free number. Call or text us anytime at (312) 869-9070 or contact us online today to learn more!