Enterprise-Grade SMS Texting Best Practices
Why You Should Include Enterprise-Grade SMS Texting into Your Marketing Mix
Are you a marketer looking to expand your channel mix? Using enterprise-grade SMS texting has proven highly effective for achieving marketing goals in companies that strive for efficient and effective communication with their customers.
Here are some interesting, recent data to prove this:
- Due to the popularity of texting in people’s personal lives as consumers, text messages are now emerging as a leading marketing channel.
- A text message’s average open rate is 98%, which is good news for businesses.
- Users read texts within 3 minutes of seeing them in 90% of the cases.
- In addition to achieving high conversion rates, SMS marketing is also very cost-effective. At Square, for example, customers have observed higher sales per text message compared to email, with SMS marketing having three times the revenue from the same automated email campaign, with an average of $2.52 to be attributed to each text.
- You will have a higher rate of customers visiting your business or taking action on promotions shared through SMS than any other marketing service.
A high-quality and timely enterprise-grade SMS texting strategy can be an effective means of sending both promotions or general information messages to your customer base.
However, SMS implementation needs to go hand in hand with good practices to keep your clients’ data safe and secure, as well as maintaining your brand’s identity and reputation.
Best Practices for Effective Enterprise-Grade SMS Texting
According to Salesforce’s “State of Marketing” report, marketers continue to expand across digital channels. SMS, specifically, increased by 31% from 2018 to 2020, reaching a 69% adoption rate.
Top players in each industry know they can preserve SMS as a healthy communication channel only by applying best practices. Let’s review some of the most critical “Dos” for truly successful enterprise-grade SMS campaigns.
Whenever your customers register for an SMS marketing list, they should understand what they’re agreeing to. Therefore, you should provide a detailed description of what people can expect when they join your program.
You could include this in the opt-in text or the automatic response after a user has opted in. Subscribers should know the program’s goal: What promotions, rewards, discounts, or event notifications are you including? If you introduce all the benefits a subscriber will receive, then more people will be interested.
It is against the law to send text messages to people without their permission and explicit consent. Having them opt-in and give their proper legal permission, creates trust among your subscribers. They should also be able to opt out of receiving text messages at any time. Your business should keep a record of all up-to-date subscribers to avoid sending messages to people who have unsubscribed.
Additionally, each subscriber must be aware that they may opt-out, even if they complete the sign-up process and immediately discover they aren’t interested. To enable this, after sending the initial SMS marketing message, many text programs include this option by default as a secondary message (for instance, “Reply STOP to opt-out at any time”).
You need to make sure your CTA clearly specifies that consumers must express their written consent in order to receive automated marketing messages. As mentioned above, let them know that they are not required to agree to receiving texts in order to buy anything from you.
The best enterprise-grade SMS texting strategy includes all disclaimers to outline the text message program’s terms clearly. Marketing texts sent to SMS subscribers must include specific information (for example, “message and data rates may apply”). This is because your program might or might not bring additional text messaging fees to a subscriber, depending on their mobile service plan.
Receiving an excessive number of SMS messages per month is truly annoying and counterproductive to any effective enterprise-grade SMS campaign. The general rule of thumb is to send subscribers between two and six texts a month to keep them engaged without annoying them. Going a step further, you can inform customers ahead of time how many texts they should expect.
Text messages should always provide value in exchange for taking time out of their day to read a text. Keep recipients engaged and prevent eventual opt-outs by sending educational, informative, or beneficial SMS messages that are relevant to your recipients.
When writing texts, you should avoid using abbreviations and jargon that could confuse your customers. There is a 160-character limit per text message, so SMS texts should be not only relevant to the target audience but also clear and concise. Always double-check spelling and grammar, too, and keep texts positive.
It is best to send SMS messages during regular business hours when subscribers are likely to be checking their phones. Unless urgent, people do not want to be targeted after hours or woken up early in the morning by text messages. Ideally, your business should contact subscribers during pre-determined peak hours, which will prompt them to take action.
10 Things to Look for in an SMS Provider
Implementing these enterprise-grade SMS texting best practices may seem difficult if you’re thinking of doing it manually and on your own. However, by finding a leading SMS provider, you can get a powerful platform that is easy to implement with features to make the most of texting for your business.
Here’s your 10-item checklist to help you find the best SMS provider:
- Long and short code SMS: Confirm your provider can help you implement short code and long code messages in a unified thread. Having better visibility into conversations will lead to better customer satisfaction, faster resolution of customer issues, and enhanced communication between your team members.
- Platform for productivity: Ask if the texting platform allows multiple agents to use the same texting thread at the same time in order to improve productivity.
- Features: Check for all the features available. A comprehensive enterprise-grade SMS provider will offer a broad menu of pre-built, convenient features, such as team-to-one texting, one-to-millions mass texting, call center texting, SMS survey, coupon, and scheduling engines, multi-channel messaging, and so on.
- Integrations: Ask about integrations to make texting available within your existing CRM platform, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Hubspot, Oracle’s Eloqua, Campus Nexus, Velocify, etc.
- Scalability: Make sure the company provides its services to dozens of enterprise-size clients, with powerful features at a reasonable price.
- Monitoring and reporting: Ensure you have robust monitoring and reporting capabilities. You will want to keep track of response times and language, set different access levels, track clicks, delivery to the handset, and performance over time.
- Voice: Find out whether you can use click-to-call strategies as well as other voice functions, call routing, recorded audio, and call forwarding.
- Mobility: Verify the enterprise-grade SMS platform enables your call center representatives to manage client accounts on the go, straight from their cell phones, using white-labeled text messages and apps.
- Industry record: Take a look at your candidates’ references and the track record regarding compliance, data protection, industry rating, certifications, uptime, and direct carrier affiliation.
- Pricing: Last but not least, evaluate your potential SMS partner’s pricing structure and be sure they have options that fit your current and expected business needs.
TrueDialog’s SMS solution addresses these checklist items and more while delivering outstanding results at an affordable price. Through TrueDialog’s direct relationships with most mobile carriers, you can receive text messaging services to communicate with 990 operators and 5.5 billion users around the world.
Engage with dedicated short code, shared short code texting, or long code messages. By using cloud-based technology, you can launch your first SMS campaign within minutes. Register now and start your enterprise-grade SMS strategy right away.
Disclaimer: Please note that this advice is for informational purposes only and is neither intended as nor should be substituted for consultation with appropriate legal counsel and/or your organization’s regulatory compliance team.