How to Advertise Through Text Messaging
Engaging with customers today is challenging. With the increase in digital noise, it’s becoming more and more difficult for organizations to connect with customers.
It’s no wonder that more and more customers have preferred communicating with businesses via text messages in recent years. In fact, according to a recent Statista study, SMS and texting experienced a 75% year-over-year increase in popularity among customers.
These findings indicate that texting is the preferred communication channel. That said, text messaging for businesses presents an opportunity to engage with customers on a platform they’re comfortable with. In this post, we will walk you through how to advertise through text messages.
But first, a quick look at what text message advertising is.
What Is Text Message Advertising?
It refers to sending promos, invitations, demos, news updates, VIP events, or sales to customers via text messages.
You can opt to send out texts in bulk to many customers at once or communicate with each customer individually.
In recent years, text advertising has grown in prominence among marketers, and for a good reason. Here are some stats that show the effectiveness of texts as a marketing tool:
- 99% of text messages are opened
- 60% of customers read texts within 1-5 minutes of receiving them
- Prospects who receive text messages from businesses convert at a rate of 40% higher than those who don’t receive texts.
The above stats affirm that text messaging advertising can help businesses schedule and confirm appointments, share time-sensitive information with customers, gather valuable insights from customers, and increase interaction and response rates.
Ways of Advertising Through Text Messages
Here are some of the text message advertising strategies that you can use in your marketing campaigns:
1. Short Code Texting
A short code is a 5 or 6 phone digit number, such as 22444, used by businesses to send text messages at scale. Customers usually opt into an SMS marketing program by texting a phrase or a word referred to as a “keyword” to a short code.
Most businesses use short code texts to send reminders, notifications, order and shipping status updates, etc.
Short codes are ideal marketing tools for sending mass texts, given their unlimited delivery speeds. They are, however, not suitable for handling conversations. There are two different types of short codes, namely:
- Dedicated Short Code: These are ideal for businesses that want unlimited access to specific keywords. They are also great for companies that focus on branded keywords or critical marketing.
- Vanity Short Code: These text messages usually spell out a word related to a business’s product or name. For example, 7-Eleven uses 711711. They typically have an aesthetic appeal and are more recognizable by recipients. Vanity codes come at a higher cost, given that the numbers are selected by the business using them.
2. Long Code Texting
A long code is a 10-digit number used to send and receive text messages. Long codes often have limits of 50-100 contacts in groups and a daily message limit of no more than 500 texts.
Long code texts’ delivery speeds are much slower than short code texts. If you want to send numerous urgent messages, long code texting isn’t ideal.
However, long code texts are perfect for one-on-one texts with individual prospects or customers. Long codes support two-way communication, making them great for targeted offers or updates, such as invitations to VIP events or offers for products based on purchase history.
Businesses who opt to use long code texting will receive their own 10DLC number. It is crucial to register this number to ensure message delivery. In an effort to block spam, filters in place may wrongly block communications without brand and campaign registration. Luckily, the best SMS platform for you will handle all of the paperwork.
Text Message Advertising Best Practices
A few common attributes form the backbone of a successful text messaging marketing campaign. They include:
1. Keep Texts Short and Relevant
The text messages that you send to your customers should be short, relevant, and straight to the point at the same time. When you continuously send lengthy messages, your subscribers won’t bother looking at them and are very likely to opt out of receiving messages in the future.
You should also keep in mind that SMS messaging has a limit of 160 characters. Therefore, it is imperative that you grab your customer’s attention, put across your marketing message, and close with a call to action, all in 160 characters or less.
2. Introduce Your Brand Name
Customers need to know who sent the text message. It’s essential to introduce your brand when sending the texts. Other marketing channels provide far more upfront visibility than text message advertising. So, if you opt to use text messaging advertising, you should identify your brand to the customer.
3. Get Permission Before Sending Texts
It is not only good etiquette but also a legal requirement to only send text messages to people who have permitted you to do so. Text message advertising is a permission-based marketing strategy. As such, you must comply with CTIA recommendations.
To convince customers to sign up for your text messages, you can request that they opt-in by texting a given keyword to a short code or mobile number. Alternatively, they can complete an online form.
Related: SMS Short Codes for Marketing
4. Give Recipients the Options to Opt-Out
While text messages are great for advertising your products and services, there is no guarantee that everyone will want to remain subscribed to your messaging. To ensure that everyone is happy with your brand, you should give your subscribers the liberty to unsubscribe whenever they feel like it.
You should include information on how to opt out in the auto-confirmation message. Additionally, you should include instructions on all your adverts. For instance, instructions for opting out could be as simple as “Text STOP to unsubscribe.” When you allow your customers to unsubscribe from your text messaging program at any time they wish, you establish credibility and trust.
5. Get Your Timing Right
Picture this scenario: It’s 11 p.m., and you’ve retired to bed after a long workday. The last thing you want is your phone buzzing with a text message promoting a new type of vacuum cleaner.
Generally, it is good practice to send texts to your subscribers within reasonable business hours to avoid annoying them. Moreover, it doesn’t make sense to text your customers when they can’t respond to you. To ensure that your messages are well-received and maximize the impact, ensure you schedule text message advertising messages for delivery during the day.
6. Be Consistent With the Number of Texts You Send
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when using text messaging is not sending messages consistently. Most do so because they want to avoid spamming customers. While their reasoning may be sound, sending too few messages may lead to people forgetting they signed up for your subscription in the first place.
Consumers respond positively to consistent messaging. A successful text messaging campaign requires that you send messages consistently.
7. Consider Adding an Element of Exclusivity
When deciding what kind of texts to send, you should reflect on what it means when people subscribe to receive your text messages. Since your subscribers give you a direct and personal way of reaching them, you should offer them some value.
This means avoiding the recycling of content. Everything you text should be relevant and exclusive to your SMS list.
8. Your Text Messages Should be Personalized
Text messaging advertising is unique given how easily you can conduct mass marketing with it while still offering the feeling of one-on-one communication. Most successful text advertising campaigns take advantage of this. They use features such as segments and custom fields to send personalized and relevant texts that offer value to their subscribers.
By following the above tips on how to advertise through text messages, you will engage with your customers better, and your bottom line will improve in the long run.
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