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Understanding the Features of SMS Marketing Platforms

An SMS marketing platform is a tool used for crafting and sending promotional and transactional text messages to specific phone numbers. It can also be referred to as an SMS marketing software or service. These messages can be used to deliver information, marketing content, and new offers to recipients who have opted in to receive messages from you.

Depending on the type of platform, you will find characteristics such as:

  • Automation
  • Segmentation
  • Scheduled texts
  • Two-way messaging
  • Personalization
  • Integration
  • Contact management

SMS marketing platforms help organizations create bulk text messages and send them to a long list of recipients with ease. You may also customize the platform to allow for one-to-one messaging or two-way texting in case you require feedback from your recipients. Both small and large businesses use these platforms to engage with their clients and update them with important information such as order status and timely deals and discounts.

SMS marketing platforms are highly effective, reaching people where they are most likely to be: their mobile phones. From can reminding customers of upcoming events to announcing any new products, or changes in the business, such as locations and operating hours, SMS texting is an excellent marketing tool for all kinds of outreach.

Who Can Benefit From SMS Marketing Platforms

SMS marketing platforms apply to any type of business or organization willing to invest in digital marketing. These platforms can especially be helpful in running businesses such as:

  • Doctor’s offices
  • Travel companies
  • Higher learning institutions
  • Service companies
  • Any organization intending to directly engage with their clients

For instance, travel companies may need to send clients real-time notifications, including flight time updates, cancellations, gate changes and weather alerts. With texts, you can be sure that a majority of your clients get to receive the information, thus reducing inconveniences.

Service businesses can use SMS marketing platforms to inform clients of new offers, remind them of appointments and unpaid bills, engage them in surveys and send welcome messages to new clients.

And a doctor’s office can send appointment confirmations and reminders to reduce no-shows and keep patients on track with their healthcare needs.

SMS Marketing Platform Features

Depending on the type of platform you choose, you will have pre-built features such as:

Administrative Controls

Your managers and contact center directors can monitor language, and response times and grant various access levels such as individual or mass texting and view only. These ensure no one performs an unauthorized action on the platform. In case a customer representative leaves your company, you still retain your customer’s contacts and the history of text conversations you’ve had with them, hence your customer service remains uninterrupted.

Automation Feature

Automation is the adoption of technology to produce goods and deliver services with little human effort. SMS Marketing platforms automate messaging based on your requirements to serve clients, even in your absentia. For example, there may be frequently asked questions about a service in your business. You can automate your SMS Marketing Platform to answer the question without human intervention. The automated answers are fast and effective, which results in better customer service.

Two-way Messaging

After sending messages to multiple recipients, you might require their feedback. SMS marketing platform allows a two-way messaging environment, where clients can answer questions or reply to notifications when required. This improves the customer service as clients can send in their queries through the platform and get help easily. If the message you are sending does not require a reply, you can customize your system to be in line with your preferences.

SMSafe Feature

The FCC has laws about text messaging protocol, specifically, enabling recipients to opt-out.  A quality SMS marketing platform doesn’t text a contact that has opted out. It should have duplicate opt-out information in a cloud database to ensure it notes any client that opts out and removes them from the list of contacts. This ensures your business follows all set privacy and marketing regulations and respects any client’s decision.

Report Generation

SMS marketing platforms have pre-built reporting systems and also allow you to create your own custom reports with their tools. You can view your metrics, analytics on campaigns, response rates and admin reports for your staff. They store all call detail records, where you can search and retrieve the information for compliance or follow up on message history.

Benefits of SMS Marketing Platform

Access to mobile communication and its consumers is as simple as sending a targeted text message. This means having an SMS messaging platform that allows both mass and two-way texting which is crucial to developing a brand. It will allow you to send mass marketing messages to groups of contacts and engage in one-to-one, two-way personalized messaging with the clients individually.

The following are the benefits your business, organization, or institution would enjoy by adopting an SMS marketing platform:

Cost Saving

If you choose the right platform, you can spend as little as one or two cents per message sent. You can also segment your contacts properly to ensure you don’t waste money by targeting the wrong audience. This makes an SMS platform a brilliant choice for businesses, especially SMEs, looking to advertise themselves efficiently without spending a lot of money and effort.

Fast Delivery

The right platform has direct carrier connections. This helps bypass all the middlemen who tend to slow down message delivery and make it unnecessarily expensive. The platform should also use long and short codes rapidly at scale. This is because short codes are sent faster than long codes.

Higher Open Rate

Unlike emails, an SMS marketing platform leads up to a 98% open rate when they deliver messages to your clients. This is the highest open rate compared to all the other advertising options.

Emails might end up in spam folders and not everybody will even go through your flier at the mall. An SMS marketing platform sends texts directly to phones, lowering the chance of being ignored.

Integration With Other Channels

For success in marketing, you need to integrate all your channels for consistency and easy management. This software enhances other marketing mediums such as emails and social media, by allowing you to include clickable links to these sites easily.

The platform is great on its own but supports the fact that other platforms also drive traffic to your business and hence integrate well with them. For example, you can use the platform to popularize your YouTube channel or send a follow-up message to remind clients on reading a certain email.

Be sure the platform can integrate seamlessly with marketing automation tools such as Eloqua and CRMs like Salesforce to enable native texting. Your users can send messages from directly inside these apps rather than having to toggle to other windows and have that data not integrated with the client’s record.

Reach a Wide Demographic

With most people having cell phones these days, the idea of SMS marketing is more effective as it can reach more masses easily. Sending messages directly to mobile phones allows you to reach a very wide area in a short time.

As long as your recipient has a phone that is connected to a network, they will receive clear information free from distortion. The platform exposes you more to your customers and makes you part of their world each day.

Clients Can Opt-In or Opt-Out

It’s a great idea to send mass text messages to your clients and potential customers because it informs them of any updates and reminds them to buy from you. But you also need to give them an option on whether to receive messages from your business. This makes the client feel more comfortable about your business and limits the view that you are forcing them to buy your products.

Sending messages to clients who have not opted in would find you marketing to the wrong people or annoying potential buyers. The statistics of anyone who opts in would help you send more personalized messages and in future marketing strategies.SMS marketing platform allows an opt-out whenever a client no longer needs to receive messages from you.

 If you keep sending messages to clients who no longer need them, you risk losing them. If a recipient opts out, you can send one message immediately confirming their request.

Strengthens Customer Engagement

The platform not only allows you to send marketing messages to your clients but also allows them to give feedback and reviews.

When customers engage with you, you’re creating a very important bond in business. It makes them feel you are accessible whenever they need you and hence get confident in your service or products. The SMS platform can help you make your business part of your client’s life by prompting them on their mobile devices to remember the services you offer.

Flexible and Customizable

You can customize your software to include unique features in messages and send in different formats. If you are announcing a sale in one message, rewarding loyal customers in another, promoting products, giving temporary discounts and sharing news, you can do all this from a single platform and a few tweaks. You can even track open rates, click-through rates and conversions to gauge the effectiveness of each campaign.

Best Practices for SMS Marketing Platforms

Although SMS marketing platforms carry a lot of benefits with them, there are rules you should follow for better results. They include:

Sending in the Right Time

Unlike emails, which we check a few times a day, people usually read text messages as soon as they pop up. This is a great feature you can use in sending urgent messages and alerts. But you don’t want your platform to abuse this advantage by sending in messages at odd hours.

Very few clients would be interested in an offer waking them up at 2 AM on a Saturday night. Some countries have even set laws to limit marketing messages after a certain time. For example, in France, it is illegal to send marketing texts on holidays, Sundays and between 10 PM to wee hours. Your country may have different requirements that you need to follow. 

Ensuring Your Contacts Have Opted In

Ensure you seek permission from your contacts before sending messages on the platform. Although these messages have very high open rates, they may not be efficient if you’re sending them to the wrong people. Opt-in is also a requirement in some countries.

Including Signatures

Customize your platform to include some information about your brand in every marketing message you send. This could be your name, contact, email, and website. When sending these bulk messages, providers can send them through short codes and your contacts won’t know it’s coming from you if signatures are not there. Ensure everyone who reads your promotional coupon can tell who you are and how to get you.

Choosing the Right Software

Not all software providing SMS marketing services is built equally. Some lack features that other platforms have and the charges and mode of operation also differ between software. Choose the best in the market for included features and reliability. Take your time to identify the software that meets your business requirements and whose features may impact your growth. Consider factors such as cost, ease of use and reliability.

Rates will vary according to the platform, features and plan. If you’re not tech-savvy and have no IT experts in your organization, you want software that is easy to learn and use. Go for the software with built-in text messaging and SMS marketing templates. This will make your work easier and save time when drafting a message.

Getting Started With TrueDialog

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An SMS marketing platform will help you automate text messaging services in your business allowing you to send mass messages easily. The software can be of great value in your digital marketing regardless of the business type. Its advantages include cost savings, fast delivery of messages, reaching a wide demographic, strengthening customer engagement, customizing nature and allowing clients to opt-in or out. For quality results, choose the best software in the market with many pre-built features.

TrueDialog is a business SMS texting solution in operation for over a decade now. Our platform features an ISO 9001 database with direct carrier connections, 99.99% uptime and dozens of unique and innovative features. Our campaign endpoint allows you to send millions of texts with a single API call rather than one API for every message, like in other providers. Whether you want to build your solution with our SMS API or use our turnkey enterprise SMS platform, TrueDialog offers more features at a lower price. Call us today for more information and start your free trial today.