The act of giving a company or entity that is not a human access to your mobile phone expressly for the purpose of marketing is a deeply personal act, demonstrating the trust a company has built with your customers. By texting a keyword to a shortcode (five digits, rather than a normal ten digit phone number), users opt-in to receiving marketing messages from your company. Your brand’s most loyal customers will be the first to opt into this type of marketing and will help grow your subscriber base by word of mouth.
99.9% of mobile phones have text messaging capabilities, and within 15 minutes of sending out a text message to your list, 95% of your subscribers will read your message. That’s 5 times more than email and 9 times more than direct mail. Adults aged 18-24 use text-messaging most, and are much more willing to be contacted via text rather than by receiving a phone call. (Via Pew Internet Research Center). Marketers should keep this in mind when running text-messaging campaigns. Customers have entrusted you with nearly direct access to them at almost any time of day, and as such, the value of your message needs to be apparent.
Marketers can take advantage of the proliferation of smart phones with capable web browsers and apps to direct users to their website, Facebook page, or even create a calendar event. Text message marketing must conform to a strict 160 character rule. This makes a concise, focused statement with a call to action all the more important. Craft your message with this in mind and provide a reason to visit your location or an offer to redeem a promotion code. In any message, the immediate benefit of joining the text club should be obvious. Suggestions include:
- Appointment reminders
- Exclusive discounts or giveaways
- A discount code for your ecommerce site
- Early notification on new/limited release products
- Early invitation to a special event
Be respectful of the customers who have entrusted you with their mobile phone number. Don’t use text slang (c u there), and don’t send messages at odd hours. Definitely don’t over-use the service. Stick to the above guidelines about making sure the benefit is worth the intrusion.
Text message marketing is a valuable tool in any marketer’s arsenal. It’s effective, immediate, and widely available. Well-crafted messages can result in high redemption rates, increased brand loyalty, and higher sales.