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Customers these days want a more personal experience. They want brands to engage with them on an intimate level, catering to their interests and lifestyles. For the modern customer who wants an exclusive and personalized experience, text message marketing is the way forward.
But it can be hard to get text message marketing just right. You need to make sure you’re following the laws that govern telecommunications marketing, for one. But you also need to make your marketing texts a channel that customers want to engage with, so they’re more likely to act on the offers they receive. Here’s what you need to do.
Telecommunications laws like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act have put regulatory safeguards in place to make sure marketers can’t spam consumers with unsolicited text messages, emails, or phone calls.
You have to get explicit written permission from consumers before you can market to them via text message. There are also rules in place about what times of day are okay to contact customers, how often you can send marketing texts, and so forth.
Violations incur a fine, which could easily add up if you were to send illegal messages to a substantial mailing list.
Offer Something Special
If you’re using your text message campaigns to offer customers the same deals and discounts they can get through your emails or print materials, then you’re wasting the potential of text message marketing.
Customers sign up for these lists because they want exclusive access to offers the general public doesn’t get, so they’re likely to act on marketing texts that urge them to take a specific action.
Offer your customers exclusive perks and access to deals or discounts they can’t get elsewhere. These are the offers people want to take advantage of.
Keep It Short and Sweet
No one wants to read a long, rambling text message, and some services still restrict SMS messages to 160 characters, anyway. Draft a short, catchy message that will hook the reader, include your value proposition, and end with a call to action.
Identify your business in the message so customers don’t have to guess — that’s a fast trip to the unsubscribe button.
Make It Urgent
You should take advantage of the immediacy of text messaging to create a sense of urgency that can drive purchasing decisions. For example, a restaurant owner can create demand for a lunch special by sending out a text to his subscriber list right before lunch begins. Customers will already be hungry and now they’ve been handed an option for a cheap meal.
It doesn’t make much sense to send out text messages for a sales event that won’t take place till next week, but it does make sense to reach customers where they are to give them an offer and a reason to act now.
You should be meticulous when timing your messages. You might not realize it, but the vast majority of your marketing texts are opened right away. Send the messages when you want customers to act, and many of them will.
Engage on a Deeper Level
One of the real benefits of text message marketing for business is that it allows you to engage with customers on a deeper level to create ambassadors who will not only be more fiercely loyal to the brand, but will also be more likely to speak favorably of your brand to their friends and social media followers.
You can use a mobile marketing platform to engage customers with informational texts (which aren’t subject to the same restrictions placed on marketing texts), surveys, and other content that can both strengthen your customers’ loyalty to your brand and give you the detailed profile information you need to fine-tune your marketing campaigns — and keep adjusting them as the needs of your market base change.
Measure the Results
You need to collect hard data on your marketing text read and response rates, as well as lead generation and conversion rates, so you can examine what went wrong and what went right with your campaign.
The good news is that text messages tend to be opened within a few minutes, so you can get this data right away and measure the success of your campaign in real time. You can use the data you collect to pinpoint areas for improvement, and since text message campaigns are infinitely personalizable for multiple segments of your customer base, you can target different customers even more effectively.
Text message marketing can be a great way to get more bodies through the door and grow your customer base with exclusive offers. You’ll reach more people than ever, and your company will reap the benefits.