SMS Marketing for News and Media Outlets

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From international outlets to local news stations, millions of people tune in daily to watch the news. They also read the paper, scroll through Twitter for live reports, and browse online article archives.

Thanks to the internet, news spreads faster than ever—and it takes on many different forms.

Within the digital space specifically, mobile news consumption is on the rise. The portion of Americans who get news on a mobile device has gone up from 54% in 2013 to 72% today.

If the digital news trends of the last decade have shown journalists anything, it’s to follow the fastest, most accessible outlets and share your news there in real-time.

With industry leaders like NBC, CNN, and Fox News utilizing text message news alerts, it’s no surprise this is where the future of journalism lives.

How Can Journalists Use SMS Marketing Software?

Texting gives reporters the chance to share breaking news fast. This ensures your story secures the most views as well as boosts your reputation as a fast and reliable outlet.

Some of the most popular journalistic uses of SMS include:

Share “Smart” Article Links

In each text message, you can include a shortened URL to a news story. From there, you can segment your recipients based on click behavior. This would allow you to share a link to a follow-up story to anyone who clicked on the original message!

Sort Readers By Topics of Interest

You can create different keywords for each news beat. Keywords are just short words or phrases that, when texted in to a phone number, subscribe someone to a distribution list. By segmenting your text blasts by category, you can be sure you’re only texting out stories that a person has an interest in. This increases the odds of them clicking, reading, and sharing your content.

Add Value to Advertisers
Your text message subscriber list can be monetized by sponsors as well! Your growing SMS reach is another branding asset you can proposition as a tool for bringing in more revenue.

Poll Readers For Data

As a reporter, you may be interested in informally collecting some information from your audience on different topics. When you text out quick polls, you can gather data for your work as well as open the door to two-way communication with leads who may have an interesting story you’d like to hear more about. For example, if you were writing a story on the need for more public parking in your town, you could send out a poll like this one:

Today 10:53 AM
Reader Poll: Have you struggled recently to find parking in downtown Charlotte?
A. All the time
B. A few times
C. Never
Thanks for voting!

💡SimpleTexting Tip: You can also use things like your message click-through rate to help assess your readers interest on certain topics!

Sample News And Media Text Messages

While each reporter, segment, or column can have their own dedicated space, here are some general ideas for texts that popular news outlets send.

Breaking News/First Read Texts

As a story develops, you may want to let your viewers know you’re on the scoop. When you offer breaking news texts you invite viewers into the action with you, which encourages them to stay with your network as they follow a story.

Today 12:00 PM
Breaking News: NC Senator Mickey Mouse announces he will not run for reelection. Stay tuned as we learn more about his decision to leave the office.

Traffic Texts

Help your readers stay organized and plan their days travel when you send regular traffic updates around busy travel times. From rush hour delays to traffic jams on major highways.

Today 4:30 PM
Traffic Alert 🚙: An accident Northbound on the Mass Pike will cause major delays. Expect stoppage until at least 7 p.m.

Weather Alerts/School Closings

Similar to the idea of traffic alerts, weather can be just as disruptive to people’s days. Help prevent accidents by sharing the most up to date weather information on demand. During severe weather periods, you can also text out links to update parents and students on school closings.

Today 5:00 PM
Heavy snowfall is expected to start at 10 p.m. this evening 🌨. See which schools have already closed/set delays for tomorrow

Business/Financial News Alerts

Of all of the different news categories, finance is one that can change minute by minute. Due to the nature of industry regulators like the stock market, providing time-sensitive financial news reports would be of great interest to professionals and regular viewers alike.

Today 9:32 AM
Find out how the market is responding to the latest Corona Virus outbreaks and how your stock is affected:

Sports Texts

A break from the more serious alerts, avid sports fans would be thrilled to receive occasional updates on their favorite teams. From score updates during a big game to breaking team news!

Today 2:02 PM
Breaking 🏈: Tom Brady has announced he has left the New England Patriots and is now a free agent.

Entertainment/Celebrity News

Similar to sports fans, there’s a reason why gossip magazines fly off the shelves at grocery stores. Give people their daily glimpse into the lives of the other half and you’ll be rewarded with a very loyal readership!

Today 3:30 PM
After years of waiting, Rhianna has silently dropped her new album, R2d2 on Spotify, iTunes, and Tidal.

How to Get Your News Station Started With Text Messaging

It’s easy to get up and running with text marketing. Especially for a journalist or media organization that has an active reader/viewership.

1. Select a Number

Does your station have a number that your audience is already familiar with? The good news is, you don’t have to change it! One of our onboarding team can work with you to text-enable your existing voice number. You also have the option to work with a new, toll-free number unique to your station, or provision a custom 6-digit short code.

2. Reserve Keywords

Keywords are an essential way for people to subscribe to your messages. It’s also a great tool to keep listeners organized based on their interests. Every SimpleTexting plan comes with unlimited keywords. That means you can create one for every facet of news you cover or for any given reporter.

3. Add Sign-Up Forms to Your Website

Another simple way to get more readers signed up for your text messages is by adding a form to your website. This is the space where most people visit to find out information, so create a pop-up for each viewer to share their mobile number in order to receive exclusive updates and information. If your web developers are busy there’s no need to worry. We already made the code for you, all you need to do is copy and paste it onto your website for an instant sign-up form!

4. Advertise Your New Texting Abilities

The most important part of your text marketing program is the process of informing your viewers and readers that you have one! Make sure your journalists are regularly sharing your numbers and keywords while they’re reporting. Be sure to update all your signage, web material, and advertisements with text-related calls to action. Anywhere you can make your number and keywords visible, do so! Soon enough you’ll watch your subscriber list (and ratings) begin to rise.

FAQs About News And Media Text Messaging

The best part about text marketing is the versatility. You can use it as a tool to text one person directly, or thousands of folks all at once. You can use the platform both ways to communicate with viewers and readers based on your needs.
As we mentioned above, sorting your listeners based on news-specific keywords is a great start. You can create a new campaign and send it out to your breaking news, weather, sports, or finance lists. You can also use additional tools like segments to create subsets of your audience, or custom fields to insert personalized content into your messages.
You can view all of our pricing options here.You can choose to pay annually or monthly for your service. Our pricing is tired based on volume. The more texts you plan on sending, the higher the cost. Pretty simple! You purchase “credits” with your money, which equate to texts. Traditional SMS messages cost 1 credit to send while MMS messages (photos, videos, etc.) cost 3 credits. And, as always, all incoming messages are free of charge.
Yes, they can! Your audience can be the first to reach out either through a keyword or by texting your number directly with their message. By having your keywords and numbers heavily advertised it will be easier for people to find and reach you.
Every SimpleTexting customer has access to an “Analytics” tab on their dashboard. This space is filled with everything you need to know about your messages, including the number of messages delivered, unsubscribed from, clicked through and more! This data can be tracked and reported to advertisers interested in partnering with your station.

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