Text Messaging for Radio Stations

Back to All Guides | More Industry Guides

For a form of media that’s over 100 years old, radio deserves a standing ovation for standing the test of time.

When it comes to merging the traditional with the modern, no two tools are better suited for each other than radio and texting.

Along with radios, mobile phones are one of the most accessible forms of technology, covering over 70% of the world’s population. Weekly SMS alerts sent to listeners 30 minutes prior to a broadcast have been shown to boost radio campaign listenership by up to 20%.

Additionally, more than two thirds of smartphone users stream radio every week!

Learn how to combine these two super-mediums to create the ultimate media and advertising experience for all your listeners.

How Can Radio Stations Use SMS Software?

Texting gives your radio station the opportunity to connect more efficiently with your listeners in real-time. Here are just a few of the ways incorporating SMS into your operations will better serve your bottom line:

Easily Hear From Users
Audience participation via phone calls can be expensive and cumbersome. By offering an SMS live chat option, you provide a more personalized experience between DJ’s and listeners (that doesn’t break the bank). Listeners can text in directly to the station or via keyword and be met with personalized auto-responses rather than a beeping busy dial tone. Say goodbye to hold time!

💡SimpleTexting Tip: A keyword is a short word or phrase that people can text in to your number in order to join your subscriber list and receive updates. For a radio station, a great keyword would simply be your name: Country102.7, KISS108, etc.

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.

Gather Show Content
For a lot of radio talk shows, user submissions are rich sources of material. It’s easy for listeners to text in stories, photos, and other entertaining tidbits you can archive and save for later shows!

Reward Loyal Listeners
Your SMS program can be a way to connect with and reward your loyal listeners with exclusive offers and deals. Because mass texting requires express written consent, only the most engaged audience members will be on your distribution list ensuring the most effective use of your time and resources.

Sample Radio Station Text Messages

Local Deal Texts

Whether you’re promoting your paid advertisers, or just your personal favorites, use texts to drive business to local hot spots. You can provide deals or discounts, or just use this space to share fun new information with your listeners!

Today 3:30 PM
Love listening to KISS 108 on your morning drive? Step up your commute with a donut from Davie’s (on route 495). Reply with your best donut pics for a chance to win a $50 gift card courtesy of Davie’s!

Weekly Text Contests

Reward your loyal subscribers with weekly contests. You can use these messages as a tool to both acquire new listeners and retain existing ones.

Today 8:00 AM
Happy Matty in the Morning Monday! The first person to reply to this text with the artist Matty referred to last week as “the songbird of our generation” wins a $50 gift card to the Coach Grill!

Emergency Alert Texts

More than 243 million American adults listen to the radio each month making it an important outlet for emergency alerts. From severe weather to Amber alerts, use texting as a way to amplify your on-air alarms.

Today 11:54 AM
Boston area listeners: A severe weather warning has been issued ❄️. Please drive safely and aim to be off the roads by 5pm!

SMS Event Invites

Radio stations often have a presence at a variety of community events. Whether it’s one you’re sponsoring, or merely attending, you want to ensure your listeners show up! Use texting as a way to send out invites, event reminders, and more. By using link tracking, you can even segment your list based on click behavior. Send thank you’s to people who have registered, and reminders to people who haven’t.

Today 12:00 PM
Country 102.7’s Annual Boot Scoot & BBQ is coming up! Reserve your pre-sale ticket now to ensure a swag bag from our sponsors http://txt.tf/QuwLna

Text to Request

Increase your audience input. From songs to shoutouts, your audience will appreciate the opportunity to have their choices heard on the air. By setting up a keyword or sharing your number with your audience, they can text in all of their preferences directly to you!

Today 8:25 AM
I need some island vibes this rainy morning. Can you play “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett?
You got it! We’ll set it up to play within the hour 🌴🍹.

Last 10 Text

How many times have your listeners been jamming out to a song they heard on your station only to forget what it was called? Eliminate that frustration by allowing your customers to text in a keyword like LAST10 to request a personalized message with the last ten songs on your station.

Today 3:01 PM
LAST10
The last ten songs played were: Juice (Lizzo), Skinny Love (Bon Iver), Jolene (Dolly Parton), Wrong Way (Sublime), Dog Years (Maggie Rogers), John Wayne (Lady GaGa), NICE (The Carters), Home (Tandy), Ribs (Lorde), GIRL (Maren Morris).

Poll Your Listeners

Want to make your radio station the best it can be? Collect feedback directly from your listeners to find out how you can improve your programming with our polling feature.

Today 10:53 AM
What would you like to hear more of during our morning show?
A. Traffic Reports
B. Uninterrupted music
C. Prank segments
B
Thanks for voting!

Host Giveaways

In addition to smaller contests, a lot of radio stations run big-ticket giveaways. Using SMS as a way to enter is a simple solution for listeners and an easy way for you to stay organized. Sort submission by time received and leave notes on conversations indicating the number of entries that only you and your team can see! If you use text-to-win, a winner can even be randomly selected for you!

Today 2:22 PM
Want to win tickets to 76 Radio’s Summer Yacht Rock? Reply with why we should choose you + a friend!
I want to win the tickets and bring my mom to the show to see Kenny Loggins! We played his song “I’m Alright” before every chemo sessions. She’s now 1 year in remission!

How to Get Started With Texting For Radio Stations

It’s easy to get up and running with text marketing. Especially for a radio station that already knows about the art of growing an audience!

1. Select a Number

Does your radio station have a number that listeners are 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 radio station, or provision a custom 6-digit short code.

2. Reserve Keywords

Keywords are an essential way for listeners to subscribe to your messages. It’s also a great tool for your station to keep listeners organized based on their interests. Every SimpleTexting plan comes with unlimited keywords. That means you can create one for every program at your station, for any giveaways you run, or for any events you have coming up!

3. Add Sign-Up Forms to Your Website

Another simple way to get more listeners 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 radio station’s 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 listeners that you have one! Make sure your DJ’s are regularly sharing your numbers and keywords while they’re on-air. 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 Radio Station 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. Many people do both, your radio station will be no different. You can use the platform both ways to communicate with listeners based on your needs.
As we mentioned above, sorting your listeners based on station-specific keywords is a great start. You can create a new campaign and send it out to your Country list, Classic Rock, or Pop Music crew. 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! Listeners can be the first the 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 listeners 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 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.

Ready to see the dramatic effects texting can have on your radio station? Give us a try risk free for 14 days. No credit card, no commitment. We think you’ll be pretty pleased with what you see!

Send your first message in minutes. Try SimpleTexting free for 14 days. No credit card required.

Try Us Free