Ultimate Guide To SMS Marketing

Text Marketing Basics

Chapters: 123456789

The world of text marketing is just like any other industry. It has its own specific terminology, objectives, and capabilities. Virtually anyone can use our software, but some of the most successful marketers are the ones who understand all the tools available to them!

Text Marketing Basics

To help you build a foundational understanding, we’ll break down some of these niche terms.

Text Marketing Glossary

SMS: Which is short for “Short Message Service.” SMS is the global protocol for sending and receiving text messages. Colloquially speaking, an “SMS message” is just another way of saying a “text.”

Campaign: A text message sent out to 2+ subscribers at once utilizing text marketing software.

MMS: Short for “Multimedia Messaging Service.” MMS marketing is similar to SMS marketing, but MMS messages have a longer character limit, and you can enhance them with photos, gifs, audio files, and video files as well.

Text Alerts: Also known as a text “blast”, this is an effective marketing tactic aimed at reaching multiple people simultaneously. Platforms like SimpleTexting allow you send up to thousands of texts at once with a text alert.

Keyword: A keyword is a word or phrase a user texts in order to interact with a text marketing campaign. Most of the time, the keyword is used to join a campaign, but keywords can have other uses, that we’ll see later in this section.

Opt-In Confirmation: The first text message a subscriber receives upon opting in to receive text messages from a business. The message confirms the subscription, reiterates the business’ identity, anticipates message frequency and the fact that message and data rates may apply, and directions on how to opt out. SimpleTexting takes care of confirmation messages for you automatically.

Opt-Out: This refers to the action of unsubscribing from a business’ text messages.

Character: Form of measurement for how much text is included in a typed message, like a text. Characters include letters, numbers, spaces, punctuation marks, emojis, and any other symbol available on a keyboard.

Short Code: A 5 or 6-digit phone number that a user sends messages to in order to join or interact with a text marketing campaign. One short code can serve many different purposes, but it’s also possible to reserve a dedicated or vanity short code for your businesses exclusive use.

SMS Character Limit: The maximum amount of characters allowed in a single text message. The typical character limit for an SMS message is 160 characters. However, MMS messages with SimpleTexting have a character limit up to 1600 characters.

Virtual SMS: Think of this as a virtual phone number. Folks can’t call it like a landline, but the number can both send and receive text messages for your business (all without incurring international charges).

Call To Action: A short sentence or two that tells potential customers the right keyword and phone number combination required in order to subscribe to a text marketing campaign. For example: “Text ENTERNOW to 555888 to join our text message list.” In this example, ENTERNOW is the keyword, while 555888 is the short code.

Autoresponder: A feature that allows you to send automated texts based on set periods of time from when a user joined your list.

Drip Campaign: A set of text messages scheduled to send out automatically. You can make these using autoresponders.

Compliance: The act of following the text messaging for business regulations laid out in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Primarily, this surrounds receiving consent from an individual before you text them.

Consent: An express written affirmation from an individual who agrees to receive text messages from your business.

Message & Data Rates: Cellphone plans come with a certain allowance of texts and data. When those limits are exceeded any given month then the standard message rates and data charges from the subscriber’s carrier could apply when sending and/or receiving texts. Many plans nowadays are unlimited making this less of an issue.

Short URL: A web link containing relatively few characters that redirects to a longer web link. These links are useful for fitting long URLs into SMS messages. SimpleTexting allows you to shorten your long URLs at send time.

SMS Credit: SimpleTexting’s pricing structure allows you to purchase credits that can be exchanged for SMS or MMS messages. Sending one SMS message costs one credit.

Carrier: A wireless service provider that gives cellphones and other devices cellular connectivity. SimpleTexting’s services support all major US and Canadian carriers.

Rich Communication Services: RCS is an end-to-end software platform and IP-based messaging service. Although still relatively new, it is poised to replace traditional SMS and MMS messaging and redefine the application-to-person business space.

Most Common Text Marketing Objectives

The driving force behind most text marketing campaign’s success is a clearly stated objective. Most commonly, businesses use SMS marketing to drive sales, but SMS marketing campaigns can serve many purposes, such as to improve brand awareness, educate subscribers, increase website traffic, generate leads, or even remind customers of events and appointments.

But more on that in Chapter 6!

The 7 Types of Text Marketing Campaigns

SMS campaigns can be classified by their purpose as well as their method of engagement. In the majority of mass texting campaigns, communication is one-way. But all campaign types have the option to engage in two way-communication through your inbox.

The point is, there’s more to text marketing than just pushing out content! Explore some of these campaigns a little more depth:

1. Broadcasting

Broadcasting is the most common type of campaign. It entails sending your customers relevant information about the business or organization, such as announcements, discount offers, or limited time promotions. Alternatively, you can broadcast non-marketing information, such as regular tips, advice, or short pieces of content.

Keep in mind that when customers interact with broadcast campaigns, they expect to receive ongoing messages. Therefore, you should keep the text blasts at a consistent level, so your customers don’t forget about the campaign or fail to see the value in remaining subscribed.

2. Appointment Reminders

Instead of a broadcast to everyone, appointment reminders are targeted to specific people at specific times to remind them of their scheduled appointments. You can also prompt clients to confirm, cancel, or reschedule their appointments, in order to cut down on no-shows.

3. Text-To-Collect Info

With a text-to-collect-information campaign, businesses ask customers to respond with certain information. These campaigns can serve to fill out missing customer information.

4. Text-For-More-Info

In text-for-more-info campaigns, customers can text a keyword to a 5 or 6 digit number (SMS short code) to receive information about a business, such as open hours, a link to the website, or a phone number.

5. Text-To-Vote

In certain promotions, customers vote to determine a winner. In these campaigns, customers can send in their vote by texting an SMS short code.

Normally, a customer wouldn’t expect to receive ongoing updates after texting to submit their vote, so if you plan to add them to regular text blasts, you must offer that disclaimer upfront.

6. Polling

In a user poll, you broadcast a question to your existing subscribers to gauge their opinion on your product. The key difference between a user poll and a text-to-vote campaign is that a user poll is sent to existing subscribers, whereas new users sign up to vote on text-to-vote campaigns.

7. Text-To-Win

In a text-to-win campaign, customers text an SMS short code to enter a sweepstakes or other contest. Again, customers wouldn’t normally expect to receive ongoing updates after enrolling in a contest, so be sure to include a disclaimer if you plan to contact them again.

Feeling like an expert yet? We’re just getting started and there’s still plenty more to learn. Now that you know about all of the kinds of campaigns you can send, let’s explore how you can start gathering subscribers to receive these messages!

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