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All About the iOS 16 SMS Promotional Folder (And What It Means For Brands)

The new iOS 16 update offers more filtering options for promotional messages. Here’s how to avoid getting lost in the shuffle.

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Texts come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re a brand that sends out promotional texts, the new iOS 16 update could have a big impact on your SMS marketing strategy.

Among the features in this new update, customers will have the option to filter out promotional messages, transactional messages, junk texts, and messages from unknown senders.

Don’t panic — you can still send texts and make sure your contacts see and respond to them. It’ll just take a little creativity.

We’ll go over what this update includes, what it means for you, and how to modify your texting strategy to stay in your customers’ inbox.

What Is the iOS 16 Promotional Folder?

The iOS 16 Promotional folder is a new category for marketing texts from businesses. This update will also include a folder for transactional messages and junk. 

Think of these folders like the similarly named tabs in your Gmail account. They allow you to view messages with offers, sales, deals, and other such content without having them clutter up your main inbox. 

That’s good news for consumers who want the option to filter out potentially annoying marketing messages, but what does the future look like for you, the business who needs to get messages in front of your customers?

How to Keep Your Customers’ Attention With the New Update

Fortunately, you can still make sure your texts get to customers’ inboxes and get the attention they need.

Let’s cover a few tips for navigating the Promotions folder.

Encourage Contacts to Save Your Number

The number-one priority for making sure you avoid being sent to Promotions or another out-of-the-way folder is making sure your contacts save you as a contact. 

iPhone users will have the option to filter out messages from unknown senders, so having your text list save your number will help your brand avoid those filters.

This is great information to advertise wherever you encourage customers to agree to receive your texts. If you post a keyword on social media, mention that new contacts should add you as a contact ASAP. Be sure to do the same on your website or storefront, too.

Today 10:45 AM
Welcome to Fashion Alerts! Be sure to save our number so you never miss out on a trend.

Beyond simply helping your messages reach further, this tip can boost your brand reputation by highlighting your relationship with your customers. 

People only give their numbers to people they trust — so preserve that trust by making your brand a recognizable, friendly source for valuable info.

Use the Right Opt-in Method

Thankfully, texting is evolving every year to keep spam out of customer inboxes. 

The SimpleTexting team puts a lot of emphasis on making sure brands don’t get stuck in a spam filter. How, you may ask? Primarily through solid opt-in practices.

Legally, every person you text must agree to receive your messages. But there are a few extra steps you can follow to make sure your messages go through without fear of being blocked or filtered out.

  • Be clear about who your company is, what you’re sending (more on that shortly), and mention that contacts can unsubscribe anytime. 
  • Keep away from trigger words like “Big money,” “Don’t delete,” and, “Free $$$.” These are big red flags. If you wouldn’t open it, don’t send it.
  • Use a valid opt-in method, like keywords, web forms, or mobile widgets.
  • Get your number registered so carriers know you’re sending safe material. If you use a toll-free number, have it verified.

Let Customers Know What To Expect

You can also help contacts keep your messages front and center by giving them a heads-up about the kind of texts you’ll be sending.

Honestly, no one wants to prioritize receiving random texts from one brand or another. If your contacts can recognize texts from you without even glancing at your name, you’ve hit a home run.

The best way to set yourself up for success here is to use your auto-confirmation message to set expectations right off the bat.

Today 11:30 AM
Thanks for joining New Dawn’s text list! Stay tuned for weekly self-care tips, our latest skincare launches, and exclusive discount codes.

Keep Your Content Valuable

Just as important as letting your contacts know what you’ll be sending them is making sure you’re only sending things they’ll actually want.

With the overwhelming amount of ads and marketing messages consumers are exposed to today, run-of-the-mill content won’t keep your contacts’ attention for long.

That means sending content other than sale announcement after sale announcement. Try sending helpful blog posts or videos, encouraging reminders, or weekly tips.

You can keep your content extra-relevant by creating and using contact segments, or groups of contacts that have something in common with each other. 

So, if some of your contacts shop at a certain location or have an interest in specific products of yours, you can make sure they’re only receiving texts about their individual interests — meaning they won’t want to miss a single message.

The Final Word on the iOS 16 Promotions Update

It can be frustrating when a new update or industry change disrupts your marketing plan. 

But if you can get creative, communicate any big developments to your contacts, and keep their interests top priority, you’ll keep your customers around rain or shine.

Plus — if your customers have to actively choose to keep you in their inbox, you’ll have an audience that’s much more motivated to buy and stay loyal to your brand.

Lily Norton
Lily Norton

Lily is a content marketing specialist at SimpleTexting. She specializes in making helpful, entertaining video content and writing blogs that help businesses take advantage of all that texting has to offer. When she’s not writing or making TikToks, you can find Lily at roller derby practice or in a yoga studio in the Seattle area.

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