Text message advertising is an excellent way for businesses to connect with consumers about deals, promotions, upcoming events, and other offers and opportunities. It’s also an underutilized platform of communication with lots of potential and excellent results. You may have heard of text message advertising referred to as SMS advertising. They’re the same exact thing. SMS stands for “Short Message Service,” which is an industry term for a text message.
Check out these stats from Innovista Law’s April 2018 TCPA Survival Guide:
Compare those numbers with email’s 20% open rate—and much lower response rates—and you can see why text message advertising is one of the marketing methods that businesses should utilize for connecting with their customers and being top of mind.
Text message advertising is the practice of sharing promotions, sales, or news updates with your customers via text message. You can either send out mass texts to tens, hundreds, or thousands of customers at once or communicate one-on-one with customers.
Here’s an example of text message advertising in action:
To take advantage of text message advertising, you’ll need to use an SMS platform (like SimpleTexting). Businesses that want to send texts to customers have several options when it comes to what numbers they can use. One popular solution is to use a toll-free number, as they’re capable of sending messages to large groups at once or individuals. Other organizations opt to use easy-to-remember short codes. You can also text-enable your existing landline, VoIP, or toll-free number.
👉 Want to learn more about the different numbers you can use for text message advertising? Check out this article on how to pick the right number.
The benefits of texting are numerous. Its speed, reach, and ability to cut through the marketing noise make it a popular platform for marketers across all industries. Some of the most alluring aspects of SMS include:
For these reasons, text message advertising is a great tool to help businesses increase their response and interaction rates, convert views into sales, schedule and confirm appointments, collect valuable customer feedback, and share time-sensitive information.
To see some of these benefits in action, check out our latest success stories from real-world clients utilizing text message advertising every day.
Running your first text message advertising campaign is a relatively straightforward process that consists of two primary steps.
1. First, you need to enable your customers or supporters to subscribe to receive promotional messages via SMS or MMS. If you have an email list, this article explains how you can turn these contacts into SMS subscribers in just 10 minutes. This help center article provides some ideas on how you can invite people to sign up for your text message advertising.
2. Second, you’ll need a service to draft and send messages to your subscribers once they’ve signed up. This 90-second video explains how easy SimpleTexting makes sending your first SMS campaign:
If you decide to go down the text message advertising route, the SMS examples below should give you an idea about the direction you should take:
Text message advertising can help you drive online sales and is a great way to drive traffic to your website. For example, an e-commerce retailer, Aubrey’s Bead Closet, uses promotions to drive a 400% increase in mobile web traffic.
Jamba Juice used text message advertising to drive an increase in foot traffic by 10%. Text promotions are a great way to generate more appointment bookings or store visits.
You can use text message marketing to quickly and easily promote tickets to customers where they are and how they want to engage: directly through their phones.
Text to Join using a keyword and phone number is a great way to collect phone numbers and emails. It’s also a great opportunity to provide someone with a coupon or promotion when they’ve just subscribed to receive your texts and are likely to be highly engaged.
You can find a lot more SMS advertising examples over at SimpleTexting’s SMS Templates page. Feel free to copy and modify any of those templates for use in your text advertising campaigns!
Here are three essential text message advertising best practices. Like any advertising channel, texting has its own set of explicit and implicit rules.
Text message advertising has a 160-character limit for regular SMS messages. However, rather than being a negative, this puts businesses in a position to be creative and communicate the best possible message in a small amount of space. If you want to include a URL, you can use our built-in link shortener feature.
Of course, you can go up to 1,600 characters (and embed rich media!) if you use MMS messaging—but even so, you still have to focus on being concise and sending your subscribers something worth their time. Bottom line: Less advertising space = more powerful advertising message, and that’s precisely the kind of message that gets people’s attention in this fast-paced world of ours.
If you want to preserve text message advertising as a channel that cuts through the noise, then don’t bombard users with too many text messages. While your customers can ignore a billboard or a Facebook ad, it’s harder to ignore an incoming text.
Remember, this is a good thing! But it also means that you shouldn’t abuse it. If you do, your once engaged subscribers will be quick to reply, “STOP.”
No one wants to wake up to a text from a business. Especially if it’s letting them know there’s a 2-for-1 promotion on vacuum cleaners. Common sense should prevail here if you’re in doubt of what normal hours are.
Plus, one of the many reasons text message advertising is so effective is that subscribers are likely to take action immediately. It’s harder to do that when you’re sleepy eyed and irritated.
👉 Do you want more text message advertising best practices? Check out this article on tips for text message advertising success.
1. You need to get people to provide explicit consent to receive your text message advertising. This is the case even if you are importing existing contacts who have never provided consent to text them.
2. When you promote your text advertising program, you need to ensure that all your CTAs include the company’s name, contact info, what people are signing up to receive, and how they can unsubscribe.
3. Included with your first text message, or confirmation text as it’s known, there must be a compliance message that confirms all the information in your CTA. Here’s an example:
At SimpleTexting, we’ve made the compliance process simple by automating it. Every time someone signs up to receive your texts, we automatically send out the required disclosures.
If you’re ready to try text message advertising, we’ve got a free 14-day trial with your name on it. Just sign up, give it a spin, and in time you’ll see just how effective it is—people will be responding positively to your messages, indicating that they’re reading and listening to what you have to tell them.