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Text Message Advertising for Businesses

Text message advertising is an easy way for businesses to connect with customers about sales, special promotions, or important news.

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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.

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Check out these stats from Innovista Law’s April 2018 TCPA Survival Guide:

  • 99% of text messages are opened
  • 90% are read within 3 minutes
  • 40% get a response within 15 minutes

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.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is Text Message Advertising?
  2. What Are the Benefits of Text Message Advertising?
  3. How Does Text Message Advertising Work?
  4. Examples of Text Message Advertising
  5. Text Message Advertising Best Practices
  6. The Rules of Text Message Advertising
  7. More Text Message Advertising Resources
  8. Try Text Message Advertising

What Is Text Message Advertising?

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:

Today 1:30 PM
Visit Woodstock Pizza tonight between 5-8pm and get a 25% discount on any pizza. Just show this message.

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.

💡 SimpleTexting Tip: Every SimpleTexting account comes with a complimentary 10-digit number. If you decide you want to move forward with a dedicated short code, our highly competitive pricing starts at $500/month and our team will help you get your short code two weeks faster than the industry standard!

Still 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. 

What Are the Benefits of Text Message Advertising?

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:

  • Texts have a 99% open rate (Singlepoint)
  • 89% of people would like to text with businesses (BusinessWire)
  • Sales prospects who are sent text messages convert at a rate 40% higher than those who do not receive any text messages (Velocify)
  • Text messaging is 3-8X more preferred than face-to-face communication across all generations (Agility PR)

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.

How Does Text Message Advertising Work?

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:

Examples of Text Message Advertising

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:

1. Use Text Message Advertising to Drive Online Sales

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.

Today 12:45 PM
Sweat and Soda-20% off all T-shirts Thursday only!

2. Increase Foot Traffic with Text Message Advertising

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.

Today 10:43 AM
Deal of the week: with every spa package at Anne’s, get a haircut on us. Offer ends 12/31.

3. Sell Tickets to Events

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.

Today 11:25 AM
Laura Smith embarks on her funniest, loudest and wildest tour to date. Get tickets here: 

4. Use a Text to Join Keyword

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.

Today 10:25 AM
Thanks for signing up to receive promotions and updates on our San Diego fun runs. Get 10% off April’s Pacific Beach Fun Run with code FUNRUN10.

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!

Text Message Advertising Best Practices

Here are three essential text message advertising best practices. Like any advertising channel, texting has its own set of explicit and implicit rules. 

1. Keep Your Text Message Advertising Short and Sweet

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.

2. Pay Attention to the Frequency of Your Text Message Advertising

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.” 

3. Send Texts at Appropriate Hours

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. 

The Rules of Text Message Advertising

If you want a thorough understanding of the rules of text message advertising, then this helpful guide cover is your go-to. 

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:

Today 10:25 AM
You’ll now receive the best deals and promotions from Simply Java Cafe! To celebrate here’s 10% off your next order. Just show this text.
Reply STOP to unsubscribe or HELP for help. 4 msgs per month, Msg&Data rates may apply.

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.

More Text Message Advertising Resources

Try Text Message Advertising

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.

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