Understand the fundamentals of text marketing and the different ways you can utilize it to benefit your individual business goals.
Types of Text Marketing Services
It seems like just yesterday businesses developed the ability to connect with customers through texting. Fast forward a few years and the technology has developed into a full-fledged industry.
The text marketing industry has taken off with 80% of people now using texting for business purposes. But what draws people into this kind of marketing? What makes it stick?
We’ll peel back the mystery behind SMS marketing and help you, as an organization, find ways to harness its power to ultimately grow your business.
How Does a Text Marketing Service for Businesses Work?
Think of the formula for text marketing success as an equation: subscribers + campaigns = success. It’s doesn’t show the full picture, but it’s a start.
Text marketing works for two reasons. The first is because you attract subscribers, or contacts, who have actively agreed to receive your messages. The second is because you send out messages, or campaigns, that deliver added value to your subscribers. And the growth cycle continues from there.
SMS promotes and encourages organic customer engagement like no other. Engagement rates nearly six to eight times higher than other forms of digital marketing. And it’s all done by keeping it simple!
Now, let’s return to brass tacks. While each text message provider is different, they all work similarly. With that, we have the foundations of exactly how text marketing works:
- Pick a way to text enable your organization. Either provisioning a short code, selecting a toll-free number, or text-enabling your existing 10-digit number.
- Upload lists of existing contacts so long as they’ve given you express written consent.
- Reserve keywords that people can text to your number or short code and opt in to your messages.
- Segment your list of subscribers to send more focused or interest-specific messages.
- Send campaigns out to one, one hundred, or one thousand subscribers at once.
- Receive messages from customers in your inbox and respond directly to them.
- Set up autoresponders that trigger text messages based on actions such as opting in or responding to a keyword. This is also often the first step when an organization wants to collect data to populate custom fields.
What Types of Text Marketing Services Exist for Businesses?
We hinted at it before, but text marketing has evolved as a platform to serve different business needs. So, we’d like to take the opportunity to lay it all out clearly. There are four main distinctions when it comes to SMS for business:
Mass Texting & 1-On-1 Business Texting
When it comes to text marketing, there are two ways you can connect with your audience— all at once, or 1-on-1. At its core, that’s the main difference between mass and business texting respectively. Beyond just quantity, you also see a difference in content. Mass texting is more often used to send out things like coupons, text alerts, employee communications, and more. Business texting, however, is better suited for providing customer support, upselling, and customer retention efforts.
SMS & MMS
All text messages are not created equal. Depending on what you need to send, you may need to utilize a different kind of message. If you’re just sending physical text 160 characters or less, you can send it in an SMS message. However, if you need to send over the character limit or you’d like to attach rich media like a photo or video, you’ll need MMS. Both are available with most text marketing programs, but the distinction is important.
💡SimpleTexting Tip: If you want to learn more read about the differences between SMS and MMS here.
Ways to Grow Your Business With Text Marketing
Growing your business with text marketing is a powerful, cost-effective way to help you reach new customers, all while improving the experience of your current patrons. Our goal at SimpleTexting is to help you find simple solutions to everyday pain points, from marketing for a grand opening to building customer loyalty.
So, let’s walk through some of the ways your organization can begin to use text marketing to grow your business.
1. Text For Customer Service Support
Save you and your customers time by answering their questions and concerns via text message. Lower response time and build customer relationships using two-way SMS messaging. (put all images in short code)
2. Text Promotions Using MMS
Include more than just text in your SMS messages. Reach out to your customers with photos, coupons, videos, and other engaging content. With MMS marketing, you can generate interest in your product, drive sales, and increase shares.
3. Text-to-Win Sweepstakes
Text-to-win campaigns are a fun and mutually beneficial way to engage with your subscribers. They benefit from the irresistible prizes, and you benefit from gaining subscribers which you can then reach out to with offers, info, and more.
For example, a retail store may want to put a small display at the register with the text: “Christmas shopping spree alert! Text “Boutique” to 555888 to be entered in to win a $200 gift card to the store!”
4. Automated Text Campaigns
Create automated text messages and drip campaigns that save you time. Write your messages in advance and schedule them to send out at predetermined intervals (like upon subscription or after a sale). Watch your engagement, and revenue, go up as a result!
For example, instead of a physical sign-in at an open house, realtors can set up a keyword for an address. They can urge visitors to sign in by texting in the keyword and schedule updates on the property from there.
5. Text-To-Answer Polls & Surveys
Rather than making customers fill out forms online, you can send out polls through text messages. It’s faster, easier and more likely to gather results. Use the valuable info you collect to better serve your customers.
6. Manage Sales Via Text
Flash sales or custom orders are great tools for small businesses. Increase the efficacy of your e-commerce by enabling customers to text in and buy or customize items!
Still looking for some inspiration? Read some of our success stories to see how other businesses have used SimpleTexting to elevate their business bottom line.
Guide to Running a Successful Text Message Marketing Campaign
As you’ve seen from everything we’ve touched on so far, you can pretty much take text marketing anywhere you want to go with it. You’re often only limited by your own creativity (and a law or two).
That’s why it’s difficult to give you a silver bullet tip for success. With text marketing, there’s no such thing as “do this and you’ll blow everyone away.” But we don’t want to shortchange you. And we do know of a few things have been proven to improve things like open and response rates. As a good rule of thumb, making an effort to include these tips will only work to benefit your messaging:
- Adding personalization to your texts. From the analysis of 330,000 CTA’s over a six-month period, it was found that personalized CTAs converted 202% better than default versions.
- Respond to customer inquiries quickly, aim for 60 minutes or less. According to new research published on HubSpot, 82% of consumers look for an immediate response from brands on marketing or sales questions.
- Avoid too much slang or industry-related jargon.
- Build a frequency strategy around your customers’ needs, but if you’re not sure how many messages to send right away, aim for three a month.
4 Examples of Successful Text Marketing Campaigns
We understand how valuable real-world examples are. That’s why we regularly share our customer’s success stories on our website. Each client is so unique, and what delivered them such memorable success varies. We’ll share some of our favorites and break down why they were highlighted.
- The Christian Connector This innovative college collection tool used texting as a way to qualify leads. Through a website form, they gathered contact and basic personal info from high school students and texted them relevant information that connected them with their perfect university match.
- Delta Sonic Demonstrating mastery over mass texting, the Delta Sonic team was able to gather over 500,000 subscribers in just under two years. They did this through a heavy marketing blitz that incentivized subscribers at all their brick and mortar locations. They’ve gone up to use their messaging as a time-sensitive tool for driving sales.
- The Alabama Extension at Auburn University’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Katie and her Body Quest team have been tasked with educating large groups of people on topics of health and wellness. It was important that they were able to distribute information as well as field incoming questions. By giving parents a safe, judgement-free space through texting, they saw measurable boosts in their program engagement.
- Amazon Video A marketing team was tasked with creating a Marvelous Mrs. Maisel pop up event for Amazon Video’s promo tour for the season 2 release. The event required a way to quickly communicate information about a temporary event to thousands of people at once. It was not only a communication tool, but a scheduling tool, a video sharing tool, and a social media promoter.
The beauty in each campaign is the difference. The words “versatility” and “agility” get thrown around a lot in the business world, so we won’t succumb to the temptation. But text marketing is a wealth of opportunity for any marketer looking to connect with customers on a more personal level.
While this high-level overview only scratches the surface, we have plenty of other resources that will help you get to the core of the apple. We encourage you to explore the site. With more knowledge always comes more power!