In our prior blog we discussed the power, popularity and reach of SMS texting.
Now that we’ve reinforced the ‘why’, let’s look at the ‘how’.
The most effective way to build your audience is to use a ‘text to join’ campaign, a simple strategy to entice users to opt-in to a subscriber list that segments them to a specific message or offer. Because SMS plays well with other services, you can easily cross reference users from print, email, web site or any other digital service.
Once you’ve built your base, you need to determine what information is text-worthy. Special events, polls, appointment reminders or offers are all information that your audience may be interested in. A sense of urgency or immediacy works well with texting, as does any offer that results in user engagement.
While SMS texting is effective, it is also highly regulated.
The TCPA (telephone consumer protection act) requires that you receive permission from every contact before you text them (note that opt-ins expire and will need to be renewed), and that you communicate with them only between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm (the time zone of the person receiving your text).
In addition, there are best practice guidelines developed by the CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry) and the MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) which include items such as messaging and data rates, how long opt in and out records should be kept and age verification where necessary.
If your reach extends internationally, compliance issues will differ from domestic. Different countries/regions have their own requirements for opt-in and customer information retention. Then there is the challenge of managing time zones when distributing your messages. Oh, and navigating the many different fee arrangements countries have for receiving texts.
If you doubt that these regulations are the real deal, just ask Jiffy Lube, who was slapped with a $47 million dollar fine for sending unsolicited text promotions. It doesn’t matter that these texts went to existing customers, nor does it matter that the promotion was a truly great deal. What matters is that none of the recipients had opted in to receive these texts, and Jiffy Lube learned an expensive lesson for all mobile marketing advertisers- follow the rules.
Because these strict rules and regulations can be difficult to navigate, it is a good option to utilize a text messaging marketing service to guide you through the process, particularly one with the ability to manage and analyze your text marketing campaign to ensure it as targeted and effective as possible.
Trumpia and Sumo Text are popular options and offer more complete services than most, while Slick Text, ProTexting and Simple Texting are also widely used. This web site Top 10 Reviews offers a helpful analyses and synopsis of 10 popular services, including their strengths and weaknesses.
While the rules and regulations will ensure that your SMS text message is welcomed and read, it is engaging copy and thoughtful offers that will keep your audience happily opted-in.