Technological advancement has changed how humans interact. It has also influenced how businesses communicate with the target market. Gone are the days when businesses were heavily constrained by geography and only catered to the local market. In recent years, digital marketing has enabled businesses to tap new markets from all over the world. Leveraging these modern marketing solutions will go a long way to gaining a competitive advantage, leading to increased sales and revenue.
One of the digital marketing strategies that have gained popularity is text marketing. Humans are now better connected than ever before thanks to mobile and handheld devices. Enterprises have also seen the benefits of using text messages in reaching out to their customers. Clearly, text messaging may effectively improve your traction in today’s digital business landscape and spur business growth.
The following article discusses what you need to know about text marketing. You’ll learn what text marketing is, ways it can help grow your business, and more. Read on.
What Is Text Marketing?
Text marketing is the ongoing process of communicating business news such as offers, new products, services, sales, or other relevant information to target clients via text messages. It’s an effective digital marketing strategy that helps improve your brand visibility in a more personal approach. Some studies have also shown messages sent through text have higher open rates compared to messages sent via email.
There are two forms of text marketing:
Multimedia messaging service (MMS)
This form allows you to share multimedia content such as images and videos as well as text messages. You can use this feature to send product information, how-to-use videos, and other promotional content best viewed with rich media. Although MMS may cost a little more than SMS, this format is best for attracting new customers.
Short Message Service (SMS)
The service allows you to send alphanumeric messages to the target market. SMS marketing is ideal for sending information about a new product launch, offers, appointment reminders, and purchase information. Moreover, this works best for urgent messages that need dissemination to existing customers.
As a business owner, it’s important to integrate the two forms of text marketing. This will ensure you have a reliable channel to engage and interact with your target market, improving the chances of conversion.
How To Get Started With Text Marketing
Developing an effective text marketing strategy can be challenging, especially if you’re a newbie. To help you hit the ground running, consider following these tips in developing an effective text messaging strategy.
1. Choose A Reliable Service Provider
Choosing a reputable service provider will go a long way in ensuring the success of your marketing effort. Nowadays, there have been many service providers you can choose from, each with different pricing options and features. It might get overwhelming when you get several suppliers to choose from. Nevertheless, the right service provider should be able to address your business needs.
Firms such as Drop Cowboy and other reputable vendors in your locality have made it easier for business owners to integrate text marketing into their operations. They specialize in the planning and execution of digital marketing campaigns in various industries and markets. To give you an idea, you can check following video to learn how a vendor may help simplify your text messaging campaigns.
You may also need to conduct extensive research to ensure a service provider has the following features:
Mass texting- It’ll take lots of time and effort to send text messages to each customer. Mass texting will make it easier to convey a single message to a specific segment at once, saving you a considerable amount of time.
Scheduling system- If your business is growing, you might get too busy running the operations. Thus, it may not be surprising if you sometimes overlook your next marketing effort. With this feature, you can easily schedule your text messages beforehand. This will ensure the consistency and efficiency of your marketing initiatives, leading to a high return on investment (ROI).
Custom Segmentation- This is another feature that may improve the efficiency of your marketing strategy. It allows a business owner to categorize their target market into segments. Thus, it becomes easier to share ideal content with each section to enhance customer satisfaction and engagement.
2. Build Your Contact List
When developing your contact list, you should be extra cautious to avoid invading customers’ privacy. You also have to make sure that you are compliant with data privacy and security laws in the areas where you are doing business.
With text marketing, the quantity and quality of your contact list matter most. Keep in mind that mobile numbers have to be complete and follow the correct syntax.
There are several ways you can build your contact list. It includes:
Use Email Campaign
This is one of the easiest ways to develop your contact list. If you already have the customer’s email address, this means that they are already interested in your business and most likely to sign up for text messages. Ensure you send a relevant email with op-in details and if feasible, an incentive to increase your subscription list.
Utilize Your Website
This is another way you can grow your contact list. Ensure you have an easy-to-use site with well-written content to motivate visitors to sign up. If you have an e-commerce website, you can also encourage your customers to include this detail at checkout to grow your phone number database. Similar to an email campaign, adding an incentive such as freebies and top-up discounts may encourage them to share this detail with you.
3. Train Your Team Members
Before you run any SMS campaign, it is vital to train your team members. This will ensure that they understand the purpose of such a strategy and the importance of complying with rules and regulations to reap its benefits.
You can also coach them on the best days and times to send messages to better customer response, when and how to utilize unlimited ringless voicemail to attract customer attention as well as other features for optimal utilization.
4. Identify Call-to-Action Buttons
Identifying the call-to-action (CTA) buttons may help improve customer engagement with your text content. There are several CTA buttons you can include in your text marketing strategy. They include:
Click Here- A text message may have limited space for you to include all the information a customer may need. For instance, if you’re holding an event and want to include directions in your message, a ‘click here’ button will provide a link to the necessary details.
Text-to-Win- Most customers might be interested in participating in your competition or giveaways. Thus, this button may motivate customers to participate in your giveaways or contests, increasing customer engagement. If you’re not hosting a giveaway contest, the button is an effective way to remind customers about your existence.
Buy Now- This is an ideal CTA button for targeted messages. If you understand a customer’s purchase history, sending a message prompting them to buy a specific product may raise your sales conversion rates.
Text-to-Vote- This is a perfect button to gather more information about your business operations and customer experience. Thus, it’ll be easier for you to iterate your service and product quality.
Ways To Use Text Marketing To Grow Your Business
There are several ways you can use text marketing to grow your business. They include:
1. Collect Information
Having customer data plays a huge role in gaining a competitive advantage over your competitors. Text marketing can help you access this crucial piece of information. For instance, you can send periodic messages to learn more about the customer experience with your brand. Through this, you can make changes to your business operations to meet changing users’ needs and expectations, positively impacting customer satisfaction.
With text marketing, you can also include other keywords to collect personal information such as names, birthdays, place of residence, among others. Thus, it’ll be easier to offer discounts on special days and boosts your chances for sales conversion and upsell. However, as mentioned earlier, it is vital to comply with data security and privacy rules when you collect sensitive and proprietary customer information. Doing so will save you from fines and penalties that may damage your brand image.
2. Use Personalized and Targeted Messages
Sending general messages may reduce the efficiency of text marketing. Most customers now want to feel that they can relate to the brands and business cares for them. They are more likely to purchase products and become loyal to these brands. For this reason, it’s important to segment your target market. There are several factors you can use to categorize your customers into sections. They include age, location, purchase history, purchase behaviors, and more.
Customer segmentation makes it easier to send ideal messages to each type of customer. For instance, sending a video game promotion to a Gen Z population may increase the chances of conversion than sending the same to the millennial population. Conduct extensive research to develop a deeper understanding of your target audience; thus, it becomes easier to develop products and services that address their needs. Moreover, when your messages are personalized and fit for the right audience, engagement also increases.
3. Promote New Products And Services
As a business owner, growing your business would most likely be one of your main goals. Thus, you may want to offer new products and services to your existing portfolio. Along with your other marketing initiatives, text marketing could be a good channel to introduce new offerings. As mentioned above, communications sent through this platform have higher open rates. Thus, it shortens the time needed for customer awareness.
When using text marketing, it’s important to send short and straightforward messages to avoid overwhelming your customers. Thus, it’ll help to include a link in your text message that directs them to your site, where they can gain more information about your new product or service. Identify if an SMS or MMS would be the appropriate format to promote these products.
4. Send Reminders
This is another way you can use text marketing to grow your business. For instance, if you have booking services, sending reminders will go a long way in managing your customer flow. It is not unlikely that a customer may forget an appointment. Thus, sending a reminder will reduce the chances of no-show or last-minute cancellation, guaranteeing your sales.
Apart from the above, you can use text marketing to remind them about your offers. Make sure they understand about ongoing specials and deadlines of some of the offers. SMS is a great way to create a sense of urgency to push for immediate purchase. However, when you send a reminder, avoid misleading your customers as this may affect your brand reputation.
5. Offer Customer Support
Offering an effective communication channel with your target market may help accelerate business growth. Text marketing will make it easier for customers to enquire about your products or services, raise concerns and issues, and provide feedback. Also, it’ll be easier to communicate with the clients, improving customer relationships.
If you don’t have an effective communication channel, this may affect the customer experience with your brand. For instance, if a customer sends a service request and receives a follow-up days later, this might force them to visit your competitors, reducing your customer base.
6. Stay In Touch With Your Audience
Text marketing will play a huge role in keeping your brand top of mind. Once customers subscribe to your text messages, you can now stay in frequent contact with them. It will help you build customer trust and loyalty in the long run.
Ensure that communication is two-way to have a deeper understanding of your customers. You can utilize tools such as a response management system to further the efficiency of this strategy. The tool can help you organize similar messages when entertaining multiple inquiries, making the interaction easier, more human-like, and less transactional. Moreover, it makes it feasible to develop authentic and personal relationships with clients, which is a key ingredient for brand loyalty.
Is Text Marketing Legal?
As mentioned above, text marketing is an effective way for businesses to engage and interact with customers. The use of text messages to promote your brand visibility is legal; however, there are rules and regulations you should adhere to.
These legal regulations are implemented to ensure businesses utilize text marketing in a professional and trustworthy way. For this reason, it’s important to understand the related laws and regulations before integrating this marketing strategy into your operations. It’s also vital to develop an auditing strategy to guarantee compliance.
Here are two pre-requisites when you employ SMS and MMS marketing.
Ask For Permission
There are essential steps that you should take before running your first SMS campaign. That includes ensuring that you have permission to send them promotional messages about your business. Text messages are more personal, and if you send unsolicited messages to customers, they may report the text message as spam.
When asking for their consent, ensure you fully disclose the whole process to customers, the purpose of getting the information, and the policies in place to secure data privacy and security. Remember that misleading them just to get permission may negatively affect your brand’s image and result in the loss of customer trust.
Include Opt-out Instructions
When developing your text marketing strategy, ensure you include ways customers can opt-out. Avoid complicating this process as they may think of your brand negatively and completely avoid any interaction with your brand in the future.
As discussed above, text marketing has become one of the popular ways to interact with the target market. However, it’s important to conduct extensive research to ensure you understand the best practices to improve its efficiency and reap its benefits.