Saturday, May 25, 2019

Effective Tips for Promoting your Brand via Text Message Marketing

Effective Tips for Promoting your Brand via Text Message Marketing

Most savvy email marketers understand that getting a particular message to a specific consumer is a bit of a crapshoot: with open rates hovering around 20 percent for most industries, even talented email marketers are battling information overload and inbox overflow whenever they send out a new email blast.

Text messaging may seem appealingly effective by contrast. The average office worker receives 121 emails per day, so consumers understandably tune out messages that aren’t relevant or appealing. The average American checks their phone every twelve minutes, and while they may be ignoring most of their email notifications, they are checking their text messages. 90 percent of text messages get opened and read within three minutes of receipt, and text message open rates are ultimately 98 percent. Those numbers will make any email marketer salivate.

But text message marketing, just like email marketing, requires strategy and skill. Text messages experience such a high open rate in part because they’re a less common avenue for marketing and tend to be more personal messages. As more and more companies enter this space, they’ll have to earn their text message opens, not take them for granted. With that principle in mind, here are some tips for kicking off an effective text message marketing campaign:

Get Permission

Commercial text messages, just like commercial emails, require consumer permission. Recipients must be able to opt in and opt out. And while some spammers get away with flouting those rules with email, an unwanted text message is far more likely to be noticed and reported. Regardless of whether you know a consumers’ phone number, be sure to have their explicit permission before texting.

Shorten URLs

Long URLs are even longer in text messages. And because messages over 160 characters get sent as multiple texts (with individual charges for each segment), it’s both financially responsible and less annoying to consumers to keep URLs short. Check out Oberlo’s list of the top 10 best URL shorteners for tools to keep texts short without sacrificing web addresses.

Text Less Frequently Than You’d Email

Imagine if your phone dinged and you checked your screen, expecting a message from family or friends, every time an email arrived in the “promotions” tab of your Gmail. Annoying, right? Furthermore, imagine your phone company charged your company a fee for every email you sent! Both factors help explain why experts advise sending marketing texts far less frequently than marketing emails. Upland Software recommends starting a campaign with four to five messages per month.

Use Words that Pack a Punch

Effective texts are both shorter and less frequent than effective emails--which means it’s even more critical for each word to pack a punch, both grabbing attention and effectively communicating information. Text Request advises messaging consumers as if they were family or friends, using a comfortable, familiar tone and throwing in a few emojis for good measure!

Be Personal

When was the last time you used email to communicate with your significant other? And when was the last time you applied to a job opening via text? Both situations are uncommon for most people. We associate text messages with more intimate elements of our lives, and text message marketing can lean into that personal quality. Texts are perfect for personalized missives such as messages that provide custom coupons, talk about past purchases, or offer local discounts.

Invite Interaction

Another thing about texts--because they’re so often from our family and friends, we usually respond to them. While marketing emails often include a “don’t reply to this address” disclaimer, text messages invite the kind of interaction that ultimately strengthens consumer-brand bonds. Whether it’s American Idol soliciting votes via text or politicians urging support from potential voters, text messaging has always been an interactive medium.

Get a Short Code

How do you get a consumer involved in text marketing if they’re first learning about your brand through an ad on the side of a bus, a desktop website, or another medium not directly connected to their phones? Shortcodes can help. These five to six digit numbers facilitate mass texts between brands and consumers. Shortcodes cost money, but they invite consumer engagement (ever responded to a “text ‘KEYWORD’” to a short code message on a sign or ad?) and communicate information instantly.

Don’t Forget Analytics

Any digital marketer worth their salt understands the importance of analytics, whether it’s search engine rankings or email open rates. Those metrics are just as important when it comes to text message marketing. Both standard tools such as Google Analytics and text-specific platforms such as SimpleTexting can help marketers measure texting metrics. Because each SMS incurs a phone bill charge, understanding what works and what doesn’t is especially vital in text marketing.

Text message marketing is an under-utilized resource, but that doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all for marketers. Follow these tips to make your text message campaign effective rather than annoying.

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