Helpful Items to know with text messaging (SMS)

We are still amazed at the number of businesses who ask how they can use text messaging (SMS) to help improve their business.  

Text messaging is such a powerful communication channel that every small - medium business should be using it.  Texting has such a low barrier/steps to take when compared to responding and/or reading email.

Did you know?

89% of consumers would like businesses to use text messaging

but

less than half of all businesses are equipped to communicate through SMS

*Source Twilo

So if you’re thinking about making a smart move and adding text messaging to your communications then keep reading.  If you're not...then keep reading as well.  You might change your mind.

Here are some simple tips to follow to help your text messaging (SMS) marketing campaigns be successful.

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Helpful Texting (SMS) Tips:

#1 Know the rules & regulations around texting

First of all, you cannot create a target list and start blasting text message after text messages to your customers.  This is illegal and can be extremely costly to you.  

Here is a helpful link to learn more about the regulations involving text messaging.

#2  How to gain “consent” from your customers

Consent is key to your SMS marketing program.  Technically, there are three forms of consent.

  • Verbal 
  • Written 
  • Direct Opt-in

Verbal:

Not the best choice as this method can be challenged and doesn’t provide a “true” consent even if you documented the date & time of the consent on their record.  This doesn’t mean this method is not allowed but more of making sure you are documenting it properly.

Written:

This option is great as your customer actually has to sign or complete an online form where there is language about text messaging.

Direct Opt-in:

This option is where your customer actually sends you a text message first….example (TEXT the Keyword “Service” to 555555).  They are subscribing through text messaging so consent to use this communication channel is given.

However, there are some cases that you may need to require the “double” opt-in. This requires the consumer to “grant” consent by responding to the first message they receive.  This is not a requirement but more of a safe guard.

Example:

Text the Keyword “Service” to 555.555.1212 (or a short code) 

First Response - “Thank you!  Please respond with a “Y” or “N” to confirm you wish to communicate through text messaging.”

#3  Messaging frequency

When you implement a SMS marketing strategy with your business, you must include language on the form or opt-in capture point.

With most businesses, one text message a month is plenty to drive a return.  However, there are some businesses that have a weekly or biweekly structure for their program.

The point is that you need to be clear with your frequency.  The last thing you want to do is not stay true to your word.  It could cost you a high rate of “unsubscribes” or even worse, fines.

Example language:

“We send text messages once (1) a month on average to keep you informed.”

#4 Disclaimer

You will need to add language on any of your forms, written or online, that states….

“Msg & Data rates may apply”—This simply means that the customer may be charged by their carrier for receiving your text message, just as they would for any text."

#5  Make your text messages count

Like all marketing strategies, timing and context must be on point in order for them to be successful.  Not sending the text message at the right time or without value can lead to more subscribers.
 

#6 Opt-out

Just as with email, you also have to provide a means for the customer to “unsubscribe” from receiving future text messages from your business.  With GetRevvi, this language is already added to the first message as a default.  We have designed this so you will never forget.

Example:

“Respond with “STOP” if you wish to not receive any further text messages.”

*Your audience can also easily "opt" back in by sending the word "START" to your Revvi texting number.

Text messaging (SMS) is a powerful communication channel for your business.  It's so easy and quick for your audience to use.  Start using text messaging today to increase your engagement and grow your business.