SMS is the foundation of mobile marketing and is the most powerful way to engage your customers. Take for instance that 98% of text messages are read within 90 seconds. If you want to deliver value to your consumers, there is no better way. Companies, large and small, believe SMS is the most direct and purest communication channel they can have with consumers, especially when you consider users have to opt-in to receive mobile messages from brands.
When done right, SMS can deliver very meaningful results for companies. But because it is considered the most personal communication channel you have to manage it with extreme care and respect. There are stringent compliance requirements defined by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that you should be aware of before you start sending texts to your users.
Below is a handful of guidelines that will help you get started with your SMS initiative:
1. Build your SMS database. The first step in getting started with SMS is to build a mobile database of SMS subscribers. Getting customers to opt-in and join your SMS database takes an aggressive “double down” plan, along with creativity and patience. Don’t get fooled into thinking you can buy a 3rd party list to jumpstart your database – remember you are required to have an opt-in from each user you send text messages to.
2. Define the value proposition. What value are you providing consumers to entice them to engage with you via SMS. Many companies will provide monetary value such as discounts and mobile coupons, but providing reminders or exclusive access is also a useful way to keep your users engaged. Avoid sending offers & info users can find through other channels. Users are extremely protective of their phones, and text is reserved for one’s inner circle. If they let you in, make it worthwhile.
3. Develop a consistent cadence of messages. Whether you communicate with your consumers daily or monthly, make sure the cadence of messages is consistent with what the consumer signed up for. This is critical in establishing a trusting relationship between you and your customers.
4. Create multichannel marketing campaigns. SMS is most effective when it’s layered onto existing marketing efforts. If people don’t know about your campaign, they can’t join so be sure to heavily promote that your number is text-enabled by adding a call to action (CTA) across your advertising campaigns and marketing materials.
5. Understand the needs of your audience. By understanding the frequency and topics your users prefer to be messaged will help you retain your users in the long run. When opting-in users for text messaging, collect as much relevant metadata as you can from them. This can be accomplished by creating a form on your site to collect more details about your user’s interests which in turn helps you keep the texts you are sending aligned with your users expectations.
With SMS comes great responsibility to protect this highly personal channel. Fortunately, there are well-established guidelines to help you run successful, compliant SMS programs.
Ready to get started with Flowroute’s SMS? Check out our API documentation and resources here.