Featured image for the do's and don'ts of sms marketing.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Text Message Marketing

Text message marketing is one of the best ways to improve your business’ customer engagement thus increasing your bottom line. Although text message marketing best practices may seem pretty straightforward, there are a few do’s and don’ts you should remember when you are using text message marketing.

A business owner sends text messages to multiple customers after checking that they're following best practices.

1. General – Do’s and Don’ts

Don’t EVER, EVER, EVER use text messaging to spam people that don’t want to talk to you

Not spamming customers is the number one, biggest thing not to do. There is no other way to say it. When you mass text customers, you need to make sure you have their permission. If you don’t have their permission, don’t text them. It’s as simple as that. Otherwise you can get in big trouble with the FCC.

A potential customer getting swarmed by spammy text marketing practices (an example of what NOT to do).

You’ll notice as you look through text message marketing companies that some platforms aren’t as compliant with the law as others. With TextSanity, our text message marketing platform, users are automatically compliant with federal law because that’s how our platform is designed. You don’t even have to think about it.

Don’t send a mass text to customers after 8pm

This should be a no-brainer, but make sure your communications are within allowed hours. The other part of this is not to send or schedule mass texts to be sent on weekends. Doing anything other than this creates the impression that you don’t care about wasting your customers time.

A potential customer getting frustrated because of a business texting them late in the night.

Make sure you are in the clear by sending mass texts during normal communication  hours. Of course, emergencies may necessitate a departure from this rule, however, for the vast majority of businesses this is one text message marketing best practices to follow.

Don’t send too many marketing text messages

You definitely want to stay on your customers radar, but you don’t want them to become annoyed with you and opt-out of your text marketing. So, stay on the safe side by always making sure that you don’t send out your mass text messages too often.

A potential customer receiving multiple SMS marketing texts at once.

Don’t use group messages

There are a whole host of problems that group messages create. Instead of using group messages to communicate with your customers, use mass text. Mass text is different. It allows each individual customer to receive your message individually. And customers can reply individually too. No more phones blowing up with group message replies.

Be short, sweet, and to the point

This should go without saying, but it’s good to keep in mind when you are sending mass texts. Make sure your texts are to the point. No customer wants to receive a mass text that’s several pages long, keep your mass texts short as well as your URLs. No more than a small paragraph in length. If you send something longer, it’d better be an emergency. Along the same lines, make sure that what you send in your mass text is palatable to your customers and jives with your brand image. Also, never using vulgar language is one of text message marketing best practices.

A happy customer that had a good experience with a business that follows SMS marketing best practices.

Identify yourself and have a call to action

Other text message marketing best practices include that you always want to make sure that the customers you are text message marketing to know who you are. Don’t make them guess. Be loud and proud about who you are! And make sure to have a call to action, or rather let customers know what they should do next. Ask yourself, “what should customers do after they read my text message?”

Personalize your text message based on customer data

Customer data is at your fingertips. You just need to know where it is and how to use it to your advantage. A huge source of customer data is your existing POS (point of sale) system. All you have to do is connect that system with a text message marketing platform, and voila, you know exactly what you should be marketing to customers.

Don’t promote material that is illegal to be marketed through text messaging

This includes alcohol, tobacco, firearms, illegal drugs, and porn. One of the text message marketing best practices that always need’s to be followed.

2. Text Message Marketing Tools – Do’s and Don’ts

Use keyword campaigns and webforms to get people to opt-in to your brand

Keyword campaigns are one of your greatest assets to adding customers to your text message marketing list. An example is “Text ROCCOS1 to 505-465-8101”. Seriously, you can do it right now. See! It’s that easy. All you have to do is advertise your keyword. When customers text in, they are automatically added to your text message marketing list and can opt-in to receive your text message marketing messages.

The same is true for webforms. When a customer fills out a webform online, they are automatically added to your text message marketing list. And they are automatically opted-in when they confirm it from their phone. This is a great opportunity for your business to build a text message marketing list of new customers who are interested in receiving text message updates from you.

Make sure that your text message marketing platform has an inbox where you can respond to messages

An inbox is essential for text message marketing. So when you are looking around at different platforms to use, choose one that has a robust inbox where you can field replies from your mass texts. You want to create a two-way street in your text message marketing. Don’t be afraid to ask for a response to a mass text! This is just part of creating goodwill for your brand.

Make sure that your platform has notifications so that when someone replies, someone can respond

This is a must. You need to choose a text message marketing platform that informs you when someone has replied to a mass text, keyword campaign, or drip campaign. You need to be able to know when someone has replied, so that you can respond in a timely manner to any questions, concerns, or comments.

Make sure you have a person monitoring your text message marketing inbox

Again, this is a fairly self-explanatory best practice of text message marketing, but is worth stating, nonetheless. A robust inbox and notifications will do little to help you respond to customers if you don’t have someone monitoring the inbox and actually responding.

Here’s an example of a robust, yet workable inbox (in TextSanity)

Use tags to separate different audiences

Tags are one of the most important parts of text message marketing. Without them, your customer data is unorganized, and essentially unusable. Tags are the best way to organize your text message marketing list.

Here’s an example of tags (with TextSanity)

Schedule your text messages in advance

Save time and, as we all know, money by scheduling your text messages. Scheduling text messages is easy with TextSanity. In three simple steps, you’ll be able to schedule your text message in no time. And you’ll have a calendar with all your scheduled text messages filled in.

Use a shortcode if your company plans on sending hundreds of thousands of messages at once” (and let TextSanity help you set it up)

A shortcode is a simple five- or six-digit number that customers can text into and you can send messages from. The advantages of using a shortcode, rather than longcode phone number, is two-fold. First, your customers can easily remember what number to text; and second, dedicated shortcodes are faster at sending messages to large groups of people (and by large we mean hundreds of thousands at once).

An example of a shortcode keyword campaign: “Text EXAMPLE to 50505”.

An example of a longcode keyword campaign: “Text EXAMPLE to 505-417-6924”.

3. Text Message Marketing Uses – Do’s and Dont’s

Use TextSanity for customer service inquiries

Customer Service can be the bane of your company’s existence, but it doesn’t have to be! When you use text message marketing you’ll be able to field customer service requests in a timely manner that’s not just convenient for you, but for your customers too! Try it now!

Use TextSanity for internal business communication

Although text message marketing is traditionally used for external audiences, it can be used for internal communication just as easily. Instead of sending an email, send a text instead! Save time, save yourself a headache, and send internal text messages whenever and wherever you are. You can even schedule them in advance!

Use text message marketing to interact with hotel guests

Managing and maintaining a good relationships with hotel guests can be difficult. Text message marketing can help by providing a platform for in-room requests, guest check-out, and even mass text messaging all in one place.

Use text message marketing for political campaign

Did you know that the last two President’s of our country have used text message marketing as a cornerstone of their campaigns? And if you’re thinking about running or are running for office, you should too! Communication is the key for political campaigns and text message marketing helps you do just that – both internally and externally.

Use text message marketing on your product packaging

Product packaging can help make or break a product, so too can customer service, or, rather, the lack thereof. Text message marketing is the best way to create product packaging that will win customers over time and time again.

Use text message marketing to boost the efficacy of your sales funnels

Keyword campaigns are a large part of text message marketing and they can help you improve your existing sales funnels and make them more versatile.

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