Often referred to as SMS marketing, text message marketing is pretty self explanatory. It’s marketing via text, and it’s very effective. 98% of people open texted marketing messages and 45% of people act on them. Those numbers sound even better when you compare them to email marketing where the open rate hovers at almost 22% and the click through rate flounders at 2.78%. Text messaging is fast and effective and nearly universal in today’s world.
How do you use it?
There are a lot of federal regulations associated with SMS marketing, and those who violate them face steep fines. Because of this, we recommend using a service to send out messages. There are many different companies that will manage your messages for you, but we recommend Clearstream because they offer a wide variety of plans to fit your needs. For a small budget, their free plan gives one free keyword and unlimited texts per month, while someone with a larger budget can pay anywhere from 30 to 100 dollars for various services.
What are the regulations surrounding SMS marketing?
- Consent – You can’t just find a number in a phone book or on a school directory and start sending texts to it. You have to first get consent from those you text. This can mean they put their name on a form to receive your texts, or it can mean they sent you the first text.
- A Way Out – Every text you send has to have a way for users to opt out.
- Texts must be sent between 8 am and 9 pm, even if it wasn’t illegal to text after 9 pm common sense says not to annoy those who trusted you with their phone number by texting them at odd hours.
- Disclaimer – All texts need to have a disclaimer informing recipients that message and data rates may apply.
What do I need to know to use it?
The first thing to get acquainted with is the terminology.
A keyword in SMS is the word or phrase the user can click on or interact with. If I were to send out the message: Text NOW to 84404 receive coupons and updates. NOW is the keyword.
A short Code is the number or code users text so they can join your campaign. In the above example 84404 is the short code.
An Autoresponder is the preprogrammed text users get when they interact with your campaign, or a text that is automatically programmed to go out to users at a given time. So, “Thank you for subscribing to our service, Text STOP to cancel” is an autoresponder.
Now you know the basics of SMS Marketing, next time we’ll cover how to use SMS Marketing for Good Causes