As an entrepreneur you have a lot on your plate. You’re in charge of everything. That means anything from finances to customer service. Subsequently, you don’t have time for frivolous time-wasters such as having to deeply research an issue before implementing a workable solution.
Text message marketing is just that. It’s a workable solution that doesn’t need to be deeply researched before implementation. However, you do need a basic understanding of how text message marketing works and where to find the best platform and tools. And that’s exactly what we’ll be going over covering here.
The Legalities of Text Message Marketing
The governmental agency that oversees business to customer communication is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC is responsible for making sure companies are ethical in their communications with customers. In other words, that companies don’t spam customers.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) is a safeguard for customers. It ensures that when a business chooses to use text message marketing, they have the explicit consent from the customer. Basically, the customer has to be the one that opts-in to text message marketing. If not, a consumer or the government can sue a company for unlawful behavior, or a harsh fine can be levied.
When you start text message marketing, don’t mess around with customers. Tell them exactly what to expect and when to expect it. If you don’t, at best your company will be reported as spam and at worst a heavy financial fine will be levied against your company.
Text Message Marketing Tools
What follows are some of the basic tools each text message marketing platform offers. Each platform varies in the degree to which you’re involved, but they all have the same outcome.
#1 Mass text message
Although it may sound similar to group chats, it isn’t. Mass text message simply allows you to text multiple customers, who have opted-in to receive texts from you, individually. In other words, you send one message to many people at the same time. However, each person you text receives the message individually. And if a response is sent, only you receive it.
That’s why mass text messages are so powerful. You can get the word out quickly and efficiently while preserving privacy.
#2 SMS Campaigns
Sometimes referred to as keyword campaigns, SMS campaigns are another basic tool for text message marketing. These are fairly simple to understand since you’ve probably seen them around. A good example is an advertisement such as “Text COOKIE to 50505 to receive notifications about our world-renowned cookies and a free cookie at your next visit.”
SMS campaigns can be found everywhere – on product packaging, on store windows, on billboards, in magazines, etc. However, their usefulness doesn’t just extend to offline advertisements, they can also be used online as well – on social media, in banner ads, and even in Google search ads.
The beauty of SMS campaigns is they can be anywhere. They allow you to collect information about potential customers such as their name and phone number as well as other pertinent information. And since you set up the response to the text ahead of time, you don’t need to worry about manually replying each time someone texts in.
#3 Drip Campaigns
Only a few text message marketing platforms offer drip campaigns, but they are invaluable. They offer you a chance to do the same things you do with a traditional marketing drip campaign, but via text message. Ensuring potential customers stay in the sales funnel longer is the lifeblood of your business and text message marketing with drip campaigns can do the same.
Tags aren’t traditionally thought of as a text message marketing tool, but they are. In fact, tags may actually be the most useful text message marketing tool you’ll get with a text message marketing platform. They allow you to organize your customers based on any criteria you come up with. If you need customers tagged based on how often they patronize your business, you can do it. If you need customers tagged based on their purchases, you can do it. Even if you need customers tagged based on their birthday, you can do it.
That’s why tags are the best way to organize your data. They give you the power to organize data in a way that makes it useful. And in our case – makes it useful for your text message marketing purposes.
Text Message Marketing Platforms
I’m not going to feed you a list of text message marketing platforms here. A simple Google search will suffice. However, choosing a text message marketing platform is extremely important.
Choose one that fits your needs. When looking at various platforms consider the following: your budget, the tools offered, the time to learn the platform, time to use the platform, and if they follow federal regulations. (You’d be surprised what some companies try to get away with.)
You don’t want to get stuck paying for a text message marketing platform you won’t use. Text message marketing should make your life easier, not harder. So, if it doesn’t do that, don’t get it. In the end, it’s really up to you what text message marketing platform to choose, choose wisely.