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SMS texting to achieve your business goals

Imagine that you mailed out an advertisement to 100 people and 95 of them opened that mail and read it. What would you do? Chances are you’d run out to the store to buy more stamps. As amazing as that scenario sounds, text message marketing is even more incredible. 99% of the texts you send will be read. 95% of those will be read within 5 minutes, the average being 90 seconds. Even better, the cost of a text is just a few cents, much less than a postage stamp. Business text message marketing is by far the most cost-effective form of advertising. But before you can start texting, you have to have a list of phone numbers to text. There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about building that list.

If you’re purchasing lists of phone numbers, you’re doing it wrong

In fact, you’re doing it illegally. The law requires that you get permission from people before sending them commercial texts. Here are some ways to build your business text messaging list without breaking the law:

  1. Have your short code and keyword on in-store signage. People opt in to receiving your texts by texting a keyword to a short code. Make that keyword and short code visible to everyone who enters your business’s location.
  2. Use multiple keywords. If you plan on offering different types of content via text message, you can have different keywords and your customers can choose which they want to opt in for.
  3. Place a sign next to an item in your store that reads, “text subscribers receive __% off on this item.” Include the keyword and short code on the sign.
  4. Set up geo-fencing if you have a mobile app. Customers who get within a certain distance of your store will get a push notification.
  5. If you are still using traditional advertising, use these channels to advertise your short code and keyword.
  6. If you own a restaurant, make sure tables have a sign about your SMS campaign. For instance, you can use the side of a napkin dispenser.
  7. Involve your employees. Make sure they’re telling customers about your SMS campaign and why they want to opt in to receive texts. If your employees are excited about it, your customers will be too.
  8. Place an ad in the newspaper informing consumers about what special deal they can get in return for opting-in for text messages.
  9. Make sure those who opt-in benefit immediately after doing so. For instance, if a customer has opted in while eating dinner, they might receive a free dessert. They’ll tell their friends and word will spread.
  10. Use SMS marketing to send appointment reminders, payment receipts, and shipping notifications. Make sure that your customers know that by opting-in, their lives will be simpler, not more complicated
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