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There are a lot of different channels when it comes to communicating with your customers. But one channel that is extremely popular now is SMS or text messaging

Text messaging is a great way to communicate with customers, especially when the information being sent is time sensitive. That’s because text messages have a 99% open rate. Nearly every text you send will be received. And most of those will be read within minutes of being sent. So if you’re looking into doing some SMS marketing, here are 11 tips to do it right:

  • Keep it short. One reason many consumers prefer text messages over email is that they’re short and to the point. No one wants to read huge multi part text messages. The shorter you can keep the text the better

  • Offer service. Text messaging doesn’t have to be only about advertising products. Text messages can and should be used to offer a service. Many shipment notifications go straight to the junk mail folder and are never seen. By sending them via text, you offer a service that customers will appreciate

  • Build a relationship. Text message marketing is most effective when customers trust you. Don’t just use SMS to advertise products and services. Use SMS to build a relationship and show customers you care about their business

  • Be personal. Of course you can’t create a different text message for each individual customer. But you can tailor your message according to your target audience and you could create 3-4 different messages to target different demographics

  • Quality over quantity. No one likes being constantly bombarded with texts. Rather than sending one a day, focus on sending 3-4 texts of higher quality each month. Because you’re texting less, you can spend more time crafting that message

  • Avoid one-word responses. If your texting platform includes automated response, make sure your replies aren’t just one word. It makes you appear hurried and uninterested in your customers

  • Make content relevant. If you’re going to spend the money to send a message to hundreds or thousands of people, make sure that message is relevant

  • Have boundaries. Text messaging is a powerful tool but it can backfire if you abuse it. Make sure you’re not texting in the early morning hours or late at night. A great text sent at the wrong time will damage your relationship with many customers

  • Get feedback. Texting is a great way to receive customer feedback. If you want to know about a customer’s recent in-store experience, text them a quick 2-3 question survey. Questions that require only a short response are most likely to be answered

  • Provide value. If your customers don’t see the value of receiving your texts, they’ll ask you to take them of your list. To retain your texting contacts, make sure you’re offering them something of value. One easy way to do this is to offer mobile coupons or inform them of special deals

  • Make sure customers opt in. Not only is sending unsolicited text messages illegal, it’s unwise. If customers don’t ask to receive your texts its spam and will be viewed as such. Text messages are most effective when customers sign up to receive them

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