In the constant pursuit to connect with your audience, you’re willing to try anything.

What about text message marketing? The fact that 98% of all text messages are opened (whereas less than 20% of emails are opened) tells you that it’s definitely a channel worth considering.

But you’ve received annoying texts from companies you don’t remember opting into texts from. So how do you avoid being a pest and actually get text messages to hit their mark?

Start with Permission

Always, always get permission from your contacts to send messages. The recent privacy regulation in the European Union, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), has opened the eyes of marketers around the world, including for text messaging. The key takeaway?

Don’t send messages to people who didn’t ask for them.

There are several ways to get permission to send texts. Have a QR code at checkout in your store for mobile users to scan to opt into your messages, or send an email with a short code (a series of numbers that replaces a phone number) they can text to get messages. Just never, ever send messages to anyone not on your opt-in list.

Keep the Frequency Low

Frequency is tricky; send too many texts and people opt out. Send too few, and it might not do its job. Your text message marketing platform should provide you with analytics that help you see what the response rate is for each text, so you can test out frequency until you find that sweet spot.

However, once (or more) a day may be too much. Pull back to once or twice a week and see what redemption rate is for your offers.

Send Offers That People Want

Speaking of offers: your sole purpose in texting your contacts is to drive sales. So send a variety of discounts and coupons and see what sticks. Some ideas:

  • Buy one get one free
  • Time-sensitive offer (“come in before 4 and save 30%”)
  • Discount
  • Dollar-off amount

Again, analytics are your friend, as they’ll point you to which promotions are getting the most redemptions. Plan for more like those.

Segment Your List

There’s no reason you need to send everyone the same offer if you sell different types of products. For example, if you sell clothing, you wouldn’t want to send everyone the same offers for baby clothes, men’s clothes, and shoes. Instead, create different contact lists for different product types.

Using those short codes, you can set up different ones (or different prompts people can text, like SHOES or BABY) so that people can specify what offers they’re interested in.

Just like any marketing, text message marketing will take time to fine-tune. Pay attention to results, and use that information to build future campaigns upon.


Image: StockUnlimited