via Forbes : When you read “text marketing campaign” did you say, “is that a thing?” The answer is yes, it’s a thing! In fact, sending targeted offers and promotions can be a very effective way to reach customers and prospects with an interest in your products. Studies have shown that text open rates are nearly 100% and 90% of messages are read within three minutes. No other medium offers that kind of traction.
The New Kid On The Block
Even for seasoned marketers, text marketing may feel like foreign territory. It’s easy to find hundreds of articles on email best practices, content marketing and inbound marketing. Text marketing is the newer kid on the block and is still evolving. Despite this, there are a few simple steps that anyone can take to get started:
1. Decide on a goal.
Text marketing can help you drive people to your shop, visit you online or engage with your brand. The first step for your campaign is to decide on your desired outcome.
2. Define your audience.
Are you looking to connect to repeat customers, prospects or folks who have already churned? Are there demographic or psychographic traits that define them? Think about who your audience is and what they want, and segment accordingly.
3. Get permission.
The rules that govern text marketing are very clear: You must have permission from your audience and set realistic expectations before you text them. There are several ways to build your opted-in list — make sure your list is solid and eager to hear from you.
4. Use a messaging tool.
There are quite a few companies (including EZ Texting, a subsidiary of CallFire, where I work) that offer low-cost tools to help companies send text campaigns without investing in new technology. These companies simplify the process of uploading opted-in contact lists, deploying messages and tracking results.
5. Create powerful messaging.
When you write a text message or create a multimedia image to send, make sure that it speaks to your audience. The message should be clear and catchy but also deliver tangible value. Customers are happy to receive coupons or promotions for products they want but hate getting irrelevant notices.
6. Follow up, but not too much.
Even though text messages get an incredibly high open rate, it helps to send a follow-up message to keep your campaign top of mind. When subscribers join your text marketing list, you must tell them how often you will contact them. Plan for follow-ups without maxing out your promised message count.
7. Track results.
If you’re an online business, track campaigns with dedicated landing pages and cookies. If you’re a brick and mortar, ask your customers why they’re visiting. This data will tell you how your campaign is performing and help you calculate an ROI.
8. Experiment and improve.
There are many ways to move the needle with your text marketing campaign. Consider changing the offer, making the messaging more exciting or experimenting with sending at different days/times. Always be considerate of your audience — no one likes middle-of-the-night interruptions.
The New Normal
Texting is no longer the realm of bored teenagers. It’s become the new normal for businesses of every size. How many times have you thought, “I wish that company would just text me the information/reminder/coupon”? I find myself thinking that more and more, and I bet your customers do too.