What He Said Made Me Mad… What Happened Next Will Blow You Away!
Seven Tips For Text Message Marketing Best Practices
Just last week I was downtown, meeting with clients and prospects… and teaching small business owners about the power of text message marketing.
It was a great opportunity to share the power of our mobile marketing platform with everyone who was interested.
I met all sorts of people…
Coffee shop owners, Bank VPs., Consultants, Teachers, even IT people.
What was amazing, each person I met with immediately understood the power of text messaging… They all thought of different ways they might use text messaging in their own business.
It’s so exciting to see people “Get” text message marketing.
At the end of the day, I was happy with all the connections I made. However one person I spoke with really stuck in my mind. It was an IT guy who signed up for one of my competitors text messaging platforms.
The problem… they just didn’t use it!
Now, I know better than to badmouth my competition.
But I’ll tell you, it bothered me that this business spent time and money getting their text messaging system set up and learning all the bells and whistles… and now they don’t use it.
A combination of employee turnover, complex software that needed lots of training, and uncertainty over how to use text messaging in the best way caused them to ignore the system.
Sadly, they continued to pay the high monthly fees, despite not using the system.
This made me mad.
I hate it when people have a powerful tool in their hands… yet don’t use it. I hate it when people spend time learning a technology, then don’t implement it. I hate it when people waste money.
So what I decided to do shocked everyone.
Despite the fact they used a competitors product, I offered to work with them on setting up their marketing strategy!
I volunteered my time, to help them better use one of my competitors products.
Some would call me stupid. Others might say I’m generous with my time. Whatever you think, here’s how I’m going to help this guy get full use out of his text messaging efforts.
I’m going to share with him best practices for using text message marketing.
Then I’m going to help him identify the best marketing methods of getting people on his list.
Finally, I’m going to work with him on setting up a marketing calendar and getting everything scheduled out over the next few months.
It sounds like a lot of work.
And it can be a lot of work if you don’t know what you’re doing.
All told, I’ll probably spend a handful of hours helping them get set up in the right way… and then they’ll be able to schedule months of marketing in advance… and reap the rewards of all that front end work.
So this week, I want to touch on the Best Practices… then in a few weeks, I’ll walk you step by step through getting people on the list, and finally, I’ll talk about creating a marketing calendar.
Easy as pie.
So let’s look a bit more closely at best practices for mobile marketing with text messages.
My List Of Best Practices for Text Message Marketing.
Here’s my list of 7 tips on best practices for using text message marketing.
1) Only text people who ask to get your messages.
This should seem straight forward, but not everyone gets it. You can only text people who want to get your messages and ASK to get your messages.
NEVER buy a list of phone numbers. NEVER rent a list of phone numbers. NEVER just add people to your texting list without their permission. This is a fast way to get your number banned by the carriers!
2) Get people to join your list by offering them something good!
Getting people to add themselves to your text marketing list is easy… offer them something they want!
I’ve seen our customers offer any number of things. One consultant who spoke at conferences often offered copies of the slides he was presenting, you just had to join his marketing list.
I know a restaurant offering a free dessert to people who sign up. A car wash offered a free wax for new sign-ups. Another person offered to mail people a book!
But it doesn’t stop there…
You can offer inspirational messages… or daily scriptures… or daily horoscopes… or updates on events… or early bird notices…
Find something your customer’s want, and give it to them (in exchange for joining your text marketing list – of course!).
3) After people sign up, ALWAYS send a welcome email.
The welcome message doesn’t have to be long. Just remind them what they signed up for… give them an idea of how frequently you’ll message them… and finally tell them how to unsubscribe.
Most systems have a way to set this up automatically.
It’s “Set it and Forget it” text message marketing!
This welcome message gives people confidence that you’re not going to abuse their phone number. You remind them why they signed up and you always want them to have a way to unsubscribe from your list.
4) Communicate frequently, but not too frequently.
Text messages are a powerful communication medium. You have direct access to a person once you have their phone number… so think twice before texting your group.
You always want to make sure you’re texting for an important reason.
Don’t go off topic. If you promised people notices of important events, you don’t want to start messaging them with book reviews! Keep on topic.
We’ve found some of our most successful marketers message their list about once a week… always providing important information, or coupons, or content.
I’d recommend starting with a weekly text and seeing how response rates look… around important events (like annual conferences) you can try more frequent announcements.
How do you tell if you’re sending too many messages – when people start opting out of your list and your list starts shrinking… text a little less, and make your texts more valuable.
5) Don’t be afraid to include a Link in your text message.
Now, this sounds like a crazy tip, but give me a moment to finish my thought.
Most people these days carry a smart phone. Something like 64% of people in the US have a smart phone… and that number is growing.
Why is this important?
Because it means these phones have internet access and can be used for so much more. If you send a link in a text message, your customer or prospect can click the link and learn more.
It seems like a small thing, but this is powerful.
If you’re a non-profit, you can send a link to your donation page and collect money.
If you’re running an event, you can text a sign-up-now link and get people to sign up for the event.
If you’re giving a news update, there’s not enough room in a text to do any story justice… so send them a link to a web page with more detailed info.
Links in text messages are great ways to share calendars, drive traffic to your website, get people to sign up for events… and even buy your products.
6) Don’t be afraid to include a phone number in your text message.
This goes hand in hand with best practice tip #5… if you can include a link… think about including a phone number.
Remember every customer or prospect is using their phone in a different way.
Some love to talk on the phone, others prefer to engage with a website.
One of our customers sent their list a quick note and included a phone number right in the message. A number of people immediately called the phone number and placed orders for products! One message drove $1,400 in sales!
I can imagine a restaurant doing this with reservations for special events… Think about the days leading up to Valentines Day. Send out a text reminding people to make their reservation now… and including your phone number.
Suddenly, you’re front of mind with your customers and you’re giving them an easy-way to engage, and sign-up and spend money with you!
7) Segment Your Text Message Marketing Lists
My last tip on text message best practices is to make sure you segment your list.
How do you do this?
Some systems allow you to set up multiple keywords… and depending on what keyword your customer or prospect texts in, they’ll be added to a different list.
Other systems allow you to manually create lists and move people between them.
Why is this important?
I want you to think of all the different groups you deal with in your business. You might have one group of Customers… and another for VIP customers… and one group of prospects… and don’t forget your employees… do you have a group of managers… what about owners or shareholders? The number of groups you have for your business is endless.
But each group needs different information.
A message for your employees isn’t meant for your customers.
Special offers for Prospects might not make sense for current customers.
Up-sells won’t be understood by prospects!
And think of your VIP customers… You want to treat them a bit differently too!
Conclusion – Best practices for Text Message Marketing!
So there you have it… 7 tips for text message marketing best practices.
Is that all of them? Not by a long shot.
There are hundreds of other things you can do with your text messaging list… the only limitation is your own mind.
For now, we’re going to call it a day… and watch the next couple of articles… in a future article we’re going to discuss how to get people to add themselves to your list in droves… and an easy way to stay consistent with your marketing efforts.
If you want to learn more about text message marketing for your business… Check out our free guide, The Ultimate Guide To Mobile Marketing. Just Drop your email address on the sign-up page, and we’ll email your copy ASAP.
Till Next Time…