Text Marketing Best Practices
Text marketing, also known as SMS marketing, is one of the most powerful tools a business can use to bring more customers to their stores! Add an image to the message, also known as MMS marketing, will add even more impact to your campaign. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or bright-eyed rookie to text marketing, these text marketing best practices should help you to make more effective campaigns for your local store marketing.
Important: Be sure to clearly communicate which locations are participating in any offer. This helps prevent customers’ visits to non-participating locations to redeem the offer.
- Get Permission. You cannot send text messages to people without their permission. It is the first rule of text marketing. If you do not have consent, you will be breaking the law. How do you get permission? Your subscribers must opt-in to your text database. The double opt-in process is the first and most important step in TL Connects’ sign-up process.
If you need more information about consent or the opt-in process, Contact our team.
- Mind the frequency of textALERTS. Be consistent, but sending out too many may get more opt-outs. Two to four texts a month is recommended. For help with content ideas and overall marketing organization download our free marketing calendar template
- Text during normal working hours. Texting early or late may aggravate your subscribers and cause them to opt-out. We recommend sending texts between 7:30am & 6:00pm.
- Use common language. Character counts are important and it is sometimes fine to abbreviate but don’t make it appear as if your text was written by an unruly teenager.
- Important messages only. Don’t bother sending the text if you don’t have a good message to relate. If you have a redeemable offer, make it a good offer. General communication texts without offers should also be important to the subscriber. Don’t text just to say hello. Convey a message of VALUE to the subscriber.
- Think from the subscriber’s perspective. Think about every message your subscribers will be getting from you. Give them an interesting variety in offers, announcements, etc.
- Expiration dates are very important to the redemption process. One to three day offers typically work the best. When you give subscribers more time than that to come in, they tend to forget. Text messages are read quickly so create a sense of urgency with your offers.
- Disclaimers. The international nonprofit trade association, CTIA, represents the wireless communications industry. They require text marketers to include things like “Msg & Data rates may apply” in your auto-reply messages. Your subscribers also have to be notified that they can opt-out of your text program at any time. These are things that are automatically included in the TL Connects’ engagement program. So you won’t have to worry about these rules, but you should be aware of them. These two disclaimers are typically only shown in the first auto-reply message after signing up.
- Monitor opt-outs. Opt-outs will happen. It is unavoidable, checking your opt-outs for each campaign can help you see trends of your subscriber’s texting preferences. For example, certain offers, time of day & frequency trends may lead you to determine what not to do on the next campaign.
- Take advantage of templates. Time is money. So, save time typing textALERTs by saving them so that you may use them again in the future. Clicking the “save as template” checkbox on the last step of the wizard, will save that message as a template so you can choose it again with one click. Then, you just have to change the little details that will make it different. It is a tool you don’t want to miss.
- Try MMS. Pictures are worth a thousand words and character space is sometimes scarce. MMS (sending images) messages have proven to get better redemption rates than text messages alone. If you have a tasty image your subscribers are likely to get a craving and become instantly engaged!
- Barcodes. Another effective MMS feature is sending a barcode image. If you have the capability to scan barcodes for coupons, you can better track your results and redeem offers quicker.
- Short, simple offers. Make your offer simple. Don’t give the subscribers too many choices, such as, offering a “$1 off a Large Coffee or a Free Medium Coffee”. This limits your capabilities of knowing which one they chose and takes up too many characters in the message making the overall message less effective. Instead, offer one or the other. “Free Small Coffee” will more than suffice and you can offer the $1 off next time. Then you compare the results of both to see which drove in more people.
Download a template to get your MMS image the correct size every time.
Use a template to get started on the right path with MMS Messaging! Here you can download a layered Photoshop document to use for easy Photoshop MMS image creation. This file will help you create a better MMS image. It is important to not cut critical sections of your image off either in the preview or when the user opens it.
This template helps with:
- Proportions for all the varying phone sizes
- Margins to avoid hidden content
- File size for faster delivery
- Consistency of brand message