6 things to know before starting your first texting campaign

If you haven’t started your first texting campaign yet, you might be unsure of where to start.

The important piece is that you want to get started.

SMS texting campaigns have an engagement rate that’s three to seven times higher than with emails and a nearly six times conversion rate.

You don’t want to miss out on achieving higher marketing results for your business.

The following are six things you should know before starting your first texting campaign.

What’s a texting campaign?

First things first, an SMS texting campaign allows you to interact with your customers through text messages, which can feel more personal than emails.

You can still segment your audience (just like you would with your email marketing) so that you’re getting the right message to the right people at the right time. Automated text messages can also boost your interactions and ultimate campaign results.

There are limitations, though. You must work with a character count of 160 characters, and you have to fit the parameters of any included visuals, i.e. MMS messages.

What do you want to achieve with your texting campaign?

Thinking through your goals will help guide the direction of your first texting campaign. 

Setting goals increases the success of your marketing strategy by about 429 percent.

Consider your overall business goals and how SMS marketing can support any or all of them.

Still not sure what your goals should be? Check out our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business.

What texting campaign service should I use?

It’s important to identify and sign up for the technology that will enable you to create and deploy texting campaigns.

When surveying what text marketing services are out there, you’ll want to understand all the features available, whether those features make sense for what you want to achieve (or if you need something more) and the total cost associated with a subscription.

Regarding features, consider:

  • Ease of use
  • Any complementary tools (such as data-capturing forms)
  • Audience segmentation
  • Automation capabilities
  • Campaign reporting

DailyStory offers SMS text messaging features, as well as email marketing and more as well. Explore with our 21-day free trial.

Who can I text?

Before you launch your first texting campaign, it’s critical that your customers gave you permission to send them SMS messages.

It’s a best practice but also the law (as it relates to distributing promotional content via texting). But about 91 percent of consumers would opt-in for text messages from brands

Of course, there are many ways to opt-in your customers and even potential customers, including:

  • Including a contact phone number field and permissions checkbox in your contact or sign-up forms.
  • Using a “text to join” strategy, where consumers text a keyword to a specific number that you give them.

Check out our four tips to grow your SMS text message marketing subscribers

Just remember to give a clear option to opt out of your texts within each message sent. For example, a subscriber can reply “STOP” to opt out. While this feels countintuitive to your marketing goals, it is required by law, and you wouldn’t want to accumulate frustrated and uninterested subscribers anyway.

What should I text?

The sky’s the limit within 160 characters, creatively speaking. But you do have some guidelines to follow to avoid getting carrier violations and the resulting impacts from them.

A carrier violation occurs when carriers (such as Verizon, AT&T and such) receive an outbound SMS and opt to not deliver the message to the destination phone number. In other words, carriers monitor and filter SMS traffic, and if your message triggers a perceived violation from the carrier’s perspective, your text will not be delivered.

When your text messages are flagged, it becomes very likely that future messages from the same number (or those with similar content) will be filtered out as well.

Learn more about carrier violations and how to avoid them.

How should I track my texting campaign?

The metrics tied to texting campaigns aren’t as robust as what you might be used to with email marketing due to technoligical limitations. 

Within whatever texting campaign service you choose to use, you should be able to track the number of sent SMS messages as well as the click rate. You also should be able to see your deliverability rate, depending on the service.

Of course, to take this a step further, it’s a best practice to track any resulting sales from your texting campaign as well to give you a bigger picture view of how your text messages are performing.

In conclusion

Before you dive head first into texting campaigns, make sure you have a plan. Knowing your goals as well as the “rules of the road” that come along with texting can help you start strong. From there, be sure to experiment and measure so that you’re continuously optimizing your texting campaigns.

While you’re planning your first texting campaign, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 tips to maximize your SMS marketing strategy

Every business should have an SMS marketing strategy as part of its larger digital marketing efforts.

SMS marketing is the use of text messages to convey your message to potential (and current) customers. It’s also the way many consumers prefer to communicate. About 75 percent want to receive texts with special offers.

Check out our 10 best practices for SMS text message marketing, while the following are eight tips to consider to maximize your SMS marketing strategy specifically.

Send drip campaigns via text

Drip campaigns are a type of time-release marketing tactic. Think drip irrigation systems. Drip messages (whether through text message, email or something else) are intended to land with purposeful timing and targeting, with minimal waste (and technically minimal effort once set up to run automatically).

Think about it like a conversation that you’re building upon along the way.

In that sense, a planned, automated drip campaign should have a place in your SMS marketing strategy.

Text drip campaigns can keep subscribers engaged as you regularly send relevant, valuable content. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Welcoming and onboarding new customers
  • Educating customers about how to get the most out of your products or services
  • Sharing relevant education and tips about related topics
  • Including special offers along the way as you build up to them (and/or increasing the offer over time if it hasn’t been claimed yet)

Check out our 14 best practices for drip campaigns as they relate to email marketing.

Create exclusive text-only deals and offers

Consumers want to feel special. And why should they opt-in to your marketing texts if they don’t think they’ll get something they wouldn’t get otherwise?

From a special day-of discount to advanced notification of an upcoming sale, the sky’s the limit when it comes to getting creative with what you can offer your text subscribers.

The key is that you communicate this value upfront as you’re asking for their opt-in and then deliver it on a regular basis.

Learn more about how to promote a loyalty rewards program (which is often text-based but doesn’t have to be).

Use keywords for SMS opt-ins

A great way to grow your SMS subscriber list is to use SMS keywords for opt-ins.

An example of an SMS keyword opt-in is if a spa asks you to text the word “SPA” to a phone number, which then opts you into that company’s text message subscriber list.

These SMS keywords are an easy way for interested consumers to subscribe to your texts. The easier you can make that opt-in, the better.

Just make sure that when you are growing your SMS subscribers, you’re offering an incentive for joining, providing a link to your Terms and Conditions and setting the expectations for the frequency your audience will receive text messages.

Prioritize responsiveness

Regardless of the type of campaign you’re running, the ability for text recipients to respond and engage in conversation with you must be a priority in your SMS marketing strategy.

It’s one thing to send out an SMS blast or pull your subscribers along in a drip campaign, but you have to make sure to not only have the ability to chat back and forth with anyone who responds to a text but also to be able to reply back in a timely manner. 

DailyStory has the capability to alert you to text responses as they happen so that you can be as responsive as possible.

Check out these eight ways to improve your overall customer responsiveness.

Focus on education before the ‘sell’

You are an expert in your industry, so leverage that in your SMS marketing strategy before you go in for the sale.

Consider the problems your target audience (i.e. ideal customers) have. Then, develop various pieces of content that can help your audience overcome those problems. You can then take 160-character snippets of this content to engage and serve your text subscribers.

This not only shows the industry expertise that you have. It also engages subscribers, delivers promised value and builds a trusting relationship that can ultimately lead to that sale (and more sales after that) over time.

Be functional with reminders and confirmations

Your SMS marketing strategy does not have to be restricted to the balance of educational and promotional content. In fact, it can fill a very needed function: scheduling confirmations and reminders.

About 67 percent of consumers would rather text with a business about appointments and scheduling than by email or phone.

This means that appointment reminders, booking confirmations, billing reminders and more can all be incorporated into your SMS marketing strategy.

Your business more efficient, and your potential customers and customers will appreciate the method of communication.

Consider running a contest

Contests are a popular tactic in various digital marketing mediums because they do typically work.

They can be especially helpful in growing your SMS subscriber list. For example, you can set up an SMS keyword that (when texted to a particular phone number, whether it’s a short code or long code) not only enters the consumer into your giveaway but opts them into your subscriber list.

Key reminders when it comes to contests:

  • Use them sparingly (so you don’t lose impact by running an ongoing contest that loses interest and steam)
  • Create urgency
  • Make it easy as possible to enter
  • Offer a compelling prize
  • Cross-promote across platforms
  • Keep it legal

Gather feedback and monitor performance

Data will always make your SMS marketing strategy more effective. You want to optimize the data you gather about your subscribers so that you can better engage with them. You also want to monitor how each text campaign is performing to make informed decisions on that and future campaigns.

To get more data about your subscribers, try ending a welcome text message (or including in a drip sequence) a survey or poll. This can help you learn more about who your audience is and what you can offer them. This information will benefit your strategy and even how you craft the language of your text messages.

Then, in the backend, you want to track what’s working and what’s not in your SMS marketing strategy. Text messages don’t have as many metrics to follow as emails, but understanding your delivery rate, click-through rate and replies will help you make the best decisions about your strategy. If something didn’t work, you can take that and pivot for the next campaign to do better.

In conclusion

With nearly 100 percent of people reading all their text messages, SMS marketing can be powerful if done right. Take the time you need to invest in the planning stage of your SMS marketing strategy so that your texts are engaging with your audience and deliver the results you’re looking for.

As you’re exploring your SMS marketing strategy, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation, powerful SMS text message marketing and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.