7 creative ideas for SMS text message marketing campaigns

How creative are your SMS text message marketing campaigns? Are you seizing every opportunity to engage with your subscribers and ultimately boost sales with your ideas?

SMS, otherwise known as Short Message Service, is really just texting. And more than 560 billion texts are sent every month worldwide, and about 81 percent of Americans text regularly. In fact, Americans text twice as much as they call, on average.

Simply put, text message marketing is a type of digital marketing that communicates promotions, sales, coupons, confirmations, news and other updates to your potential and existing customers (who’ve opted in) through text messages on their mobile devices.

Check out these seven benefits of SMS text message marketing for small businesses.

Beyond using SMS for reminders or order confirmations, the following are seven creative ideas to help you leverage your SMS text message marketing to grow your reach, increase your conversion rates and build trusting relationships with customers.

Welcoming subscribers

When consumers first sign up for SMS notifications from your brand, this is an opportunity to send them a welcome message that should include some sort of call-to-action. 

You’ll want to briefly explain why the customers should continue subscribing to your notifications and what they can expect. Those reasons depend on your SMS marketing strategy, but they could include receiving exclusive discounts, sales alerts and other updates. (Don’t forget to include how often they should expect to hear from you.) And, of course, you can include a special discount with your welcome message to encourage a purchase.

Just remember that your welcome text message is only the beginning of your texting relationship. Keep your message concise. You’ll always have the ability to build on what you say in your welcome text with future texts.

Subscriber-only flash sales

Exclusivity is important in your SMS text message marketing strategy. Sending exclusive deals to your SMS subscribers is an effective way to make a purchase happen.

Depending on the nature of your business, you could include a link with your offer or require the recipient to show the text in the store when checking out.

Just make sure that you limit the time available to act on the sale so that you’re compelling your subscribers to act sooner rather than later. The idea of a flash sale is that it’s only around for a limited time. Learn more about FOMO and how it can boost your digital marketing efforts.

In addition, you’ll want to offer exclusive flash sales regularly so that SMS subscribers have a reason to stay subscribed but also not so frequent that they begin to get ignored.

Blog (or other content) promotion

Have popular blogs, guides, tips or other resources that would educate your SMS subscribers? Sharing that content shows that your brand is an industry thought leader that can be trusted. It also breaks up your more sales-related messages.

Weekly or monthly tips in particular are a simple way to regularly share your expertise.

By cross-promoting your valuable content through SMS text messages, you can boost your website traffic and click-through rates. This is a great opportunity to repurpose evergreen content that can benefit your audience at any time.

Learn more about evergreen content and how important it can be for your digital marketing efforts.

Running giveaways

Giveaways (which include sweepstakes and contests, depending on how you set them up and manage them) can help boost engagement and grow your SMS subscriber database. 

To promote, consider directing contacts to a landing page or replying with a keyword through text. You also could announce the giveaway on your social media channels or website that aims to collect mobile phone numbers to enter.

Again, the setup entirely depends on your goals for your giveaway. Just make sure that whatever giveaway you’re launching is legally sound.

After your giveaway, it’s a best practice to follow up with those who didn’t win. Perhaps there’s some sort of consolation prize (such as a discount) that you can offer so that no one walks aways empty-handed.

Event promotion

Got an event coming up? Whether the event is a conference or product launch, another idea is to use your SMS text messaging to build up an audience or even count down the days until your event.

Text messages can share key details about your event. Just make sure that every piece of information you share is valuable to recipients. If you’re texting too much about details that they don’t care about, you risk losing subscribers.

Check out our eight tips to make your event marketing better.

Capturing abandoned carts

It’s very common for online shoppers to abandon their shopping carts before completing their order due to a vast array of distractions. In fact, the average cart abandonment rate is about 70 percent

So, one idea is to leverage SMS text messages to capture these abandoned carts and encourage more completed orders.

If you’re set up for customers to browse your website while being logged in, you can track their behavior and have a text message sent to remind them to complete their order. If you can, include a link to their shopping cart so that the process is that much easier.

Offering more than a thank you

It’s one thing to send a thank-you text message after a customer purchases from you. It’s even better if you can sweeten the message with a discount or another offer that he or she can use next time.

You also can add a feedback survey link (or an online review link) with your thank-you message. Check out our eight tips to create a successful customer survey for your business. 

In conclusion

When it comes to getting creative with your SMS text message marketing, the sky’s the limit for your ideas. 

Think through your business operations and the customer journey. Would SMS subscribers want to be alerted to restocked products? Is there an opportunity to upsell your customers through text messaging? Can they pre-order a product at a discount? How personal or even interactive can you make your texts? What news beyond sales can you share with your SMS subscribers?

Check out our eight tips to maximize your SMS marketing strategy, as well as the nine do’s and don’ts of SMS text message marketing.

While you’re evaluating your SMS strategy and how creative you can get with your campaigns, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more, as well as text message marketing and email marketing. Schedule your free demo with us today.

9 do’s and don’ts of SMS text message marketing

It’s tough to beat SMS text message marketing when it comes to digital marketing tactics. Text messaging is fast, direct, efficient and relatively inexpensive when compared to other advertising tactics (such as Google Ads).

Short message service (SMS) marketing is a form of marketing that businesses use to send promotions to customers by text messages. About 75 percent of clients want to receive offers via SMS, so it’s definitely something to consider layering into your digital marketing.

But before you do, the following are nine do’s and don’ts of SMS text message marketing that you should be aware of.

The do’s of SMS marketing

Keep it brief

SMS text messages are short, just 160 characters, so you have limited space to not only get your message across but also to be engaging enough for your text recipient to act on it.

Keep it as short and simple as possible while including the basics: the who, the what, the where and the when. You might go through a few drafts, but that’s okay. Keep drafting and see where you can tighten up your language.

Check out our eight tips to write an effective marketing text message.

Include a call-to-action

With such little space to work with, it’s critical to focus on getting your call-to-action (CTA) into your text message.

This is where you want to think about the “how” or “why” behind your message. For instance, a “why” could be getting a discount, and the “how” could be replying with a keyword or clicking a link. What do you want the text recipient to do upon opening your message?

Make your text recipients feel important

Remember that your text message subscribers have all opted in to receiving texts from you (or should have, legally speaking). They deserve to feel special, and you can make that happen by delivering value and offering exclusive discounts that they can’t find anywhere else.

Pay attention to timing

Because SMS text messages are so personal and direct, you want to be extra mindful of timing. Think about it: Would you want to receive a late-night text from a company? Put yourself in their shoes as far as best possible times to text and monitor your overall performance to get a sense of what works best for your audience.

If you’re a national or even an international, then time zones are critical to consider here as well.

Keep it legal

There are several requirements of all promotional text messages. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulates SMS marketing in the U.S. Violating the rules can cost you heavy fines on top of getting flagged by wireless carriers (such as AT&T, Verizon and so on).

Some requirements include:

  • Obtaining a clear opt-in from text subscribers.
  • Identifying yourself and/or your company in every text message.
  • Including an easy way to opt-out (such as “Reply STOP to unsubscribe”).

Learn more about carrier violations and how to avoid them when texting.

The don’ts of SMS marketing

Bombarding your recipients

Frequency matters, especially with text messages. Never text just to say you’re sending something or anything else that’s not incredibly useful.

Your SMS marketing messages must always deliver value, as well as a real-time benefit to those who opted in for your SMS communications. If they don’t (and texts are being sent too often on top of that), you’ll annoy your text recipients and increase your opt-out rate with every text. 

Less is definitely more in SMS marketing.

Using text slang and abbreviations

Because you only have 160 characters to work with, the temptation to heavily abbreviate is very real. 

But not everyone will understand all abbreviations and other types of text slang, and that can cause confusion. It even can risk the appearance of being unprofessional. You don’t want to hurt the image of your brand just to save a few characters.

Always selling

This is actually a typical piece of advice for most digital marketing tactics. If you’re always selling in your messaging, then you lose the opportunity to share what your brand is about and why people should care. You also miss out on delivering value in different (and possibly unexpected) ways.

Consumers are already exposed to thousands of marketing messages a day, and you’ll do better to cut through that noise by inserting non-selling messages into the mix (particularly in SMS marketing).

Take a personal and human approach and aim to help solve the problems of your text subscribers first. The selling can always sprinkle in later.

Forgetting to use segmentation

Segmenting your contact list is a powerful tool to make sure that you’re getting the right message to the right people.

For example, you would like say and offer something different to loyal, recurring customers than you would someone who’s never purchased from you before. 

Make sure to segment based on demographics and behaviors that matter to your marketing messaging, and personalize where you can (like adding in the recipient’s first name). (DailyStory can help with both.) That way, you’re optimizing your SMS marketing.

In conclusion

Your SMS marketing is only as powerful as the strategy behind it. Take the time to determine your goals and how you’ll measure success.

Check out our six things to know before starting your first texting campaign to help you get started.

While you’re evaluating your SMS strategy, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more, as well as text message marketing and email marketing. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 benefits of SMS text message marketing for small businesses

SMS text message marketing is a powerful tool in your digital marketing toolkit with many benefits, but it can feel a little intimidating for small businesses to dive into.

SMS, otherwise known as Short Message Service, is really just texting. And more than 560 billion texts are sent every month worldwide, and about 81 percent of Americans text regularly. In fact, Americans text twice as much as they call, on average.

Simply put, text message marketing is a type of digital marketing that communicates promotions, sales, coupons, confirmations, news and other updates to your potential and existing customers (who’ve opted in) through text messages on their mobile devices.

If you’re on the fence about incorporating text messaging into your digital marketing efforts, the following are seven text message marketing benefits.

Strong open rate

SMS text messages boast about a 98 percent open rate, which is higher than most other marketing channels, including email.

It’s simply a very direct form of communication that is hard to ignore, while emails can get overlooked or not seen at all (if lost in a spam folder). 

So, by using text messages, you’re more likely to reach your potential and existing customers with your marketing messages.

High conversion rate

Another text message marketing benefit: Text messages enjoy a relatively high conversion rate, which means that mobile users respond to calls-to-action in texts more than any other marketing channel.

In fact, the average conversion rate for brands using SMS text message marketing is about 45 percent, while the average email conversion rate is about 15 percent.

Because texts are short with few links and images, the call-to-action is clear and concise (and more effective).

Cost-effective method

While texting is not free, it is relatively cost-effective when compared to some other marketing channels (such as Facebook ads).

And, unlike other marketing, text message marketing is conversational and 2-way. This enables you to create engaging conversations with your customers for generally less.

DailyStory offers the ability to use SMS text message marketing and can break down the cost for you at a level that serves your small business best.

But just considering the return on investment alone, text messaging is a cost-effective digital marketing tool.

Mobile-friendly option

As small businesses aim to be more mobile-friendly for consumers who are using their mobile devices more and more, texting is a great show of mobile-friendliness. 

According to Statista, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 51.53 percent of global website traffic as of 2020, consistently hovering around the 50 percent mark since the beginning of 2017.

And mobile internet usage is only growing. Gone are the days when we can assume that most website visitors are viewing your website on a full browser.

Mobile optimization is about making sure that visitors who access your website through mobile devices have an outstanding experience that’s customized to their device. The most successful mobile optimization should feel seamless for the mobile user. And that’s where text messages enter.

Check out our six reasons why mobile optimization matters, as well as 14 expert tips to improve your mobile marketing specifically.

Complements other types of marketing

SMS text message marketing doesn’t have to stand alone. It’s a tool that can actually be paired up with all the other ways you market your business.

Some ideas include:

  • Generating interest in your social media channels
  • Offering a quick discount for anyone who buys through your website for a limited time
  • Following up on a promotional email that was sent out (with different messaging based on whether they’ve opened that email or not)

Consider the digital marketing campaigns that you’re already doing. Where can SMS fit into those? And how can it make those campaigns more successful?

Check out these eight surprising ways you can use text message marketing.

Strengthening customer engagement

Text message marketing isn’t just a broadcasting medium. Similar to social media, it gives an opportunity for consumers to engage with you. This is another text message marketing benefit.

This makes your business more accessible for them, which can help it become more of a part of their lives as you continue to build stronger relationships.

To better prompt that engagement, check out our eight tips to write an effective marketing text message.

Flexible and customizable

Another text message marketing benefit: Text messages are extremely versatile. Depending on how you segment your audience and what goals you have for different groups of contacts in your database, you can easily send different messages to different consumers. 

It could be a “miss you” message to customers who haven’t purchased from you in a while, a “don’t forget” message to those who’ve abandoned their shopping cart on your website and/or an exclusive discount offer. The sky’s the limit.

In addition, you can personalize these text messages with something as simple as the recipient’s first name. That alone can make your messaging that much more impactful.

Learn more about personalization, as well as our eight benefits of personalization in your digital marketing.

In conclusion

When incorporating SMS text message marketing into your larger digital marketing strategy, take a moment to consider your overall goals and where text messages can support those goals.

If you’ve never texted on behalf of your brand before, check out our six things to know before starting your first texting campaign.

While you’re getting started on text message marketing, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more that can boost your email and text message marketing. Schedule your free demo with us today.

How to measure the success of your SMS marketing campaign

It’s impossible to create and execute successful SMS marketing campaigns without measuring key metrics.

SMS marketing involves sending promotional campaigns or transactional messages for marketing purposes using text messages.

About 81 percent of Americans use text messaging. Text message open rates are as high as 98 percent, and about 45 percent of consumers reply to brand text messages they receive.

Clearly, SMS marketing offers you the opportunity to better connect with your potential and existing customers. So, your metrics matter.

The following are seven ways to measure the success of your SMS marketing campaign. These metrics will help you track progress toward your goals and maximize your efforts.

Interaction rate

The interaction rate for an SMS marketing campaign is the measurement of how many text recipients take action after receiving your message. 

These actions include clicks, clicks-to-call, app opens and so on. And it’s expressed as a percentage: Total clicks (or another action) divided by delivered text messages times 100.

If your interaction rate is high, it means that your SMS marketing campaign is relevant to your users. If not, there’s room for improvement.

Conversion rate

The conversion rate of an SMS marketing campaign refers to the percentage of recipients who completed the desired action as a direct result of receiving your text message. This could include redeeming a specific coupon or recovering an abandoned online shopping cart.

You can calculate this by taking the number of conversions and dividing it by the total number of messages sent (and times that by 100).

Typically, you can expect higher conversion rates with SMS marketing than with email marketing. This is because SMS subscriber lists are usually highly engaged, considering that the act of providing your phone number to a business means that you’re interested in that business’s products or services.

The conversion rate is different from the interaction rate because you’re measuring actual conversions versus any interaction or engagement because of your text message.

Delivery rate

Your SMS text message delivery rate refers to the number of messages that reached subscribers’ phones divided by the total number of texts sent (times 100).

High deliverability rates indicate that your texts are successfully reaching their intended target. A low deliverability rate could mean a few different things, including:

  • Invalid phone numbers
  • Low SMS gateway network quality
  • Spam filters or other carrier violations

Learn more about carrier violations and how to avoid them in your SMS marketing campaigns.

Tracking your delivery rate gives you a better understanding of the quality of your database. This also could show whether your messages are getting flagged and blocked by carriers.

Unsubscribe rate

You’ll see the percentage of subscribers who unsubscribe during your SMS marketing campaign through your unsubscribe rate.

This is calculated with opt-outs during a campaign being divided by the number of subscribers at the beginning of the campaign period (times 100).

There are many possible reasons why subscribers would opt out of your SMS marketing contact list. It’s possible that you never properly opted them in or are sending too many text messages. Or, your subscribers don’t recognize your business phone number, feel that your texts are misleading or spammy or no longer find your text messages valuable.

If you’re seeing a high unsubscribe rate, it’s important to evaluate the possible reasons why and whether they’re within your control.

List growth rate

Your list growth rate is based on how much your subscriber list has increased during the duration of an SMS marketing campaign.

You can calculate this by subtracting unsubscribers from new subscribers. Then, divide that number by the total number of subscribers during the time of the campaign (times 100).

In general, you do want to continually grow an engaged list of subscribers to extend your reach and stay top of mind, especially since there will always be unsubscribers. 

Customer acquisition costs

Your customer acquisition cost is the amount you spend to gain a new customer. You can calculate this by dividing the total cost of your campaign by the number of customers you acquire (times 100).

If you’re seeing high acquisition costs, you might be targeting the wrong audience, segmenting your lists incorrectly or not sending relevant messages to your text recipients.

Return on investment

You always want to measure the return on investment (ROI) in any marketing campaign, including for SMS marketing. 

To calculate, you’ll want to subtract your total investment from total sales. Then, divide that number by your total investment (times 100). When calculating, you can select a regular interval for calculations during ongoing campaigns. This can be monthly or annually or at another interval.

Use this metric to compare against your campaigns on other marketing channels. This will help you to better understand where your budget should be spent.

In conclusion

Your SMS marketing campaigns can deliver results for your business. However, you must track these important metrics along the way to best optimize your campaigns and pivot when necessary.

Check out our eight tips to maximize your brand’s SMS marketing strategy

As you’re enhancing your SMS marketing strategy with key metrics, 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.

8 surprising ways to use text message marketing

Text message marketing is powerful, but you can get quite creative in the ways you can use it to connect with your potential customers.

In fact, text message marketing generates response rates as high as 45 percent. And about two-thirds of consumers have signed up to receive text messages from more brands in the past year.

Check out the six things to know before starting your first text message campaign.

Beyond the typical sales and discount alerts, the following are eight surprising ways you can use text message marketing to engage with your target audience.

Promote new content

If you’re publishing a blog as part of your content marketing, consider notifying your text subscribers about new posts.

This is a great way to promote the reach of your content to the consumers who are most likely to find value in it.

Check out our 19 tips to drive traffic to your new blog.

Announce new products or services

If you have a new product or service that you’re launching, text message marketing is a great way to get the word out.

To make the text stand out, you can include a photo or emojis. But if you want to make sure text subscribers feel special, you can offer exclusive pre-orders, for example.

Remind customers about abandoned carts

With the average shopping cart abandonment at about 70 percent, distraction is at an all-time high that often beats out initial desire to purchase.

In that sense, your text message marketing should include automation that texts a reminder for any abandoned shopping carts (where you have the consumer’s contact information). Remind them of what they are missing out on with a thoughtful message. You can even throw in a discount code to make it that much more compelling to complete the purchase.

Notify when products are back in stock

If you’re an ecommerce company, then you’re used to the idea of items being in stock and out of stock. Ideally, you should offer the ability for consumers to sign up for back-in-stock notifications not just through email or text messages.

Consumers do check their text messages more frequently than email, so by texting them that an item they’re interested in is back in stock, you are more efficiently reaching them. That way, they can act quicker on the purchase. Make it as easy as possible by including a link to the product in question.

Request customer feedback

Customer reviews offer social proof that helps your brand build credibility and trust, which is critical for any business. When you ask customers for feedback, you collect not just reviews but also valuable insight that can help improve your brand in a number of ways moving forward.

You can make it easier than ever for customers to give you feedback by making the request through text message. You can include a link as well and, if necessary, an incentive to give the customer even more of a reason to share their experience with you (for better or worse).

Check out our 11 tips to best respond to negative reviews.

Share online, in-person events

If your company hosts webinars, Instagram or Facebook Lives or in-person events, consider lettering your text message marketing subscribers know.

Depending on your CRM (customer relationship management) platform, you likely can get pretty granular with your text invites leading up to the event itself.

Check out our seven tips to plan a successful virtual event, as well as our eight tips to improve your event marketing.

Connect with customers who’ve gone MIA

Text message marketing is a great way to reconnect with customers who’ve purchased from you in the past but haven’t done so lately.

This could be an appointment reminder at a time that’s important for your customer to book again. (In fact, about 64 percent of consumers say that appointment reminders are the most valuable form of business text messaging.) It could be a “we miss you” message to customers who haven’t purchased in three months. The sky is the limit here, but think through who you want to reconnect with to decide the best approach with your text message marketing. 

Just remember that these reconnections are a great way to encourage more purchases, especially when you’re catching the customer at a time when they’re about to run out of an item that they may need to buy again.

Thank your customers

You can never be too appreciative of your customers. Because texting can feel more personal than email, a “thank you” text after a purchase or appointment can build your customer relationships in a more meaningful way.

Of course, your “thank you” also can include a discount that can be used on the customer’s next purchase. It just depends on your goals.

In conclusion

There is no limit to the ways that you can leverage your text message marketing to engage with consumers and help grow your business. Consider who your target audience is, what they need and what your goals are. By experimenting with what’s possible, you’ll learn what works best along the way.

Check out our eight tips to maximize your SMS marketing strategy.

While you’re getting creative with the ways you can use text message marketing for your business, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation, text message marketing, email marketing and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 tips to write an effective marketing text message

SMS text message marketing can be the most effective method of mass communication.

Compared to emails, text messages can be more powerful. They have a 98 percent open rate compared to 20 percent in emails, and consumers are 4.5 percent more likely to respond to (and not just read) your text message than your emails.

So, how are you approaching the copy of your text messages? Remember, you can engage with or lose a lead forever in less than 160 characters. Paying attention to what you’re saying and how you’re saying it matters.

The following are eight tips to write an effective marketing text message.

Keep it short and concise

When it comes to SMS text messaging, you’re already limited to 160 characters per message. It’s important to get to the point quickly without a lot of fluff. Consider the recipient’s “What’s in it for me?” angle and focus on that to do more than just read your text message.

Writing in short sentences can help you be as concise as possible while also being more engaging for recipients. Think “5th Grader Level” when writing your copy. Consumers are most likely to skim your message, so don’t write long or complex sentences. You’ll lose their attention if you do.

MMS messages, with the use of images, can help you maximize what you can convey in a single message. Learn more about how you can leverage MMS text messages.

Use a strong call-to-action

Having a 98 percent open rate doesn’t mean much if your recipients don’t know what to do next. A strong, clear call-to-action can make the difference between a sale and being ignored.

Some examples of call-to-actions that you can use:

  • Act fast
  • Sign up now
  • Buy now
  • Last chance
  • Limited-time offer
  • Don’t miss out

Keep in mind that your goals matter. What is the point of sending this text message to your recipients? You’ll want to aim for that goal while being as persuasive as possible.

Personalize your text message

Depending on your SMS text message marketing platform, such as DailyStory, you should be able to personalize your text messages.

There’s a lot of power behind personalization. By using a person’s name when addressing them, you’re breaking down the impersonal barrier that can exist in any type of marketing method. This can help build trust with your text message recipients. It also can help you stand out from your competitors.

About 72 percent of customers will only engage with personalized messaging.

Of course, personalization goes well beyond just including a first name. You could use other data points as relevant. But personalization also ties into the type of messaging you’re sending. You would send a different type of message to a past customer who hasn’t purchased from you in a few months than you would to a brand new lead who hasn’t purchased from you yet.

Dive deeper into how personalization is one-to-one marketing.

Use power words in your text message

Using power words in your text messages can help you engage with your audience. These words help spur some type of emotion in your recipients, which can help with your sales conversions.

See our 16 tips to increase your sales conversion rate.

Some top power words in marketing include:

  • Obsession
  • Bold
  • Epic
  • Secret
  • Daring
  • Imagine
  • Inspire
  • Risky
  • Avoid
  • Authentic
  • Secure
  • Tested
  • Rare
  • Immediately
  • Hurry
  • Proven
  • Affordable
  • Guaranteed

See more power words and take note of what might work for you in future SMS campaigns.

Of course, while words like “free” or even emphasizing certain words by using all capital letters can help engage and persuade recipients to act, you have to beware of potential carrier violations, which can prevent your text message from being delivered at all. You don’t want to write anything that can be viewed as spammy by mobile carriers.

Dive deeper into carrier violations and how to avoid them.

Add urgency to your copy

It’s easy for consumers to not act until the last moment (or at all) unless they’re compelled to do so.

When an offer or message feels urgent, you’re more likely to spur your recipients to action. For example, a sale that ends in two days should inspire customers to plan how they can take advantage of the offer before it’s over. If the sale is monthlong, it’s easy to think there’s plenty of time to act, but that means it’s that much easier to forget about it entirely.

Consider how you can infuse urgency into your text message.

Avoid ‘text-speak’

“Text speak” is the use of abbreviations to save time, energy and space in your 160-character text message. For example, saying “l8r” instead of “later” or “u” instead of “you.”

As a brand, you want to maintain some professionalism and resist any appearances of spam. Using “text speak” can devalue your brand and cause a recipient to lose respect for you and opt out of your messages.

Consider your brand personality. You can still sound human and engaging without devolving into “text speak.”

Beware of special characters

Keep in mind that while special characters can feel like a great way to make your text message stand out, all characters are not supported by all carriers. Many carriers only support unicode.

This means that the use of a special character (like a special quotation mark or apostrophe) will not work for every recipient. That can cause confusion because (depending on the carrier) the unsupported character can be replaced with something random or a space. Either way, your text message will suffer as a result.

Keep your text messages legal

With various anti-spam laws in place, it’s critical that all your marketing text messages include an opt-out option in the text. 

Including the commonly used “Reply STOP to opt-out” at the end of your text makes your available message space that much shorter, but it’s better than risking thousands of dollars in fines.

In addition, you must identify who is sending the text message. This is non-negotiable. Make sure to work your brand name into your message.

In conclusion

Invest the time and effort into crafting text messages that support your goals, represent your brand and engage with and persuade your audience to take action.

Check out these six things to know before starting your first texting campaign.

While you’re crafting effective text messages, 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.

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.

5 tips for automated text message marketing

SMS is a powerful tool in your digital marketing strategy, and you can level up with automated text message marketing.

About 96 percent of marketers using text messages said it helped them drive revenue.

This is especially true for eCommerce businesses, but truly, any type of business can benefit from SMS automation because it helps you increase your conversion rate through personalized texts that spur your customers to action.

Automated text message marketing involves pre-written SMS messages that send automatically based on specific criteria and/or actions, such as:

  • A trigger (like sending when a customer completes a purchase)
  • A schedule (like sending before the launch of a big sale)
  • A timeline (like sending a month after a customer’s last purchase, for example)

Automating your text messages helps you connect and build better relationships with your audiences in an efficient way.

Here are just a few examples of automated text message marketing:

  • Sending transactional messages (such as order confirmations or shipping notifications)
  • Sharing special offers, sales and promotions
  • Reminding clients about upcoming appointments
  • Requesting customer reviews and/or testimonials
  • Recovering abandoned shopping carts

Don’t miss our 10 best practices for SMS text message marketing.

But let’s get specific about automation. The following are five tips for automated text message marketing so that you can boost your sale conversion rate and grow your business.

Sign up for an automated text marketing service

The first step, before anything else, is to identify and sign up for the technology that will enable you to automate your text messages.

When surveying what automated 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
  • Campaign reporting

DailyStory offers automation for not just SMS text messaging but email marketing and more as well. Explore with our 21-day free trial.

Start building your contact list (if you don’t already have one)

If you already have an SMS opted-in contact list, great! Go ahead and upload it into your new SMS text marketing service.

If not, you’ll want to focus on growing that list, especially since it’s a best practice (and the law) to send text messages only to those who are specifically opted into receiving those texts. (In other words, you can’t just add everyone in your customer database to your text message contact list without their explicit opt-in.) The good news is that about 91 percent of consumers would opt-in for text messages from brands.

Definitely start with advertising across all platforms and even within your business if you have a physical location for customers. 

Dive deeper with our four tips to grow your SMS text message marketing subscribers.

Plan your automated text message marketing campaigns

Successful automated text campaigns don’t just happen. Based on some of the examples you’ve already seen, list out the types of automated campaigns you want to put in place. The best campaigns come down to the structure of your business, the needs of your customers and your overall business goals.

Then, flush out each campaign idea with an outline that identifies who’s targeted, when they’re being text messaged (what triggers need to happen), the general messages you want to convey and your goals for that campaign.

For example, if you’re looking to have an automated Welcome text message series, you’ll likely decide that it will go to new text subscribers immediately and that the overall content is to educate these new subscribers on what they can expect from you, with the goal of them clicking on a special offer link later on in the series.

Create your message content

Now that you have an idea of the automated text message marketing campaigns you want to run and a service to deploy them on, it’s time to flush out exactly what each text message in your campaigns will say.

Remember that you’re working with 160 characters, but within that, you want to identify who you are, be clear and concise, include a call to action if appropriate and give them directions on how to opt out. 

That can be a lot for 160 characters, but MMS text messages can help convey more information in that limited space.

Refer to our 10 best practices for text message marketing for more.

Monitor your performance

The only danger of automated text message marketing is the tendency to “set it and forget it.” And truly, the benefit of automation is that you can focus your energy and time elsewhere, but you do want to understand what’s working and what’s not along the way.

Some metrics that you’ll want to stay on top of:

  • Bounce rate (where carrier violations can prevent some text messages from delivering to your recipients, as well as incorrect phone numbers)
  • Click rate
  • Resulting sales (which you’ll want to tie back to your specific automated campaigns)
  • Unsubscribe rate

By monitoring your automation performance over time, you can easily tweak anything that’s not driving the results you’re looking for.

In conclusion

The power of automated text message marketing can boost your business revenue over time, so if you’re not currently using this tactic, now’s the time.

As you’re diving into automating your text messages, 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.

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.

3 differences between long code and short code in text message marketing

 SMS text message marketing is a powerful tactic in any company’s digital marketing strategy.

Not only do about 59 percent of consumers respond to their text messages within five minutes, but nearly 100 percent of people at least open all of their text messages.

But as you’re entering the world of text message marketing, you begin your efforts with a very important decision: whether to use a long code or short code.

Long codes and short codes merely refer to the type of number you’re sending your text messages from. Long codes are a standard 10-digit phone number, while short codes are an easier-to-remember 5- to 6-digit number.

The following are three differences between long codes and short codes so that you can decide which is best for your company and goals behind text message marketing.


Long codes can be used for more than just text messaging. They can also be used for faxes and making calls. Short codes can only send and receive text messages.

Typically, long codes are used for customer service-related communication, such as:

  • Informing a customer that his or her package is out for delivery.
  • Updating customers with their account balance.

But companies often use short codes for mass marketing, security and emergency communications in text message marketing, such as:

  • Sending ads, coupons and other promotional information. For example, customers can opt in for a discount or other type of loyalty program by texting a keyword to the short code number.
  • Two-factor authentication for security purposes.
  • Alert notifications, such as hurricane warnings or flight delays.

While long codes can work worldwide, they don’t support delivery receipts. But there are still ways to know if delivery was successful when using particular SMS messaging platforms, such as DailyStory. However, short codes are considered to be the most reliable from both a technical and legal standpoint.


Of course, a big difference between long codes and short codes is the speed and volume of sending text messages in your text message marketing.

Long codes limit sending to one message per second, so companies typically use them for person-to-person communication. Short codes, on the other hand, can send 40 messages per second, so companies often use them for high-volume messaging, such as voting on TV shows.

In addition, according to carrier regulations, the ratio of inbound-to-outbound text traffic should be better than one-to-three for long codes. Short codes do not have this restriction.

Learn more about carrier violations and how to avoid them during SMS text message marketing.


Short codes can be much more expensive than long codes. The cost of a short code, for example, can begin at $500 per month in addition to any set-up fees.

Long codes are considerably more affordable.

In conclusion

The decision whether to secure a long code or short code depends on your budget and your intended uses for SMS text message marketing. Keep in mind that technology continues to evolve, and 10DLC is something to explore as well.

Check out our 10 best practices for SMS text message marketing.

As you’re deciding on whether to use a long code or short code, 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.

4 tips to grow your SMS text message marketing subscribers

With SMS text message marketing continuing to grow in popularity, every business should work it into its digital marketing strategy.

But with strict opt-in procedures required, you can’t leap into your first text message campaign before you have a confirmed subscriber list (regardless of how many contact phone numbers you might already have simply through conducting business).

The good news is that about 91 percent of consumers would opt-in for text messages from brands.

Assuming you’re already prepared to use best practices for your first text message marketing campaign or program, the following are four tips to help grow your text subscribers the right way.

Advertise your text program on all channels

This likely sounds obvious, but it cannot be overstated. How can your customers and potential customers opt into your texting if they don’t know it exists or the value it offers?

It could be as simple as including a line everywhere you can about texting a keyword to a phone number to receive exclusive deals. It also can be a full-fledged promotional campaign.

You’ll want to think about how you can raise awareness about your text program on your:

  • Website, where you can include an online sign-up form
  • Social media accounts, where you can use compelling visuals and direct users to your online sign-up form
  • Emails, where you can dive into all the benefits of signing up and include a link to do so (a great way to convert your email subscribers into text subscribers)
  • Analog paper (such as fliers, posters, even your receipts), where you can either use a QR code to make signing up online easy or offer paper sign-up forms

Use a memorable keyword

We mentioned that potential text subscribers could text a keyword to a phone number to opt in.

The more memorable you can make that keyword, the better. Don’t overthink it. Just put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What would make sense for your brand, reflect the point of the texting program and be easy to remember if a customer doesn’t act immediately?

Offer an incentive to text subscribers

To help grow your text subscribers, consider offering an incentive for signing up. After all, you’re asking for direct access to their most-used device. Opportunities include:

  • Offering a discount on a first purchase
  • Giving away a free swag item (or some other product that makes sense to give away)
  • Hosting a contest or giveaway (just keep it legal)

Be upfront about your texting frequency

To avoid the risk of looking like spam, it’s best to be clear about how often you plan on texting subscribers.

You can include the expected frequency in your advertising. Of course, we recommend including it in your confirmation message when text subscribers do sign up as well.

It’s best to be as upfront as possible in any texting program.

In conclusion

Any successful SMS text messaging campaign or program should include a component to help grow your text subscribers.

DailyStory can help. Our platform offers dynamic audience segmentation, automation capabilities and other features that can level up your text message marketing, email marketing and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

10 best practices for SMS text message marketing

Text message marketing should be part of your digital marketing strategy.

About 85 percent of consumers in one study say they want to receive text messages from brands. 

And when done right, businesses can see SMS response rates of about 45 percent (while email marketing shows about 8 percent). When not done right, thought, you can lose about 65 percent of your subscribers who will unsubscribe because you’re texting too much and/or your content isn’t relevant to them.

So, how can you do SMS text message marketing “right”? The following are 10 best practices to make your text messaging efforts as successful as possible.

Get permission

The biggest mistake a business can make when first getting into text message marketing is to get ahead of itself and begin texting the contacts you have before you’ve confirmed your opt-ins.

But it’s important to do so.

Without consent, you’re breaking the law and open yourself to possible litigation. It also can negatively impact your brand’s image.

Opt-ins can be fairly easy, though:

  • Texting a keyword to your number
  • Filling out a web form (or paper form if necessary)

Consider this the most important aspect of your SMS text message marketing strategy.

Include all necessary disclaimers

Beyond just being up front with text subscribers, industry regulations actually require you to share the following disclaimers up front:

  • That messaging and data rates may apply
  • How often you plan to text your subscribers
  • A link to your Terms and Conditions and your Privacy Policy
  • How to unsubscribe

We recommend reviewing the official messaging principles and best practices from the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) to ensure that you’re operating within the industry guidelines.

Establish consistency with your sending frequency

It’s obvious that you don’t want to text too much and potentially overwhelm and turn off your subscribers.

But you also don’t want to text too sporadically either.

When you don’t text consistently enough, the texts you do send can appear out of the blue (in a bad way) to your subscribers who may have forgotten why they subscribed in the first place.

This can lead to fewer conversions and more unsubscribes.

In general, most businesses strive for two to four texts per month. But every business is different. You could have a daily or weekly need to text your subscribers. The key is to be upfront about your frequency as subscribers opt in so that there are no surprises (and subsequent unsubscribes).

Consider the timing of your texts

Just like how you wouldn’t want to receive a promotional text at 9 or 10 p.m. at night, don’t plan on sending your texts at awkward times for your text subscribers.

Timing considerations include:

  • What’s right for your audience
  • Any time-zone differences
  • The availability of your team if response support is required
  • Volume pacing, which means that depending on whether you’re using short codes or long codes, this impacts how many texts can be sent per second. For example, you could send an afternoon text to thousands, but if the volume takes time to handle, plenty of recipients could receive your text far too late. Learn more about 10DLC numbers and more.

Think exclusivity

Because your subscribers have to opt in to receiving your text messages, keep that in mind when you create your content.

It’s an exclusive group who’s giving you the ability to contact them directly, yes? Treat them that way.

What can you offer that’s different from your email, social media and website promotions?

The answer depends on your business, but keep it simple. It could be a special discount for one day only, just to test the waters.

Maintaining exclusivity for your SMS text messaging gives customers a reason to sign up and a reason to stay subscribed.

Be responsive

About 34 percent of people will read a text message within five minutes of receiving it. If your plan involves two-way messaging (for customer service, for example), you have to be as responsive as you possibly can be.

Build the necessary time into your or your team’s schedule. Text message marketing platforms, such as DailyStory, also have built-in features that help notify you to replies and can even automate certain responses, depending on the scenario.

Use concise language

A regular SMS text message gives you 160 characters per text message. This space restriction might tempt you to abbreviate and/or use texting abbreviations, but keep your brand voice in mind. You want to sound clear and professional as a brand.

Of course, the use of MMS can give you more flexibility in communicating your message since you can include an image.

But either way, keep carrier violations in mind since they will prevent your texts from even reaching the phones of your subscribers.

Plus, see our eight tips to write a text that won’t get ignored.

Personalize your content as much as possible

Mass text messages offer the automatic one-to-one connection with customers simply because of the medium.

But you have to elevate your content to speak directly to that one customer rather than general language that feels like you’re talking to everyone.

First of all, know who you’re texting. Segment your contacts as much as you can to be as specific with your messaging as possible. For example, you’re not going to say the same thing to a customer who hasn’t purchased from you in 45 days that you would to your most loyal customers.

In addition, text message marketing platforms should give you the ability to use custom fields in your texts that will automatically pull in your contacts’ information, such as the first name. A text using your first name in it (despite being a mass text) is going to be that much more effective than a text that doesn’t.

Again, DailyStory offers all these features and more to boost the success of your text message marketing campaigns.

Offer an easy, clear way to opt out

While no business wants its subscribers to opt out of receiving text messages, you must make it easy and clear to do so. 

It’s an industry requirement, but it also helps your brand image. Everyone should know that they can unsubscribe anytime and how to do so. It’s about establishing trust and credibility for your brand.

Simply include “Text STOP to unsubscribe” in your texts and/or when promoting your text campaign.

When a subscriber does unsubscribe, make sure to send a confirmation and then remove that individual from your contact list.

Measure your SMS campaign performance

Just like any other tactic in digital marketing, you’ll want to monitor how your text messages perform. 

Text messages don’t necessarily offer all the same analytics that you expect to see in email marketing campaigns. But you can track deliveries, clicks and replies. It just depends on what platform you’re using to conduct your SMS text message campaigns.

As you’re exploring these best practices for your SMS text message marketing, consider using DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more that can apply to texting, emailing and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

What is 10DLC? Plus, 4 reasons why you should use it

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, SMS text message marketing has only increased in popularity.

This resulted from overall increased texting among consumers. In fact, about 50 percent of people sent more texts during the height of the pandemic.

Of course, pandemic or not, the value of text marketing is clear. Almost 100 percent of people read all their text messages. Compare that with the average 18 percent email open rate businesses aim to hit.

If you’re beginning to consider SMS text message marketing for your own business, you’ll want to understand 10-digit long codes (10DLC).

Let’s dive into what 10DLC is, as well as four reasons why you should use it in your own text marketing.

What is 10DLC?

In a nutshell, 10DLC is the long-code solution for application-to-person (A2P) business messaging in North America.

Also known as commercial long codes, 10DLC is just a standard 10-digit phone number that supports high-volume messaging that’s required by businesses.

The first version of 10-digit A2P messaging years ago could only handle very low volume and simple one-to-one communications. Demand has helped push for its evolution.

10DLC versus short codes and toll-free numbers

To better understand through comparison, there are three types of numbers:

  • 10DLC
  • Short code, which is a 4- to 6-digit number used for non-consumer (A2P) messaging globally
  • Toll-free long code, which begins with an 8 and is available for voice calls but also has been enabled for texts

Each type supports different business needs and desired outcomes. 

10DLC best supports a localized, smaller customer base, with typical uses including chat, event-based interactions, service updates, appointment reminders and more. While traditional local long codes send at a rate of 1 message per second and only support sending of a few hundred messages per day, 10DLCs should be capable of sending around 100,000 text messages per month with a send rate of between five and 15 text messages per second. Keep in mind that support for 10DLCs is exclusive to the United States and Canada.

Short codes support an enterprise-level, large-scale customer base, with typical uses including marketing blasts, one-time passwords, fraud alerts, transactional and more. While short codes are appealing, their lease rates are the most expensive and can range from $500 to $1,000 per month or more. Short codes feature unlimited throughput and volume. For example, you can use them to send millions of text messages per day and at rates of up to 500 per second.

Toll-free long codes support either enterprise-level or localized messaging volumes, with typical uses including customer service chat, customer feedback, notifications and more. Its volume capabilities can be more limited, though. Toll-free long codes can only send at a rate of 3 messages per second, though, with the capability of sending a few thousand texts per day.

Short codes do not have voice capabilities, while 10DLC and toll-free do. But 10DLC does not include delivery-receipt capabilities, while short code and toll-free do.

Why use 10DLC in your SMS text marketing?

Low-cost option

When compared to short codes, 10DLCs are far more affordable for small businesses. They typically cost only a few dollars per month. Granted, if you have the budget to use both short codes and 10DLCs, definitely do since they both serve different purposes and have different benefits.

Local phone number recognition

10DLC enables businesses to reach customers individually or in mass with a local phone number. This vastly improves user experience and then customer engagement as a result. Think about your own experience as a consumer. Are you more trusting of a local number being used by a nearby restaurant?

Both text- and voice-enabled

10DLCs support voice, which means customers can send and receive text messages on the same number they call you on. Again, this contributes to a better, less-confusing and more-seamless user experience. The better the experience, the better your results.

Higher messaging volume (but not the highest)

10DLC numbers feature a higher messaging volume than traditional long codes and toll-free numbers for about the same cost. They can’t compare to the volume that short codes feature, but depending on your SMS text messaging goals, that might not matter to your business.

In conclusion

SMS text message marketing is a powerful tactic that businesses should be using in their overall digital marketing strategies.

And 10DLCs can help you drive results. Plus, check out our eight tips to write a text message that won’t get ignored. Just make sure that you’re avoiding all carrier violations so that your texts deliver to customers.

DailyStory can help you get started with SMS marketing. Our platform features dynamic audience segmentation, automation features, text carrier violation checker and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Text compliance: 9 tips to keep your business out of trouble

While SMS marketing is an effective tool to reach your customers and new leads, there are important rules to follow for text compliance.

A text message sent through an SMS marketing campaign, on average, should experience a 98 percent open rate. This easily beats email marketing which usually sees open rates averaging around 20 percent, according to Salesforce.

But with great power comes great responsibility. It’s crucial to understand the laws surrounding SMS text message marketing so that you can stay out of trouble. 

Here are nine tips to stay within SMS marketing compliance. It’s important to note that the following tips are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as nor should be substituted for consultation with appropriate legal counsel.

Get familiar with the two governing frameworks

Text message compliance begins with understanding the two governing frameworks regarding text messaging consumers in the U.S.

First, there is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which is a federal statute that was enacted in 1991. Its intent is to safeguard consumer privacy by empowering consumers to “decide which auto-dialed calls and text messages they receive and to prevent receipt of unwanted auto-dialed calls and text messages,” according to Twilio.

The TCPA does come with hefty fines for violators, up to $1,500 per call or text if the violation is deemed knowing or willful.

Learn more about the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) TCPA.

Also, it’s good to be familiar with the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), which is a trade association that represents the wireless communications industry in the U.S. This includes wireless carriers, suppliers, manufacturers and more.

Primarily, the CTIA advocates for legislative and regulatory policies, as well as industry-wide standards for messaging in general.

It’s a good idea to follow guidelines from the CTIA even though they are not legally binding because they do reflect TCPA standards. In other words, staying in compliance with what the CTIA suggests helps keep you in good legal standing with the TCPA. You’ll also be delivering a better user experience to those you’re messaging. 

Find out more about the CTIA.

Consent is requires for SMS marketing compliance

According to the TCPA, customers must give businesses “express written consent” before that business sends them a text message.

While this consent does not have to be complicated (no legal contracts with signatures needed), it should be clear and straightforward for text compliance.

A couple of examples include:

  • Sending a keyword to your phone number
  • Entering a phone number into a web form submission

When in doubt, make sure there is a call-to-action included in the opt-in method. Essentially, the recipient needs to know what he or she is signing up for. That’s the key.

Audit your existing contacts

It’s important to confirm that you have “express written consent” for all of your contacts, not just new contacts.

Do your due diligence to verify the opt-in method of your existing database to avoid violating federal law. It’s not wise to import old contacts without a second thought for text compliance.

Call-to-action requirements and more

First, a call-to-action (CTA) is a message that prompts your leads to do an action (such as opt into an SMS campaign, for example).

Your CTA is expected to include:

  • The campaign purpose. Are subscribers getting discounts, coupons, updates, something else? Be specific.
  • The message frequency. How many messages should the recipient expect to receive in a certain period of time? One text per week? One text per month?
  • The potential for message and data rates. Unlimited texting is increasingly more common, some recipients may have to pay a fee to receive texts. It’s imperative to notify subscribers that this cost could happen if they sign up for your campaign.

Terms and conditions should also be readily available either below the CTA or linked to near the CTA (not hidden). In those terms and conditions, you’ll want to include:

  • The name of your company, brand and/or program
  • Contact information
  • The description of the product or service users are signing up for
  • Opt-out instructions

Of course, if you change your terms and conditions in any way, you’ll need to let your subscribers know and ask them to reply CONTINUE or YES to confirm their continued consent.

Your privacy policy should also be readily available, whether below your CTA or through a nearby link (also not hidden). Consider including in your privacy policy:

  • The types of information being collected
  • The purpose for collecting the information
  • Data storage, security and access
  • Details of data transfers
  • Affiliated websites or organizations (third parties included)
  • Use of cookies

Check out these text message campaign examples to get a sense of how these elements can come together for text compliance.

Your first text should be a confirmation

No matter how a recipient signs up, your first text message to him or her must be a message confirming the opt-in.

That confirmation text message should reiterate who you are, how frequently you’ll be texting, the fact that message and data rates could apply, how to opt-out and also how to get more information (by replying with HELP, for example). This is key for text compliance.

Always identify yourself

Every text message that you send should include your business or program name. 

It’s an SMS text compliance guideline but also a best practice to ensure a better user experience that doesn’t spur confusion from a possibly unknown number.

Remember: SHAFT

Per the CTIA, there is a major rule commonly referred to as SHAFT. It means that content related to sex, hate, alcohol, firearms and/or tobacco in any message is one of the top violations and could cause an immediate ban.

While that sounds fairly absolute, there are a few exceptions to the SHAFT rule. For example, a bar owner could still send text messages about happy hour specials, but those must send through a dedicated toll-free number with an age-gate that prevents anyone younger than 21 years old from signing up.

Learn more about restricted content in SMS text messaging campaigns for text compliance.

Be aware of timing

While not necessarily a legal requirement for text compliance, being sensitive to what time of day you’re messaging your contacts is important to prevent complaints and a spike in opt-outs.

Avoid anything too early or too late.

Honor your opt-outs

It is imperative to respect and acknowledge all opt-out requests. If you do not, your business runs the risk of legal action against it.

A common example is the text reply of STOP to your message.

Many systems, like DailyStory, can help coordinate automatic opt-outs once a request is received.

It’s crucial that every business is mindful of SMS text compliance to not only deliver a sound user experience for recipients but also to avoid any legal complications.

Learn more about how you can specifically avoid text carrier violations as well.

Need a comprehensive platform that enables SMS text message marketing as well as a leveling up of your digital marketing process? Consider DailyStory. Our application features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Carrier violations: What to avoid during SMS text marketing

Text messaging, also known as SMS marketing, is a powerful tool that enables you to contact people directly. But carrier violations may be preventing your texts from being delivered.

According to Smart Insights, 97 percent of text messages are read within 15 minutes of delivery, and 45 percent of text message marketing campaigns “generate a successful ROI (return on investment).”

In fact, 54 percent of consumers have said they would like to receive promotions via text messages.

However, your SMS marketing success can suffer from simple mistakes that will get your message blocked by phone carriers.

Why would a text message not be delivered?

A text message may not be delivered because the recipient has opted out. This occurs because they believe your message was a spam text or no longer want to receive your messages and have replied STOP. But, the most common reason a text message is not delivered is because of a carrier violation.

What is a carrier violation?

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.

The monitoring is through adaptive (machine learning) software systems that take into account the rate of sending and the content of the messages. Think of the spam filtering you’ve seen in email accounts, except that instead of being delivered to a spam folder, the message is not delivered at all. According to Betwext, messages receive a “cumulative score based on how many messages have come from a phone number during a time period, how many similar messages have transited the carrier’s network, or if the message contains content that makes it a high match for spam. Time periods are measured by the second, minute, hour and day.”

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.

While carriers do not share their exact and unique triggers for a violation (so that spammers can’t game the system), here are tips to avoid carrier violations during your text message marketing.

Warm up your sending reputation

Similar to warming up your email sending reputation, you should warm up your text message sending number(s).

Sending from a new number can cause recipients to opt-out, which may cause your message to get flagged as a carrier violation.

When carriers see your text messages for the first time, it’s best to keep your messages simple and concise. Most importantly, don’t use links or any sales language.

Consider your sending number

First, it’s important to understand that in SMS text messaging, there are short codes and long codes. 

A short code is a 5- to 6-digit number used to send SMS or MMS messages. For example, a spa health club can ask customers to text RELAX to 35353 to join its loyalty program. 

A long code is a standard, 10-digit number that also can be used to send SMS or MMS messages.

One of the differences between the two is that short codes allow you to send thousands of messages at once, making them ideal for mass texting, while long codes can only send one message per second. A common practice is to register multiple long codes to share the load because short codes can be more costly and frankly more impersonal. 

Find out more about the pros and cons of using either short or long codes.

Text frequency counts

Be aware of your texting volume and frequency. Sending too many messages from a single number during a certain time period could cause that number to be blacklisted. 

The CTIA, which represents the U.S. wireless communications industry, advises that each long code phone number should stay under 15 to 60 messages per minute and under 200 unique recipients a day. (See more best practices from the CTIA.)

Using multiple numbers and/or building in a “cool down” period where sending is paused for a day or two can both help prevent carrier violations.

Watch your links

Links are tricky. You want your lead or customer to easily click on a link as a call to action. However, “http,” “http://,” “https://,” “https,” “bit.ly,” “goo.gl,” “TinyURL.com,” “Ow.ly” and others can trigger some filters.

However, before you avoid links altogether, make sure you’re using a messaging service that will alert you for any blocked texts. DailyStory uses Twilio and other SMS providers to deploy and report on text messages.

Encourage replies to your text messages

Replies, other than those used to opt-out, is a positive signal for your sending reputation. 

A good practice is to send messages asking for replies to specific questions.

If you can craft a message that requests a response, such as “Reply YES for more info,” these help the carriers identify that your content is expected and welcomed by the recipient.

Don’t use flag words and avoid carrier violations

Aggressive language, hyperbole (exaggeration), too many CAPITALIZED words and even certain keywords can violate a carrier’s rules.

For example, the word “gift” with a $ symbol looks like spam to the content-checking programs carriers use. Repetitive content can appear spammy as well.

Also, consider what sort of content your customers or leads are expecting from you. Did they sign up for more promotions or other types of updates? 

In general, consider “warming up” your leads before getting into any sale or promo speak.

A good rule of thumb? Put yourself in your recipient’s shoes and write in a way that would be compelling for you. It’s about delivering a good user experience always.

Use the DailyStory deliverability score

SMS marketing created in DailyStory is automatically scored to help you understand the likelihood that your message will be flagged as a carrier violation.

Use deliverability score to avoid carrier violations

Consider the length of your text

The structure of your text message matters just as much as the content itself. 

Most critically, you should keep your text at no more than 160 characters. When a message is longer than 160 characters, you risk the carrier breaking it up into multiple texts. The carrier can then send those in an incorrect order and charge you for multiple messages.

That’s a bad experience for both you and the recipient.

Identify yourself

This is both a best practice and an expectation of the FTC.

If you don’t identify yourself, your text risks looking that much more mysterious and spammy to recipients. 

Confirm the source of your leads

This might sound obvious, but make sure that the phone numbers you have are opted into hearing from you.

Not only does this help you adhere to FTC guidelines, but consumers can easily report texts as spam. If they don’t really know who you even are, the likelihood of being reported as spam is that much higher.

Be upfront about opting out

On the flip side, you also should offer clear opt-out instructions. 

If users do not understand how to unsubscribe, they might automatically contact their carrier to request blocking your messages.

Unfortunately, if your think your sending number has been blacklisted, there’s not much you can do to appeal that designation. However, many carriers will automatically remove numbers from their blacklists after a certain period of time. This amount of time has not been made public by any carrier.

To find out more about the laws regarding text messaging (that all businesses should be up to date on), check with the FCC directly.

Remain compliant with applicable laws

If you are planning to send a high volume of SMS marketing, it is important to familiarize yourself with the laws and guidelines surrounding SMS marketing. Don’t risk carrier violations.

We’ve put together some guidance for tips to keep your business out of trouble.

While you’re ensuring that your text messages aren’t getting flagged, 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.