By Tom Earnest on Sep 14, 2021
If SEO was the path to riches in the 2000’s, and paid ads in the 2010’s, then it can be safely argued that SMS texting could very well be the path to marketing glory in this decade.
The reason is simple: With more and more people adopting a “mobile-first” philosophy — browsing the web, making purchases and researching businesses among other things — it makes sense that your clients will want to reach their potential customers via their mobile phones. And with texting becoming more ubiquitous in everyday life, it behooves your clients to craft an SMS marketing strategy or hire a white label texting company to do it for them.
For years, marketers have trumpeted the importance of building an email list, and for good reason. For starters, it’s a list that your clients’ business actually owns, and secondly, it provides a direct link between your clients and their customers. By building their lists, they don’t have to depend on social media channels or even a search engine algorithms to reach their customers. They can simply craft emails and send them directly.
SMS has a chance to overtake email as the single most direct marketing tactic on the planet. While email has an open rate hovering in the 20% range, SMS texting has a mouth-watering 98% open rate. Imagine how much your clients could improve their business’ bottom line with an open rate that high!
There’s no question that SMS needs to be a part of your clients’ marketing plans moving forward, but how exactly do you build one out? Cost and legal issues aside, where do you start?
Just like with email marketing, businesses need to focus on getting as many qualified leads into their SMS pipeline as possible. Since the open rate is so much higher than it is with standard marketing practices, a similar emphasis on acquiring numbers for text communication will create an exponentially higher ROI for your clients.
(And in case your clients primarily use a land line for their business instead of a cell phone, Umbrella has white label texting services for that too. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that texting is only for smart phones; we accommodate everyone!)
Include links to sign up for text notifications in all of your clients’ standard communication channels: social media, email service, website and anything else you’ve set up for them. Make them short and easily identifiable so that there’s no confusion as to what customers should do.
Just as with building an email list, you should also incentivize getting SMS information. Since texting is seen as more intimate than email (for now), people won’t just hand over their cell phone numbers without getting something substantial in return. A sizable coupon, entering a contest of some kind or even free gifts are all excellent options.
When it comes to composing messages for SMS, think of Twitter: short messages that get the message across without much thought. The more your clients; potential customers have to actually read their text messages, the more likely they are to ignore them. Remember, the whole text won’t show up on lock screens, so you’ll have to be selective about what you put in the first few sentences.
You also don’t want to be too casual in developing messages for your clients. Conversational business texting is not the same as asking your friends out for dinner — it needs to be respectful and straight to the point. When their customers press on the “text us” option on your clients’ websites, they want to know about promotions, availabilities, payment options and other things that are strictly business-related.
Make sure your messages are also hyper-relevant to the moment. Nearly 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of delivery, so if you’re using SMS to promote something three weeks out, you’re wasting your time.
Although texting has been around for a while, text message marketing is a relatively new tactic, having taken a backseat to email for a while. For many potential customers though, it falls under the same purview as spam phone calls. If not done correctly, your clients’ customers will see it that way too.
Fortunately, the way to ensure your clients stay in compliance is to simply include the right permissions and disclaimers through the sign-up process. Since SMS texting is a “permission-based” activity — meaning customers have to give you their numbers in order to receive communications — any chance of buying a list through a third-party is out and will most likely result in some hefty fines.
Wherever your clients’ businesses operate, make sure you check the local and state laws (and country laws, if they operate internationally), and make sure they are not in any gray area. At Umbrella, we make sure all of our white label texting services are in compliance with the law.
How often you send text messages is critical. With a single click, customers can block your clients’ phone numbers completely, so make sure you help them walk the line between being present yet not being intrusive.
For most businesses, sending at a rate of four to six times a month will probably suffice. You will want to startslow and possibly increase the frequency over time. Test different frequencies and times of day to see which times get the best response, and if you notice your open rate starts to dwindle, take a step back.
Remember, the main goal of SMS texting is to build a long-term relationship with your clients and their customers, so if you press too hard on the gas, you’ll torch a potentially positive lead by being too eager.
If it seems like SMS texting has too many hoops to jump through, we’re here to help! Our white label texting services are tried and true, and can give you a fantastic head start on what could possibly be a very lucrative marketing tactic for your clients! Contact us today to get more information and to find out how we can implement it in your clients’ plans.
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