Is SMS Marketing Right for Your Business?

Is SMS Marketing Right for Your Business?

With more people on their mobile phones, it’s time to consider whether SMS or text message marketing is a good option for your business. Here are 5 reasons why it should be part of your business marketing:

Text Messaging is Widely Used & Familiar – No Apps Needed

Text message marketing is a cost-effective way to reach your customers and uses a familiar platform. No learning curve required. Given that 90% of all text messages are opened and read within 3 minutes, an SMS marketing campaign also has a high likelihood of success.

Build Customer Loyalty

Text messages make it easy to build customer loyalty without an extra app. You can offer promotions and discounts to customers who opt in to your SMS marketing campaign by messaging them directly.

Create Campaigns Quickly

After amassing a database of customer phone numbers, you can have a SMS marketing campaign up and running in just minutes. With text messages, it’s easy to create promotions quickly.

It’s Cost-Effective

Text message marketing is widely used by major brands because it is low-cost and effective. In fact, the cost of a text message campaign is lower than many traditional forms of marketing.

Easy to Opt-in

All it takes is a simple text message, done in just seconds, for your customers to opt-in or subscribe. And the best way to incentivize them to opt-in is by offering a text-to-win or sweepstakes, offering them a chance to win a prize.

Text Message Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Oops. Mistakes in text message marketing

Ready to start your first text message marketing campaign? Great! Make sure you don’t derail your campaign with these newbie mistakes.

Text messaging mistakes to avoid…

1. Texting during off-peak hours

You might want your text to be the first thing your subscribers see when they wake up. Sounds good, right? But you could be making a huge mistake. As a general rule, you should never send text messages before 9 am or after 9 pm (in the recipient’s time zone). If you do, they can report you and you may be fined. Set up a schedule for your text messages instead, so customers know when they can expect to receive messages from your company. Consistency will improve your campaign results.

2. Not using an incentive

Offering an incentive is the best way to get your subscribers to respond or enter. A great incentive is a text-to-win sweepstakes. It works so well in fact, we encourage all clients to use one to build their lists. Because who wouldn’t want to win a prize? You should always include an incentive to get users to respond as quickly as possible. 

3. Forgetting to include redemption instructions

Don’t assume that customers will automatically know how to take advantage of your offer. Make things easy for them by including the instructions in your text message. Something as simple “show this text” or “use coupon code xyz” can dramatically increase your redemption rates. 

4. Leaving out legally required information

Many newbies to text message marketing don’t quite understand the legal requirements of sending text messages to subscribers. In fact, there are very serious consequences if you don’t follow the rules. You can be fined up to $1,500 per text! All subscribers must opt-in on their own, for example, and you must include “Text STOP to end” in all texts. Read our post on the rules of text message marketing for other requirements and make sure you follow them to avoid any violations.

Following these tips will help you get your SMS campaign off to a good start. You’ll make things easier for your customers and avoid the common mistakes that can derail your campaign.

Reach your audience with a Text-to-Win or SMS Sweepstakes campaign. Contact us or call us at (305) 505-­­5393 for help with setting up your (SMS) text message marketing.

What Are SMS Short Codes and Why Are They Important?

short codes

So you’ve been considering SMS or text message marketing and have seen the term “short code” being used quite frequently. You may have guessed short codes are important, but what the heck are they?

Short codes are short phone numbers that can be used for SMS or text messages. Since they’re shorter, they’re easier to read and remember than regular phone numbers. Back in the early 2000s, SMS short codes were standardized to five and six digit codes in the United States. Today, they’re widely used by SMS marketing providers.

Short codes are used to opt-in consumers to SMS programs and to relay coupons, promotions, offers, text-to-win campaigns and more. Consumers can subscribe by entering this short code in the “To” field of a text message and sending a text.

Dedicated Short Codes vs Shared Short Codes

There are generally two types of short codes: dedicated short codes and shared short codes. Dedicated short codes are short codes that are dedicated or used exclusively for one business. Shared short codes, on the other hand, are shared by various businesses. They differentiate themselves by each using an exclusive keyword.

For example, if a restaurant uses our shared short code “65047,” we might ask customers to sign up for messages by texting the word “PIZZA” to opt in. (“Text PIZZA to 65047 to receive our deal alerts!”) Another business could use the same short code (65047), but might ask users to text their identifying keyword “HONDAMIAMI” instead.

Compare it to sharing a street address for a company. If your business is in an office building, you use the same address as others in the building and differentiate yours with a suite or office number. If you own your own location (or the entire building), your office is the only one using that address.

Buying a dedicated short code can be very costly ($15,000 to $25,000 a year), which is why most businesses use shared short codes.

Why Short Codes are Better Than Long Codes

If you’re wondering why businesses don’t simply use regular phone numbers, or long codes, for SMS campaigns, you should be aware of the disadvantages.

  • Long codes are not regulated as strictly as short codes, which is why they’re most often used by text message spammers.
  • They don’t have restrictions for bulk sending and receiving. Only 1 message per second is allowed on a long code, which means it could take days to send messages to all of your subscribers, unlike short codes which can send bulk message blasts quickly and easily.
  • They’re easier to remember and promote.

Do you want to learn more about the building blocks of a successful SMS marketing campaign? Contact us or call us at (305) 505-­­5393 for help with your (SMS) text message marketing.

Using Mobile Keywords to Brand Your Business

Branding With Mobile Keywords

Are you familiar with mobile keywords? It’s a term that may not be familiar, but mobile keywords are extremely important for the success of your text-to-win campaign. Here’s a breakdown of how you can use them to brand your business when texting.

First, What Are Mobile or SMS Keywords?

A mobile keyword, also called an SMS keyword, is a short word with letters and/or numbers that is sent in a text message to a short code (a 5-digit phone number). It not only brands and identifies your business, it also triggers a response from the mobile texting platform.

For example, let’s say the keyword for your business is TYKETOYS. To signup, a subscriber would text your keyword (TYKETOYS) to our short code, which is 65047. They would then get an automatic return text confirming their subscription.

This keyword also brands and identifies your business when you send out text messages, since each message is prefaced with your keyword.

Here’s an example of a message: “TYKETOYS: Make the most of spring with our outdoor toys! Get 15% off with coupon code SPRING15.”

Keywords serve a dual purpose: to allow someone to subscribe or opt-in automatically and to identify your business.

Choosing Mobile Keywords

You won’t be able to change your keyword easily, so it’s best to choose one carefully. Any changes to the keyword could cause confusion and derail your campaign.

Keep these tips in mind when you select mobile keywords for your text-to-win:

  1. Make the keyword easy to remember by relating it to your business name or product.
  2. Make sure the keyword is as short as possible and one word only (no spaces).
  3. Use proper spelling and don’t try to invent new words.
  4. Avoid special characters, including symbols.

Promote Your Branded Keyword

Once you’ve chosen the right keyword, why not use it to promote your brand and your sweepstakes? Here are a few ways to promote your campaign and your business with your mobile keyword:

  • Print it on promotional items and apparel. For a creative push and fashionable branding, feature your mobile keyword on t-shirts, baseball caps, apparel and promotional. Think of them as conversation starters that can attract new customers to your text-to-win.
  • Do you have company vehicles? Brand them with not only your logo and information, but with your keyword as well. Used this way, your keyword will be truly mobile and can be another avenue to increase subscribers.
  • Online promotion via social media and video. Promote your mobile keywords online via multiple channels, such as social media and digital video advertising. The best way to boost participation is to make sure your message is seen by as many people as possible.

Using mobile keywords to brand your business is a simple way to increase the effectiveness of a text-to-win campaign. Getting new subscribers and potential customers into your pipeline is the ultimate reward for using mobile keywords!

Reserve your mobile keyword today to get started with a text-to-win campaign. Contact us or call us at (305) 505-5393 for help.

Why Text Message Marketing Must Always Be Opt-In

Opt-in is required for text messaging

Are you afraid of giving your mobile number to businesses? When it comes to text message marketing, many still believe if they give their mobile number, it’ll be sold and they’ll get unsolicited texts.

But this should never happen. Companies are legally required to get consent (or opt in) or they’ll face consequences.

Breaking the Rules = Heavy Fines from the FCC

Texting users without permission can bring down heavy fines and significant penalties from the FCC. Those fines can reach up to $1,500 per text, per person. This is covered under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991, which was amended to cover SMS in 2012 by the FCC. The TCPA makes it mandatory for businesses to receive “prior express written consent” before texting consumers.

Know the Legal Requirements of Text Marketing

Momares’ text and text-to-win programs are designed to only text to those who opt-in. This ensures clients don’t inadvertently run afoul of the legal requirements. Our recent blog post on the legal rules of text messaging covers everything that you need to know before you start your campaign.

Is Your Program in Compliance? Ask Yourself These Questions

Before you launch your campaign, be sure you can answer YES to all of the following questions. This ensure you are indeed establishing a respectful and lawful relationship with your subscribers:

  1. Are you sending text messages only to users who have provided express consent per MMA regulations?
  2. As part of that consent, are all programs and instructions, including message and data rates, program terms and privacy policies clearly displayed with all opt-in promotions?
  3. Have you taken steps to ensure the user’s consent applies only to the specific program for which the user opted-in and the consent has not been treated as approval for other programs?
  4. Are you using double opt-in for subscribers who join the program via a Web form or other method? (In many cases, texting from a mobile phone is the one time that a single opt-in should be permitted.)
  5. Have you communicated that opt-out (STOP) and assistance (HELP) mechanisms are available at the time of opt-in?
  6. Are all opt-out requests honored within 72 hours of receipt?