The Future of Text Messaging for Business

smartphone futuristic ideas, future digital communication, text messaging, text marketing, SMS marketing

In 2018, text messaging or SMS dominates daily life as Americans spend more time on their phones. But how will text messaging for business continue to evolve and what’s the future outlook?

Here are 5 predictions on the future of text and SMS marketing:

1. Business Use of Text Messaging Will Grow

More businesses will adopt text messaging as they explore new opportunities for improving brand loyalty. In fact, a study has found that 90 percent of smartphone users who enroll in SMS loyalty clubs offered by companies feel they benefit from the interaction. Running a text sweepstakes is a great way to start or grow your company’s loyalty clubs.

2. Voice Recognition Technology Will Get Better

In the coming years, voice recognition technology is expected to improve dramatically. With reliable voice recognition that can be used to dictate text messages, SMS could in fact become a valuable, long-form communication tool. This will allow brands to have more detailed and engaging conversations with their target audiences.

3. Brands Will Recognize the Value of Text Messaging Over Apps

Although messaging apps are on the rise, they have security vulnerabilities and they limit your audience. Plus, many users don’t want to give yet another big company their data.

For example, most WhatsApp users didn’t realize they were handing over access to their contacts when Facebook bought WhatsApp. As a result of cases like these, more users will likely turn to SMS or text messaging. It’s a familiar and private tool that doesn’t track them across all of their social media accounts.

4. Text Messaging Will Be Preferred Over Downloading Yet Another App

How many apps do you have on your phone and how many do you actually use often? Several studies have already shown that most people get app fatigue and delete apps after little use.

Also Read: Mobile Loyalty Apps vs. Text Message Marketing

5. More Customers Will Turn to SMS to Save Data

In a post net neutrality world, more customers will have to make sacrifices in order to save money on their data plans. Fortunately, when users run out of data on their plans by the end of the month, text messaging is still available.

Unlike apps, which use data even when running in the background on a smartphone, text messaging won’t significantly increase users’ cell plan costs.

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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.

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?

How Often Should You Text Your Customers?

How often to use text message marketing

Do you know how often your business should text? Determining the frequency of messaging for your SMS campaign can be a challenge for marketers. At Momares, we usually recommend sending texts once per week (twice a week at most). However, the frequency of messaging in your campaign may vary slightly, depending on your requirements. Here are some things to consider when you are trying to determine how often to text your marketing list.

How frequently will a customer act on your offer?

As you consider the frequency, think about how often your customer will be able to take advantage of the promotions you offer. How often do they buy your product or service? A restaurant, for example, might text more frequently than a travel agency. The customer may not actually need or be able to buy what you’re offering until a certain amount of time has passed.

Is your campaign timely and relevant?

Evaluate your campaign to improve the relevance of your messages with regard to time, location and the potential for engagement. If you’re planning an SMS campaign with the goal of building brand equity, it’s important to ensure your campaign engages users effectively.

Try to avoid interrupting users at a time that may not be situationally appropriate and consider whether users will respond negatively to frequent texts. If you think they might, it would best to send text messages less frequently.

Frequency doesn’t have to remain the same

Keep in mind that the frequency of messaging doesn’t have to remain the same. Review your analytics data or converted sales to determine when buyers are more or less likely to buy.

As a result, you can send messages more frequently during the months when you think customers are likely to buy and less frequently during slow months. Conversely, you can do the opposite and send more promotions during slow months to motivate customers to buy.

Balance is important in SMS campaigns

To have an effective SMS campaign, you have to strike a balance between texting often enough that users will remember they signed up for messages, but not so often they decide to unsubscribe from your marketing list. This is why we often suggest texting once a week.

Contact us for help with setting up your (SMS) text message marketing.

Why Text Message Marketing is a Smart Move Right Now

Every day, a growing number of your customers are interacting with you by mobile phone. They’re not just calling your business, but also visiting your website, speaking to you on social media and redeeming your offers… all on mobile.

Are you speaking to your customer on mobile?

It’s time to cater to your customer’s preference for mobile. And one great way to do that is with text message marketing. It happens to be a great time to start text messaging for various reasons. Here’s why…

Infographic, Why Text Message Marketing is a Smart Move Right Now