Need to improve sales, increase customer engagement or boost brand loyalty? A text club can help you do all these things and more. Learn how building a text club can benefit your business and discover examples of how SMS marketing is already being leveraged by both big and small firms alike.
Marketers are continuing to underestimate the potential of text clubs as they focus their efforts on increasingly saturated marketing channels, such as social media platforms. Launching text clubs is one of the most straightforward ways to embrace the possibilities of SMS marketing.
If you're curious about how to start a text club or how SMS marketing could benefit your business, this guide will give you all the information you need. By the end, you'll have a clear idea of what a text club is and how it can be used to further your marketing objectives. This underutilized marketing channel is a game-changer for businesses of all sizes.
What is a text club?
A text club is a list of subscribers who have opted to receive promotional or transactional notifications from your company by text message. To start a text club, you’ll need to enlist the services of an SMS provider (like Messente), so you can carry out bulk texting. This enables you to text your entire list or specific groups simultaneously by sending a single SMS.
Texting clubs are popular in various niches and among businesses of all sizes. For example, many restaurants use text clubs to send out notifications about special offers and discounts. Similarly, e-commerce websites use text clubs to notify subscribers about new product arrivals, flash sales, and other important updates.
Benefits of a text club
Text messaging is a powerful marketing channel. We all like to check our phones regularly - in fact, according to Adweek journal 35% of users check their phones more than 50 times per day.
So it makes sense that text messages achieve six times the engagement rate of email. Texts are short enough to be digested quickly and can include a call-to-action and a link back to your website or landing page.
Sending promotional texts, such as special offers, loyalty discounts and flash sale notifications to your text club can help increase sales and engagement, and improve customer loyalty. According to Digital Marketing Magazine, 75% of people would like to receive offers by text. As well as increasing revenue, you can generate more leads, deliver better customer support and even conduct short surveys through text messages.
Aside from the fact that SMS grabs attention, another benefit of using this channel is that texts have an excellent chance of arriving more or less instantaneously at their destination. Texts are sent over a cellular network, not wifi, so they can be received even if subscribers aren’t connected to the internet.
How many marketers do you know trying to launch a texting club? The answer is likely very few. This channel is not a priority for most marketers yet text messaging allows you to directly reach people in a matter of seconds. It's far more efficient and effective than posting on oversaturated social media platforms with dwindling engagement rates.
How businesses can use text clubs
When you have access to a potential or existing customer's phone number, you have an opportunity to directly send marketing information. Businesses are using SMS communication to thoughtfully provide their target audience with the right information. Whether you're trying to increase brand awareness or drive sales, text clubs can serve many different purposes.
We’ve touched on some ways to use a text club above. But let’s look at some real-life examples of how a range of businesses use SMS for marketing and communications.
Vodafone, a multinational telecoms company, uses SMS to keep its text club updated about various special offers and rewards. This text below offers existing customers six cartons of coconut water for just the price of postage - a promotion offered in conjunction with the Vita Coco brand.
Starbucks is one coffee house chain that uses SMS and MMS marketing campaigns. In this example, they sent a trivia contest text message to opted-in subscribers, offering them a chance to win a prize. They then followed up with an MMS message that included promotional video content about an in-store Happy Hour special offer.
Simba, a high-tech mattress retailer, sends out promotional abandoned cart messages by SMS to encourage would-be shoppers to revisit the website and complete their purchase. Many other online retailers adopt this approach, knowing that texts are highly impactful and can nudge potential buyers into taking action.
A few years back, IKEA, the Swedish home furnishing giant, used SMS alongside other channels to launch the IKEA Family (loyalty) programme into the United States. A text was sent to opted-in customers to let them know beforehand about the loyalty program rollout; it asked customers to text back with their email address to receive a pre-registration email.
SMS was also used to enable customers to receive a discount at the checkout if they forgot their loyalty card. They could simply text a shortcode to receive a text containing their loyalty card number, which they could then show to the cashier.
Moriarty’s Gem Art
Here’s an example of a small business that has a text club for marketing promotions. Moriarty’s Gem Art is a family-run jewellery business based in Indiana. Alongside regular promotional texts, the company sends texts that describe educational video content and include a screenshot of the video. These texts increase subscriber interaction and engagement. SMS subscribers are collected during the checkout process to develop post-sale relationships.
Further reading: discover how leading fintech firms are using SMS.
Regulations for creating a text club
One of the most important rules to know when building a text club for marketing purposes is that you must obtain permission (opt-in consent) from subscribers before texting them. Not getting consent can lead to fines from regulators and even class-action lawsuits. Read how Tommy Hilfiger got into a legal pickle over unlawful text messages.
Not only should you obtain consent, but you should also tell your subscribers, at the point of getting consent, what you intend to text them about. Being clear that you want to send marketing messages, such as special offers, product news and discounts, lessens the risk of your texts being seen as unsolicited or unwelcome. And this can also help reduce your opt-out rate too.
Before creating a text club, check out the rules around text message marketing - different rules apply depending on the country where your subscribers reside.
If you're unsure about the laws in your jurisdiction, the best thing you can do is take some time to familiarize yourself with any relevant legislation and seek legal advice where necessary.
How to build a text club
Once you’ve chosen an SMS provider to enable you to carry out bulk texting, you can begin building your subscriber list. To do this, you’ll need to capture phone numbers (getting consent in the process), which you can do in various ways.
As a starting point, you can set up a landing page to collect phone numbers. Messente’s Subscription API makes this process very straightforward. If you’re selling goods online, you could collect phone numbers during the checkout process. Alternatively, you can encourage people to opt-in to receive SMS messages by getting them to text a short code number. For instance, you could display a sign on a countertop, saying something like, “Text 12345 to get special offers!”
If you happen to have a database of contacts already, you should be able to import them into your SMS provider’s application. Messente’s Phonebook API lets you efficiently manage your contacts and set up groups of contacts for more targeted marketing campaigns.
With the support of Messente, it's never been easier to unlock the potential of text message marketing. You can send your first message and start to increase sales in no time at all. No matter the size of your organization, we offer a scalable solution to communicating with your audience and ensuring they receive texts from your business.
Once you have an SMS subscriber list, you can begin using it for your text club. To see how easy it is to create promotional and transactional SMS campaigns with Messente, create a free account and try out the system for yourself.