Getting Started with Text Message Advertising

     BONUS MATERIAL: The Psychology of SMS Marketing

Text messages ads are an excellent way for organizations to interact with their customers about offers, promotions, and other opportunities. Text message marketing campaigns are the best way to advertise as they are opened far more than emails and can reach a much higher number of customers.

It is also an underutilized method of communication with lots of potential and very good results. Text messaging advertising is the most effective way to contact customers about special promotions and interesting news.

Let's take a step back and consider what text messaging advertising is and why it matters.

What is text message advertising?

As the name suggests, text message advertising allows you to promote your brand, products, or services to potential or existing customers in a succinct and direct way – text messages have a limit of just 160 characters. It's particularly useful for promoting time-limited special offers, flash sales, ticketed events, important news announcements, and for generating more appointments or store visits.

Text message advertising can engage existing or potential customers and encourage them to move ahead with a specific action. A simple text advertisement can quickly establish your brand identity and set the industry standard for effective, personalized communication. In text advertising, personalization is everything.

Text message advertising falls under the umbrella of mobile marketing and is also known as SMS (short message service) marketing. To carry out SMS marketing, you'll need to use an SMS marketing service – it's not something you can do using your own personal mobile phone.

SMS marketing software will give you all the tools you need for successful SMS marketing campaigns. Using Messente, for example, you'll be able to upload or start collecting a list of contacts, compose your campaigns in our easy-to-use online dashboard, send your campaigns, and view analytics.

The benefits of SMS marketing ads

"We like you too" message on a wall

Text message advertising is a popular marketing channel because it's highly effective.

Here are just a few statistics worth knowing:

  • Text messaging is very cheap, Messente’s pricing model for sending texts to the United Kingdom is €0.035 per SMS or even lower if you send higher volumes.

Aside from the fact that text advertising works really well, it can also be cost-effective. Messente only charges for the texts you send (and this is calculated by destination and volume of messages).

So if you're a small business with a small budget, SMS may provide better value for you (given the direct and personal approach it offers) than other mobile marketing channels (Google, Facebook, etc.) or printed advertising.

How does text message marketing work?

Unlike social media marketing, a mobile marketing campaign sends your adverts straight to the potential customer. Once you have gained access to a database and have the numbers of potential customers that have signed up for promotional content you can advertise your business through SMS.

Send messages that are short, snappy, and to the point and you will reap the benefits especially if you send at the right time and don't overdo it, a few texts a week are more than enough. You can combine your texts with links to other marketing channels such as social media as well.

How to get started with SMS marketing

There are just a few steps involved in text message marketing: getting subscribers, signing up for an SMS marketing service, and then creating your text message campaign.

Step 1: Getting subscribers

Woman in a brown coat checking her smartphone outside

As a starting point, look to your existing databases and see if you have phone numbers for customers. If you do, contact them and ask them to opt into your SMS marketing campaigns (sweeten the deal with an incentive for best results!).

Important: you must get explicit consent from those on your text marketing list before you start sending promotional messages to them.

If you only have emails for customers, try converting them to SMS. This is as simple as sending an email campaign and asking them to opt into your SMS advertising campaigns.

How to get text marketing subscribers from scratch

If you don't already have a database to tap into, or you want to attract new leads, you can encourage subscribers to opt into your text messaging campaigns by creating an online signup form or displaying a short code number with a keyword and a request to opt-in on your social media channels. However, you'll need to be set up with an SMS provider in order to access shortcodes.

Example Facebook post:

Want to be the first to know about our special offers and discounts before our sales go live? Sign up to receive promotional updates by SMS. To opt-in, simply text the word 'BARGAIN' to 12345. Cost varies depending on your mobile network provider.

Step 2: Accessing text message marketing services

Once you've chosen your preferred SMS provider or text message marketing software, setting up SMS advertising is fairly straightforward. This is the process if you use Messente:

1. Request a Sender ID – this is the phone number that your text messages will originate from. It can be a short code, a 10DLC (ten-digit long code), or a brand name.

2. Upload your contact list – this can be done in just a few clicks, and you can even separate your list into different sections, allowing you to send targeted SMS campaigns to specific groups, like new customers, existing customers, VIPs, warm leads, etc.

3. Create your SMS campaign – Once you've uploaded your contact list, create your SMS campaigns and click send.

Using Messente, you can easily create an account, upload your contact list and begin sending SMS marketing messages in minutes. You can also integrate Messente into your own systems and send SMS advertising directly from your CRM tool or other applications.

Text message marketing campaign examples 

Grocery store sale

Clothing companies will frequently send out special offers and deals to their mobile subscribers when a specific item is on sale in order to get a customer in-store to make the purchase. This is a great example of location-based marketing because it uses a customer's location to target them.

Food outlets are a great example of companies that heavily utilize text messaging for their business. They include sending messages about special offers, cool facts about the food they sell, and even reminders on when breakfast items are no longer available.

Various companies are trying to get customers involved in their business by sending them mobile coupons, games, or even discounts for referring people. Companies like Amazon have included a text message marketing campaign where you can get Amazon gift cards just for referring people to shop at Amazon's mobile app. This is great because it gets customers engaged in the business and gives them an incentive.

Text message advertising best practices and mistakes to avoid

Don't complicate things. Keep it simple and try not to use too many words or characters in your messages. People who receive text message marketing noise can easily spot those that look like spam. 

Don't text too often. If you just bombard users with multiple daily texts they will quickly become irritated and block your messages. Only send your texts when there is a good deal or offer going and send these every week or so. 

Compliance and laws relating to marketing text messages

When you embark on an MMS message marketing campaign, you will also be subject to the rules of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA). The CTIA rules have been developed by the telephone companies that deliver text message advertising and govern prohibited content such as profanity, pornography, and hate speech.

A text advertising campaign is not something you set up on a whim and spam would-be customers. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) protects consumers from mass text messages and is very specific about how you can send bulk messages

The important thing is to obtain consent from every customer. The CTIA provides guidelines and helpful tips on text message marketing, although you won't find the same level of legal guidelines as you will with the FCC.

Create your first text messaging ad today

Text Message advertising with Messente is the best way to reach out to your business to create excitement and loyalty from a large number of customers. It is the cheapest and easiest way to grow your business and when done correctly you will have guaranteed results.

Messente’s easy-to-use SMS API can support SMS advertising in more than 190 countries around the world. We offer smart routing algorithms for quick SMS delivery or rerouting. Our two-way messaging feature allows your customers to interact and reply to your texts, helping to boost engagement and ultimately, business growth.

And because Messente is an enterprise-grade, fully scalable solution, you can start off small, and rest assured that Messente can handle any volume of text message advertising as your business grows.

Check out Messente for yourself today – create a free account.

Taavi Rebane
2022-10-26 00:00:00 UTC