How do I get started with text message marketing? As a marketer, it’s a question you’ve likely asked yourself. You’re aware of how valuable text message marketing can be, and know it would be worth investing in, but knowing where to start can be daunting. From choosing your SMS marketing software to deciding on your first campaign, the decisions in front of you can pile up.
We know how challenging it can be to learn a new marketing tactic, which is why we created this guide that walks you through what choices you need to make before igniting your text message marketing campaign. We hope this guidance will help you make the best decisions for your business and increase engagement with your contacts.
Step 1: Find the Software that Best Fits Your Business
If you’ve done any text message marketing research, you know there are a lot of providers out there. The most important factor before you make your decisions is to find the software that integrates well with your marketing automation software. When your software doesn’t communicate effectively, your marketing and sales teams can miss vital information, which can result in lost sales or unhappy customers.
Here are a few SMS marketing companies you might consider:
- SMSZap - Obviously we have a slight bias as the creators of SMSZap, but we firmly believe it’s the best texting software for HubSpot. It was built solely for HubSpot by HubSpot experts. It has all the great capabilities of one-to-one and mass communication all while saving interactions to users’ contact records. It’s available internationally with options of short codes, local numbers, and alphanumeric IDs.
- EZ Texting - EZ Texting integrates with Salesforce, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Zendesk, EventBrite, Infusionsoft, AWeber and iContact. From this platform, you can upload your contacts and send mass messages, schedule recurring messages, and enable call forwarding. EZ Texting can only be used in the U.S. and Canada.
- Sakari - Sakari is another messaging software that connects with an abundance of applications. This platform allows for mass messaging, has a team mobile app, and call forwarding. They offer pay-per-use pricing or monthly pricing.
- Salesmsg - Salesmsg can be integrated with Marketo, HubSpot, Zapier, Salesforce, and more. Salesmsg allows for automated communication, landline texting, and MMS messages. Salesmsg offers an app, which makes communication easy on-the-go, but the software is only available in the U.S. and Canada. With block pricing, you pay for a bundle of texts, so you’ll have to monitor your numbers so you don’t run out mid-campaign.
Step 2: Set Up Your Portal for Success
If you’ve been in the marketing world over the past three years during the GDPR craze, you know how important it is to gain permission to communicate with your contacts. Before you start SMS campaigns, you need to analyze your forms and add questions to gain consent to text your contacts. A simple checkbox that says “I would like to receive promotional SMS messages” will suffice. Also make sure your SMS automation is set up to opt out any users that reply “STOP” or “OUT.”
Keep in mind that different countries have different rules for mass communication. Check out your local rules before beginning a SMS campaign.
Step 3: Brainstorm Your First Campaign
If you’re researching SMS marketing, you likely already have an idea of what you want to use it for. But you don’t have to limit yourself to just one type of campaign! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Promotional messages - Having a sale? Let your most valuable customers know by texting them a promo code and a link to your online store.
- Appointment reminders and meeting links - Don’t let your contacts miss their appointment! Send them a reminder and ask them to confirm or reschedule.
- Customer feedback - Getting customers to fill out surveys after a purchase can be difficult, but reaching out to them on their phone could be the key to increasing engagement. Send them a text asking how they enjoyed their purchase or send them a link to a short survey.
- Contests - Make submissions easy by asking users to submit their contest entry through SMS. Use a short code to make their entry even easier.
- Company updates - When an event gets rained out or your business is closing early, your contacts need to get the memo quickly. Send a quick text to your customers to let them know.
Step 4: Adjust to Increase Engagement
There are a few things you need to check after you send your first SMS campaign. First, check your deliverability rate. This will tell you how many texts were successfully delivered to the recipient. You can then check your open and click rates. As you evaluate the success of your first campaign, consider the following:
- How well did you segment your campaign? Just as you segment your email campaigns, you need to use segmented lists in your text campaigns. Before your next campaign, take a look at who you’re sending to, how many people are responding, and how you could refine your lists for better engagement.
- Did you personalize your message? Adding personalization to your message can increase your engagement significantly. Try adding personalization tokens in future texts and see if this helps boost your metrics.
- Was there a call to action? Without a call-to-action, your contacts may not know what to do with your message. Be sure to include a link to your offer or a word for them to reply with.
- How are you monitoring your campaigns? In order to properly monitor the success of your campaigns, you should build out a reporting dashboard. Tools like SMSZap have this feature built in, but you can build additional reports in HubSpot or your preferred marketing automation platform. Track data like open rate, click rate, and unsubscribe rate to best evaluate your campaigns.
Need Help Increasing Your Engagement? Join Our Webinar
The opportunities to improve your SMS campaigns are endless. Luckily for you, we are hosting a webinar about this very subject on November 14th. In “6 Easy Ways to Increase Your Engagement with Text Message Marketing” you will learn how to create the best SMS campaigns from SMS marketing pros.
Can’t make it at 10 a.m. ET on November 14th? Sign up anyways and we’ll send you a recording of the webinar the next day.