Text Message Marketing: An Essential Guide

Text message marketing is a simple, easy way to reach customers. But have you ever wondered how it became that way? Over the years, text message marketing has changed from a form of personal communication from one person to another to a viable marketing channel for businesses. 

One of the reasons this essential change took place is because enterprising businesses saw an opportunity and went for it. They figured out what most businesses take for granted today – that text message marketing can lead to faster, easier communication with customers who are interested in communicating with a business. 

Text Message Marketing Legalities

Text message marketing has many marketing uses. However, governmental agencies as well as mobile carriers have put limitations in place to protect consumers. In North America, specifically the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is responsible for overseeing the protection of consumers from spam text messages. With the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), the FCC put in place strict marketing regulations for businesses when it comes to phone and mobile phone communication.

Essentially the TCPA stipulated that in order for a business to communicate with a customer, or potential customer, via text message, the consumer must opt-in to messages. In other words, a consumer must be aware of and consent to receiving text messages from businesses. This protects customers from receiving spam text messages from businesses. 

However, governmental regulations such as the TCPA only do so much to protect consumers from receiving spam messages. Therefore, most mobile carriers operating in North America have put their own protections in place after consumer outcry for greater protection. For example, most mobile carriers in NA don’t sell mobile phone numbers to businesses as in other parts of the world. And even more importantly, most mobile carriers in NA have opted to remove shared short codes, which allowed multiple businesses to send messages from one short number. 

The problem with shared shortcodes is that one business could send messages the correct way, while another business spammed customers. This meant that consumers reported the number to the FCC even though most of the businesses sending text messages on the specific short code were operating correctly. Basically one bad apple spoils the bunch. 

In the end, protections put in place by both governmental agencies and mobile carriers are essential for text message marketing to continue. And in the end we have a pretty good system in place for text message marketing that works for both consumers and businesses. Businesses can send text message marketing as long as they follow the regulations and guidelines in place and consumers can receive the text message marketing they consent to. 

Text Message Marketing Platforms and Tools

Like most modern technology, when it comes to choosing a text marketing platform, you are inundated with choices. But do you really need one? Personally, I believe yes, every business needs a text marketing platform especially if they are just starting out or are a smaller business. Larger businesses can also benefit from using a text marketing platform. 

Text marketing platforms have already done the heavy lifting of text message marketing for you. They’ve done the work of establishing relationships with mobile carriers, which allows them to offer you a variety of mobile phone numbers to send text messages from. They’ve done the work of coding text marketing tools such as SMS keyword campaigns. And they’ve set up an online database where you can store mobile numbers and track text messages sent and received from customers. 

If you were to do just a few of these on your own, it would take your business months and tons of money. So, cut out the expense and time, choose a text marketing platform.

Why Text Message Marketing Matters

Text message marketing is one of the most useful marketing tools a business can implement. Just like email and QR code, text messaging has a rightful place as a marketing tool. The return on investment (ROI) of text message marketing is immense. You pay a platform a relatively small amount of money compared to the income your business gains from being able to reach customers quickly. 

Additionally, text message marketing has an almost limitless reach. Every customer is within reach as long as you have their mobile phone number. This improves your sales funnels. More customers in, more customers to buy your product or service. Plus, text message marketing improves your marketing attribution. You know exactly how customers are coming to your business and which text marketing campaigns worked whether online or offline. 

Text Message Marketing Will Work For You

Although they’ll tell you otherwise, most text marketing platforms are pretty similar. They offer a similar smattering of text message marketing tools as well as good customer service. So, what you should really concentrate on is choosing a platform that works for you. Choose a platform that works for your budget, your current marketing strategy, and your employees available time (especially the one that’s going to be in charge of learning the platform).

Guest article written by: Carrie Duford is currently a blogger for TextSanity. Since 2015, she’s blogged for companies such as Intermountain Healthcare and BYU News. Her published blog posts range from health and wellness to linguistic research to CRM technology. With such a diverse professional blogging background and no shortage of interests, Carrie is always looking for new ways to expand her horizons whether that’s teaching herself how to code or learning how to implement the National School Lunch Program where she lives. You can reach her on LinkedIn.

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