• When engaging in SMS marketing, categorize your audience according to their preferences and purchasing behaviors. Utilize tools to automate this process, guaranteeing that your messages effectively connect with the appropriate audience.
  • In the United States, legal adherence to SMS text marketing is governed by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Is your email open rate below 20%, and website conversion rates stagnant? SMS marketing can help. Drive up to 20% higher conversion rates by sending targeted offers directly to customers’ phones.

Our ultimate guide provides everything to launch effective SMS marketing campaigns that:

  • Increase website traffic and attract potential customers.
  • Convert clicks into sales with irresistible offers and reminders.
  • Transform one-time buyers into loyal fans through genuine connections.

Let’s get you through what SMS marketing is, its compliance regulations in the U.S., and essential do’s and don’ts. Enhance your marketing strategy with our step-by-step detailed guidelines.

What is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing is like sending short text messages directly to mobile phones, serving as a versatile communication tool for brands. It helps accelerate connections with customers by providing updates and effective text marketing to boost sales, leads, and loyalty. Unlike traditional ads, SMS marketing requires customers to opt-in, giving more control over the content.

Just like when you choose to receive emails (opt-in) from a specific sender, this type of marketing also has its way of doing things. It’s a bit different, though. It doesn’t need an email or internet connection, making it more accessible. Messages are brief, limited to 160 characters, unlike emails. SMS messages are clear text with a call to action, excluding images.

Although SMS might seem less engaging, multimedia messaging service (MMS) allows brands to include graphics, images, and short GIFs for an immersive viewing experience. Many companies integrate both email and SMS in their marketing strategy, sometimes combining them with other methods for efficiency.

In order to expand our marketing reach effectively, it’s crucial to navigate and comply with the rigorous regulations of the location. Let’s explore this further.

Compliance With U.S. Regulations in SMS Text Marketing

Text message marketing is subject to the same regulatory compliance laws as email and phone communications, and these laws can vary by country. In the United States, legal adherence to SMS text marketing is governed by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Under the TCPA and other industry guidelines, businesses engaging in such marketing campaigns are required to:

  • Verify the legal age of consent based on the recipient’s location.
  • Obtain “express written consent” from the recipient before sending automated marketing messages.
  • Clearly communicate the purpose of the SMS marketing campaign.
  • Inform subscribers about the approximate frequency of messages they can expect in a given week or month.
  • Notify subscribers of potential fees associated with signing up for a program.
  • Provide easily understandable opt-out instructions.
  • Avoid using prohibited content in SMS mobile marketing, such as H.A.F.T. (Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco), profanity, hate/discriminatory speech, and endorsements of violence.
  • Restrict communication to business hours.

After laying the groundwork and aligning with compliance, the key is to dive into its functionalities and employ effective methods for maximizing gains.

How to Use SMS Text Marketing?

SMS marketing is straightforward and simpler than email or social media marketing, as it doesn’t require design. To start:

  • Build your permission crew: Let customers know you’re texting! Collect opt-ins through your website, loyalty programs, or in-store prompts. Remember, compliance is key, so use tools to manage consent securely.
  • Pick your text hero: Choose a powerful SMS marketing tool. Whether it’s a dedicated service or another, make sure it integrates seamlessly with your existing data and streamlines campaign management.
  • Keep it short and sweet, like a tweet: Remember, you only have 160 characters. Be clear, introduce yourself, and state your purpose (offer, reminder, survey). Include a strong call to action and a link if relevant. Think “Flash sale! 20% off today. Click here!”
  • Get personal; it pays off: Segment your audience based on their preferences and buying habits. Related tools can help you do this automatically, ensuring your messages resonate with the right people.
  • Track your text game: Measure success! Monitor clicks, discount code usage, and more. Compare these results to the number of messages sent to see how your campaigns are performing.

Following the above steps makes your marketing strategy an efficient and effective way to connect with your audience. But it is equally important to know SMS marketing best practices and avoidances for clear success.

What To Do and What Not To Do in SMS Marketing?

The world of innovative marketing strategies has seen the emergence of SMS marketing as a robust tool for engaging audiences directly on their mobile devices. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer seeking to refine your approach or a newcomer keen on unlocking the potential of SMS, success is contingent on grasping the dos and avoiding the pitfalls inherent in the process.

Do’s to be followed:
  • Stay compliant

Comprehend and comply with regional regulations, particularly in the U.S., by adhering to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This entails obtaining written consent before sending texts and furnishing clear opt-in guidelines.

  • Grow your list creatively

Use inventive methods for opt-ins, like website pop-ups, checkout checkboxes, email buttons, QR codes, and social media engagement. Offer incentives and include compliance language.

  • Utilize campaign flows

Engage customers over time with structured campaigns. Break down information into smaller, regular messages to maintain audience interest. For a product release, employ teaser messages, introductions, pre-orders, and follow-ups.

  • Use automated message flows

Implement automation triggered by customer behavior. Tailor messages based on actions like cart abandonment. Personalize and differentiate automated responses for various scenarios. These are some of the SMS marketing best practices.

Dont’s to be followed:
  • Delivering messages after the typical workday

Avoid sending messages before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. in the recipient’s time zone to comply with “quiet hours” rules.

Opt for pre-checked boxes or skip double opt-ins

Keep opt-in boxes unchecked on forms. Encourage customers to opt in voluntarily. Consider using double opt-ins for added validation.

  • Skipping segmentation

Segment your list before sending campaigns for targeted messaging. Categories can include engaged subscribers, VIPs, keyword subscribers, and non-purchasers.

  • Not creating sufficient triggers

Set up multiple triggers for different customer actions, such as browsing, subscribing, or order delivery. Maximize automated messaging at various stages to enhance customer experience.

By following these do’s and avoiding don’ts, SMS and MMS messaging can enhance multi-channel marketing efforts, increasing customer engagement and campaign effectiveness.

Concluding Remarks

As your customers heavily engage online and on their phones, SMS marketing services emerge as an excellent avenue to swiftly share enticing offers with a broad audience.

To ensure the utmost success in your SMS campaigns, it is imperative to begin by gaining a comprehensive understanding of what SMS marketing is. Familiarize yourself with its core principles, functionalities, and compliance guidelines.

Once equipped with this foundational knowledge, you can seamlessly transition to the next crucial step—leveraging customer behavior data.

In essence, the combination of understanding the fundamentals and utilizing customer behavior data empowers you to optimize the potential of SMS marketing for your brand’s benefit.

Enhance your understanding by delving into various sales marketing-centric whitepapers accessible through our resource center.