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From familiarizing yourself with compliance practices to creating a consistent schedule, there are several steps to take when planning an effective text message marketing strategy. — Getty Images/Poike

Text message marketing can be a powerful communication tool — if you go about it the right way. These eight best practices will help you make the most of text message marketing.

[Read more: Alkaline Herb Shop’s Founder on the Power of SMS Marketing]

Always get permission

Before you invest in text message marketing, you need to familiarize yourself with the regulations around compliance. Failing to follow the laws around text message marketing can damage your brand and lead to serious financial consequences.

The main thing to keep in mind is that you must obtain express written consent from all new and existing contacts. This written consent must be clear and easy to understand, so subscribers know what they’re signing up for.

Your very first text must include the following information:

  • Who you are.
  • Communication frequency.
  • How subscribers can opt out.
  • A notice that message and data rates may apply.

Be concise

When you send text messages to your subscribers, you only have 160 characters to work with. If your message is longer than that, it’ll be split into multiple text messages. So, aim to be as concise as possible in every text message communication.

For instance, if you’re sending a promotional offer, only share the information that really matters. If your messages become too lengthy, you risk having subscribers opt out.

Utilize an autoresponder

When you send text messages, some of your subscribers may respond. They may offer feedback about one of your products, ask a question or have a complaint to share.

These are valuable opportunities to form a personal relationship with your customers. Make sure you utilize an autoresponder so you can answer with a personalized message immediately.

Text during regular business hours

You should respect your subscribers enough to only contact them during normal business hours. Nobody likes being woken up to a text message alert in the middle of the night. And if you text during hours when most people will be awake and alert, it’s more likely they’ll take action on your message.

If people are receiving multiple messages from your company each day, it’s going to start to feel like you’re spamming them.

Personalize your texts

The advantage of text message marketing is that you can instantly communicate with thousands of subscribers at once. But you still want to make these texts feel personal to each of your customers.

The best way to do this is by segmenting your subscriber list. Segmentation allows you to personalize your message based on their preferences, demographics and any other relevant information.

Don’t send too many texts

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is sending too many messages to your subscribers. If people are receiving multiple messages from your company each day, it’s going to start to feel like you’re spamming them. Industry guidelines recommend sending no more than two to six messages per month.

Be consistent

Following the previous point, some businesses take text message marketing to the opposite extreme. In their desire not to spam their subscribers, they don’t send text messages often enough, or they only text their subscribers sporadically, with no consistent schedule.

The problem with this strategy is that many subscribers will forget why they signed up in the first place or lose interest altogether. Try to find a happy medium and come up with a consistent messaging schedule that doesn’t put people off.

[Read more: 5 Consumer Trends Big Retailers Are Betting on in 2022]

Always provide a way to opt out

No matter how good your text message marketing campaign is, there will be some people who choose to unsubscribe. That’s why you always need to give your text message subscribers a way to opt out of your texts.

The easiest way to do this is to include a message that says, “Text STOP to unsubscribe.” That way, you ensure that you only contact people who want to hear from your brand.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published February 14, 2022