If you’re reading this, you’re probably already texting your customers. And that means you also know there are some steps you need to take as you get ramped up. Getting the required consent (“opt-in”) from your customers can sometimes be a challenge, text software can be complicated, and promotions can frustrate customers when done the wrong way.
Sometimes it can feel like it’s enough to pull the plug. If used effectively, however, a bulk or mass texting service can strengthen relationships by inviting responses. The key is knowing how to use a bulk text messaging service effectively to send messages that get results.
75% of consumers want to receive offers via SMS—but they need to opt in first. By giving you the right tools, mass text messaging can help you tap into the power of messaging by powering hundreds of impactful interactions. It can also significantly enhance the promotional campaigns you currently run.
What is a Bulk Texting Service?
A mass texting service is a platform of messaging tools that empowers businesses to message their customers on a mass scale. It helps you reach your customer base all at once or connect with select groups within that base.
An effective mass texting service powers multiple conversation threads simultaneously, encouraging continued engagement. However, it makes it easy to do by bringing all of the interactions into one, easy-to-use inbox.
Is Bulk Texting Legal?
In short, yes, as long as you’re complying with the laws, rules, and regulations (see more about some of those rules and regulations here) that apply to your situation, including where your business and our customers are located. You should always be aware of what rules apply to your business to make sure you message compliantly.
Something else to keep in mind is that texting is more intimate—and can sometimes feel more invasive—than other forms of communication. Text messages appear directly on a person’s phone, whether they are at home, at work, asleep, awake, on a date with friends, or sharing a personal moment with family. Because of this, as well as the various laws that apply to texting messaging, local businesses should always use messaging thoughtfully and ethically.
To use SMS marketing in a compliant and thoughtful way you should always be transparent with those you’re messaging and only message people who have “opted-in” (that is, provided prior express consent) to receive messages from you. If you’re in the United States, this involves abiding by the rules set out by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and other similar regulations, including those that apply at the state and local levels. Other countries and locations have their own laws that may apply and which you should be aware of when texting.
Spamming customers is poor practice and carries repercussions. Not only can it severely damage customer relationships and trust, but it can also result in hefty fines or other penalties. It’s, therefore, crucial that you only message contacts who have opted-in to receive promotional messages from your business.
SMS marketing in a compliant way doesn’t have to be complicated—you just need to know what to watch out for and put your customers first.
Bulk Texting Starts With Segmentation
A key aspect of using a bulk text messaging service is the ability to send the kind of messaging that converts well every time. This starts with segmenting your customer base into the appropriate customer profiles. Proper customer segmentation can increase customer loyalty, identify new opportunities for products and support, and significantly enhance your customer service and experience.
There are several different customer segmentation models you can use, including:
- Demographic segmentation (age, gender, income)
- Geographic segmentation (country, state, city)
- Psychographic segmentation (personality, values, interests)
- Technographic segmentation (mobile vs desktop use, apps)
- Behavioral segmentation (tendencies and frequent actions, feature/product use)
To segment your customers, first determine your customer segmentation goals—what you hope to achieve and accomplish. Next, segment your customers. After targeting and reaching them, analyze your segments and make adjustments.
Dividing your customers into buckets for promotions and messaging takes time and research, but it’s well worth the effort. As you adjust and analyze accordingly, you’ll be able to send the right message, every time.
Mass Text Messaging for Promotions
For most businesses, promotions typically come in the form of emails or referrals. These promotional efforts can be difficult to track and cost a lot of money, especially if you’re using paid advertisements to get your word out.
SMS promotional campaigns can be affordable and effective, especially if you’re already messaging your customers. And the ways mass texting software can enhance the effectiveness of your campaigns are endless.
- Automations. Mass text messaging software can provide templates that you can use to automatically send personalized messages at the right times for all of your different customer segments.
- Opt-ins. With a platform that syncs with the other touchpoints in your customer journey, you can collect opt-ins naturally and easily at every stage of your experience.
- Tracking. Attribution is critical to marketing successfully. With the right bulk texting service, you can easily measure, view, and maximize your results. With this info, you can improve your offerings with every promotion.
- Conversationalism. With the right platform, your marketing messages can feel conversational and live in the same thread you’re already using to build a relationship with individual customers.
- One inbox. Having all your promotions leave one inbox and all your customers’ responses come into the same inbox makes carrying out successful campaigns a breeze for your team.
Bulk texting software, when used correctly, can significantly lighten the load for you and your team and help your customers connect with you how and when they want to.
How to Not Sound Like a Bot
A key component of using a bulk texting service is to sound humanlike instead of sounding like a bot. Today’s consumers crave personalization in their brand interactions. They want to feel like a real person at your business is contacting them and only them. If you want your threads to feel like individual interactions, it’s critical to make your SMS marketing messages as personal as possible.
You can do this by including personal details in your messages and marketing according to those details. For example, Ryan wants to be sent a promo message with a special discount relevant to her last purchase on her birthday, addressed specifically to her.
When sending mass messages, you should anticipate customer wants and needs by considering the following:
Collecting Opt-ins Efficiently
Many businesses find maximizing their marketable SMS list to be the hardest part of SMS marketing. But it doesn’t have to be. If you’re already texting your customers, there are a number of touchpoints along your customer journey where collecting an opt-in is natural and even expected. If you take advantage of them, the list can build itself.
It’s important to receive opt-ins at multiple entry points, so you are consistently growing your contact list and your ability to nurture those contacts into transactions.
Some Bulk Texting Best Practices
Once you build your opt-in list, it’s time to send compelling messages. But using bulk text in a compelling way takes work.
In order to successfully message your customers, there are a few practices you should keep in mind.
✅ Use conversational language. To appeal to your customers, keep messages light-hearted, short, and conversational—just like you’re talking to a friend. And yes, you can include emojis to keep the conversation personal and informal! 😎😘🙌
✅ Take advantage of last-minute impulses. Keep in mind that sales and events promotions are most effective when they’re last-minute impulses. If you have an event on Wednesday night, consider sending the message as late as Wednesday afternoon.
✅ Send during business hours. If your customer receives a promo at 4:00 am, they won’t be happy. Send texts during the hours people are regularly working to respect your customers’ privacy and increase human-like feel.
✅ Make messages multimedia. Multimedia messages are engaging. Include images, gifs, and links to keep customers interested!
✅ Respond in real-time. A seven-hour delay in response time doesn’t feel like a real conversation—it feels like a bot. Try to respond as quickly as possible to avoid disengagement and increase connectivity.
Send too frequently. Inundating your customers with messages leads to frustration and “STOP!” replies.
Ignore opt-in and opt-out rules. Failure to comply with applicable laws and rules undermines trust and damages your reputation. Only message customers who have opted-in, and make sure to respect their decisions. 61% of customers say they would unsubscribe from promotional messaging if they received messages they didn’t recall signing up for.
Forget to identify yourself. Try to do this creatively with each successive message so it doesn’t get old. You might try, “This is Katie and Bean & Bon!” “We’re so excited you love your Bean & Bon stroller!” “Katie, Bean & Bon: (message)”
How to Track and Improve your Mass Texting
It’s crucial to keep an eye on how your text campaigns are performing and monitor how your audience is responding to your messages. Are your customers engaging more or less? What is your open and response rate?
Consider the following scenarios:
- Low engagement? Try multimedia messaging and promotions (MMS).
- Frequent unsubscribes? Increase value by personalizing each message further, only sending content that is relevant, and possibly reducing your frequency.
- Low sales? Send a personalized promotion to past customers for products related to the season or something they’ve purchased recently.
- High engagement? Beef up your website offerings (blog sections, etc) and include more text links to increase your website traffic.
- High sales? Run a referral campaign to multiply the mass amounts of business you’re getting! (And well done, you! 😉)
An important part of monitoring is using a platform that will track and deliver the valuable data that you need. With small tweaks and consistent feedback on what you’re doing well and what isn’t working, you can find the sweet spot that will maximize the potential of your bulk text marketing.
Get Started Free with Podium
Using a mass texting service can be the key to your next-level marketing. And now, with Podium’s suite of free messaging tools, there’s no reason not to try it. See rapid success by installing a free Webchat on your website, texting your customers, and sending your first promotion to up to fifty subscribers free.
See what Podium can do for your business h re.
“IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice or a comprehensive summary of the law. You are encouraged to retain your own legal counsel to review this article and assess your unique business scenario. In addition, a business can do many things, including use of the Podium system outside its intended use, which can give rise to liabilities beyond those addressed in this article.”