Businesses often forget that the most valuable tool today is building a comprehensive contact list of their customers. This tool is often overlooked by businesses for the goal of speed. When you have people opt-in to text marketing, you gain a direct line of contact to them through text messages. Customers that do business with you have already taken the first step by working with you. The next best step you should take is to ask for their permission to keep in contact with them and provide relevant notifications and incentives.
The customers that complete the opt-in process have given you permission to keep up with them and incentivize them to do more business with you. This is one of the main reasons text marketing has a higher ROI out of any other source of marketing. Customers have made the choice to let you market to them, so they do not consider you as spamming them.
This is why building a text opted-in and compliant marketing list is so important. Once you start the process you will be able to put the opt-in process on autopilot. The following information will provide you a few ways to get this process moving and start building your text opt-in groups.
Opt-in text messaging is the process by which a company or organization obtains permission from their recipients to receive their text communications. Text marketing is the most cost-effective way to reach your customers on your products and services. To be legally compliant with your text communications, the opt-in process is very important. It is your responsibility as a business or organization to provide your customers the option to opt-in and opt-out at any time. Regardless of if a customer recently purchased or serviced with you, the law clearly states you must receive permission. SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Message Service) are both permission-based activities. This means a potential customer must provide you with their permission before you send any type of message through text to them.
There are many ways to start building marketing groups. This process begins when people subscribe to your marketing. The people that join your marketing group have given consent to be communicated with and expect to hear from you. Here are some ways to help build your groups:
Those are just a few ways to build your customer base, feel free to get as creative as you want! The key is to get the message out and provide your customers a way to join your marketing.
Now that you have an understanding about text marketing and the required opt-in process, it is time to grow your groups by executing campaigns.
The fastest way to start building your opt-in group is by using incentives. When choosing the incentive, keep in mind you want people to join now so you can continue to market to them later. The incentive should be something they can use instantly and would entice them to want to opt-in now. Here are some examples of instant offers:
You can deliver your incentive to customers through Keyword marketing. This is when you provide your customers a short word or phrase that they text to either a long or short number. Once the customer texts in your keyword to your long or short code, they will be opted in for text marketing. As a best practice, you want to keep your keywords as short as possible. The goal would be to stay under 12 characters. Pick a keyword that has meaning to your business to make it easy for you to use in your process and in other marketing.
Your keywords will be associated with a long-code (known as a phone number) or you can purchase a short-code (known as a short number, commonly 5 or 6 digits). One example of a keyword using a short code would be if you text “chat” to “41260”. You will be provided a long code when you signup for the ChatterText service as part of your subscription, but short codes are available for an additional cost.
In addition to keyword marketing, many businesses also use QR codes to assist with the opt-in process. QR codes can be used to direct your customers to signup forms. These forms can capture more information than keywords about your customer such as name, address, email, birthday, and more. Using a form process to opt-in provides you the same options as keywords but requires more actions from your customers. Unlike keywords where a customer opts in by sending a text to you, a short form opt-in requires the customer to provide you information first. Once the customer completes the form, they will receive a text asking them to complete the opt-in process by replying “Y” to subscribe. Once the customer replies “Y” they are then fully opted into your marketing.
Once you have your opt-in form created, you can also link this to other marketing sources. You can add this form to your website, social media pages, business listings, and more to drive customers to join your marketing and receive an incentive. You can advertise your keywords, QR codes, and opt-in forms in the following ways:
As we stated before, there are rules that need to be followed when you are using text marketing. These guidelines mostly are around the opt-in and opt-out process, but are very important to follow. The opt-in to marketing is a permission-based activity and you should not assume you can text a customer just because you have their number. They need to complete one of the many ways to opt-in. TCPA requires businesses and organizations to obtain the consent from people to have the right to text them. Here at ChatterText, we assist in keeping you compliant wherever possible. We follow the opt-out process required by TCPA by automatically adding this to your messages going out. We also follow the opt-in process by completing the federal required message when customers respond to your opt-in process you use. This helps remove some of the burden on you and allows you the chance to setup your campaigns with peace of mind knowing you are following compliance guidelines.