Intro to Promotional Text Messaging
Promotional text messaging can be an extremely powerful tool, especially when digital marketing is being turned on its head by data and privacy issues. When you text, you can count on your information or promotion getting in front of the people that are most likely to be interested in it, while a social media campaign might not make it in front of everybody and an email campaign might not be opened. With great power comes great responsibility (sorry, I had to). But seriously, carriers are going to make sure that you are using your texting powers for good. The following list of guidelines will keep you on the right side of the texting-verse. All of these guidelines can be found in Best Practices, but this article will specifically speak to applying these guidelines to promotional campaigns. Below these guidelines, you will find an example text message that demonstrates everything listed here.
It all starts with express written consent
Individuals that make it on one of your promotional lists should give YOU express written consent. They have to be in some kind of documented agreement with your company to receive texts and that documentation needs to be accessible at any time. That means no 3rd party lists of affiliate marketing. You can learn more about receiving express written consent in the blog post, How to obtain proper consent to text with your customers.
Let them know when they have opted in
Creating a promotional texting campaign requires putting together a list of phone numbers of people that are interested in your product or services. Whenever you add somebody to the list, it’s good to send them a text to inform them that they’ve been added to the list. This is an extra reassurance that you have the correct number on your list.
Inform them how often you’ll text and the duration of the campaign
Marketing works best if you create a game plan that keeps you on track to meet certain goals. Part of that is game plan is determining a frequency and duration that makes sense for your customers. Let your customers know what your plans are and even ask for feedback. After all, texting is a channel for personalized and convenient communication, so let them help you, help them.
State who you are
Letting people know who you are is common courtesy, it also helps you remain in good standing with the telecommunication networks that you’re using to text. If a large number of text messages are sent with no organization associated with the texts, the carrier may flag the campaign as being potential spam.
Give them the ability to opt-out
People that you are texting with will always have the ability to opt-out, but you should inform them of this. By letting people know all they have to do is text STOP to no longer receive messages, it gives them an easy solution to any issue they may have receiving texts. If they are unaware of this easy opt-out, they could file a complaint with their phone carrier or the FCC, which could lead to having your number blocked or fines!
Don’t shorten your links
While shortening your links will make your message look prettier and reduce the number of characters you use, it can also lead to having your messages blocked because a carrier might identify it as Spam. Whenever a link is sent and the destination of the link is not visible to the individual receiving it, carriers worry about where that link takes users. The best way to avoid this is to simply use the entire link. If you have a unique use case that requires a shortened link, text the support line to discuss your options.