Nearly everyone sends and receives personal text messages on a daily basis. But a text messaging campaign is a much more sophisticated use of text messaging software and involves a lot more than just typing a message and hitting “send.”
Newbies need not be shy, however: it takes just a bit of know-how in order to speak competently about a text messaging campaign. Whether you want to explain text messaging in layman’s terms to a coworker, need to pitch a text messaging campaign to your boss, or just for your own edification, here are three easy steps to sounding like an SMS pro.
Know the lingo
The first step to sounding like an SMS pro is learning the lingo. Understanding key terminology is a helpful way of familiarizing yourself with some of the most basic and useful features of a text messaging campaign.
SMS, which stands for short message service, is the standardized communications protocol for mobile devices. In other words, it is shorthand for a text message. People often use SMS and text message interchangeably.
MMS, which stands for multimedia message service, is the standardized communications protocol for multimedia content. In other words, it refers to any visual media file that you can send to a phone number – such as an animated GIF, picture, or video.
A shortcode is a special 5 or 6 digit phone number designated for companies and organizations to send and receive SMS and MMS. Just like you would text with your friends from your own mobile number, companies can text back and forth with consumers from a short code.
A keyword is the word or phrase that people need to type and send to your shortcode number in order to subscribe to your text messaging campaign.
A call to action is any content or material that asks users to text a keyword to your shortcode to opt in to your text messaging campaign – for example, “Text MOBILE to 662266 to subscribe to mobile tips and tricks!”
Know your key facts
Now that you understand the basics of a text messaging campaign, it’s time to learn why text messaging campaigns are so popular and important. Here are three facts about text messaging that prove just how valuable it can be for your organization.
Text messaging is the most widely used communication channel available today. That’s right! While not everybody uses email or makes phone calls regularly, 90% of the American population texts. This means that text messaging campaigns are accessible to virtually anybody who sees your call to action.
Text messages have significantly higher open and read rates than email or social media. Not only is text messaging more popular than other channels, 99% of text messages are opened and read within the first 90 seconds of receiving them. In comparison, only a third of emails are opened, and merely 0.07% of Twitter and Facebook posts reach their intended audiences.
Text messaging campaigns are on the rise. Mobile marketing is becoming an integral part of every marketing effort these days. A new report by Salesforce found that 58% of marketers plan to substantially increase their budget for text messaging within the next year. The report also found that 35% of marketers already use SMS to welcome their customers, and 84% of them claim it to be highly effective.
Know your features
Finally, if you really want to sound like an SMS pro, you should acquaint yourself with some of the standout features of a good text messaging campaign. Here are three of our favorite features will make any text messaging campaign more effective.
Personalization and targeting. One of the best features of a text messaging campaign is the ability to send personalized text messages to your mobile subscribers. Once a person subscribes to your mobile list, you can ask them questions to collect personal data, and use that information to customize the content that they receive. Addressing your users by their first name, grouping them by location, and informing them of company news and promotions of special interest to them are just a few examples of how companies use this feature. (Pro tip: It’s also a good practice to sign your text messages. The World Wildlife Fund, for instance, found that sending a personally signed text message improved response rates by 250 percent!)
Automated messaging. Another great feature of text messaging campaigns is the ability to create pre-written conversations so that you can interact with your subscribers at anytime, anywhere. Use this feature to welcome new subscribers as soon as they opt in, or create a resource locator service to help people find what they’re looking for in real-time. This will also make your life a lot easier as campaign manager, because you won’t have to monitor and respond to every incoming text message.
Trackable, shortened web link. For companies and organizations who want to direct mobile subscribers to mobile-friendly web pages, some text messaging platforms – such as ours – allow you to shorten web links that you can fit, along with your actual message, within the 160 character text message limit. Our platform even creates a unique web link for every user, so you can track exactly who clicked on your link!
While becoming an SMS pro isn’t an overnight process, it’s not too complicated once you learn the ropes. Here’s another blog post that you might find helpful about how to launch a text messaging campaign of your own:
And as always, you can email us at any time with questions about how to get started on a text messaging campaign of your own!