What businesses should understand about SMS marketing

Text messaging services may have been around for cell phone users for many years, but now more businesses are beginning to see the potential to use this medium to communicate with customers. This platform is considered one of the most effective forms of mobile marketing because over 90 percent of text messages are opened and read within three minutes of being received, but with many other strategies out there, text messaging plans are seeing more competition, according to Business 2 Community.

Despite the growing pressure, marketers should still consider implementing a text messaging presence. This type of marketing doesn't require internet access or changing a business's website. However, there are multiple ways to utilize text alerts, so be be mindful of the following things before implementing such a solution:

  • Time zones: Depending on the size of your business, your client base could be in multiple time zones. Be mindful of the hours you choose to send text messages because it may interrupt a phone user's sleep or personal time with loved ones. Techli contributor John Boudreau explained that business owners could run the risk of being "a nuisance in the customer's mind [and ignored completely" if they fail to consider sending texts during specific hours.
  • FCC regulations: Text messaging services may be an opt-in form of marketing, where customers are sending a message to companies that they wish to receive time-sensitive promotions and exclusives, but that doesn't mean your staff has free reign to a customer's phone number. As a way to reduce spam and fraud incidents, the FCC has specific guidelines on privacy and compliance policies.
  • Choose the SMS service(s): Does your business want to use SMS to confirm appointments or share coupon codes? Try to do research on what type of information can be readily available in 160 characters. Doing this in advance reinforces an organization's brand and message.
  • Engage: Text messaging is intended to be a two-way form of communication. Companies that rely on sharing promotions, but don't leave room for customers to ask questions back via text message may be missing out on the opportunity to improve the customer experience and provide a level of service that exceeds expectations.

Companies that take the time to establish a text messaging strategy will be more prepared for 2014 than organizations that are still unsure of how to leverage mobile marketing campaigns. Are you ready to make a move, but unsure how to go about it? Swift SMS Gateway has the tools to determine the best plan for your client base.