When we think of text marketing on a large scale, we usually expect the latest social media apps to bring the biggest bang for our buck. But what if we told you there’s a way to reach every mobile device and have your message read within 5 minutes?

Enter the SMS blast. Text message marketing drives up your ROI because it gives you the option to connect with more customers with less effort. After all, SMS messaging is truly one of the most prominent channels of mass communication. That said, to make sure an SMS campaign turns a recipient into a potential customer, you need to follow current legislation and some best practices.

Here’s what you can do to leverage your contact list and send text blasts that get customers excited about your brand.

What Is Text Blasting and Why Should You Use It?

A text blast, also sometimes referred to as an SMS text blast or broadcast, involves sending a large number of text messages from a single source simultaneously to a substantial group of recipients. While it’s often used in retail marketing campaigns, you’ll also encounter text blasts for public announcements, event notifications or emergency alerts.

In a way, it’s comparable to a mailing list because each person that receives your text doesn’t see any of the other recipients on your list — unlike private messages or emails. Also, if you’re using a dedicated short code, you can give your contacts the opportunity to reply to your SMS.

This form of texting offers great advantages for enterprises that want to send one-off campaigns and promotional messages. However, it’s still different from group texting solutions for businesses, as the latter usually provides more comprehensive replying capabilities and another opt-out routine. After all, internal business communication doesn’t require the same consent the way marketing communications do.

However, there are certain differences between text blasts and other forms of marketing. For starters, SMS tend to have much higher open rates than emails. At 98%, they’re not even comparable anymore. That’s in part because of text messages’ fast delivery and direct and personal touch.

Everyone associates SMS texting with quick encounters, friends and family, which is why they’ll allow you to reach large audiences while boosting customer engagement. We’ve all been part of that one group text to coordinate school meetings, chat with friends or simply share a laugh, which is why text blast marketing is so powerful. Used correctly, a mass text is not simply a mass marketing approach but also a way to tap into a conversation that most of your customers are already having.

Thanks to the simple setup of SMS marketing campaigns, they’re also easy to automate, which means they’re more cost-effective than more elaborate marketing measures like phone calls or postal mail.

How To Text Blast

Before you can actually reach out to your customers, you need to pick a text blast service and build or import your contact list. A marketing tool will not only ensure you’re registered for sending higher volumes of blast text messages, it’ll also save you time through dedicated features for marketing automation.

As an example, we embed best practices for compliance into each of our text blast software packages, but we give you the option to include cutting-edge features, such as advanced reporting or sub-account management. So our solution can scale with your operations, from a one-off text campaign to more elaborate messaging strategies coordinated with other marketing channels.

If you don’t already have a list of consenting SMS subscribers, it’s crucial to make sure that you’re following current privacy laws when gathering their contact information.

Because you not only want to collect phone numbers but also retain subscribers in the long run, it’s best to be transparent about your data processing practices and marketing strategies from the start. Opt-in forms are a great way to let your future contacts know how their data is used and what you’ll be sending them.

An automated welcome message can serve to confirm or expand on that information while also serving as a double opt-in.

Once you’re on the safe side regarding privacy laws, sending the actual text blast is a breeze. You simply draft the copy of your SMS message and hit send, just like you would with any other SMS. That said, you need to consider the recipient at the other end, and depending on your own communication style, you might have to change your habits for your campaigns to be successful.

You may be used to using emoji in your private messages, so it could be tempting to embed them in your campaigns for branding purposes. While they theoretically can serve that purpose, you also have to consider your messages’ accessibility and the influence emoji have on recipients who depend on screen readers.

Finally, it’s time to decide what you actually want to say in your text blasts. Depending on your business, your needs and options may change. In general, you can use text blasts for:

  • Large-scale communications: You can use text messaging for sending company updates or general announcements, from organizational news and policy changes to community events.
  • Appointment reminders: Send text blasts about upcoming medical appointments or business meetings to reduce no-shows and improve overall scheduling with next to no effort.
  • SMS Marketing: Text messaging can inform your customers about promotions and discounts, product announcements or simply boost brand awareness.
  • Event invitations: A text message blast can contain event invitations for seminars and workshops or even RSVP options and links to event information.
  • Order updates: Many businesses send text blasts to provide customers with real-time updates about their orders, including order confirmations or shipping notifications.
  • Emergency alerts: In the public sphere, we already use the text blast message as a tool for natural disaster alerts, safety instructions and evacuation notices.

An online store will rely on a different content strategy than a dental practice, and each one will slightly adapt it to define their brand along the way. The key is to boil down your message to respect everyone’s time. By doing that, you’ll keep your list engaged and see higher ROI.

Best Practices for Compliant Text Blasts

When sending text blasts, you should always make sure you’re following your country’s laws and regulations governing electronic communications, privacy and marketing. In the U.S., those would be the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM Act) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

If you’re texting clients outside the U.S. as well, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the UK’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) may apply. These regulations are based on comparable ideas. While you should always be certain you’re aware of the most recent changes to laws affecting your business, here are some general guidelines.

As a rule, you should clearly communicate your purpose in sending text messages. That tells your recipients what they should expect and whether they want to sign up in the first place. There’s no benefit in keeping someone on your list who doesn’t like to receive your messages anyway, so it’s best to share as much information as possible from the start to trim your contacts — counterintuitive as it may seem.

At the same time, stating your communication policies can boost brand awareness and position yours as a  trustworthy brand that is open and honest, which can quickly turn a text blast campaign into a recommendation.

Even if you’ve informed your recipients what to expect, some may still change their minds after a while, and that’s OK. In those cases, you want to give them an easy way out, so make sure you’re always offering an opt-out option to respect their wishes and comply with TCPA.

Some behaviors may not be officially regulated across the board, but it’s still good to be aware of them. If you’re sending too many texts in a row, that can get your number flagged at mobile carriers, causing you to block them. Equally, your subscribers may unsubscribe or block you. Either way, you want to make sure you have something to say and you’re only saying it when it’s necessary. If you let enough time pass between messages, you can pack more value into each one, which gives users another reason to stay on your list. Spreading out your messages not only keeps you off those block lists, but it also saves you time and boosts your retention rates.

Additionally, it’s wise to include disclaimers such as “Rates may apply” — not only to comply with consumer protection laws but also to build trust and avoid opt-outs because consumers feel tricked. With legal regulations and pricing options especially, it’s better to repeat yourself too often than to risk a client feeling ripped off.

Finally, it may be tempting to send your messages late at night when everyone’s at home watching Netflix. However, this is a bad idea. It’s best not to invade people’s privacy with marketing messages, so you should stick with only sending your text blasts during working hours.

For more information on SMS compliance, check out our comprehensive guide for North American businesses.

Power Up Your Deliverability

Laws keep evolving to meet new technological standards, marketer behaviors and consumer expectations. Text marketing is a potent tool that allows you to reach a vast audience promptly and ensure your messages are read within minutes. Unlike other platforms, text blasts are universally compatible and make for immediate engagement due to their simplicity.

To get the most out of your contact list, it’s best to adhere to laws and regulations affecting your company and clients. Time your text messaging efforts to respect your customers’ privacy and be certain to adapt your content strategy to your business model and goals. If you do that, you and every person on your list will have a blast.

From double opt-in to reliable infrastructures — we always make sure that your text blasts get to your clients while respecting the most current regulations. We also update our text blast service constantly to meet our clients’ needs.

If you’re curious about how text blasts might fit into your overall content and branding strategy, we’re happy to walk you through different options.

Ensure your messages deliver in perfect timing and sign up with Swift SMS Gateway today!