Customers Are on Their Phones – Are You?
The Ultimate Guide to Integrating Text into Your Marketing Strategy
TapOnIt White Paper 2021
The Role of Text Marketing: An Introduction
360-Degree Benefits of Using Text Marketing
Sync Your Text Marketing with Your Outbound Marketing Strategy
Top-5 Best Practices of Text Marketing
Summary: Key Takeaways
The Role of Text Marketing: An Introduction
Texting and millennial’s might be synonymous, but surprisingly, texts have been in use for at least 25 years. In fact, text marketing is a form of marketing that is widely accepted and embraced among users of all age groups today:
The catch, however, is that the modern customer expects brands to offer more value to them. A simple text message is no longer going to cut it. So the real question becomes: “What will encourage users to actively and voluntarily engage with brands?”
Two Powerful Proven Strategies
1. MMS Marketing
MMS or Multimedia Messaging Service is a type of mobile marketing that uses enhanced text messages and rich media to deliver a more powerful message. Brands can leverage the power of MMS marketing by using interesting pictures, emojis, GIFs, short videos, audio files, calendar invites, polls, surveys, and so on to engage effectively with their audiences.
As you can imagine, the use of dynamic graphics and imagery elevate the content from a boring text-heavy message to an endearing visually-powered one.
2. Holistic Approach
The second approach is significant yet most ignored. Brands need to engage in holistic marketing actively. In other words, brands need to use a healthy balance of MMS and SMS marketing to augment and enhance different marketing platforms and channels and make the most out of their 360-degree marketing plan.
Alternatively, you can opt for a cross-channel marketing approach. Say you have a customer who recently abandoned the cart and didn’t complete the purchase.
Effective Cross-channel Approach Example:
Create an engaging email blast to inform users about the items left in their online shopping cart.
Follow up by sending the customer a friendly reminder via MMS, offering them an incentive to complete the purchase. Ensure that the content, design, and structure are cohesive and consistent throughout both channels. To make things seamless and convenient, add a link to the checkout page at the end.
As a best practice, offer customers a clean and easy opt-out method– a tactic that sits high on the priority list for around 18% of the customers who wish to receive SMS marketing messages.
Texting doesn’t need to be a standalone marketing tactic; it works seemingly well in tandem with other proven marketing channels such as email, social, etc. It is proven to propel these high-performing marketing platforms as long as you choose the right channel combination and target the right audience.
360-Degree Benefits of Text Marketing
“Watered-down, mobile-targeting tactics are costing you conversions, clients, and revenue. Meanwhile, SMS marketing is lurking in the background, waiting for you to capitalize on it.”
– Neil Patel, Co-Founder of Crazy Egg, Digital Marketing Entrepreneur & Consultant.
At this point, it makes sense to understand the benefits text marketing poses in the context of your overall marketing strategy. Here’s a quick run-through for your reference:
1. Acts as a primary vector within your omnichannel strategy
Text marketing, or more specifically MMS marketing, makes use of powerful images, GIFs, videos, etc., to highlight productions, promotions, and calls-to-action. Additionally, SMS marketing boasts of an impressive 99% open rate.
2. Drives user engagement and traffic to other channels
By integrating relevant links to websites and apps, customers can view content, share posts on social media, earn bonuses, redeem offers, etc., all at the click of a button.
3. Allows users to connect with the brand promptly
Research indicates that around 60% of customers read texts within 1-5 minutes of receiving them.
4. Allows brands to interact with customers
Your marketing is only as effective as the channel(s) you choose. With 61% of Gen Z being constantly digitally connected and using smartphones for at least 5 hours or more per day and 65% of millennials preferring digital interactions over face-to-face communication, text marketing should be a natural (and obvious) choice for marketers. It allows you to cater to a younger demographic – the powerhouse of consumer spending today, with 82% of millennials being impulsive buyers having purchased an item the first time they see it.
5. Enables brands to communicate with customers without an internet connection
Considering that MMS marketing does not need the internet, you can cater to a wider, more global user base.
6. Helps brands communicate information quickly and in real-time
MMS marketing is all about promoting information in real-time, with the hope of getting users to engage instantly. Whether it is sending timely quotes to the customer or offering deals, it can boost sales, given the inherent ease and transparency.
7. Builds an intimate level of proximity with the user
According to a report by Deloitte, the average consumer checks their smartphone around 50 times a day. So the chances of your message going unnoticed are relatively low, thereby helping you always stay on top of the user’s mind organically.
8. Provides marketers with full channel ownership
One of the best things about text marketing is that marketers can own integral data points such as contacts, their opt-ins, phone numbers, etc., instead of third-party messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, social media DMs, etc. Gaining complete control over the medium paves the way for a personalized user experience.
Text marketing brings your brand to life using animated GIFs, images, and short videos. Additionally, it allows brands to offer meaningful, value-driven interactions to users – a significant advantage, as according to research, over 50% of consumers would happily opt into an SMS loyalty program if it offered flash sales, deals, or coupons in return. Finally, marketers ‘choose’ how and when they want to reach out to customers, making it a win-win for all.
Sync Your Text Marketing With Your Outbound Marketing Strategy
This brings us to how you can plan and integrate a killer text marketing strategy into your outbound marketing efforts. Remember that only using one channel for marketing is like putting all your eggs in one basket, which would be a big mistake.
Think about how you’ll make the messaging non-invasive. Considering that text marketing is a reasonably private channel of communication, the need of the hour is to think about the kind of message you’ll want to incorporate to catch the user’s attention without making it look creepy, annoying, or desperate. Sending out random, out-of-context messages will only lead customers towards clicking on the “Block” button.
Always start your conversation with the user by offering them an opt-in option and a transactional message (as opposed to a promotional one).
Keep your text messaging relevant. Tying to the previous point, text marketing requires a logical flow or sequence that should make sense to the user. Say you have a customer who has recently purchased something. You can send them relevant transactional messages to keep them ‘in the loop.’
This allows you to build a relationship with the user before you start sending them promotional messages.
Keep your message short and relevant. Since SMS marketing only allows messages to be sent within the 160-character limit, you need to ensure that your content is to the point and concise. On the other hand, the character limit for MMS marketing is 5000 characters. This is where linking the message to an external website link, or an app can help. Users can get more information about the brand without being bombarded with endless lines of content.
Think about whether or not you need to send that MMS. As tempting as it might be to roll out an MMS, consider the frequency of your text messages. As long as they are adding value to your customer’s experience, you are good to go.
Factor in the location and time zones. Suppose you’re catering to a more global audience, factor in elements such as time zones, geographical location, etc., as you don’t want to be sending a text to a customer at 4 a.m.
Identify suitable text messages for your user base. Remember that text marketing is not for everyone, even though marketers can use automation and hit “Send to all” instantly. You’ll need to understand your user base, consider your message’s urgency, and prioritize messages accordingly. Typically, messages that include surveys for an event, appointment updates, confirmation alerts, password resets, quick opt-in via codes, etc., are ideal for text messaging. All in all, you’ll need to consider user-level personalization with MMS marketing instead of blasting a templatized message to all.
Always consider A/B testing your messages: Performing multivariate testing allows your brand to gather invaluable insights into what’s working and what isn’t from the user’s perspective and, by extension, justify your text marketing expenditure.
Other helpful tips to keep in mind while creating a foolproof text marketing plan include:
- Set up a dedicated MMS marketing team or leverage the services to make the most out of your marketing expenses. This includes hiring an MMS marketing program expert, creative digital designers, promotions specialists, social media experts, etc.
- Deploy a powerful CRM tool to analyze the success of your text marketing messages.
- Avoid open-ended messages and always use CTA buttons that are clear and direct such as “Click here,” “Buy now,” “Subscribe now,” etc.
- Ensure that you promote MMS opt-in across diverse channels such as social media, websites, newsletters, etc.
- Integrate powerful images and graphics with MMS marketing instead of sticking to one-dimensional text-heavy messages to capture the user’s attention and drive engagement. This also allows you to communicate your brand’s story in a richer and more personalized format
Marketers need to understand the right combination of channels to use and add MMS at critical moments and touchpoints in the user’s journey to boost conversions and drive user happiness. In other words, you should use text marketing to advance your other marketing efforts and maximize them instead of ‘replacing’ them.
Top 5 Best Practices of Text Marketing
In this section, we’ll look at the top five best practices to keep in mind when using text to boost your marketing efforts across varied channels such as website, email, social media, print, and so on.
1. Think About Integrating a Bold and Easily Visible Call-to-Action
Text messaging is instantaneous. It empowers people to act in the moment. As a thumb rule, marketers should integrate bright and bold call-to-action buttons within their social media or digital ads.
How Can This Strategy Help?
A. It encourages people to text in.
B. It allows marketers to leverage quick results in the form of higher MMS subscribers and conversions.
C. It allows your brand to instantly capture the user’s attention and makes it easy for the latter to engage with your brand using an omnichannel approach simultaneously.
2. Strategize About How You can Cross-Promote with Ease
Seasoned marketers understand the importance of using different marketing channels for different end goals and varied customer segments. But what if they cross-promote and use a hybrid of form marketing?
One way to go about this would be to combine MMS marketing with your website offering and provide users a special discount with the MMS.
Notice how the brand uses eye-catching imagery to grab the user’s attention – a wise choice, as studies indicate that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text.
You could also use text messaging within your newsletters, specialized campaigns, or social media accounts to:
– Offer exclusive incentives to MMS subscribers.
– Provide additional bonuses or inside scoop into brand events.
This cross-channel promotion enables brands to engage more intimately with already-interested customers via text messaging.
3. Offer Users Unique Content
Let’s call a spade a spade. Customers hate it when they see the same message slapped across every channel, to the point that it becomes “spammy” and annoying.
Text marketing doubles as another integral channel that marketers can optimize to boost conversions and create unique content. Marketers need to remember to develop a cohesive strategy for each channel and account for factors such as formatting, content structure as per audience’s preferences, engagement styles, and so on.
4. Boost Engagement Through Multi-Channel Touch-Points
Not every day will be the same concerning conversions, traffic, and user engagement. So, if your brand is experiencing a ‘slow’ day, it might be a good idea to introduce MMS marketing into the mix and promote a specific channel that can drive user engagement.
Boost traffic to the physical location by using the following type of text marketing.
The idea is to conceptualize the exclusive coupons and offers your customers would like and redeem them once they are opted-in. This personalized and targeted messaging can boost user engagement by leaps and bounds.
When done right and in conjunction with other channels, text marketing can boost visibility and drive user engagement.
5. Filter Customers into Subscriber Lists
There’s a fine line between under-marketing and over-marketing to your user base—understanding which followers follow which particular channel can be tricky.
Enter: Text marketing
It allows you to filter people into specific subscriber lists. In turn, it will enable your brand to engage in hyper-personalized marketing across multiple channels, taking into account user preferences, buying behavior, etc.
Filtering your target base paves the way for strategic and personalized marketing and allows you to connect better with your customers.
Summary: Key Takeaways
With the rise of instant messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, texting has become second nature for customers.
More and more marketers are realizing the potential and value of integrating text message marketing into their strategy to:
- Leverage increased engagement, happier customers, and higher returns.
- Empower users to instantly and conveniently connect with a brand.
- Enable brands to foster a strengthened relationship with customers and build loyalty.
Key Advantages of Integrating Text into Your Marketing Strategy:
- It doubles as an immediate and direct channel, with over 45% of SMS campaigns generating a successful ROI and reaching over 50% of customers when combined with other popular channels such as email and social media.
- Text marketing can enhance and support other marketing channels instead of replacing them. It works well when it is not used as a standalone channel of communication.
- It empowers marketers to capture the customer’s voice by rolling out real-time surveys, polls, etc., and make alterations in real-time. This allows marketers to learn more about their users before it is too late.
- Finally, it boosts user engagement through the customer’s life cycle and empowers marketers to flex their creative muscles by establishing a diverse, creatively-driven omnichannel campaign.
To put things into perspective, take a look at the following numbers:
- 3.8 billion people own smartphones in 2021, and as of 2021, 67 million Americans redeem coupons via mobile phones – Not engaging in text marketing is a lost opportunity of gigantic proportions (quite literally).
45% of potential leads would choose a product or brand after receiving an SMS.
A staggering nine in 10 people open their text messages.
Long story short, text marketing is here to stay. So, if you’re still thinking of putting text marketing on the back-burner, think again. It’s time to step up your messaging with TapOnIt’s robust text-to-conversion marketing solution and integrate it into your marketing strategy to supercharge your business and satisfy your customers.
Ready to get started?
Book a demo with our team to learn more.