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Within the next two years, there will be 4.3 billion smartphone users on the planet. The great news? These phones have the ability to send and receive text messages, which increasingly is cited as the preferred way to communicate, along with trusty old phone calls.

Add to this the fact that most users spend 4-6 hours looking at their phone every day, and it’s no wonder why businesses of all kinds – from SaaS platforms to businesses of all shapes and sizes – are embracing text messaging as part of their communication offerings.

With this opportunity clearly in mind, here are our top 12 text messaging best practices:

Messaging Software
Value, Value, Value
Opt-in (Obviously)
Consent Key
Know Your Audience
Keep Texts Short, Simple, Entertaining
Timing
Urgency
Disclaimer
Segment
Omnichannel
Opt-out (Obviously!)

Messaging Software

Sure, you could try sending texts from your phone to your customers. That’s an exercise in frustration once you have more than a handful of customers. There are dozens of great choices for powering your campaigns with software, from Twilio for SaaS platforms and apps, to EZ Texting and SlickText.

You can also embed high-capacity SMS/MMS campaigns into your platform or service offerings with thinQ. Our SMS/MMS API is easy to learn, quick to install with minimal dev left, and offers enterprise-grade messages per second (MPS) along with transparent campaign analytics at great prices per message. Learn more here.
https://www.thinq.com/sms-mms-text-messaging/

Value, Value, Value

No one wants to get blatantly promotional text messages 24/7/365. Make sure what you’re sending has true value to your audience, they want to feel special and appreciated. Make special member-only sales, item or feature offerings, links to your social media posts, product/feature/unboxing videos, etc.

Opt-in (Obviously)

The best way to build your audience is to promote your text service via social media channels like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and more. Your business profiles can be set to add a button labelled “Opt In” or “Get Texts” to link to your website where you can share how to get added to your SMS campaign.

Don’t forget to add this information to every email you send, including your regular newsletters.

Consent Key

Don’t get shut down by adding people’s numbers to your campaign with getting their permission. Ideally, you want to turn on an instant reply when someone subscribes asking them to reply “yes” to get your texts. This double opt-in is critical to be sure you gain consent.

Know Your Audience

If you have a CRM, be sure you’re embedding your customers mobile numbers into their customer records. You can then evaluate recent purchase information or trends to see who in your text list is buying what and when. This will allow you hone your messages to speak to your audience at large, or segment your texts to groups of customers based on their past activity. Personalization and knowing your audience is key!

Keep Texts Short, Simple, Entertaining

This should be obvious, but boil down your messages to be laser-focused on the action you want each customer to take. The more simple your call to action (CTA) is, the more likely you are to get a click and a conversion. Be sure to proofread your messages before you send them! Plus, think about adding interactivity, polls, trivia, memes, or rewards to your campaigns to add variety and keep people engaged.

Timing

The best time to send a text is 11AM – 8PM. Sending messages before or after these times will likely degrade your clicks, conversions and boost opt-outs. No one wants to get a promotional message first thing in the morning or at night when they’re home with their families!

Urgency

No matter what you send, adding urgency statements – expiring soon, limited stock, only today, valid till, etc. – will encourage your customers to take action faster. You know, promote a sense of urgency. No one wants to feel FOMO – fear of missing out!

Disclaimer

The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association mandates that your first message MUST contain “msg and data rates may apply.” If you’re using software, this likely will be added automatically. If not, be sure you do this.

Segment

Resist the urge to put all of your customers into one master SMS/MMS list. Instead, break them up into categories. If someone is new, respond with a welcome campaign, while others who have been around longer want sale and discount texts, while others just want order or shipment details.

Omnichannel

Your customers will be visiting your website, getting your emails, and now your texts – this is the heart of omnichannel. You must be sure that your specials and content are consistently presented in text and imagery across your communication channels to avoid confusion.

Opt-out (Obviously!)

Be sure to include a “reply STOP to cancel” in your messages. This makes it easy for customers to stop getting the messages they don’t want to receive anymore – and it’s a compliance issue to be sure you stay in the good graces of your text messaging software or service provider (like thinQ!)

With support for A2P messaging (Application to Person), thinQ goes far beyond the features of free SMS APIs to get the scale, savings, and functionality you need. Add SMS and MMS texting to domestic and toll-free numbers to take advantage of the modern way to stay in touch, provide support, and more.

Get our SMS deliverability checklist to be sure your messages avoid carrier spam traps. Plus, visit our knowledge base for the latest long-code and toll-free messages per second transmission caps and more.