You want your business practices to be as efficient as possible. When it comes to marketing, that usually means you want to optimize your marketing messages, reaching as many members of your consumer audience as you can with a single message. The less time and energy you devote to crafting individual marketing messages, the lower your marketing expenses, and the higher your ROI.
SMS marketing campaigns are growing in popularity as businesses recognize increasing consumer preference for this method of communication. However, texting — unlike other popular digital marketing methods, like email or social media — feels intensely personal. Usually, text conversations take place amongst parties that know each other quite well, so when a business contacts a customer via text, it can feel like an intrusion of privacy.
Thus, businesses need to think critically about how they balance their interest in marketing efficiency with the expectations of the medium of SMS. Here are a few pros and cons of sending bulk texts for marketing purposes.
Pro: Finely Honed Marketing Messages
Reaching out to each individual client or customer might be effective in building beneficial and lasting relationships, but crafting so many unique marketing messages requires undue time and energy. It tends to be much more effective to devote all that time and effort toward developing a single bulk text, which could be equally as effective as dozens of individual texts at engaging your customer audience.
The key to developing mass texts that work is by thinking about the value you are providing to customers with your messages. In the SMS format, you do not want to use every message to sell your product; instead, you should engage your audience by providing information they might use in their next buying experience.
Pro: Specially Primed Consumer Audience
Not only is it extremely poor etiquette for businesses to contact customers via text when they have not expressly consented, but it is actually illegal. The Telephone Consumer Protection Agency (TCPA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulate how businesses manage their SMS lists to give customers more control over their methods of communication.
What this means is that every customer on your SMS contact list has opted into your text messaging service, so every customer wants to receive your marketing messages. Knowing this, you should be able to send bulk texts that are better able to engage and convert customers than other marketing messages, which are less likely to be directed at an audience of willing and eager consumers.
Pro: Affordable and Effective Marketing
Any form of mass communication will take a bite out of your marketing budget, but mass texting tends to be more affordable than most. SMS marketing services tend to provide different cost tiers with increasingly advanced features and lower per-message rates, which makes it much easier for you to find a plan that fits your needs perfectly.
Pro: Ideal Timing for Marketing Messages
Research has found that roughly 98 percent of text messages are read within 3 minutes of being sent. In contrast, only about 23 percent of emails are opened within an hour after delivery, and many social media messages get buried under other posts and never connect with their intended audience. Therefore, a bulk text is unlike any other marketing medium in that you can be all but certain that your message will reach your audience exactly at a time perfect for conversion and engagement.
Con: Personalization Is Limited
Perhaps the most obvious downside to bulk texting is that it becomes more difficult to personalize text messages and take full advantage of the intimacy of the medium. Indeed, while you can use clever encoding to insert recipients’ names, for the most part, every customer will receive an identical message. One way to manage this is to separate your customer list into groups, based on details like demographics or purchasing history, and then craft distinct bulk texts for these different groups.
Con: The Compliance Issue
As mentioned above, the TCPA and FCC tightly regulate how you communicate with customers over their phone. Thus, when you start sending business-related SMS messages, you need to be certain that your texts are in compliance with existing regulations. In addition to contacting only customers who have opted into your text service, you need to provide recipients with a method of opting out of text-based communication. Likely, regulations will shift over the coming years as text becomes established as a primary method of communication, so you will need to monitor your compliance as you maintain SMS services.
There are not many downsides to mass texting your customers. As long as you adhere to existing regulations and respect your customers’ wants and needs, you should see great success from using SMS in your marketing efforts.