If you’re reading this, you’re probably already texting your customers. And that means you also know how challenging it can be. Getting the required prior consent (“opt-in”) from your customers isn’t easy, text software can be complicated, and promotions can frustrate customers when done the wrong way. 

It’s almost enough to pull the plug. However, used effectively, a mass texting service can strengthen relationships by inviting responses. The key is knowing how to use a mass text messaging service effectively to send messages that get results. 

75% of consumers welcome SMS messages from brands after they’ve optin in, and consumers redeem SMS-delivered coupons 10x more than other types. By giving you the right tools, mass text messaging can help you tap into the power of messaging by powering hundreds of impactful interactions. It can also significantly enhance the promotional campaigns you currently run. 

What is a mass texting service? 

A mass texting service is a platform of messaging tools that empowers businesses to message their customers on a mass scale. It helps you reach your customer base all at once or select groups within that base to connect with.

An effective mass texting service powers multiple conversation threads simultaneously, encouraging continued engagement. However, it makes it easy to do by bringing all of the interactions into one, easy-to-use inbox. 

person looking at iPhone

Is mass texting illegal? 

In short, no. It is not illegal. But there are rules and regulations to follow, and businesses need to be aware of them in order to message compliantly. 

Text is more intimate—even more invasive—than other forms of communication. Text messages appear directly on a person’s phone whether they are at home, work, asleep, awake, on a date with friends, or sharing a personal moment with family. Because of this, local businesses have an obligation to use messaging ethically.

SMS marketing in a compliant way comes down to being transparent and only messaging people who have “opted-in,” that is, provided prior express consent to the sender. In the United States, this involves abiding by the rules set out by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and other similar regulations. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA, was put in place to protect customers from spam, including unwanted calls and texts. 

Spamming customers is poor practice and carries repercussions. Not only does it severely damage customer relationships and trust, but it can also result in hefty fines. Campaigns above a 3% unsubscribe rate also put your textable phone number at risk with carriers. It’s crucial that you only message contacts who have opted-in to receive promotional messages from your business.

SMS marketing in a compliant way isn’t complicated—you just need to know what to watch out for and put your customers first. 

rules for mass texting

Asking permission is simple and can be a natural part of your interactions with customers. And mass texting is perfect for promotional campaigns because you already have their numbers. You can easily ask to send promotional campaigns with a simple text at a natural point in your customer journey

features of mass texting service

Mass texting starts with segmentation.

A key aspect of using a mass text messaging service is the ability to send the kind of messaging that converts well every time. This starts with segmenting your customer base into the appropriate customer profiles. Proper customer segmentation can increase customer loyalty, identify new opportunities for products and support, and significantly enhance your customer service and experience. 

There are several different customer segmentation models you can use, including: 

  1. Demographic segmentation (age, gender, income)
  2. Geographic segmentation (country, state, city)
  3. Psychographic segmentation (personality, values, interests)
  4. Technographic segmentation (mobile vs desktop use, apps)
  5. Behavioral segmentation (tendencies and frequent actions, feature/product use)

To segment your customers, first determine your customer segmentation goals—what you hope to achieve and accomplish. Next, segment your customers. After targeting and reaching them, analyze your segments and make adjustments. 

Dividing your customers into buckets for promotions and messaging takes time and research, but it’s well worth the effort. As you adjust and analyze accordingly, you’ll be able to send the right message, every time. 

man and woman talking at a car dealership

Mass text messaging for promotions

For most businesses, promotions typically live in emails or as referrals. These promotional efforts can be difficult to track and cost a lot of money, especially if you’re using paid advertisements to get your word out. 

SMS promotional campaigns can be affordable and effective, especially if you’re already messaging your customers. And the ways mass texting software can enhance the effectiveness of your campaigns are endless.

  • Automations. Mass text messaging software can provide templates that you can use to automatically send personalized messages at the right times for all of your different customer segments. 
  • Opt-ins. With a platform that syncs with the other touchpoints in your customer journey, you can collect opt-ins naturally and easily at every stage of your experience. 
  • Tracking. Attribution is critical to marketing successfully. With the right mass texting service, you can easily measure, view, and maximize your results. With this info, you can improve your offerings with every promotion.  
  • Conversationalism. With the right platform, your marketing messages can feel conversational and live in the same thread you’re already using to build a relationship with individual customers. 
  • One inbox. Having all your promotions leave one inbox and all your customers’ responses come into the same inbox makes carrying out successful campaigns a breeze for your team. 

Mass texting software, using correctly, can significantly lighten the load for you and your team and help your customers connect with you how and when they want to. 

woman working at business desk

How to not sound like a bot.

A key component of using a mass texting service is to sound humanlike instead of sounding like a bot.Today’s consumers crave personalization in their brand interactions. They want to feel like a real person at your business is contacting them and only them. If you want your threads to feel like individual interactions, it’s critical to make your SMS marketing messages as personal as possible.

You can do this by including personal details in your messages and marketing according to those details. For example, Ryan wants to be sent a promo message with a special discount relevant to her last purchase on her birthday, addressed specifically to her.

example of a mass text

When sending mass messages, you should anticipate customer wants and needs by considering the following:

customer attributes

To make this easier, tie your mass texting service software in with your CRM database. With the right templates, your messages can sound and feel personalized with very little effort on your part. 

Collecting opt-ins efficiently. 

Many businesses find maximizing their marketable SMS list to be the hardest part of SMS marketing. But it doesn’t have to be. If you’re already texting your customers, there are a number of touchpoints along your customer journey where collecting an opt-in is natural and even expected. If you take advantage of them, the list will build itself.

It’s important to receive opt-ins at multiple entry points so you are consistently growing your contact list and your ability to nurture those contacts into transactions. 

ideas to turn interactions into opt-ins

Mass texting best practices. 

Once you build your opt-in list, it’s time to send compelling messages. But using mass text in a compelling way takes work. 

In order to successfully message your customers, there are a few practices you should keep in mind. 

Do: 

Use conversational language. To appeal to your customers, keep messages light-hearted, short, and conversational—just like you’re talking to a friend. And yes, you can include emojis to keep the conversation personal and informal! 😎😘🙌

Take advantage of last-minute impulses. Keep in mind that sales and events promotions are most effective when they’re last-minute impulses. If you have an event on Wednesday night, consider sending the message as late as Wednesday afternoon. 

Send during business hours. If your customer receives a promo at 4:00 am, they won’t be happy. Send texts during the hours people are regularly working to respect your customers’ privacy and increase human-like feel.

Make messages multimedia. Multimedia messages have 15% higher engagement and 20% higher campaign opt-ins than normal texts. Include images, gifs, and links to keep customers interested!

Respond in real-time. A seven-hour delay in response time doesn’t feel like a real conversation—it feels like a bot. Try to respond as quickly as possible to avoid disengagement and increase connectivity. 

man sitting on a bed reading text message on mobile phone

Don’t: 

Send too frequently. Inundating your customers with messages leads to frustration and “STOP!” replies. According to a recent survey, *1 in 4 customers wants to hear from you once a week.

Ignore opt-in and opt-out rules. Incompliance undermines trust and damages your reputation. Only message customers who have opted-in, and make sure to respect their decisions. *61% of customers say they would unsubscribe from promotional messaging if they received messages they didn’t recall signing up for. 

Forget to identify yourself. Try to do this creatively with each successive message so it doesn’t get old. You might try, “This is Katie and Bean & Bon!” “We’re so excited you love your Bean & Bon stroller!” “Katie, Bean & Bon: (message)” 

How to track and improve your mass texting.

It’s crucial to keep an eye on how your campaigns are performing and monitor how your audience is responding to your messages. Are your customers engaging more, or less? What is your open and response rate? 

Consider the following scenarios:

  • Low engagement? Try multimedia messaging and promotions (MMS).
  • Frequent unsubscribes? Increase value by personalizing each message further, only sending content that is relevant, and possibly reducing your frequency.  
  • Low sales? Send a personalized promotion to past customers for products related to the season or something they’ve purchased recently. 
  • High engagement? Beef up your website offerings (blog sections, etc) and include more text links to increase your website traffic. 
  • High sales? Run a referral campaign to multiply the mass amounts of business you’re getting! (And well done you! 😉)

An important part of monitoring is using a platform that will track and deliver the valuable data that you need. With small tweaks and consistent feedback on what you’re doing well and what isn’t working, you can find the sweet spot that will maximize the potential of your mass text marketing. 

woman looking at charts on computer at desk

Get started free with Podium. 

Using a mass texting service is the key to your next level marketing. And now, with Podium’s suite of free messaging tools, there’s no reason not to try it! See instant success by installing a free Webchat on your website, texting your customers, and sending your first promotion to fifty subscribers free

See what Podium Starter can do for your business here

Matt Boyce
Matt Boyce Head of SMB Marketing

Matt Boyce is a marketing and business professional at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers.

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