Texting GuidelinesBrief Intro to Business
A Brief Intro to Business Texting
Business (SMS/MMS) text marketing is a powerful and cost effective way to reach customers, clients, and those within your organization. However, at the risk of quoting a movie, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
As with all things, there are certain laws and guidelines that should be adhered to while utilizing this great text marketing tool. If you and your company are considerate of your customers, give them opportunities to opt-in and opt-out, and follow these 7 industry guidelines, you will be off to a great and successful start!
Ok! What are the 7 guidelines that I should follow?
ACSAR makes getting your customer’s consent easy. We can provide you with “Text to Join” HTML coding that you can add to your website, so a customer enters their cell phone number and they’re added to your business text distribution list.
You may also attached the following wording, to a website contact form, and have customers check a box to agree:
“OPT IN – SMS/MMS Messages: By clicking here, I am agreeing that future text messages relating to [insert company name], including company news, special offers, and other information, may be sent on behalf of [insert company name] to the cell phone number I provided above.”
Other ways to have customers opt-in to your company text list includes terms of service contract language, display advertising, and verbal permission.
If you’re importing contacts manually, you must have consent, either written or verbal.
If you’re sending transactional messages for services received (e.g. appointment reminder or receipt), or a non-commercial message (e.g. church group, private membership organization, or non-profit) you may not need consent.
Language is important. While it’s tempting to lapse into “textese,’ using abbreviated text messages isn’t real professional. If you can’t fit all the words into a text message, direct customers to a webpage, or send them a flier that they can open on their mobile device. Here’s an example of two texts. Which would you do business with?
- Go2 Sams 2day 4 a gr8 pza deal! 10% off ne slice. just sho dis txt.
- Visit Sam’s today for a great pizza deal! 10% off any slice when you show this text.
We can understand the abbreviated text message, but it looks like it was written by a pre-teen, not a respectable business.
Don’t text too much. This is an exciting tool and you want to let your customers know about your special offers and events, but no one wants their phone flooded with texts from a business. A good rule of thumb is 1-2 texts per week, depending on time of year (holidays, birthdays, special events). The key is to keep customers engaged without overdoing it.
Also, be clear about how many times you plan to text your customers per month. Here’s an example:
“Thx for Joining Bob’s VIP list, 4-6 texts a month w/ deals & news! www.yoursite.com/details Msg & Data rates may apply. Rply STOP to Cncl.”
CTIA, the Wireless Association, requires that you include the following information on any advertisements for your text campaigns:
“Msg & Data Rates may apply” – this simply means that customers may be charged by their carrier for receiving your text message, as with any other text message.
Be considerate of business hours. Very few people appreciate getting a marketing text at 3 a.m. in the morning. The great news is that ACSAR allows you to Schedule Text Campaigns on the day(s) and time(s) that work for your business! Schedule your marketing on Monday, for Saturday delivery, and enjoy your days off! Or, schedule them on the first of the month, for the entire month!
The more value provided, the more likely they’ll stay engaged and tell their friends about your business!