SMS marketing can be a great way to promote your products and build lasting relationships with your audience. But text message marketing takes an additional level of consideration over other marketing channels.
With phones in people's pockets or at their bedside every hour of the day, it can be easy for texts from brands to feel intrusive.
But text blasts, or SMS blasts, in particular can be tricky to get right. Texts done wrong can be annoying and intrusive, which can lead to people unsubscribing from the list or even filing complaints.
So, keep these best practices in mind when sending text blasts to your SMS subscriber list to keep engagement high and opt-outs low.
What are text blasts?
A text blast is a mass text message that is sent to a large group of people at once. Text blasts are a form of SMS marketing used by ecommerce brands to promote products and build relationships with their audience.
You can send a text blast to send discounts, announcements of product launches, or other SMS marketing messages to customers or potential customers. They can help you reach your entire customer base quickly and easily.
What are the benefits of text blasts for ecommerce?
Text blasts offer ecommerce marketers several benefits. Perhaps most importantly, they provide a direct line of instant communication with subscribers. This can be invaluable for promoting sales, announcing new products, or sharing other company news.
In addition, SMS blasts can be highly effective in terms of reach. According to MobileSquared, 90% of text messages are opened and read within three minutes of being received. This compares favorably to email open rates, which hover around 27% for retail.
Text message marketing is also more cost-effective than other digital advertising forms like Facebook Ads. In fact, as of September 2022, the cost per click (CPC) for Facebook Ads was an average of 96 cents. At the same time, you can send an SMS to a customer for under 1 cent.
Finally, text message blasts offer ecommerce marketers an opportunity to connect with their subscribers on a more personal level. In an age of ever-increasing Internet noise, the ability to reach someone's phone directly can be a powerful marketing tool.
So how do you take advantage of this powerful marketing channel?
1. Get your audience's permission to send text messages.
Before you send a text message blast to your audience, you need to get their permission to do so. The last thing you want is to end up on a spam list or annoy your customers so much that they unsubscribe from your list.
To get customer phone numbers, include a sign-up form on your website or in emails to your existing list of email subscribers.
Make it clear that subscribers will be receiving text messages from you and that they can opt out at any time.
To incentivize opt-ins and grow your contact list, include a short message about what they can expect from your texts. That can include exclusive deals, early access to launches, or helpful tips related to your industry.
2. Provide value in your texts.
It's essential that your text blasts provide value to your target audience, or you risk them opting out of your list.
Make sure that each SMS blast has content that is relevant and interesting to your subscribers.
For example, say you sell bicycles. You could send your SMS subscribers lesser-known tips for maintaining a bike.
You can also include special offers and discounts in your texts to entice subscribers to make a purchase.
3. Send text blasts during regular waking hours.
When sending a text blast, it's important to consider the time of day that you're sending the message. In particular, you don't want to disrupt your subscribers' sleep.
Aim to send messages during normal waking hours. This way, you avoid annoying your subscribers and they're more likely to see your message and be able to act on it.
Some states have laws that forbid texting during certain hours. For example, Florida prohibits businesses from texting customers between 8 pm and 8 am in the customer's timezone. So keep that in mind when scheduling your text blasts.
Beyond sending during waking hours, experiment with different times of day and track your results to see when your audience is most engaged.
4. Keep the frequency low for text blasts.
The benefit of text blasts is that you can craft one message and send it to your entire text subscriber list. The downside is: it's not personal at all!
So keep the frequency low for text blasts, so your audience doesn't get irrelevant texts and unsubscribe from your list.
Text blasts should be part of a broader text message marketing strategy that includes MMS and SMS messages that are personalized based on audience interests and behavior.
Text blasts are best for messages that your whole audience should receive, like a sitewide flash sale. Brands with a limited range of products can also use text blasts to announce new products or sales on specific collections.
But brands with many products across categories should segment their audience for product- or collection-specific announcements. Then you're only sending texts to customers who are likely to act on them.
5. Provide a clear way for subscribers to opt out of texts.
Giving your subscribers the option to opt out of receiving texts from you is essential. Doing so will help you avoid legal trouble and keep your subscribers happy.
Then, if a subscriber is no longer interested in receiving texts, they can easily unsubscribe. But if it's unclear how to opt out, they could receive unwanted texts for months. And that could leave a bad impression.
Including a way to unsubscribe is also essential from a legal standpoint. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) requires that all commercial texts include an opt-out mechanism. You could be subject to hefty fines if you don't have a way for people to unsubscribe from texts.
Include opt-out instructions in the first SMS text you send. For example, many brands add something like "Text STOP to unsubscribe" to the first message.
6. Track text message blast performance to optimize future campaigns.
To track the performance of your text blasts and optimize future campaigns, measure the following metrics:
CTR (click-through rate): This measures how many people click on a link in your text blast. A high CTR means your audience is engaged with your content.
Conversion rate: This measures how many people take the desired action after receiving your text. A high conversion rate indicates that your text blast is effective at driving revenue.
Opt-out rate: This measures how many people unsubscribe from your text blast list. A high opt-out rate indicates that your audience is not engaged with your content.
By tracking these metrics, you'll be able to see what's working and what's not working in your text message blast campaigns. This will allow you to optimize future messages for better results.
Choose the right text message marketing software for your business.
The right text message marketing platform will help ecommerce marketers increase sales and brand loyalty.
With Emotive, you can send text blasts as part of a broader ecommerce text message marketing strategy. Emotive's powerful features allow ecommerce marketers to send highly personalized and targeted messages to their customers to create a powerful full-funnel marketing machine. You can even automate two-way conversations with customers to land conversions through text messages. And Emotive connects to your ecommerce platform so you can track the impact text messaging has on your business.
Find out how you can make text messaging a reliable revenue stream and drive customer engagement with Emotive.