How to Keep Your SMS and Text Message Marketing Campaign from Ending Up in Spam
Promoting your business through SMS and text message marketing effectively raises open rates, earns more conversions, and enhances brand awareness. But to use text messaging effectively in your business, you need to make sure it doesn't end up marked as spam.
Spammy text messages could be nefarious, like phishing for login information to someone's financial accounts. Yet perfectly legitimate businesses could accidentally send spam messages without even realizing it. For starters, promotional text messages can't be used to promote CBD, debt consolidation or related services, or gambling to name a few. Other forms of spamming people with texts are less obvious, including:
- Sending too many marketing messages and texts
- Sending information and promotions about things your audience didn't sign-up for
- Using personal data outside of SMS and text message marketing
Beyond intentionally (or unintentionally) spamming customers, there are other ways your messages could end up in someone’s blocked list. Your audience may decide they don't appreciate the text messages, don't recognize them as coming from your brand, or feel it's not relevant or welcomed.
Optimize your text message marketing efforts without the risk of sending spam. Here's what to know, best practices, and how to ensure your customers want to hear from your business.
Don't Text and Ask for an Opt-In
You may think it's okay to send a quick text to a potential patient, client, or customer to ask them to opt into your list. Yet the reality is the practice is illegal and could lead to fines as high as $1,500 for each infraction. However, in some cases, businesses like nonprofits and public office candidates usually only need verbal consent to add someone to an SMS list.
People need to legally opt into your list through email, a website form, or other places you gather information. Consent forms (or the method in which you're collecting phone numbers) also need to disclose the following information:
- Expected number of text messages that will be sent
- An easy opt-out process
- How to receive help from your company (for example, "Text HELP" to reach someone at our company)
Rely on the Double Opt-In
Make sure your customers want to be on your SMS marketing list and understand what they just opted into. Using a double opt-in is best practice for recipients to join a text message marketing list. It verifies their original opt-in and prompts them to respond with a confirmation. Usually businesses ask customers to reply with a “YES” during their double opt-in.
You may have heard that it's not against the law for businesses to skip the double opt-in. However, that doesn't mean you should do it anyway. Your messages are likely to end up in someone's spam list if they don't realize what they opted into. The process is simple when you rely on your SMS text messaging software to ensure you stay compliant with your texting campaigns.
Use Your Business Name as the Sender
Recipients who don't recognize where their texts are coming from are less likely to open and engage with them. You can combat this issue by always using your brand name in your email marketing messages' 'Sender' field. It does more than identify your business, and also helps increase brand awareness. Over time, your audience is conditioned to expect your SMS marketing messages.
If you choose to use an alternative Sender ID in your texts, make sure your customers will recognize it and associate it with your business. It's also best to avoid any words or terms in your ID that could be construed as inappropriate or insensitive. In other words, keep it professional.
Keep Your Messages Personable But Professional
The tone of your marketing text messages also impacts whether or not your audience perceives them as spam. Messages that are informal and riddled with grammatical or spelling errors are a surefire way for customers to add you to their block list. At the same time, if your messages are too formal, your customers may not bother engaging with them at all.
Make sure your content is valuable, informative, and strikes a tone that is personable yet professional. The goal is to keep your customers eager to hear from you and ready to take action on your next promo.
Seek a Response
Spammy messages often use highly suspicious CTAs, like confirming personal information. Yet not using a CTA at all could derail your SMS and text message marketing efforts. Worse, your audience may not see your text as legitimate if there's nothing for them to do but wonder why they received it in the first place.
Try using a CTA that seeks a response. Ask your audience to respond to a question about their buying experience, if they enjoyed the product, or what types of promotions they're looking for. The more you solicit a personal response, the more likely your audience will trust you while gathering valuable feedback for your business.
Segment Your Audience
Segmenting your SMS marketing list helps narrow down everything from interests to age, past purchasing behavior, and location. Targeting your audience also helps improve your conversions and engagement rates and helps avoid the spam box. When your customers receive highly relevant text messages from your brand, they're more likely to see it as valuable and customized, especially for their needs.
Monitor Your Text Message Marketing Frequency
There's no universal rule about how often you should send text messages and marketing promotions. A good rule of thumb is usually 2 to 6 messages a month, depending on the type of business you have and what kind of content you're promoting. For example, a health clinic may only need to send a text for appointment reminders and an occasional promotion or survey.
How your customers engage with your business and texts also sheds light on how often you should send out messages. If a customer buys a sandwich from your food truck every week, sending one or two SMS marketing messages every few days about your offers could be appropriate and provide more value.
Always Offer an Opt-Out
Consumers need a simple way to opt-out of your SMS and text messages without jumping through hoops. Using codes like STOP, UNSUBSCRIBE, or QUIT all provide an easy way to stop SMS marketing messages. Your SMS marketing software can automate the process to ensure the opt-out process is instantaneous.
Your current customers may be indifferent to whether or not they can opt-out at any time. However, your new subscribers are more likely to sign-up if they know they can control the process.
Maximize Your SMS Marketing Software
In the early days of SMS marketing, it wasn't always clear what best practices were or where to start. Fortunately, the technology evolved to keep consumers safe while rewarding reputable marketers and brands for using the channel properly.
It may sound complicated on how to send valuable and non-spammy text messages to your audience, but it doesn't have to be. Instead, maximize your SMS texting software to automate the process for you. You end up with compliant, spam-free messages that your customers see as legitimate and welcomed.
SMS and text message marketing could dramatically improve conversions and engagement, but requires a strategy. Beyond sending quality content and promotions, follow best practices and ensure your messages don't end up marked as spam and land safely in your customers’ devices.
Are you ready to get started with SMS and text message marketing for your business? Contact us today.