Is your business looking for a fresh way to connect with customers or patients? Bulk texting — sending text messages to an entire group of customers at once — is a booming content marketing trend in 2023.
Text message marketing offers many benefits for your company, but you should approach this marketing channel thoughtfully to ensure that it has the highest payoff. Read on for our ultimate guide to business bulk texting, then try Weave Bulk Texting to simplify SMS marketing.
Benefits of Bulk Texting
According to a survey conducted by Weave, 94% of healthcare providers agree that text message reminders make a patient more likely to show up for their appointment, (read the full ebook here). When the overwhelming majority of the population communicates through a specific tool, it only makes sense for your business to adopt this method of communication as well.
SMS marketing allows you to capitalize on a communication method most American use every single day. Think about the amount of time you spend each day within five feet of your phone. Now consider how often you check your phone for new text messages.
When you implement an effective SMS strategy, you benefit from:
- High open rates: The rate at which consumers open text messages is very high, with some researchers reporting an average open rate of 98% (compared to an open rate of just 20% for email marketing). You’re almost guaranteed to reach your customers when you send them text messages.
- Cost-effective marketing: SMS text message marketing is much cheaper than other marketing strategies. Most phone plans include unlimited texts in their monthly costs.
- Fast implementation: Sending bulk text messages allows you to reach a wide range of people with a short, quick message. In contrast, a social media or email campaign requires graphic design, content writing, and other time-consuming tasks.
- Time-sensitive messaging: A study from EZ Texting found that 89% of people read their text messages within 30 minutes of receiving them. When you need to reach a customer quickly, a text message is one of the best ways to do so.
Best Practices for Bulk Texting and SMS Marketing
Before you roll out your SMS marketing campaign, make sure you understand the regulations surrounding bulk SMS and how to use it strategically. Here are a few SMS marketing best practices to keep in mind:
Obtain Permission From Users
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulates telemarketing calls and text messages within the U.S. One essential component of this act is its rules surrounding consent. You must receive written consent from a consumer before you can send them text message marketing content.
The best time to gain consent is the same time you obtain a potential customer’s contact information. For instance, you can use a CTA form where potential customers provide their contact information in exchange for a free quote or a discount code. In the fine print, specify that once they hit “submit” on the form, they consent to receive promotional text messages.
Alternatively, you can invite interested customers to send a keyword to your phone number to opt into texts. You can also ask customers to fill out a physical form while they’re in your business.
Whichever method you choose, make sure you have written, and express consent from all users before sending them an SMS marketing message.
Keep Messages Short
Short and sweet messages are the most effective for your bulk SMS marketing campaign. The character limit for SMS is 160. Exceeding this limit could cause your message to split into two or three texts, and you run the risk of them being delivered out of order.
Aside from exceeding the character limit, long texts aren’t appealing to customers. Too many long, boring messages could lead customers to opt out of your SMS campaign, cutting off that method of contact.
Be Mindful of Timing (Time of Day)
Whether you’re scheduling your messages in advance or sending each one as you write them, be mindful of your timing. Sending messages in the middle of the night, for example, could hurt your customer service reputation.
You should also be strategic about sending your SMS communication during times consumers are most likely to read their texts. For instance, sending an SMS message around noon on a weekday increases the likelihood of the average worker reading it while on their lunch break. Texting between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. may allow your customers to see the texts between dinner and bedtime, when they’re most likely free.
If your business operates in multiple time zones, keep this in mind as you send out SMS marketing content. Using a marketing automation platform should allow you to account for time zones within your scheduling.
Text message marketing best practices also involve personalizing your text marketing as much as you can. You can use filters within your SMS marketing platform to send texts that are relevant to specific targets. For instance:
- Send follow-up text messaging to users 24 hours after an appointment.
- Send “happy birthday” messages on customers’ birthdays.
- Send reminder texts one week before a scheduled service.
- Use SMS automation placeholders to insert customer names within text messages.
Personalizing your SMS messaging may make recipients more likely to read your texts. It can also improve customer loyalty by showing that you care about curating a unique experience for each customer.
Provide Opt-Out Instructions
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act also requires you to give customers a method of opting out of an SMS campaign. Your SMS marketing software should include built-in commands that users can text back to complete specific actions. “STOP” is a common command that allows users to opt out of future mobile marketing material.
According to the TCPA, once a user opts out, you cannot text them again (other than to confirm that they have opted out) unless you receive updated written consent.
Monitor the Performance of Your Messages
Simply sending text messages isn’t enough to engage your customers — you need to ensure that your texts actually achieve their desired results. Monitoring the performance of your SMS campaign through your automation software can help you ensure that your marketing efforts pay off.
For example, you can use A/B testing to determine which type of SMS material is the most effective with each audience.
Want more tips on how to best use bulk texting for marketing your business? Watch our webinar here.
How to Send Bulk Texts with Weave
Using an SMS marketing automation platform is a no-brainer if you want to roll out an effective, time-saving SMS marketing strategy. Weave’s Bulk Texting feature makes it easy to use the above SMS marketing best practices to engage with customers and promote your business. You can create, send, manage, and evaluate SMS marketing messages within a single platform.
With Weave, you can filter your SMS marketing recipient list by numerous parameters, such as:
- Appointment Type
- Appointment Status
- Service Provider
- Recall Date
- And More!
With the platform’s easy filtering tools, you can curate your SMS campaign to the wants, needs, and interests of specific subsets of your target audience.
Weave also includes dynamic fields for personalizing messages. Insert a user’s name, appointment date and time, or another custom message directly into singular messages within your bulk campaign.
You won’t have to worry about accidentally sending SMS marketing messages at inopportune times. Weave allows you to schedule messages up to one year in advance.
With this feature, you can take an hour or two at the beginning of the week to plan out your weekly text messaging, then rest assured that your messages will send exactly when you want them to. Alternatively, create pre-planned automatic bulk texts for specific customer groups, such as those with upcoming appointments.
Weave also shows you engagement metrics that enable you to track the success of your SMS marketing strategy. You can view metrics like:
- Delivery rate
- Open rate
- Response rate
Even if you don’t consider yourself tech-savvy, you can master the art of SMS advertising with Weave Bulk Texting.
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How Secure is Bulk Texting Software?
Prioritizing user safety, privacy, and security is an important step in managing an effective (and compliant) SMS campaign. While every bulk texting platform has different levels of security, you can evaluate a text marketing platform’s safety through the following criteria:
- Does it store customer data with encryption?
- Does it allow for limited employee access to phone numbers and customer contact information?
- Are there safeguards in place to prevent you from sending the wrong text messaging to users?
- Can a subscriber easily opt in and out of the messaging campaign?
- Is there any possibility SMS subscribers would be able to view the full SMS list?
If a company can’t answer any of these questions, it may not be right for your marketing purposes.
Weave Helps You Keep Messages With Customers and Patients Secure
With Weave, customer and patient security isn’t an issue. Weave enables medical practices to remain HIPAA compliant in their messaging. Whether you own a healthcare practice or a small business, you can feel confident that Weave will provide a secure SMS messaging experience.
Want to see for yourself how Weave can help you use SMS marketing best practices to the fullest? Request your free Weave demo today.