Is your business about ready to partake in text message marketing for the first time as part of your marketing strategy? Also known as SMS marketing (or short message service), it’s become one of the new go-to mobile methods in being able to quickly market to specific demographics. In the last few years, businesses could quickly text a group of individuals about a specific sale or provide a survey and gain instant results from both.
Unfortunately, that procedure started to fall under the category of spam in some people’s minds. It’s then when the FCC took it under consideration and designed some new regulations. As of this last October, some updates went into effect that need to be taken seriously when doing text message marketing.
If you’re just now considering doing a text message marketing plan for the holiday season, take a look at what you have to do now as part of the FCC’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Asking for Consent Before Sending a Text Message
All commercial text messaging now requires oral or written consent by your prospective customers before you can send anything to them. Consent forms can be sent electronically and signed the same way. But that might be a major problem for businesses with tight budgets who have to spend extra time and money sending out forms. It also creates a problem if many of those consumers elect to not sign the consent form.
For loyal customers who already appreciated getting your prior texts, you may not have any problems. Nevertheless, the FCC requires that you give them an opt-out option so they aren’t forced to receive texts from you on a regular basis.
This all has to be done now or you face stiff fines. As of this year, it can range from an alarming $500 to $1500 per text, says Business News Daily. For a small business not aware of this law, it can be a disaster no business wants during the holiday season.
Identification Requirements and Methods for Text Marketing
In addition to the above consent form, you have to clearly indicate that what you’re sending is a solicitation. You also have to give a complete return address so the person can know you’re a real business and not a phishing scam. These steps should be simple enough for most businesses that want some level of transparency.
Once you’re able to entice people into receiving your texts, you may have to think more carefully how you approach communication. Prior, things like auto responders were common in being able to reach many people in as short a time as possible.
Because your customer list might be smaller this time due to the bite back on spam, you might want to consider focusing more on truly enticing texts like mobile coupons or surveys. You could try personalized replies as well if your customer list is small enough.
Why You Should Continue to Pursue Text Message Marketing
None of the new FCC requirements should prevent you from pursuing text messaging into 2014 considering the benefits of gaining immediate results. There isn’t any other marketing method available now that can give you instant results in a time when businesses are competing in a very crowded marketplace. Time in marketing is always of the essence, and text messaging will continue to provide that.
Here at Elite Email, we’ll help you step by step to design a perfect text message marketing campaign. Taking the new requirements into consideration, we’ll design a plan that makes it easier for you to gain consent from your prospective customers. We’ll also use other marketing methods to make sure your texts look attractive to avoid fitting the spam stereotype.