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The Small Business Guide to Text-Message Marketing

The New York Times recently published an article titled "The Small Business Guide to Text-Message Marketing". If you're a small business looking at new innovative and effective marketing methods, text message (SMS) marketing is the way to go. Let's review --
1. Don’t even think about doing it the illegal way.
Probably one of the most important characteristics to consider is the inability to spam via text. Due to U.S. mobile regulations, it's very difficult (and expensive) to spam using SMS. If consumers are receiving spam, they can simply dial their service provider (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) and inform them that unauthorized messages from number xxxxxx are being sent to them. Guess who wins in this situation? Unlike email, SMS is hosted and controlled by a higher authority, an authority who can shut down spammers in no time. side note - stay away from SMTP email-to-text services, they don't offer the proper opt-out functionality due to their one-way nature and are unreliable at larger scale campaigns.
2. You basically have three (legitimate) options.
Although this is somewhat true from an overview perspective, I think you actually have quite a bit more options. SMS and mobile services are becoming more and more common due to the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones, and it's not difficult to find the service that best suits your needs. There are also hundreds of existing services that are incorporating SMS to make your lives easier. Most obvious example being Google Calendar offering SMS alerts, event creation, and more.
3. Text marketing can be supported by traditional marketing.
We couldn't agree more. If you're already running advertising campaigns through traditional media (print, TV, radio) there is no incremental cost to add an additional call to action (text KEYWORD to 465637), but the additional benefit is tremendous. Along with the mentioned methods in the article, there are actually some much more creative and beneficial things you can do with SMS marketing, like A/B split testing. Here's how it would work -- let's say that it's a print ad with the same creative and same message, except you'd like to test out different call to actions or offers. Well you could create the same ad, but switch out the headline or call to action in each and associate each with a different keyword: "text KEYWORD1 to 465637 to get 50% off your next purchase" and "text KEYWORD2 to 465637 and get a free scarf with your next purchase" and "text KEYWORD3 to 465637 for a chance to win a trip for 2 to the Bahamas". In a similar manner, you can test different pieces of content on the page, including graphics, headlines, and other pieces of the ad, all while building your subscriber list!
4. It is better to give than to receive.
This is really true with any sort of marketing. As our attention spans get shorter and marketers try harder and harder to capture them, permission based marketing and honest communication becomes more important every day. Although email remains a powerful communication tool to this day, it has certainly lost its marketing luster of the years due to its unrestricted access, low cost, and nonexistent barriers. Just like any other communication channel, SMS must be used carefully and with respect.
5. Don’t waste your time with one-offs.
This is not only a great point from just a strategic perspective, but it's also a regulatory conundrum. Due to the strict regulation surrounding SMS marketing, the database of phone numbers you collect are tied to the shortcode (phone number - ours: 465637) that they originally subscribed to. If you're using a shared shortcode, you can't take those phone numbers with you if you transfer to a different shortcode. So if you're going to put all your eggs in one basket, make sure you're not going to be regretting it later.
6. Show restraint (and don’t get too cute).
All valid points ;)Original Source - Recess Mobile Blog
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