Textbook of Text Message Marketing

When’s the last time you got a text message and didn’t read it? Exactly. Nowadays, people have phones in their hands 24-7. Put your message in a text message and reach your audience in a whole new way.

Get your thumbs ready for some textbook text message marketing. The basis of text message marketing is simple. Users opt-in to a list by texting a specific keyword designated by the marketer (that’s you) to a special 5-digit number. For example, if I wanted to start a text messaging campaign that reminded people to read this blog, I might ask users to text REVELRY to 55555.

Once the user texts this number, an auto response is sent out, thanking them for signing up. From there, the user is on the list and will receive messages any time the marketer (you again) sends one to the list. Continuing with the example, at this point I would be able to send you a message like:

“Hey, it’s Drew from Revel. Just wanted to let you know the next amazing Revelry post is up. Go check it out at revel.in/revelry”

Overall, it’s pretty simple. So why should you consider it?

Why you should do it.

People read texts.

Like I said in the beginning of the post. When is the last time you got a text and didn’t read it? over 81% of people use text messaging. Even my Grandpa send me texts (usually just to complain about the Detroit Lions).

In addition, over 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of receiving it. That means your audience is seeing your marketing immediately – and that’s awesome sauce.

It’s affordable.

Text marketing is like a bad bottle of wine – cheap but effective. The average cost of a text campaign is about 3 cents per message. You can probably afford your first campaign with the change stuck between your couch cushions.

You can track results.

The best part about all digital marketing – trackability. You can see when your messages were sent, how many people opened them, who followed links, and more. This allows you to target possible sales leads as well as gauge the ROI of your efforts.

Don’t analytics just rock?

They can be integrated with other marketing.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans use a smartphone, and roughly 25% of Internet users only access the Internet from a mobile device (tablet or smartphone). That means you can share links in your text messages that will connect your audience directly to landing pages, targeted content, products, etc.

This allows users to take instant action and gives you even more tracking capabilities via your website’s analytics.

Texts generate sales leads.

As your campaign gets going, you’ll have a list of people who have opted-in to receive your messages. This means you have a list of people who are interested in your products/services. Use this list for sales follow ups and other marketing opportunities.


Reward people for signing up.

Most people will give out their email address willy-nilly (did I just say willy-nilly?) but are more guarded with their phone number. Reward people for signing up for your text messaging list by offering a free giveaway. This puts more of your marketing materials in your audience’s hands and gets you that ever-so-valuable phone number.

You don’t have to take this step. It just makes building your list a whole lot easier.

Create exclusive value.

People can be kind of selfish, but we won’t hold it against them. To attract and retain subscribers, your texts have to have value. Offer discounts and benefits that only subscribers have access to. This makes users feel important and will make them appreciate being on your list.

Keep it short and focused.

Don’t send short stories. Send short messages. Keep the language simple and to the point. 2-3 small sentences tops. No fluff, no mumbo jumbo – just the need-to-know info in as few words as possible.

Make it personal.

Consumers today want to feel like that are being spoken to directly. They want to feel like products are designed specifically for them.

So give the people what they want!

Make your texts targeted to the specific audience you’re talking to. This may mean creating multiple lists for users to opt-in to or only using text marketing for a certain segment of your audience. Either way, the goal is to create the feeling that this text was meant for them and them alone.

Romantic, I know.

Have a clear call to action.

At its core, marketing is communication meant to inspire action. Your texts should always end with an action for your user to take. Click the link, come to the event, and so on. I know it’s marketing 101, but it’s still worth mentioning.


Don’t send people texts without permission.

The number one, absolute no-no is to send someone a message if they haven’t opted-in. Nothing will dissatisfy a user faster than an unsolicited text message. If you do that, then you can consider yourself a 21st century telemarketer – and nobody likes a telemarketer.

Don’t use txt spk

Want to sound unprofessional and silly? Fill your texts with a bunch of abbreviated language. You won’t be taken seriously if you don’t use proper English. Would you buy something from a company who sent you this?

“Hey r u looking 4 a gr8 nu product? U shld totes click da link lol. http//:fakelink.com”

Don’t over message people

As Spiderman’s Uncle Ben said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” When you send text messages, you’re delivering a message straight into someone’s hand – respect that. Over messaging people will cause users to unsubscribe and get annoyed with you fast.

You don’t want that.

Don’t text during off-hours

Only send marketing texts during business hours. These are the times when people are used to receiving work calls on their cell and are generally more open to business communication. It may not seem like a big deal, but sending a text during off-hours can feel like an invasion of privacy.

Don’t use technical language

Remember way back in the last section when we talked about keeping it short and simple? This is the same idea. Don’t use language that people have to think about or decipher. People hate thinking. Your message should be clear from a basic skim.

Think to yourself: could a 7-year-old understand this easily?

We covered a lot here, but it’s just the start of a great text message marketing campaign. To learn more and get your campaign started, give us a call or shoot us a message.


Drew Curi

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