Know the Terminology

With a 99% open rate for all text messages sent, it’s not a big surprise that we’re seeing even more marketing organizations turning to text messaging campaigns as part of their overall marketing mix. Even though over 18.7 billion SMS messages are sent everyday worldwide, a text messaging campaign leverages a much more sophisticated use of text messaging technology and involves more than just typing a message and hitting “send.”

As evangelists of the mobile messaging industry, we can help newbies just getting started in the text game and make an easy transition very profitable for you. It just takes a bit of know-how to speak competently about a text messaging campaign with the objectives of reaching more people, increasing brand loyalty, and ensuring you are compliant with rules and regulations.

The first step is to learn the text messaging lingo. Understanding key terminology is a helpful way to familiarize yourself with some of the most basic and useful features of a text messaging campaign.

What is SMS?

Stands for short message service… it is the standardized communications protocol for mobile devices. In other words, it is shorthand for a text message. People often use SMS and text message interchangeably.

What is MMS?

Stands for multimedia message service, is the standardized communications protocol for multimedia content. In other words, it refers to any visual media file that you can send to a phone number—such as an animated GIF, picture, or video.

Here’s an example of a campaign for the imaginary dispensary, “Hempori”. When someone texts “Hempori” to the short-code 411669, they would be presented with this MMS message (to the left).

What is a shortcode?

A special 5- or 6-digit phone number designated for companies and organizations to send and receive SMS and MMS. Just like you would text with your friends from your own mobile number, companies can text back and forth with consumers from a short code. Sprout’s shortcode is 411669.

What is a keyword?

The word or phrase that people need to type and send to your shortcode number to subscribe to your text messaging campaign. Many times it could be the name of your dispensary, or some other word that is quick and memorable. This is used in your marketing and signage to get folks to join your text club!

What is a call to action (CTA)?

A call to action is any content or material that asks users to text a keyword to your shortcode to opt-in to your text messaging campaign—for example, “Text HEMPORI to 411669 for Grand Opening Announcements and Promotions”

Know the Key Facts and Features

This blog is perfect for beginners to learn the basics of mobile messaging for marketing campaigns. You’ll learn the basics and additional detail on what you need to be successful in your text messaging campaigns during your one on one training with a Sprout Account Manager.

The next step in this text messaging education is to understand why text messaging campaigns are so popular and important. Here are three facts about text messaging that are important for any marketer starting off on a texting campaign.

Text messaging is the most widely used communication channel available today. While not everybody uses email or makes phone calls regularly, 90% of the American population texts. This means that text messaging campaigns help you expand your reach to your audience members who will see your call to action.

Text messages have significantly higher open and read rates than email or social media. Not only is text messaging more popular than other channels, 99% of text messages are opened and read within the first 90 seconds of receiving them. In comparison, only a third of emails are opened, and merely 0.07% of Twitter and Facebook posts reach their intended audiences.

Text messaging campaigns are subject to compliance with CTIA rules and the TCPA. When running a text messaging campaign, you want to ensure that you consider text messaging-specific rules, written by the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA), and laws, written by the FCC, specifically pertaining to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Know the Structure

The final step in this text messaging education is to acquaint yourself with some of the standout features and structure of a good text messaging campaign.

Personalization and targeting. One of the best features of a text messaging campaign is the ability to send personalized text messages to your mobile subscribers. Once people subscribe to your mobile list, you can ask them questions using a Sprout SURVEY to collect personal data and use that information to customize the content that they receive. Addressing your users by their first name, grouping them by location, and informing them of company news and promotions of special interest to them are just a few examples of how companies use this feature.

Automated messaging. Another great feature of text messaging campaigns is the ability to create pre-written conversations so that you can interact with your subscribers anytime, anywhere. Use this feature to welcome new subscribers as soon as they opt-in… This will also make your life a lot easier as campaign manager because you won’t have to monitor and respond to every incoming text message. Sprout has many automated features from Anniversary Announcements, Birthday Announcements and pre-determined sequence messages (Day 30, Day 90, Day 180, etc…)

While becoming a text messaging pro doesn’t happen overnight, it’s not too complicated once you learn the ropes.

(This article is an excerpt and variation from an original article posted by Twilio)