With the onset of chat marketing, all businesses should be paying close attention to how conversations on platforms like SMS, email and Facebook Messenger are going to be working for their digital strategies in 2020.

In fact, over 2.5 billion people using are messaging apps worldwide with 87% of smartphone users using mobile messaging apps.

With this current trend, we are expected to have 3 billion messaging app users by 2022. 😮

In 2020, for the first time in history, there will be more mobile messaging app users than social network users.

Let that sink in…

So the way people communicate with businesses is always going to reflect the way people communicate with each other.

With Facebook Messenger announcing compliance changes to its platform in 2020, there are many ways businesses can use Facebook Messenger, email and SMS to grow their profits and reach more customers.

One of those ways is using SMS.

The Rules of SMS

Now, as with all good platforms, we have some rules for sending SMS.

  • Double optin is essential
  • Only send a text when you have a special event or offer (no spamming!)
  • Don’t send any messages when people are asleep
  • Use common sense: When would your customers be ready for your message?
  • Remember, timing is everything. For example, send a text message to your audience 10 mins before a Facebook Live event as a reminder.

SMS also has 5 big no-nos.

They are:

No sex
No hate
No alcohol
No firearms
No tobacco (including CBD)

Set Expectations

The first thing you want to do is set the expectations of when people will hear from you via SMS.

So, when you’re asking for their permission, take a moment to follow these best practice rules:

  • Tell your audience what they are getting into. For example, “You’re part of my VIP SMS Community where I’ll send you special mobile-only discount offers.”
  • Tell them how many messages they will receive a month.
  • Tell them how to get help, and
  • How to unsubscribe
  • A good rule is to also include this line in the first SMS: “Don’t forget to save this no. as a contact in your phone”

Make sure you don’t annoy people or they will block or report you. Basically, you DON’T want your customers to do this…

Planning Your SMS Strategy

When planning your SMS strategy, think “Where can my business make money?” ﹘ this is always the next step after engaging with your audience on SMS.

The key with SMS is to give your audience so much value that they can’t wait to hear from you.

Where will you send them or what will you send them to help your business land a sale?

For example, a special mobile-only VIP offer to your SMS community could be offering customers a free donut and coffee deal only if they opt into SMS.

Diversify your audience to get them into as many of your platforms as possible ﹘ email, SMS, Facebook Messenger etc. But when it comes to SMS, give them something via SMS that you can’t get anywhere else.

The #1 Way to Build Your SMS List

Here’s a good example of how to build your SMS list:

  • Tell your customers to text the word “DONUT” (if you are a retail store and you have more than one location, change the word by location to segment audience by location).
  • Train your staff to encourage customers to optin to SMS at point of purchase.
  • Let people know what they get, use language like “for Mobile VIPs only”.
  • Make the offers outrageous — like “buy one donut, get 6 free” — only for Mobile VIPs.
  • Make sure you have exclusive content and offers reserved for your SMS list.

Now that you have some ways to include SMS as part of your marketing strategy, it’s time to start building your list, so you don’t leave your customers — or potentially thousands of dollars — hanging on the line. 📞

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