One of the best ways to connect with your customers is via SMS messages. With an open rate of 98 percent, text messaging far surpasses the engagement rates of any other marketing channel. That’s why text messaging is a must-have channel to include in your marketing strategy to drive engagement with customers across the entire customer journey.
Everything You Need to Make Your Text Messaging Program Successful
Starting a text messaging program for the first time can be overwhelming. That’s where we come in. We’ve simplified the process of launching a messaging program and ensure you’re fully compliant with all of the legal requirements. We’re making it easier than ever for you to start connecting with your customers on a new channel.
Maximize Subscriber Growth
Engage with Customers
Easily Promote Messaging Program
Track Message Analytics
Seamlessly Integrates with Form Builder
Automated Double Opt-in Process
Expert Compliance Guidance
Your customers are glued to their mobile devices, so it’s mission critical to have a text messaging program. With Lumavate, you can quickly launch a text messaging program for your business in only a few days.
Define Your Text Messaging Program
Collect Text Message Opt-ins
Send Text Messages to Targeted Audiences
Consumers are addicted to mobile. No, that is not an exaggeration. And it’s not just a “Millennial” or “Gen Z” thing. 97 percent of Americans own a smartphone of some kind. The adoption of tech, specifically smartphones, for consumers 65 and older continues to rise year over year.
Additionally, some consumers are waving goodbye to their other devices and solely relying on their smartphones; according to the same study by Pew Research Center, 15 percent of American adults are considered “smartphone only”.
Everyone regardless of age is on their mobile devices constantly. In 2022, consumers surpassed four hours on mobile. Comparatively, consumers spent around three hours watching television. We’re even using our smartphones simultaneously with other activities. 88 percent of viewers say they use a second digital device while watching TV.
Consumers are not just reliant on their phones when it comes to social media or entertainment - they are also taking their phones everywhere with them, including the store. According to Google, 56 percent of consumers report they use their smartphones to shop or research in-store.
What does this mean for brands? Mobile is the channel to communicate with customers. There are several different ways brands can engage with consumers on mobile (i.e. email, social media, digital experiences, etc.) but mobile messaging is by far the most effective. And if you’re not effectively communicating with your customers on mobile then you’re truly behind the times.
Think about when you receive a text message. You likely open it within seconds of receiving the notification. Launching a mobile messaging program isn’t as difficult as it may seem (although there are some compliance regulations brands will have to be aware of).
When thinking about text messaging, you’re thinking of SMS, otherwise known as Short Message Service. The SMS meaning comes from the number of characters permitted to be sent in an SMS. SMS has been around since the 1980s and has taken off in popularity with consumers ever since.
SMS are 160 characters and are used primarily by retailers to promote product launches, special events, reminders, etc. Many brands choose to use abbreviations when sending an SMS because of the character limit. Emojis are also popular to use in SMS, but certain emojis are actually two characters (for example, the exploding head emoji 🤯 takes up two characters), so keep that in mind.
Sometimes a brand may exceed the 160-character limit, which in turn causes two SMSs to be sent. This is important to note for marketers because the messages aren’t always sent in the order you want.
Text Message Advantages and Disadvantages
There are some pros and cons to using SMS as your preferred method to communicate with customers via mobile.
Text messages advantages include:
6 billion texts are sent every day
98 percent open rate
95 percent of texts are read within 3 seconds
It’s highly regulated through the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which means your customers inherently trust it more
One of the only disadvantages to SMS is the lack of ability to send multimedia files.
Text Messages vs. Other Mobile Messaging Apps
SMS works differently than other messaging apps available. Let’s compare a list of messaging apps and/or services with text messaging.
iMessage - For iPhone users, this is different than when you send someone an iMessage and the message turns blue. The difference between a text message and an iMessage is in the additional features iMessages have that SMS does not. For example, iPhone users can send their location, send voice notes, videos, etc. with an iMessage.
Instant Messaging - The difference between text messages and instant messages is the platform through which both of these are sent. Instant messages can be sent through the most popular messaging apps like WhatsApp. The best messaging apps for Android, like Facebook Messenger, can even be considered a way for users to send instant messages.
Chat - The difference between chat and text message is that chat is a term for a two-way conversation that can occur on a variety of different platforms. For example, a customer could chat with customer support using a solution like Zendesk. Chat could also be chatting with a brand using Rich Communication Service (RCS). Text messages are sent over cellular networks and are contained to 160 characters each.
A surefire way to anger your customers (and not to mention get a hefty fine from the TCPA) is to not provide clear opt-in and opt-out rules. If the user opts-in to your campaign through a channel other than text, you’ll need to verify the number with a “double opt-in.” And, make sure your short code is set up to recognize all of the possible opt-out words your customer might use, such as STOP, END, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE, or QUIT.
Another important thing to know about SMS is short codes. In the U.S., you can lease a vanity or non-vanity short code. A non-vanity is a random five to six-digit number given by the Short Code Registry. It could be any mix of numbers but it is available at a lower cost than a vanity code. A vanity short code is a five to six-digit number that you choose (ex: 611611). The benefit of a vanity short code is that you can choose a number that is easy for your audience to remember.
Before implementing an SMS strategy, there are a couple of things brands must do as a precursor. Here are some things brands need to think of before launching their mobile messaging services to customers (Note: this is not a complete list of items needed by carriers to approve a mobile messaging program, it should just get you started thinking about how you’ll describe, plan, promote your program.)
Messaging Volume -The approximate number of text messages the company expects to send to all subscribers during a month. Note, you will not be limited to this number; it’s just an approximate number for carriers to understand the number of texts. Carriers need an estimate to make sure brands are not planning on spamming their customers.
Use Case - This is another bit of information carriers will care about. You and your team will need to decide how you’ll label your mobile messages. Here’s some common categories:
Account Alerts or Notifications
Multiple Use Cases
Use Case Summary - Provide a short description of how your brand will use the mobile messaging program. For example, you could say “Our mobile messaging program will be used to communicate promotional offers, product launches, and other relevant content to our customers.”
Messaging Content Example - You’ll need to provide carriers with an example of a text message from your brand. Let’s say you were interested in sending customers texts about upcoming product launches. Your example text message could look like this: “It's Here! New sensitive sunscreen launches today at your local department store. Check it out now!” Just make sure your example is 160 characters or less.
Describe Opt-in Process - When creating a mobile messaging program, it’s important to note customers will need to opt-in to the program. Carriers need an explanation of how your brand plans on gathering the opt-ins necessary for the program, including the channels the company will use to promote the program.
Opt-in Example - Carriers need a URL to see an example of how your brand will promote the mobile messaging program, which includes all of the legal language required on all promotions. TIP: we recommend using our Mobile Opt-in Template to show an example of your mobile messaging promotion.
As we mentioned, this was not an exhaustive list of the things carriers will need from your brand when setting up a mobile messaging program. Each carrier will review your short code campaign application, which can take 5-10 weeks. You’ll also want to remember what you submitted to the carrier and keep your SMS campaign very similar to what you submitted for your application. Carriers can audit your short code messages and if they don’t match up to your application, they can actually disable your ability to send SMS to your customers at any time.
We can take care of the mobile messaging setup process for you. Take a tour of Lumavate’s Messaging functionality and schedule a demo today to talk to an expert about how we can help you with your mobile messaging program.
Make sure your customer knows exactly what they’re opting in to–that means what sort of messages they’ll be receiving from you, and how often they’ll receive them. A great place to communicate this information is in a welcome text you can send after your customer opts in.
Collecting mobile opt-ins is required by phone carriers in order for your brand to send customers text messages. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think. Here are 10 ways your brand can collect mobile opt-ins from your customers:
Amplify your shopper campaigns and brand communications
Curate product recommendations and personalized text messages
Use digital lead capture forms at conferences and trade shows
Create an easy event and mobile opt-in registration process
Highlight your brand and mobile messaging program in aisle
Incorporate it into your loyalty program sign-up process
Harness the excitement for your product launch
Continue inspiration for your product lookbook using text
Simplify the rebate submission and mobile opt-in process
Communicate important warranty information via text
Have measures in place to track how many individual users interact with your mobile messages and make sure you’re tracking how many conversions you can attribute back to the campaign. You’ll also want to look at the following items to track success:
Opt-Out Rate - Communicating with your brand on mobile may not be for everyone - and that’s okay. What marketers will want to keep an eye on is if they are seeing abnormally high opt-out rates. If your opt-out rates begin to increase, you may take a step back and ask yourself questions like is the messaging wrong? Are you sending too many messages?
Click-Through Rate (CTR) - Many times, brands will use SMS as a way to distribute relevant content to their customers. This could look like helpful guides, links to a landing page for a new product, a quiz, etc. The CTR is the percentage of consumers clicking on the link directing them to the content or location you’re including.
Conversion Rate - This is the percentage of customers who are taking valuable action by responding to your call to action. Some call-to-actions for SMS campaigns include things related to a purchase decision, a phone call, or even a “Yes” or “No” response.
How many types of messaging are there? There are a few different options. SMS isn’t the only option for brands to communicate with customers on mobile. There are a few other ways brands can use mobile messaging outside of SMS.
RCS stands for rich communication services and it is basically SMS (short messaging services), but has multimedia features, like higher quality pictures and videos, GIFs, a company’s logo, larger files, and longer messages that SMS does not. It enables brands to have rich, multimedia interactions with users right within their native messaging app. With RCS, customers can actually respond to the brand’s message. This can be done through the use of RCS chatbots, and ask questions about a product, prices, promotions, or delivery status of an order.
Brands are using it to let customers book travel, buy products, chat with support teams, and more. Some brands have already gotten on board with RCS, like Subway, Citi, Overstock, and Virgin Trains, and have seen a lot of success.
Before taking on an RCS campaign, know which operators and providers support RCS. Unfortunately, Apple is not on this list currently, so just know that RCS messages will come through as SMS messages for iPhone users.
MMS, otherwise known as a multimedia messaging service, is similar to RCS in that it can send things like pictures, audio, video, and more.
One of the best ways to connect with your customers is via SMS messages. With an open rate of 98 percent, text messaging far surpasses the engagement rates of any other marketing channel.
6 Reasons Why Text Is a Must-have Channel
Unmatched Engagement Rates - We’ve already discussed the astronomically high open rates of text messaging, but in case you need further proof of why it’s the channel to communicate with your customers, let’s talk about some other mind-blowing statistics. One study found that 83 percent of millennials open texts within 90 seconds of receiving them. And the response rate for text comes in at 45 percent.
Capture Valuable Customer Data - Changes to third-party cookies are happening sooner rather than later. If your brand does not have a strategy for collecting zero-party data, consider this your wake-up call. By collecting mobile opt-ins and communicating with your customers via text, you can gather valuable insights that are more valuable than any third-party cookie.
Stand Out Among the Noise - Consumers are being shown around 4,000 ads a day. On top of that, they’re receiving emails from hundreds of other brands trying to get them to purchase. Texting messaging gives brands the opportunity to communicate with their customers on a different channel.
Bridge Offline and Online Communications - 75 percent of consumers enjoy getting text messages from brands. Your brand can create an omnichannel experience by sending text messages to customers to alert them of a product launch, updates to their warranty, new product information, and more.
Drive Brand Loyalty - Consumers aren’t as loyal to brands as they once were. In order to drive brand loyalty, companies will need to do something unique to capture their attention. By sending exclusive content via text messages, your consumers will turn into life-long buyers.
Increase Revenue - Every brand is focused on driving revenue. Implementing a text messaging program can play an instrumental part in helping achieve this goal. Let’s say a consumer is in a store deciding what product to purchase. They could take a product quiz, opt-in to a brand’s mobile messaging program once the quiz is complete, and then get text messages with product recommendations in the future based on this information.
What is Messaging Used For?
Mobile messaging is an extremely underutilized tactic by brands. Sure, big retailers like Target or Kroger send out texts to their consumers, but brands need to step it up.
Part of the problem with brands not sending text messages is they lack the data necessary to segment their customers into groups…some brands may lack customer data entirely which is why it’s so important for brands to start collecting zero-party data ASAP.
Any brand can use text messaging to communicate with its customers. Let’s take a look at some ways various industries can harness the power of text.
Consumer Packaged Goods - The CPG industry has endless possibilities for ways brands can connect with their customers via mobile. For instance, a brand could send out personalized text messages to an audience group about a new product launch if they know this group would be interested in the new product based on previous purchase behavior. A food and beverage brand might send out a text message to customers letting them know about a marketing campaign they’re running that has relevant content such as lifestyle tips and best practices.
Manufacturing - Text messaging provides brands in the manufacturing with the ability to send out important information to their customers. Customers with a product like a lawn mower may be notified by a brand via mobile if the product was affected by a recent recall. Refrigerator owners might get a text about relevant content regarding how to keep their appliances running properly. Text messaging can also be a way to drive revenue in this industry, not just improve the customer experience. Let’s say a customer was interested in purchasing a new faucet. A faucet brand could text an interested consumer about a product lookbook to help them visualize what the faucet could look like in their home. The lookbook also adds an opportunity for the faucet brand to increase sales with related products. A customer might find a product intriguing within the lookbook that they were not originally planning on purchasing.
Industrial - Why would an industrial machinery and equipment company need a mobile messaging program? Take a dealership network as an example. If a manufacturing brand has updates they need to push out to dealers immediately or have updates to relevant content like product guides or training, they can send text messages to this specific audience group to keep them informed. This segment could also use text messages as a way to communicate with attendees after a trade show. If an attendee has opted-in to receive the brand’s text messages, they could receive information regarding specific products they were interested in viewing at the event.
All three industries just mentioned can greatly benefit from launching a mobile messaging program to drive revenue and brand loyalty.
Getting Started with Lumavate’s Messaging
Starting a text messaging program can be overwhelming. Provide your customers with a new channel where they can engage with your brand with Messaging. This powerful functionality enables you to launch a mobile messaging program in a few days and send highly personalized text messages to specific audiences.
With Lumavate’s Messaging, users can:
Send Highly-Personalized Text Messages
Maximize Subscriber Growth
Promote Messaging Program
Track Message Analytics
Integrate with Form Builder
Automate Double Opt-in Process
Rely on Expert Compliance Guidance
Interested in driving revenue and brand loyalty using mobile messaging? Schedule a 30-minute meeting with one of our experts who can show how Lumavate’s Messaging functionality can solve your biggest business challenges. You can also take a tour of Lumavate’s Messaging capabilities within the platform here.