Text Marketing Campaigns: How to Reach Customers with SMS Text

By Raubi Perilli

      Mar 9, 2022     Solutions    

Text marketing campaigns are a great way to stay in touch with customers and give them a reason to visit your business. Texts reach audiences almost instantly by putting messages in the place where audiences are most likely to see it -- their phone.  

The average text message is opened within three minutes of being sent.  

But, simply sending a text message doesn't mean you will be successful at text marketing. You need to have strategic text marketing campaigns to get real results. Use this guide to put together a plan that will turn texting into a strong marketing channel for your local business.

What Is a Text Marketing Campaign?

A text marketing campaign is a strategic plan built around using text messaging to reach new leads and existing customers. When running a text marketing campaign, a business doesn’t simply send a text message to a customer. Instead, the business uses text marketing software and develops a specific strategy that will lead to an intended result or goal.

The Benefits of Text Marketing Campaigns

The average person is constantly looking at their phone. A survey found that Americans check their phone on average 344 times per day. There is an obvious benefit of text marketing in that it is a direct way to connect with people in a place where they spend a lot of time. But, there are also other benefits that make text a powerful marketing tactic.  

Text marketing is useful for both lead nurturing and lead generation. Text messaging is a great lead nurturing tool. Once you create a connection with a contact, you can send them information to drive them to do business with you. And, it’s also a very effective lead generation tool. It’s extremely easy for customers to sign up for a text marketing list. It’s as simple as inviting audiences to text a word to a short phone number or enter their phone number in an online form to join your list.  

Text marketing campaigns are a low-cost, high-ROI marketing tactic. It’s relatively inexpensive to set up and send text marketing campaigns. In most cases, it only costs a few cents to send a message to a contact. The affordability and high-engagement rates allow text marketing to produce a strong return on investment (ROI). At MyArea Network, we found an average ROI on our text marketing campaigns is about 500%.  

Text marketing campaigns increase customer frequency. The goal of marketing for many local businesses is getting existing customers to come back. Text marketing is the perfect tactic for re-engaging past customers and inviting them to return. Time-sensitive offers and promotions give customers an immediate reason to return to a business, and it’s delivered through the communication channel they check up to 344 times per day.

Types of Text Marketing Campaigns

There are many types of text marketing campaigns. Consider the many uses of text as you decide which campaign will best match your marketing goals. 

  • Educate and Inform: Use texting to share information about your products or services or to share interesting news about your business or location.
  • Engage: Keeping your business top-of-mind with customers is one way to get them to visit again. Text marketing allows you to keep in touch and bring your brand back into the mind of past customers.
  • Promote: Make sure people interested in your business know about your promotions. Spread the word about upcoming deals and promotions through text messaging.
  • Remind: Help customers, and ensure that they don’t miss their upcoming appointment by using text to share reminders.
  • Delight: Make customers feel special by sharing exclusive offers and content to a members-only list.
  • Encourage: Motivate customers to take action by giving them clear instructions such as click to buy, fill out a survey, share with a friend, etc.

No matter what your marketing objectives are, it’s likely that there is a type of text marketing campaign that can help you reach your goals.

Text Marketing Campaign Examples

For more specific examples of how you can use text marketing, consider how your business can run campaigns like these.  

Run a contest. A contest is a great tool for text marketing lead generation. Create a grand prize that is awarded to one winner and a secondary prize that is awarded to all entrants, and encourage customers to sign up for the contest via text. We’ve seen great results for our clients who combine social media ads and text marketing to create a social media contest.  

Send sale reminders. Customers love opportunities to save money. They are often interested in receiving notifications that alert and remind them about upcoming sales. If your business is running a sale or offering special discounts or offerings, let your audience know via text. Include details about the sale and consider adding promo codes to the text that are redeemable in the store to track the effectiveness of your message.  

Share deals and offers. Another way to play into a customer’s love for deals is regularly sharing discount codes and special offers with your text audience. Coupon advertising is an effective way to drive interest in your business and encourage customers to make a purchase they may have not otherwise made.  

Related: This Is Why Restaurants Miss Out By Not Using Text Marketing  

Offer pre-order opportunities. If you have a new and exciting product or service coming out, let your text audience know about it first through a text message marketing campaign. Send them the details about your new offering and give them an opportunity to pre-order it or set up an exclusive early appointment. Customers love to feel like a VIP, and you can make them feel special by offering them early access to new products and services.  

Send appointment reminders with upsell messaging. Service-based businesses that assign appointment times for customers can benefit from the operational use of text message marketing. Businesses like a hair salon or auto shop can remind customers about their appointments via text. This message also creates an up-sell opportunity. In the message, you can include a message about upgrading or adding on another service to remind customers about their appointment while also increasing revenue.  

Send event information and CTAs for spreading the word. Text messages can also serve as reminders for events. In the weeks leading up to an event, you can send attendees important details about the event (such as hours, check-in information, rules, etc.). When you text attendees about the event, you can also include call-to-actions to get them to invite their friends and spread the word about the event (by including discounts for ticket purchases or incentives for bringing a friend).  

Read More: The Essential Guide to Using Event Text Marketing Promotions  

Share important business updates. There are essential details about your business that customers need to know in order to plan their visit to your location or buy from you. These details include your address, website URL, phone number, and hours. If you make any changes to these details, you can alert customers via a text message marketing campaign. 

Related: Google Tells Us What People Want to 'Know Before They Go' to Your Business

How Often Should I Send Text Marketing Campaigns?

Like email marketing, text marketing campaigns should be set up on a schedule that outlines what you are going to say and when you are going to say it. Going through a process to build an editorial calendar will help you outline your objectives and develop a schedule for your messages.

There is no magic number for how often to send text marketing campaigns. Multiple considerations will factor into how often you should send messages to audiences. Consider these questions when laying out an editorial calendar for your campaigns.

What is your industry?

Some industries lend better to more frequent text messaging. For example, a restaurant may text their customers more often as it is likely that their customer base will visit more frequently than an auto body shop that may service customers once or twice a year. Consider the typical customer frequency for your industry and plan your editorial calendar around when it would feel natural for a customer to revisit your business.

What’s on your promotional calendar?

Just like any editorial calendar, your text content schedule should match your business’s promotional calendar. For example, if you have new offerings or discounts scheduled, plan to share the deals with your audience. When events are coming up, create messages that alert your audience leading up to the event. Look at your business calendar and plan to create content around news, events, and promotions that are relevant to your audience.

Is the message a part of a drip campaign?

In some cases, a text marketing campaign might include multiple messages. A drip campaign is a series of messages that are delivered over a few days or even weeks, all with the intention of leading to one set goal. For example, if someone books an appointment at your spa, they may receive a series of five texts leading up to their appointment sharing information and calls to add on services. When determining how often to send messages in your text marketing campaign, consider how many texts are necessary to deliver all of the information in a drip campaign.

How to Plan Your Text Marketing Campaigns

Now that you have some ideas about the best text message marketing campaigns, let's look at how you can make each more effective.  

Know your audience. When getting ready to run text marketing campaigns, start with getting to know your audience. Ask yourself what information they would find useful or engaging.  

Get permission. Rule one of text marketing: never send a text to a customer without their permission. Use a text marketing software that sets up your database to ensure that each person is added with the right permissions.  

Make your text messages feel exclusive. Customers don’t love to sign up for marketing lists. But, they do love to feel like they are a part of an exclusive club. Position your text marketing list as an “insider’s club” or “VIP list” to encourage people to sign up and stay on your list.  

Respond in real-time. Remember that text messages go both ways. Don’t get so hung up on sending messages that you forget about replies. Set up a system for managing messages that come back as a response to your initial message and create a line of two-way communication.  

Have a clear call-to-action. If you want your customers to act based on your text message marketing campaign, you need to tell them what you want them to do. Include a clear call-to-action in each of your messages. Visit your store. Visit your website. Click to buy. Click to share with a friend. Use clear messaging that drives readers to act.  

Adjust your strategies based on data. It will be difficult to identify the best text message marketing campaign if you aren’t tracking data that shows the results of your work. Track data about open rates, times sent, days sent, type of message, etc. and analyze your results to see which message performed best. Optimize future campaigns by tweaking them to match the traits of your more successful text message marketing campaigns.

Get Started with Text Marketing Campaigns

Text message campaigns are a powerful way to get important information in front of your customers. But, your message will only work if it is something that customers want to see. Use these tips to develop strong text marketing campaigns that inspire your audience to act.  

For help with setting up text message marketing campaigns, sign up for mySuite by MyArea Network. Your free account gives you access to text marketing software you can use to build a text marketing database and create campaigns to send to your engaged audience. Start using this powerful connection tool today.