If you were to look at what sites provide consumers with the ability to send SMS online, you might get a bit discouraged. You could run into a site that makes you jump through all kinds of hoops just to send a text message. Of course, that’s not what you want to happen. Are you sending texts for personal or business reasons? If you’re sending texts for business purposes, then you might want a more in-depth platform with plenty of tools and resources for sending bulk SMS online.
However, if you’re simply trying to text someone from the computer for personal reasons, the last thing you want is a hassle. Unfortunately, many sites are going to give you just that. In fact, I’m pretty certain that to send SMS online, you have to know the recipient’s carrier. That’s something you have to pay up with no matter which site you choose. What you want to avoid, however, is the extra hassle and of course, having to pay.
If you’re going to send SMS online for personal reasons, there is absolutely no reason why you should have to pay. There might be an extra step or two, but for the most part, these extra steps are worth saving the money. Otherwise, you would be sending texts using a cell phone, right? Hey, I got rid of my mobile phone. Who wants to pay more than 100 dollars a month to text, make phone calls and bring the web and apps with you wherever you go?
Evidently, millions of people do, but technology is changing. If you’re able to send SMS online, what’s next? What would be the big motivator for people when it comes to paying so much money for a mobile phone? Could it be that a new type of technology is just around the corner? You can bet that something will replace the cell phone at some point, but until then, you have alternative options for text messaging. You can reach people on their mobile phones without actually having a cell phone yourself.
I have turned this into an art. I have a home phone, but as mentioned, I don’t have a mobile phone. When I need to make a long distance call or send a text message, I know exactly what to do. The sites that allow me to make phone calls limit me to one or two calls per day. However, when it comes to sending text messages, there are no limitations.
What happens when you want to receive a reply? If you know the person’s carrier, and you provide your email address, a text reply should come to your inbox without you or them having to do anything else differently. Once you get a reply, you can keep the text conversation going as if you’re simply answering emails.
There have been a few snags that I’ve hit along the way. For example, at one point my texts were too long and didn’t go through completely. Furthermore, I’ve had issues at some points with people being able to reply. It’s a good idea to know what site to use, and as you get familiar with the platform, hopefully you won’t have any issues. I like sending SMS online.
It is a question that has bedeviled concert performers since the beginning—how do you get butts in seats for an event?
Unless the act is Taylor Swift or Coldplay, both of whom could sell out Madison Square Garden on a rainy Tuesday in February, there are few shows that can sell themselves. The vast majority require the assistance of savvy promoters to assemble a receptive audience for the performer.
This same question of “how do I build an audience” applies to SMS marketing. In an age where most messages (email, phone calls, and the like) are routinely screened and ignored by consumers, text messages enjoy an almost 100d percent open rate, according to Mobile Marketing Watch, creating an opportunity for Taylor Swift-level revenue generation.
SMS marketing represents a real opportunity for marketers. Unfortunately, a text message with no recipients makes as much an impact as a musical event with no fans. How does one build a distribution list to get the word out?
Sending a SMS implies it is high priority and likely to be read. When someone gives you their permission to text them, you are entering their circle of trust. Marketers can facilitate this trust by providing value to their SMS subscribers, following SMS marketing regulations, and openly disclosing to subscribers how their information will be used. In a PwC study, 80 percent of respondents said they were willing to share personal information if the company let them know upfront how they were going to use it.
Tip 1: What’s the value for consumers?
Heavy-handed, one-size-fits-all marketing rarely works. Good SMS marketing answers, “what’s in it for them?”
With this in mind, give customers a reason to join your list by offering an incentive or offer for joining the list. We’ve seen huge success with one-time use mobile coupons and discounts. Make subscribers feel as if they are joining an exclusive program or elite club with benefits that sets them apart from the crowd. Sweepstakes, giveaways and contests are also an effective means for increasing SMS subscriber numbers. A happy subscriber is your best advocate.
Tip 2: Integrate and promote
One of the best things about SMS marketing is how simple the sign-up message is: “Text SIGNUP to 78527.” These simple call-to-action instructions can be easily integrated into all your promotional efforts including website, signage, billboards, newsletters, advertisements, social media. Watch the subscriber numbers climb as these short instructions become as ubiquitous as your company web address and phone number.
Tip 3: Relevancy key to retention
Winning subscribers with special offers is only half the battle. A hard truth of marketing is that an audience is hard won and easily lost. Keeping subscribers engaged and holding their attention is key. Protect your subscriber numbers by considering each message before sending it out. Ask yourself—is it relevant to their interests? Is it exclusive to your SMS list? Are you sending out too many messages? Too few? What time is it being sent? Messages need to be timely and personalized. Consider these best practices:
- Do A/B testing to weigh the best option
- Have a standard cadence
- Don’t announce generally available offers
- Don’t deliver generic messages
- Make messages timely, relevant and exclusive
Again, it’s all about putting your subscribers’ and prospects’ needs ahead of your own. Respect your audience and leave them wanting more.