Employing SMS text messaging services for business is one of the best marketing tools. By taking advantage of the most popular form of person-to-person 2-way communication with long codes, these texting programs can attract new customers for your business, develop brand loyalty, and increase sales with higher retention levels, better service and ROI.
SMS marketing campaigns has proven to be extremely successful for the vast majority of businesses. When there are challenges, they are often attributed to the market sector, the failure to integrate SMS for business with other marketing activities, or the limitations of short code text blasting services.
How Does Long Code SMS Text Messaging for Business Work?
- Develop a database of customers by inviting them to text a keyword to your long code number. (Note: Each keyword you create comes with free unlimited Sub-Keywords).
- Contacts will be able to use that keyword to automatically opt in to receive messages from your account.
- Log into your service provider's texting software and upload your list of opted-in customers, segmenting into Groups for easy communication.
- Compose the marketing message promoting a special offer, loyalty program, poll, survey or community news.
- Hit "Send".
- Use your Inbox to identify unread messages, date a message was received or to manually opt-out recipients.
No technical or design skills are required to engage in SMS text messaging services. Interactions such as these helps attract more customers to your business, develop brand loyalty, increase sales and drastically improve your marketing ROI.
Read our Getting Started Guide to receive a few tips that will get you on your way.
What is the Difference Between SMS Long Codes vs Short Codes?
- No setup time needed for regulatory approval of a new, dedicated short code number so "Instant" setup with long codes
- No approval from telecom carriers needed to use a normal 10-digit virtual phone number on any cell phone plan
- Short codes, for some companies, are prohibitively expensive, with fixed monthly costs easily in the hundreds of dollars
- Customers or potential clients cannot call back short codes which are not true phone numbers
- Building long term customer relationships
- True 2-way communication using the same normal phone number
- Can obtain an area code to target a certain local metropolitan area or even internationally with a country code
- Can use as a customer support or help desk like a call center for those who prefer to interact using SMS texts
- More suited for use cases needing a more personal touch such as those in the church ministry / non-profit, real estate, restaurants, cannabis promotions, medical cannabis, marijuana dispensary, medical marijuana, financial, gaming, or dating industries
What are the Limitations of Short Code SMS Texting Services For Businesses?
Historically, one of the primary limitations of using short code SMS text messaging software for business to do text blasts was that not all carriers accepted and delivered marketing messages
originating from a short code number due to the risk of SPAM bots.
- In the past, short code messaging capabilities may not have been enabled on customer cellphone plans, meaning they would not be able to receive or respond to these text marketing messages.
Today, however, the United States governing body for all SMS text messaging has put forth regulations and guidelines for SMS text communications using either short or long codes.
- The Cellular Telecommunications and Internet (formerly "Industry") Association is also known as the CTIA – The Wireless Association.
Because of the potential of impersonal 1-way bulk text marketing that can be SPAM, short code texting is much more highly regulated needing to follow both CTIA and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) guidelines.
- The FCC prohibits SMS texts sent to a mobile phone using an auto-dialer (robocalls) unless previous consent had been granted or the message is being sent for emergency alerts.
The most popular form of SMS marketing for businesses is "shared short code" mass texting.
- This means that your business shares a five or six-digit short code number with other clients of the texting service provider in order to make it more affordable.
A dedicated US short code number will take weeks if not months for approval after applying to the CTIA.
- Otherwise, shared, telecom carrier pre-approved short codes and message templates coupled with a unique keyword from a text service provider will need to be used.
Why Does Business SMS Text Marketing Work?
- In today's technological-driven society, users are paying attention to SMS. Approximately 90% of messages are read within three minutes of delivery.
- Business SMS can be implemented and executed within minutes, without ever having to download an app.
- If your business has changing communication needs, SMS services can scale with you to adapt and reevaluate in order to achieve business goals.
What are the Benefits of Using SMS for Business?
- Higher Open Rate when compared vs Emails
- More cost effective than other marketing channels, such as buying Facebook Ads
- Reaching customers on a channel that you know they are already using
- Strengthens engagement
- More personal and direct communication method, which results in higher brand loyalty
- Learn more about your customers
- Flexible and customizable; mix and match text messages to promote different things for your business
What are SMS Marketing Keywords and How Do They Work?
SMS Marketing Keywords are unique terms that can be letters or numbers and are used to communicate with customers via the long code. For example, "Text PROMOS to 760-670-3130." Upon sending the text message, the customer has now signed themselves up to receive any future promotional offers and updates.
How Long Does it Take to Get Started Using SMS for Small Business?
Once you have registered to use SMS for small business, you will be up and running in less than five minutes. Group Texting provides users with ten free credits to experiment with the software. There are no up-front fees, and credit cards are not required until you decide on a pricing plan that fits best within your business.
How To Manage a Customer Database to Reduce Costs Further
All customer SMS messages can be tracked, stored, analyzed and measured – which will drastically help improve your business goals over time. For this reason, it is important to use specific communication vehicles to reach, support and maintain your niche audience. Once customers opt into the text messaging service, the group texting software platform will add them to the customer database according to the keyword used. Implementing "groups" enables businesses to send customers tailored promotions – ultimately minimizing the chance of opt-outs. This will not only help improve the ROI of the SMS business texting service but reduce a business's marketing spend.
Why Use the Business SMS Text Messaging Software Platform from Group Texting?
Group Texting's business SMS text messaging software platform is suitable for all types of organizations.
Browse some of our benefits below:
- Feature-rich and can be accessed from any Internet-connected device
- Offer a free scheduling service so that messages can be prepared in advance and scheduled for maximum attention
- Schedule drip-fed or recurring campaigns to different groups of customers
- Free message forwarding by email (no need to log into our platform)
- Forward incoming messages to your own mobile phone by SMS
- Provide tools to integrate our texting software with existing database management tools
- Provide several options for uploading existing customer databases
Register for a Group Texting Account and Get Ten Free Credits
If you would like to try long code business texting services, we invite you to register for a free Group Texting account. On top of being granted access to our software, you'll also receive one free keyword to help build your customer database, as well as ten free credits to test out our service. If you wish to continue with long code SMS text services, our team offers a range of competitive pricing options from which to choose that will get you up and running in no time.
If you have any questions about the long code SMS for business service, do not hesitate to contact our experienced team of Client Success Managers. They'll guide you through the registration process to provide assistance if you need help navigating the features of our platform.
Register today and start sending your first group of SMS messages within minutes!