A Beginner’s Guide to Text Message Marketing

Cheerful young lady chatting by phone text message guide

Text message marketing is probably the newest way of communicating with your customers. But before you send your first text, you’ll need to understand how different this type of marketing is from traditional forms of advertising. This guide will help you get started on the right foot.

Get Permission

Consumers have no tolerance for spam and robocalls. Plus, according to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, you must have your customers’ permission before you can start texting them. And they must be given the option to unsubscribe or opt-out with every text.

The easiest way to get permission is to use a short code and mobile keyword. It’s easy for them to do and it authorizes you to send a text directly to them. Other ways to get permission are sending a link through email for an online signup sheet or a comment card.

Your list will grow over time, and you’ll get better at connecting with your customers. For now, you’re learning about the process, so don’t fret about the number of people. Simply focus on what works and what doesn’t.

Texts: Keep It Short!

The first thing to remember is that your texts need to be short. The main message of your text should be understood within seconds. Words like “Save” and “Free” work well. Your text also needs to be conversational, as if they were standing in front of you. Stay away from long texts using formal language or technical jargon.

Say, “Hello!”

The first text you need to send is one that simply says, “Hello,” and “Thank you.” You can also briefly explain what they can expect in future texts. This will confirm that they have given you permission and gives them more information about your intent—open, honest, and transparent.

Exclusive Offers Show Value

If you can, send an offer or discount with your second text. Many of your customers feel that they deserve something in return for giving out their phone number. Their time and money should be valued.

Giving them a special offer shows that you mean business and they should take advantage of it. You also make your mobile subscribers feel special when giving them an exclusive offer. This lets them know that they are more than a customer—they are a VIP.


For your third message, you should drive more engagement with them. Avoid one-sided conversations. They’re boring and inauthentic. Try making your messages a two-way street.

Texting is a great way to lead them to your social media pages. When they follow you, they’ll begin to learn more about your brand and what it means to them. You can also encourage them to contribute to your pages or have them tag your page when using your products or services.

Build Your Brand

Your customers’ testimonials and online reviews are social proof that your brand is better than the competition. You can display a snippet from a testimonial with the product or service they are talking about and include a link back to your website where they can learn more.

Loyalty Takes Time

Now that you have a few texts sent, you’ll need to be respectful, because each text has the option to unsubscribe. That’s why text marketing is all about timing and purpose. Send your texts during business hours and let them know the purpose of the text right away. Don’t bunch them up or send too many over a short amount of time.

Text marketing isn’t a guessing game, and a guide to SMS marketing will help get you started. You should know what your customers want to hear and when they want it. Over time, you’ll be able to find your most loyal customers among your mobile subscribers. Just remember that it all begins by saying, “Hello!”

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