SMS or text message marketing works great for reaching customers wherever they are. It’s a quick, relatively easy, and effective way to communicate with your audience. However, choosing the right SMS marketing platform looks like a daunting task at first.
Keep in mind these factors when selecting an SMS marketing platform for your business to ease the process. We’ll cover everything a small to medium-sized business (SMB) should know when looking to add texting to your marketing and sales communication.
Features and Capabilities That Actually Solve a Problem
Think about your specific business needs and goals. What features does the SMS platform offer that will meet your business needs?
For example, if you have a problem with low engagement, you need a SMS platform that allows you to personalize your messages so you send texts that actually resonate with your audience.
Some general features to look for include automated messaging, personalization options, analytics (engagement metrics, click-through rates, opt-in and opt-out rates), and campaign scheduling. You also need a platform that can handle your business’s SMS send volume.
But really you need a platform that offers features that solve your specific problems. Look through these common problems that SMBs have and the text marketing features that solve them.
Problem: Inconsistent or time-consuming outreach and follow-up
- Automated message triggers
- Scheduled messaging
- Drip messaging campaigns
- Voicemail drops
These features help if you need to scale your outreach efforts and want to do so in an efficient and effective way.
Automated message triggers let you send messages automatically when certain conditions are met while scheduled messaging allows you to write and schedule messages for a specific time in the future.
Drip messaging campaigns enable you to send a series of messages to recipients over a period of time, which helps improve engagement and response rates.
Voicemail drops let you leave pre-recorded voicemail messages right to a recipient’s voicemail inbox.
Problem: Low engagement (low responses, bookings, or show rates)
- Segmentation/contact list management
- Merge tags/fields
- Two-way messaging
- MMS compatible
To target your messaging to specific audiences and personalize your messages, these are the features you need. Two-way messaging lets recipients respond to messages and engage in conversation with you.
MMS compatibility allows you to send multimedia messages like videos, photos, and GIFS, all typically more engaging than normal texts.
Segmentation/contact list management enables you to group your contacts based on specific criteria, such as demographics or past purchase behavior. Personalization features like merge tags allow you to include specific details about each recipient in your messages, such as their name or past purchase history.
Problem: Lack of unity in communication
- Opt-in and opt-out management
- Outbound calling
- Call forwarding
- Customizable message templates
Opt-in and opt-out management ensures that you only message people who gave permission to receive messages, which helps reduce the risk of spam complaints and keeps you compliant with TCPA.
Outbound calling and call forwarding features help you manage incoming calls and ensure that they get routed to the appropriate person or team.
Customizable message templates let you use prewritten messages as the basis for your company’s messaging. You save time writing messages that fit your messaging goals in order to create effective and engaging texts. Share these messages with anyone at your company communicating with customers so your brand feels unified.
Choose an SMS marketing platform that actively promotes compliance with regulations and laws, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Your SMS platform provider should also help you in setting up your phone number(s) and guide you in registering the number(s) with The Campaign Registry.
The platform must have opt-in and opt-out options for customers that help you clearly track which contacts should and shouldn’t receive text messages from you, as well as a way to store and manage customer data securely.
Don’t take any risks with compliance as failure to comply may result in hefty fines and messages not getting delivered.
The SMS marketing platform you choose should integrate with your existing software systems, such as your customer relationship management (CRM) system. You may also want a platform that integrates with other marketing automation tools, email marketing tools, social media platforms, or possibly your e-commerce platform.
Syncing data from other apps to your messaging platform streamlines the process of automatically triggering SMS messages and managing customer data.
Make sure that the integration provides the functionality that you need to automatically import contacts and update contact/customer data so you can automatically sort and segment contacts and send targeted text messages. That’s how you run successful SMS marketing campaigns.
Pricing Model That Grows with Your Business
Of course, consider your business’ needs and budget when choosing a specific plan with a platform.
Pay-per-message models work well if you only plan to send occasional, one-off SMS messages, as you only pay for the messages that you send.
Subscription-based models work best if you send SMS messages more frequently, as you can typically send a certain number of messages each month for a fixed fee.
Depending on the platform, annual contracts may provide additional benefits, such as discounted pricing or access to additional features. However, they may not be the best option for all businesses, as they require a larger upfront investment.
Ultimately, the best pricing model for your business depends on your specific marketing and sales needs and goals. Make sure to carefully evaluate each pricing option and choose the one that provides the best value for your business (now and in the future as you grow).
Effectively Reach Your Audience
Choosing the right SMS marketing platform requires time and research. But when you find the right fit for your business, texting practically guarantees that you reach more of your customers, leads, and target audience.
Check out Skipio’s conversational messaging platform specifically made to help you engage leads consistently and keep customers longer. Explore Skipio’s key features to start learning how our tools help you boost engagement and grow revenue.