Are you using text messages in your marketing? If you're not, you may be getting left in the dust! Technology is revolutionizing industries around the globe every day. Marketing is no different.
Many companies are using text messages to get the word out to their customers. And they're doing it with some amazing results, as well. Some businesses are even going so far as to use a toll-free number for their text marketing campaigns. And that's what we're going to go over today.
We'll give you the information you need to know on what text messages can do for your business. Then we'll go into some more detail about why a toll-free phone number may help you with your marketing strategy.
By the time we're done, you'll be a text marketing expert.
We've got a lot to cover, so let's dive in!
Why Text Messages?
Nowadays, people don't go for long without their phones in their hands. From scrolling social media to playing online games, our phones can do just about anything now. They've become our main form of entertainment, communication, and even shopping.
Over 90% of people engage with their favorite brands from their mobile devices. This is why, if you're in business, you need to be on mobile.
Another factor is a concept known as "open rates." If you've been in marketing a while, you know exactly what we're talking about. If you haven't been, however, an "open rate" is the percentage of your marketing that actually gets opened.
This can be a card, an email, or a text message. According to Red Eye Marketing, open rates on text messages are 99%. That means for every 100 text messages you send, 99 are being opened. Let that sink in for a minute.
What's even more impressive is that 97% of those messages are read in the first fifteen minutes, Red Eye says. Could you imagine, as a financial professional, what reaching 99% of your customers could do for your business?
Those are some astonishing numbers!
Another reason for the success of text marketing campaigns is the growth of society. We touched on smartphone use earlier. Well, it's even evolving the way people like to communicate.
A lot of people aren't "phone people" anymore. They view answering the phone and having a conversation with the person on the other end as intrusive. They prefer to be contacted via text.
It's easy for them to answer on their own schedule and doesn't interrupt their day.
Proceed With Caution
We have to take a second out to give a word to the wise, though. As financial professionals, you have to be careful when doing text message marketing.
Since 2008 a lot of reform has been made to the financial sector of the economy. After the historic market crash of that year, the Federal government teamed up with state and local governments to regulate the finance industry.
Dodd-Frank legislation is now a part of financial professionals' everyday lives. If you're buying, selling, or advising clients on financial products in any asset class, you need to be careful.
Dodd-Frank reform's goal is to protect consumers and make the finance industry more transparent. Financial professionals can still market to their prospects, and life goes on as usual, but it's something financial professionals need to think about.
More specifically, the legislation requires financial professionals to keep clear, concise records of their text conversations. This is done to protect consumers against inaccurate or fraudulent financial advice.
All marketing professionals, the finance industry included, also need to worry about the DNC.
The FCC, the Federal government's agency responsible for text marketing, keeps a running Do Not Call (DNC) list. These lists are also kept at the state level, as well. This DNC protects American consumers from unwanted marketing calls.
If you accidentally market to someone on one of these lists, you could be in some serious hot water. It may cost you a trip to court and a lot of money in fines.
As with anything in the finance space, do your research and be careful.
How to Launch a Text Marketing Campaign?
So, how do we start a text message marketing campaign the right way? There are several steps, but the whole process is easy to do. We'll go over the steps here so you can hit the ground running!
1. Get a Virtual Number
You'll want to start by getting a virtual phone number.
iPlum can help you to set up your toll-free number in no time. You'll be able to get a toll-free number, route calls to the different departments within your business, and have text conversations right within your iPlum mobile app.
What makes iPlum an even better fit is that it's designed with financial professionals in mind. Any text message campaigns you send through iPlum's mobile app will be compliant with Dodd-Frank legislation.
Let iPlum handle the hard stuff and focus on what you do best. Build relationships with your customers.
2. Get Your List
Ok, now you have your virtual number set up. The next step is to get some people to talk to.
There are dozens of marketing companies online that can give you access to customer data. You'll want to think about your target demographic here. That's going to dictate what type of list you purchase.
The important thing about this process is to make sure you have access to customer phone numbers in addition to all of the other information. Some companies don't provide phone numbers so it's important to check.
If you happen to purchase a marketing list from a company that doesn't provide phone numbers, don't sweat it. There are extra services you can purchase called skip tracing services.
It requires running your list through another company, but they can take your impartial list and search it for accurate phone numbers.
3. Start Texting
Use iPlum's mobile app to start sending your text marketing campaign! It's important to make sure that you're using a compliant text messaging service. iPlum will make sure you are compliant with Dodd-Frank as a financial professional. But you also need to make sure you're complying with telemarketing laws and DNC lists.
Do your research and make sure you know what's allowed in your local area.
Why a Toll-Free Number?
Many companies that provide virtual numbers will allow you to choose a toll-free number. Toll-free phone numbers may cost more from your virtual number provider, but it may be worth it.
800 toll-free numbers aren't typically able to send and receive texts. Marketing experts see a growing demand for customers to be able to text businesses back on a toll-free number.
It increases a customer's trust when they can just shoot you a text back on the same number. We also live in an age where people want immediate responses. Customers feel that they can more immediately reach your business by texting you.
You may also want to use a toll-free number if you operate your business in more than one area code. People like to see local area codes. If you operate in multiple areas, that can be a challenge.
Having a different phone number for each area code can be a challenge. Using a toll-free number will help you to achieve a more unified, professional feel from the customer's perspective.
If you select a toll-free number you can also get a vanity number. These are the numbers you see on TV like "1-800-BUYNOW." This is another tool you can use in your marketing campaign to stay at the forefront of people's minds.
In addition, you'll also get faster access to a toll-free number. This means your marketing campaign will be up and running quickly and easily.
Toll-Free Is the Way to Be
Launching a text marketing campaign can be a huge boost to your business. Emails, pieces of mail, and other forms of marketing tend to just get lost in the shuffle these days.
A text message is a great way to grab your customers' attention and make sure your marketing message gets seen. With the open rates text messages get, you can be sure to contact a much wider range of your audience.
Adding a toll-free number can also bring added benefits to any campaign. Be sure to do your research and maintain compliance with local rules and regulations.
If you have any questions about how toll-free numbers can help your campaign, or questions about text marketing in general, feel free to contact the team at iPlum. We're here to help your text marketing efforts become a success in any way that we can.