How to Launch a Messaging Campaign




Use Cases for SMS/MMS, Compliance, and More

 

Marketers, customer service representatives, and other communication experts are aware that reaching a sizable audience of prospects or customers requires strategy, budgeting, the ideal outlet or channel for interacting with the target market, and maybe lists. If you’re considering launching your first message campaign (or maybe you already have, but ran into problems), you should be aware that it will take a little more time and preparation than other possibilities.

 

But if you do it right and provide persuading, obedient messages, there is no faster or more efficient way to communicate with people!

 

Recognize Your Target Market

As with any kind of communication, it’s critical to understand your target audience’s demographics, preferred communication channels, and desired frequency of contact. Depending on your product or service and how much your message(s) may fluctuate, you should consider what frequency is best for you. For example, receivers will undoubtedly want to know as soon as possible if you are sharing medical results or Taylor Swift tour information. Maybe bi-monthly will suffice if you’re asking them to donate blood (again).

 

These facts are crucial no matter what you’re conveying, but they’re crucial for texting campaigns in particular since you should establish the frequency and content expectations before they decide whether to opt in. then adhere to those demands. People will complain, and carriers will stop funding your advertisements if you don’t.

 

Create Your List

 

There are no compliance problems when you communicate one-to-one (by SMS or another method). You must comply with the rules of the media and use their pre-built list in order to place an ad. With email, you can rent, and clients genuinely anticipate receiving emails from you.

 

Male text readerTexting campaigns are more challenging since recipients must consent to be contacted, even if they are current clients, and you must include an unsubscribe option. Carriers won’t send your communications if recipients complain because you didn’t properly curate your list. Remember that everyone has a different preferred method of information consumption, and texting necessitates a bit more active response than, say, an advertisement that they can easily scroll past.

 

Additionally, neither money nor love can be used to distribute your opt-in list. These individuals chose to hear only from you. This needs to be stated very clearly in your online privacy policy, and you should also make sure that mobile is covered by your online terms and conditions. Carriers commonly search for this, and if they don’t, they won’t approve your advertising.

 

Even if you are unsure of when or even if you might start texting marketing, start creating a good list right away. On our blog and in our SMS eBook, you can find ideas for getting opt-ins. For the time being, you’ll need to communicate by another means if you don’t have a sufficient list.

 

Make Sure Messaging Fits Your Use Case (Be Aware of It)

While you may have some fantastic and entirely legal items, and texting may be a great way to communicate with your customers, you need to be aware that there are other industries or sorts of communications where it is simply not an option. No related texts are permitted if, for instance, you sell a wonderful range of cannabis and CBD edibles because local regulations differ and it is impossible to know where your recipients are at any one time.

 

Similarly, many industries can only transmit communications if they adhere to specific guidelines. Insurance quotes can only be tailored to the direct provider, and an insurance provider can send communications while an insurance reseller cannot. See our eBook on Messaging Use Cases for a complete list of these guidelines.

 

Make sure your message complies

Although different types of messaging (long code, short code, and toll-free) are used in different ways and have different approval processes (more on those in a bit), they have one big thing in common: there are content rules! There are various degrees of overlapping criteria, specifically:

 

Act to Protect Telephone Consumers (TCPA)

The CTIA (a business trade association)

The providers (such as AT&T and T-Mobile)

Your messaging provider’s policies, for example, SimpSocial’s

It sounds like a lot, but it’s mostly common sense. First and foremost among things to know is the acronym “SHAFT”: no sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, or tobacco in your messages (sorry, Marlboro Man!). Also:

 

* Tell the recipient who you are (the brand name they identify with you)

* Provide a clear call to action

* Include your real URL (not a shortener or redirect) and test it

* Give people the option to opt-out (required, just as it is in the email)

* Finally, proofread it all and spell check—don’t leave any red flags

 

See? Pretty basic—especially among communication professionals. However, we strongly recommend that you review the TCPA, CTIA, and other lists of rules every few months to ensure that there are no updates. As with the law, ignorance is not a defense.

 

Other Considerations

When planning your messaging campaign(s), there are several other aspects you’ll also need to consider:

 

* Which messaging format (short code, long code, or toll-free) is ideal for you (see our SMS eBook)?

* Whether you have the right number(s) for your preferred format, or what it will take to acquire them

* What is required to hit Send, including the right provider, campaign approval timeline(s), and associated costs?

 

Although these details aren’t all directly involved in being compliant, they’re all part and parcel of building solid, compliant campaigns. For example, the messaging format you choose will determine the approval process and how long it will take. Perhaps the most important decision? Finding a good provider who knows the ropes and will hold your hand throughout the process (related blog)!

 

As with a lot of marketing and communications these days, there are rules, there’s a definite learning curve, and you shouldn’t expect to master messaging campaigns overnight. With a 98% open rate within the first few minutes, however, there’s a lot of upside to getting it right. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding the best way to reach your target audience.






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