Nowadays, it's nearly impossible to find people who don't rely on texting as a main form of communication with friends, family members, even teachers and bosses. Woke up feeling sick? Let the supervisor know—via text, of course. According to the comScore U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share Report, approximately 76 percent of the 234 million American smartphone users send and receive text messages. Any math wiz in the room can tell you that's a potential audience of almost 178 million.
Fortunately for small business owners, small business marketing solutions exist in a yet to become oversaturated marketing text market. Hard to understand why, really, considering Mashable reported marketing texts have an open rate of more than 95 percent per message, compared to the less than 20 percent average for emails.
Think text marketing might be the perfect addition to a really stellar marketing campaign for the masses? It can be, as long as small business owners follow a few simple guidelines:
Get people's attention by sending a valuable alert message
Because most text messages are opened within minutes (seconds, even) of the smartphone notification ding, flash sales and limited-time offers can work really well. Everyone knows how important testing is to a marketing campaign, and text strategies are no exception. Business owners and marketers can experiment with different types of text messages, language, even levels of urgency. How does the response for a two-hour sale compare to one that will only last 30 minutes?
Don't be an annoying texter
Most people have a contact or two who abuse the heck out of text messages. They send messages at all hours of the morning and night, insist on constant communication, and use text lingo like "b4," "u" and "gr8." Small business owners can do their best to stay in the good graces of recipients by limiting outgoing messages, keeping a safe distance from informal language and always giving people the option to unsubscribe. Be sure you follow text message marketing laws.
The law isn't just a suggestion
Mobile marketing is just as big on consumer privacy as other forms of marketing, including emails and direct marketing campaigns. Wireless carriers also have laws mobile marketers must follow, including sending messages only to people who agree to receive mobile marketing messages and alerts. Think just because a person gives a business his or her cellphone number it counts as an opt-in? Think again.