text message marketing and spam

Consumers are far more likely to read a text message than open an email. Why? One theory is that email inboxes have become too inundated with spam; it’s so difficult to discern what’s important and what’s not, people end up ignoring the majority of their emails. In a 2016 study on email deliverability by Return Path, just 22 percent of sent emails were read. The rest were deleted, ignored, never received or marked as spam.

So, how do we protect text message marketing so that it doesn’t fall prey to the same fate? If we want this medium to succeed, we need to take necessary steps to preserve it. We’ve outlined exactly how to maintain text message integrity when creating your text marketing campaigns to avoid spamming consumers and succeed in cutting through the clutter.

Obtain Consent

How many of you have received a sales phone call from an unknown number or an email from a company you definitely did not ask for emails from? Pretty much all of us. There’s nothing more frustrating – or confusing – than receiving correspondence from a company you don’t know or care to know. In today’s world of AI and incredibly intelligent advertising based off of Google searches and shopping history, receiving something unrelated to you or your interests can be jarring. It’s also pretty much the definition of spam: it’s unwanted, unsolicited and usually unhelpful.

Luckily, the TCPA has strict rules on business text messaging – especially mass text message marketing. It’s important brands adhere to these rules because although they’re created to protect consumers, they actually help companies as well. They encourages businesses to be more strategic and thoughtful when sending text messages, therefore ensuring their SMS mobile marketing is effective.

Be Helpful

The key to marketing to today’s media-savvy consumer is to offer helpful, rather than purely self-promotional, content. This is the basic concept of content marketing — to enhance and enrich consumers’ lives, not interrupt or disrupt them.

It sounds great in theory, but what does that actually mean? It means serving up content that the recipient wants. They’re giving you their attention, give them something in return. This could be a link to your recent blog post or a limited-time coupon code for a discount. Making noise isn’t enough – you need to be intentional.

Using data and AI to determine exactly what your consumers want and will respond well to is crucial.

Create Dialogue

You differentiate your marketing messages from spam when you invite conversation. Adopting a two-way text message marketing service like Zipwhip will allow your recipients to engage in real text-message dialogue with you using your business line. It’s a personalized, human experience that spam will never offer.

You can encourage conversation by using dynamic fields to customize your messages and including clear CTAs that elicit a response.

Avoid Short Codes

What are you more likely to respond to – a message from a five-digit number like 37592 OR a real, ten-digit phone number? Most of us immediately discount short code messages as automated and non-human and are more likely to respond to a message coming from a real phone number.

Texting from real numbers also gives recipients the option to text or call. They can respond back and have a text dialogue or dial the number. Giving recipients options improves your brand favorability. Short codes don’t support two-way text conversations, whereas texting from your toll-free, VoIP or landline phone does. Using the same number for both types of communication will also help build brand recognition.

Don’t Overdo It

Send text messages during normal daytime hours. Don’t schedule texts to send at 2 a.m. – your customer won’t appreciate it and will be less likely to respond.

Be stingy with your texts. There’s nothing more annoying than getting double- or triple-texted by someone you don’t want to hear from. Use text messaging sparingly and strategically. When you know you have a limited number of chances to reach your customer, you’ll be more thoughtful and therefore more effective when you do text them.

Offer an Out

Although we automatically include a universal STOP command for recipients to opt-out at any moment, it’s important to educate your consumers about this option. Make sure they know that receiving your messages is optional and remind them it’s something they’ve voluntarily opted into. They’ll be less likely to unsubscribe when they remember it was their choice.

Want to try text message marketing from your existing business phone number? Contact Zipwhip to learn more about our A2P SMS Solution.

Madeleine Wilson

Madeleine Wilson

Content Marketing Manager at Zipwhip
Madeleine Wilson is the content marketing manager for Zipwhip. Her experience in brand strategy, strong writing skills, and eye for design help drive traffic to the Zipwhip website. She loves telling the stories of how Zipwhip impacts businesses and consumers.
Madeleine Wilson