Ready to implement SMS messaging for your enterprise? There are compliance considerations alongside best practices. Here’s where to start.
Texting is becoming one of the most common and preferable ways to communicate. As you are continually updating your enterprise’s use of technology and new communication methods, SMS can help you reach more people within your network and meet your audiences where they are.
Recent data from Zipwhip shows that 68% of businesses now use texting in one way or another. Enterprises are using SMS messaging for everything from sales to notifications to scheduling. And it’s easy to see why, since the majority of Americans have cell phones.
It’s a smart step forward to set up a texting program for your enterprise. How do you get started? In this article, we’ll walk you through:
- Starting out with texting
- Using the right opt-in strategy
- Managing expectations
- Using a platform like Mobilize Comms
Getting started with enterprise text messaging
When you’re ready to take the texting leap and reach your members and audiences more effectively, there are a few steps to get you started.
Your first point of business should be to figure out your primary goals for your program. Here are seven key questions to discuss with your team:
- 1. Who will you be texting?
- 2. What problems will it solve?
- 3. Who will oversee creating content?
- 4. Who will send out the messages?
- 5. Will you use a platform?
- 6. How many people will you need to reach with each campaign?
- 7. How will you create and track groups within your audience for more personal messaging?
Once you can answer these questions, set tangible goals for your program. As with any goals you create for your enterprise, make sure they are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Being as detailed as possible will help you align your new program to what you’re trying to accomplish for you and your members.
Using the right opt-in strategy
A crucial point to remember is that people don’t like unsolicited texts. You have a much better chance for a response if your texts are not unsolicited, even if it’s an outreach message, and you won’t be violating guidelines that are becoming more and more common. For example, Amazon’s AWS service prohibits unsolicited SMS content. Some jurisdictions enforce penalties for it.
To protect your enterprise, make sure you are familiar with U.S. guidelines regarding SMS messaging, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. This legislation requires that businesses have express written consent before they can send someone text messages.
Another layer of protection is to send a confirmation message after users opt-in for texts, making sure that they do in fact want to receive your messages. Some people may not realize they signed up.
Finally, keep detailed records of how each person or an organization opted in, whether they have confirmed their subscription, and other details like the date and time of all communications.
Managing audience expectations
Now, you may have fully prepared your text campaigns to ensure great content and compliance. But have you created a plan for how to respond? Make sure you always respond to members in a timely manner with a friendly tone and helpful information.
Another best practice is to tie certain keywords to a specific automated action. For example, you should always let people know that if they reply “STOP” to a text, they will no longer receive updates from you.
Don’t overwhelm your list with messages, they may become frustrated or annoyed. To fully reach your goals, you want your audiences to see the benefits of reading and engaging with your texts without aggravation. One way to avoid member frustration is to make sure your texts are sent at appropriate times (never late at night or very early in the morning).
How Mobilize Comms makes it easy
Another part of getting your text program off the ground is finding the right platform. You need a tool that has a track record with your type of enterprise or organization in addition to all the tools you need to reach your audience and ensure compliance.
Mobilize Comms helps organizations like yours send mass text messages to reach members and audiences more efficiently. We empower more effective and accessible communication to create better connections. Whether you need to reach 100 or 100,000,000 people at the same time, we help you do it within minutes. Create more dynamic texts that include GIFs, video clips, images, and more, and track important data to keep improving your approach.
Contact Mobilize Comms to learn more.