SMS Marketing for Beginners | What You Need to Know

August 8, 2018

Hi My name is Derek Johnson with tatango

com I've been doing text message marketing for 10 plus years now So what I wanted to do is combine all that info and do a video for the beginners, so what you need to know as a beginner in text message marketing So I put together four different topics and let's jump into them right now Number one is short codes

You have to know what a short code is for text message marketing It's essentially a five to six-digit phone number that is used by a brand to communicate to their customers or consumers Pretty simple, huh? There's two actually different kinds of short codes though There's vanity short codes and random short codes Vanity short codes can be leased for $1,000 a month and a random short code can be leased for $500 a month

So what's the difference and why is one more expensive than the other? Well, a vanity short code is one where the brand selects the number, so the brand goes, "I want this number," and they get the number as long as it's available That's $1,000 a month A random short code or sometimes referred to as non-vanity or generic short code, those are randomly generated and then given to the brand So big difference, obviously Most clients will go with a vanity short code just because it's easier to remember, easier to type in and it's a better-looking phone number

So that's what a short code is, and the two different types of short codes: vanity, non-vanity or random short code Number two thing that you need to know as a beginner is what is an SMS keyword? A keyword is a phrase or a word that you text into a short code Remember, the short code is a five to six-digit number Hopefully, you haven't forgot already, that was number one And the keyword will trigger some type of experience for the consumer

Let me give you an example, or maybe two examples First one would be the keyword Join And again, you can pick whatever keywords you want but let's use Join Join could be a keyword to join an SMS marketing campaign to add your number to a list So somebody who texts Join to the short code 12345, and then they would be opted in

Let's say you have a keyword Download, and people text Download to 12345 to download your mobile app So you can use keywords for really whatever you want For contest, polls, SMS autoresponders, mass text messaging, but essentially, it starts the conversation with the brand and then you can figure out where to go from there Keywords can be as long as they want, they can be as short as they want, it really doesn't matter, but again, their textyou know, you text them to the short code That's one, is short codes, two is keywords They're very closely related though as you can see Number three here is the rules, and I say that because there's actually a couple different rules you have to follow in text message marketing and this is so important because there's real big consequences to not following the rules

So, the first one is the CTIA, C-T-I-A And essentially, they team up with the wireless carriers and they come up with these rules to make sure that people are using short codes appropriately If you don't follow those rules, then your short code could be suspended or terminated That's obviously something you do not want because if the short code doesn't work, then your customers can't message you and you can't message your customers, so you want to follow those rules Now, on the other side, there's laws

Actually, federal law, it's called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, TCPA Essentially, it says you can't text message consumers without their consent So you can't buy phone numbers, you can't text message customers that didn't opt-in Now that's very specific and there's many videos out there we have about all the specifics on the TCPA, but for now, that's pretty much it You can't text message consumers without their consent or it'd be text message spam

And then if you do send text message spam, you'll be violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the TCPA And if you do violate that, you can be sued by customers or consumers for between $500 and $1,500 per text message Not text message that you send out to like 100,000 people, no, 100,000 text messages times $500 to $1,500 per a hundred thousand text messages So, it can become very, very expensive So I cannot implore people even more

Number three is to follow the rules So always follow the rules in text message marketing Number four, the last one, is the difference between SMS and MMS marketing SMS is 160 characters, it's plain text You can put links in, you can put a phone number in, but essentially, it's plain text

MMS, on the other hand, is a little more robust It allows you to put a subject line up to 500 characters of text and then the most important thing is it allows you to put an image or video, maybe even a GIF, into the actual message So 160 characters plain text which is SMS MMS is a subject, a longer body of message, and then you get to put in a media content which could be a video, image or GIF So much more robust messaging option over here than SMS

So, hopefully, that gives you enough information that you can start your SMS marketing campaign or at least start your journey in SMS marketing, but those are four things that I wish I knew back in the day before I started getting into text message marketing

Source: Youtube