Nearly everyone texts—even throughout the workday. In fact, 80% of people use texting for business. However, while companies are comfortable with employees using business SMS for intra-office communications and responding to customer service inquiries, they are beginning to raise a new question: what about mass texting?
With the aesthetic strides that marketers and customer relations teams have made with HTML and other beautifying techniques, some businesses are wondering why people would want to receive a plain text. But today’s mass texting, or sending a single message to a large list of recipients, is a cutting-edge communications strategy bolstered by powerful software.
To help you decide whether business SMS really is the rising star so many businesses (and consumers) think it is, we’ve compiled a definitive list of pros and cons
Pros of Businesses Sending a Mass Text
Mass text messaging has come a long way since those spammy messages you might have received a decade ago. Bolstered by powerful software, regulated by compliance requirements, and improved with some learned best practices, mass texts are a favorite of many savvy businesses. Here’s why.
Recipients are primed to like your content. Because customers have to opt in to your texting services in order to receive any texts, you can guarantee they’re interested in your content. In essence, you’ll be contacting your base of loyal customers and potential customers. (In other words, the perfect audience for upselling.)
You can send texts at the perfect moment. When you send an email, there’s no telling when your audience will read it. They could open your email right away or in a week. When you send a mass text, there’s a good chance your recipients will read it right away. After all, 90% of texts are read within the first three seconds of receipt.
Your messages will be to-the-point. There’s no room for monologuing in text messages—which is a good thing. Today’s consumers have very short attention spans, though there’s a debate as to whether our attention spans are really only 8 seconds. They don’t have time or energy to sift through long emails to get to your core message. With no room for fluff in texts, you can convey your message immediately.
There are many uses for mass texting. When most professionals hear “mass texting,” they think of 500 identical 50% off coupons sent via text. If you do mass text messaging correctly, campaigns are not like that at all. Today’s mass texting can be used for sending appointment reminders, tasteful event invitations, and useful customer loyalty offerings. These texts can be personalized for each recipient and targeted toward small sets of users to make it seem like each text was sent individually. They achieve a high open rate, too; on average, 98% of SMS messages are read.
Technology makes large-scale mass texting manageable. Some businesses may be interested in mass text messaging but concerned about the logistics of it. Today’s mass texting platforms empower businesses to send customized texts to clients and receive responses back to a shared inbox. Responses sent to the shared inbox can be quickly assigned and responded to by a team of customer service agents.
Mass texting is affordable. While mass mailing and even emailing can cost businesses a pretty penny, sending a mass text can be far less expensive. Top business platforms offer clear pricing up front, to be paid on a by-text basis to ensure your company only pays for as many texts as you send.
Cons of Businesses Sending a Mass Text
The benefits of mass text messaging are many, but nothing’s perfect. Read on to learn about the few challenges your business will face when you adopt mass texting.
Compliance requires a couple of steps. As they have to with email marketing, consumers will have to opt in before they receive a single mass text. (It’s U.S. law). Luckily, the opt-in process can be as simple as asking customers to text in with a one-word keycode to your business SMS number. If you have a powerful business texting platform, it can be set up to automatically add customers to your list of opted in recipients, simplifying the process further. Plus, securing explicit permission to text your recipients means that they will be primed to receive your messages.
You can’t send texts too often. On the flip side of that coin, customers can always opt out of your texting services, and that process must be easy for them, too. (The business SMS platform you choose should automatically opt out recipients when it receives messages with words like STOP, STOPALL, UNSUBSCRIBE, CANCEL, END, or QUIT.) Because of this caveat, you can’t bombard customers with your content—if you do, they might get annoyed and opt out of your program altogether.
You can’t beautify your message (too much). A mass text is sleek by itself, but it’s true that you can’t beautify it with your marketing team’s HTML skills. However, you can add emojis, GIFs, standalone images, and links. That means that any pretty HTML content you want to share—newsletters or event invitations, for example—can be sent via link and viewed on a browser.
Made up your mind to try mass texting? Test it out with our text service for business.