For a lot of us mobile users, texting is a fun, easy way of keeping in touch with people. It’s convenient, inexpensive, and doesn’t require immediate action; you can take your time reading or responding to a text. Try that with a phone call!
For folks in marketing or who own a business, texting is a fantastic tool for keeping in contact with customers and doing it without running up a huge bill. It offers a degree of outreach that makes even the smallest companies competitive with the big guys.
But like so many other awesome things in life, there’s a balancing act involved. After all, one foolproof way of driving people away from you is to keep bugging them. But then again, if you don’t stay in regular contact with people, they tend to think you’ve forgotten about them or blown them off somehow.
Okay, so how often should you, as a business owner or marketing person, text your customers?
What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
According to the article “Why Message Frequency is an Important Element of Text Marketing Success”, studies have shown that the ideal frequency is between two and four messages per month. Although that sounds simple enough and is, in fact, a good benchmark, it nevertheless comes with qualifiers.
Your customers want to hear from you often, but within reason!
The actual number of messages depends in part upon the relevancy of the messages, the expectations of your subscribers, and even the level of activity of your establishment. For instance, if you run a bar and hold three special events every week, and you want each event to have a text call-out, then you’re looking at a dozen messages a month.
But even heavy texting isn’t a problem if people know what to expect. Speaking of which …
Make Sure People Know What It Means To Opt-In
Maybe people sign up for text subscriptions using an email, or a link on your website or social media page, or maybe even a flier (hopefully one that also includes a coupon!). But whatever means people use to opt-in, make sure they are told ahead of time what they can expect from you.
If you’re the bar mentioned above, it may be wise to say something like “We hold lots of promotions and special events, and by opting in, you will receive notices about them.” Sure, it may deter some folks from signing up, but they’ll opt out anyway if they didn’t know what the volume would be, and they started getting too many texts from you.
Make Those Texts Sweet
People who know what they’re getting into will be less likely to arch an eyebrow over a higher volume of (justifiable) texts. But just in case, it doesn’t hurt to sweeten the pot a little by including special deals in the text. For instance, a code or link could lead the user to your site, where they can then get a discount or some other special deal.
You Can Vary The Frequency
The beauty of texting policies is that, like the Pirate Code, they are just guidelines. Perhaps one week will require no texts while the following will need four separate blasts. Use common sense; as long as the texts have something to say and aren’t just empty time-wasters, you should be fine sticking with the two to four a month.
But do keep an eye on response rates. If it does seem that many of your texts don’t appear to be getting a response, you may need to adopt the “less is more” strategy.
For more insights into text marketing, check out “How Your Small Business Can Take Advantage Of SMS Marketing”.