How to send bulk text messages to customers: A comprehensive guide
About 78% of the global population owns a smartphone. In 2020, the average American spent three hours per day on a smartphone. On average, Americans also check their phones a whopping 160 times a day.
Brands can take advantage of the popularity and ubiquity of these little handheld devices for text-based marketing. Just take a look at the numbers.
- In 2021, mobile (app) sales were projected to hit $3.56 trillion
- 6 out of 10 U.S. internet users use digital tools to compare product prices
- 59% of American adults prefer to shop using their mobile phone
- 69% of consumers prefer to communicate with brands over text messaging instead of calls
- Another 75% would like to receive commercial offers via SMS
And if all of this weren’t enough:
- According to Gartner, text messages have an average open rate of 98% and a response rate of 45%
- In comparison, email open and response rates average just 20% and 6%, respectively
- 95% of text messages are read within 3 minutes
- The average person takes 90 minutes to respond to an email and just 90 seconds to respond to an SMS text
These are just some reasons why 65% of marketers say that SMS marketing is a “very effective” medium for marketing and branding communications.
Mass (or bulk) text messaging is an easy, scalable, and cost-effective way to engage with your audience, share helpful content and offers, and market and promote your offerings.
If you’re ready to start SMS marketing or want to learn more, this guide explains everything you ever wanted to know about mass text messaging. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of bulk text message marketing and some valuable tips and tricks to make it work for your small business.
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What is text message marketing for businesses?
Text message marketing – also known as SMS marketing – is one of the most direct ways to connect with customers. Many kinds of businesses of every size and in every industry can use text message marketing to:
- Send information about sales, deals, special offers, and coupons
- Send one-off, special or regular notifications or alerts
- Share relevant and meaningful content that may or may not be sales-related
- Send quick updates about the company, new product launches, new collections, upcoming events, etc.
- Or communicate about upcoming appointments, service reminders, or check-in after service and ask for a review.
By sending short, to-the-point, and relevant text messages, your company can:
- Boost audience engagement
- Increase conversions
- Generate more sales and repeat sales
- Shore up marketing, advertising, and promotional programs
- Increase brand awareness, recognition, and recall
- Build long-lasting customer relationships
SMS text messages are a low-friction communication medium and can be easily personalized. Moreover, you can automate your text messaging marketing program to send mass messages to thousands of current and potential customers.
What is bulk text message marketing?
Bulk text message marketing is a way to connect with a broad audience using mobile technology and messaging software.
In most countries, this is a form of permission-based marketing, meaning that you can send out mass SMS only to those who have explicitly opted in to receive this kind of communication from you.
The cost of sending bulk messages is typically based on volume, and messaging software providers usually provide a discounted price for larger volumes.
Standard options include monthly subscriptions and pay-as-you-go pricing. Using additional features could increase your costs, but mass text messaging is generally cost-effective.
Benefits of bulk text message marketing
Mass text marketing allows you to reach more customers simultaneously with minimal marketing effort and low cost. As long as you have a database of opted-in contacts, you can leverage a mass text messaging app to send bulk texts.
In most cases, these contacts will receive your message within seconds. Moreover, you can reach specific consumers by sending bulk SMS messages that traditional marketing communications just can’t.
With software, you can automate the entire process to minimize manual effort. The software will hold your contact list and let you control who to send text messages to and what kind of messages to send.
Engage in meaningful, two-way conversations
You can turn every message into a two-way conversation. With bulk text messaging software, you can easily send information and receive responses, so you don’t have to settle for a one-way, “spray and pray” marketing type that hardly ever works in a buyer-led economy.
Include multimedia content
Some advanced platforms support multimedia (MMS) mass texting. Multimedia text messages with GIFs, photos, videos, audio files, etc., are rewarding and highly effective ways to engage with large customers.
If your content is unique and compelling, it can boost opens and responses, build trust with your target audience, enhance brand recognition and even increase website traffic and online store visits and purchases.
Maintain the privacy of individual recipients
With mass texting, you can send text messages to as many people as you like while keeping conversations and threads separate.
Recipients will not see each other’s replies since each thread is converted into a private one-on-one conversation, eliminating privacy worries.
Additionally, this allows you to bring greater personalization to your customer communications.
How to send bulk text messages
What you should say
One FAQ about bulk text marketing is: what should I say?
Answer: anything you want!
You can use mass text messaging for a wide range of use cases, including:
- Marketing and promotions
- New product launches
- Promo code distribution
- Direct sales
- Brand awareness campaigns
- Company/industry news and updates
- Sign-up or appointment reminders
- Shipment information
- Increase web or eCommerce store traffic
- Request customer feedback
Most bulk messaging software provides a higher character limit than regular text messages, so you can comfortably design your message and tell your story. Regardless of your message type, make sure it is:
- Personalized: Even addressing each recipient by name can make a huge difference to open rates
- Conversational: Talk to your recipients, not at them
- Valuable: Focus on the value the recipient will receive
- Authentic: Avoid over-aggressive sales messages
How to get started with bulk text messaging
To get started, you will need a bulk text messaging platform, like Broadly’s, which provides an easy, scalable way to send mass texts.
You can customize the SMS service for your needs and personalize your messages by including each recipient’s name to improve open rates and get more responses. Use built-in mass templates to save time and effort and get notifications out faster.
To send bulk text messages with a software platform, the process is relatively simple and user-friendly:
- Upload your contact list: Tell the platform which recipients it should send mass text messages. Add from existing contacts, paste from clipboard or upload a complete file.
- Draft your message: You can draft any message depending on your use case. Create your own, or use a built-in template to save time.
- Send your message: The app will send your messages near-instantaneously to almost all recipients (high deliverability).
Can i send bulk text messages for free?
Free bulk text messaging services do exist, but they usually have many limitations regarding the number of messages you can send and the number of additional features you can use. You likely won’t be able to customize the service, use templates, send bulk broadcast messages, or safely archive your information and communication history.
Most free services also don’t provide quality customer support, so if you face some problems while using the platform, it may not be addressed in a timely manner (if ever). They also cannot guarantee high uptime, so your messages may not reach your recipients at the time you need them to.
With a paid mass messaging service, like the one Broadly provides, you get all the above features at a minimal cost. Moreover, all your messages and other information are safely stored in the cloud, which you can easily access as needed.
Tips and best practices for text message marketing
Choose the right mass text messaging app
There are many bulk text messaging applications and software. Some are more suitable for large companies, while others are useful for small businesses. Certain apps may be designed for specific industries, while others are industry-agnostic.
To make the best possible choice, consider these criteria:
- It should be easy to use
- It should be customizable
- It should support true two-way messaging
- It should be affordable for low-volume messaging
- It must scale as your messaging needs evolve with your growth or as per seasonal or other trends
- It should support integrations with other apps and services for further scalability and flexibility
Segment your recipient list
Create multiple segments for your mass text campaigns if you have thousands of subscribers. This way, you can ensure that you only send bulk campaigns to those who are most likely to find them helpful and respond positively to them (e.g., by clicking on the “Buy Now” link)
Make each message warm, personalized, and valuable
Text messages provide limited real estate, so make it count! Say what you need to say briefly. At the same time, make your tone warm and friendly. Personalize each message with the recipient’s name, and make sure the content is valuable.
Always follow business text messaging etiquette
For each mass message, always follow business text messaging etiquette. Address recipients with respect, say who you are, and clearly explain why you’re sending the message. Sign off smoothly and include your contact details and any other relevant information.
Include a call to action
Include a call to action (CTA) to encourage recipients to respond to your message, shop your online store, make an appointment, click to go through to your website, etc. Use the CTA strategically and make it as specific as possible. It should also be visible and unambiguous.
Always get their opt-in first
Marketers in the U.S. must comply with CTIA and TCPA laws. This means getting users’ explicit opt-in before sending texts in bulk. As long as they opt-in to receive your text messages, you can legally text them via a mass texting program. Also, if someone asks to be removed from your texting list, you are legally obligated to honor their request.
Reach more customers with Broadly
Want to build strong, lasting relationships with every mass SMS marketing campaign and provide the best possible customer experiences? Broadly can help!
With Broadly, you can help you deliver important messages quickly and cost-effectively and reach more customers at scale. And that’s not all! Broadly offers a centralized platform that helps companies to boost lead generation and enhance their lead follow-up strategies.
Want to see all of the capabilities that can help you to attract the right leads, convert them into loyal customers, and build strong, lasting customer relationships?
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