What is Text Message Marketing?

Also known as mobile marketing or SMS marketing, text message marketing is when campaigns, small businesses, non-profits, or any type of organizations send SMS messages for the purpose of marketing directly to a person’s phone through a service provider.

It’s also extremely effective, even more so than many traditional methods of marketing. While you can’t ensure that a consumer or voter will pay attention to your billboard or grab your flyer, the chances of them viewing a message in their phone’s inbox are much higher. It’s almost a guarantee that they’ll connect with your message-- if not by responding to your SMS message, then at least by opening it, especially when trying to reach millenials.

It’s also instantaneous, meaning you won’t have to wait too long to start seeing results once you’ve sent the first message. Data comes quickly because sms messaging is a format more likely to gain responses. Whether you’re sending messages for a campaign or a small business, text messages can be used as advertisements, sms text polling, reminders, election text updates, and anything else you might be able to imagine.

While the definition of text message marketing is straightforward, here are a few key points that you should know about text message marketing.

Text Message Marketing is Completely Legal.

Although there are many foreign companies offering to illegally hack into databases to gather contacts and send messages, text message marketing, when done the right way, is not seedy as its reputation might precede it.

In 2011, the Federal Communications Commission began regulating text message marketing, requiring political campaigns, businesses, etc. to make use of opt-in text messaging to connect with voters and consumers.

As long as your campaign plays by the rules and obtains voter consent, text message marketing can be not only an effective but legal marketing tactic to employ for your campaign. Text message marketing through honest companies such as Robocent will also help streamline the process, as you can trust them to handle the technicalities in an ethical manner.

It Can Establish a Long-term Relationship With Your Voter Base.

The one-on-one nature of text message marketing provides your campaign with the opportunity to cultivate a connection with the voter. Text message marketing shines specifically when used for political campaigns because voters want to feel heard and politicians or organizations want to develop loyalty.

In an intimate setting such as the text message inbox, you’ll have more leverage when trying to gain information about your voter base or even just trying to get the word out about your platform. You’ll be able to conduct conversations, distribute reminders, and even recruit followers or volunteers all through SMS.

The convenience of text messaging provides a low-stakes environment for the voter, which in the long run will establish trust and interest in your campaign. The voter sees that your campaign recognizes boundaries; instead of focusing on the short-term pestering for information, text message marketing provides a more low key approach which in time will reap more rewards.

Text Message Marketing Can be Augmented by Other Marketing Tactics Your Campaign is Already Using.

Since the government still requires voter opt-in for text message marketing, this is where traditional marketing strategies you might already be using can come in. When setting up your text message campaign, voters must opt-in through texting in a keyword to a shortcode. Look at what’s already been working for your campaign, and use that to support your text messages.

Already have a digital billboard up on a high-traffic website, or has canvassing been working well for your campaign? Has a commercial on television been gaining your campaign more support? Use these already proven methods you’ve been using to promote your code and keyword for your text message campaign. With the audience you’ve already garnered, you’ll never have to start from square one with text message marketing.

It’s Still Uncharted Territory.

Many campaigns and small businesses still view text message marketing as an enigma and completely bypass the strategy all together. While its novelty might make most marketers shudder at the unknown, text message marketing’s lack of ubiquity will give your campaign a leg up on the competitors.

Since text message marketing is still an up and coming strategy, most people aren’t plagued by marketers via text in the same way that they are everywhere else. This means that your campaign, if executed effectively, will make a more positive and memorable impression on the voter if you’re one of very few utilizing SMS for marketing. By the time your opponents finally hop on the text message marketing bandwagon, your campaign will have already gained voter loyalty and will not need to overcompensate.

When it comes down to it, text message marketing is the strategy of the future. Instantaneous, unique, and extremely effective, it might be exactly what your campaign needs. Are you ahead of the curve?