Text messaging has open rates close to 99%, while a good email open rate hovers between 20-30%. Seems like text messaging members is a no-brainer.
But what do you need to know before you start doing it?
9 Things to Consider Before Texting Members
- Always allow them to opt-in. Just because they gave you their phone number doesn’t mean they want it to be used that way.
- Since most text messages are read, unlike emails, repeating the same thing over and over will get annoying. Keep your texting down to a minimum and use them for important notifications.
- Always allow people to opt-out by texting stop. If you start seeing a lot of these, that should tell you that you are likely sending too many messages.
- If you have a lot to say, ask people what types of texts they’d like to get from you. Choices could include: event texts, emergency texts, dues reminders, and hot deals.
- Texts work well when there’s an urgency to the message, something for someone to do today or a discount that applies only to that day.
- They are not an absolute for everyone. Some people hate texts, others would prefer all of their communication come in that way. Leave it up to the member.
- Don’t text in the middle of the night like you might for an email send. Some people leave their phones on and text messages could wake them, especially if they have annoying text message alerts.
- Be upfront about charges. While most of us have unlimited texting as part of our data plans, don’t assume that is the case. Let your members know that texts may be subject to charges from their carrier and that they should check with their plan to be sure.
- Make sure you understand the law. Do not think you can just send emails as texts. If you do, you’re going to need to adhere to the CAN-SPAM Act and other regulations.
For now, texting is a great way to reach those who have opted-in to allowing you to communicate with them this way. It’s very effective but we’ll have to wait to see if those open rates dip down as more businesses enter SMS marketing.