Text with the Best of ThemAugust 29, 2011

1. First address: Who is your audience? Texting is effective with younger people, although not exclusive to them. Remember: people on mobile phones are mobile. All your SMS campaign must take this into consideration. They aren't watching TV, they are not at their computers.

2. Do not spam: A text ad campaign must comply with CAN-SPAM rules, be sure to structure your campaign legally.

With a text campaign, you have two options: Push and pull.

Push is when you send unsolicited text messages. Not only do people not like that, they have to pay for it, and that's a double negative. No-No.

Pull is when people opt-in and give you permission to text them. That is the goal.

Best way to create your opt-in list is letting your clientele know that if they sign up for your campaign they will get prioritary offers that others won’t receive. Get the word out on your website, via email, in your advertising, through Facebook, and via tweets: “Sign up now for our text notices and be the first for our popular Monday special!”

The list you create will be more effective than any list you purchase.

3. Choose a great service provider: as with anything, there are inexpensive text message service providers and platinum ones. The cheaper ones will let ou send or receive a batch of SMS messages at a set rate. More sophisticated SMS marketing services offer software, dashboard, reports, customer databases and more. An all-in-one service like MobileCommons allows you to create a list, start a campaign, track it, and refine it as necessary – just as you would with any ad campaign.

You can use a service like MobiQpons which allows clients in your area to sign-up and receive coupons for local discount discounts. Clients within 10 miles of your business will receive your deal.

(Another factor to consider is whether you want to have your own short code, i.e., “text in Mybiz to vote for our Best of.” You do this by applying for a short code, this can be both time consuming and expensive.)

4. Cell phones are relatively free of advertising. Your campaign has to fit in with the culture of the mobile phone. People use them when they are on the go and for fun. Polls, sweepstakes, games, contests, promotions and coupons work very well.