Remember how pumped you were last month that your eblast got a 40% open rate and 3% clickthrough rate? Jackpot!
Most organizations and businesses invest a lot of time and dollars in email marketing. But if you were to ask these companies the goal of their email marketing efforts, many would give you an unconvincing answer about increasing awareness or simply shrug their shoulders and tell you they feel like they have to. Everyone else is doing it. We need to break through the noise somehow!
This is why every morning, you find a bajillion marketing emails clogging up your inbox. I may read one or two of them a week. The rest get deleted without even being opened. I’m not here to tell you to abandon email marketing, just that you could be missing out on customer/supporter engagement by being so reliant on it.
The Case for Text Message Marketing
- Nearly everyone has a cell phone within arm’s length of them 24/7. In fact, 98% of text messages are read within 2 minutes. Now compare this to email. A 50% open rate would be otherworldly, and the average open rate hovers around 20%. Yikes!
- The average text message clickthrough rate is about ten times higher than that of emails. 20% vs. 2%.
- The industry standard for text message marketing limits texts to 160 characters, meaning that messages are short, easy to read and direct. So not only is this a benefit for the customer or supporter, it means that the marketing person responsible for sending the message has less work to do than if composing an email.
Best Uses for Text Message Marketing
Text message marketing is best used to increase sales or traffic to your business. If you can offer great deals that simultaneously encourage customers to spend more in order to unlock the offer, that’s a huge win. For example, if your average customer spends $25/purchase, you could send a text for a $5 discount on a purchase of $30 or more. This way the customer feels like they’ve received an exclusive offer and ultimately ends up spending the same if not more than they would have without the offer.
Every good text message should include four elements:
- Name of business: Make sure the customer/supporter knows exactly who this message is coming from.
- Special offer: Restaurants, nonprofit thrift shops, retail stores, e-commerce sites – imagine 90% of your customers learning about your latest offer from a text. That’s huge!
- A way to access the offer: Include a link to a mobile coupon or special code so customers know how to redeem the offer.
- Disclaimer for number of texts/month: Industry regulations require that you let subscribers know how many texts they can expect from you each month.
How Nonprofits Can Leverage Text Marketing
This will probably require some creativity, but the reward is definitely worth it. Remember that the key to text marketing is to make the subscriber feel like they’re receiving exclusive access to information. For example, if you have a fundraising event coming up, you could send a text message to your text list the day tickets become available offering something like $10 off for a $100 ticket.
During fundraising campaigns that don’t involve an event, your special offer could be something tangible for subscribers who give at a certain level. For example, give a Nalgene bottle or t-shirt to all text subscribers who give at a certain level.
If your nonprofit has any earned revenue opportunities like a thrift shop, focus your email marketing efforts on your organization’s work and your text marketing efforts on the thrift shop, segmenting messages based on people’s specific involvement with your organization.
Remember, the key is that your subscribers feel special and receive value from your messages.
Email marketing isn’t going anywhere, so you’ll want to continue doing it at some frequency. But if you want to explore adding text marketing to your broader communications strategy, reach out. We’d love to help you.