Americans send over 6 billion text messages daily—that’s a lot of updates on the kids, vacation pictures to mom, and heart emojis. Many—especially business owners—forget the power of something as simple a single text message. If used correctly though, mobile messaging can create an entirely new channel to reach customers.

The issue, however, is how to effectively use this channel of communication. Deciding what makes for good content, how long a message should be, and how often to send them out can be difficult. We’ve created some guidelines to help.

What should you send?

There are a variety of ways to reach consumers through mobile messaging. Here are some that we have found most effective.

Updates and Alerts

This is probably the simplest yet most effective way to utilize mobile messaging. Sending an important update to your customers about an upcoming promotion or deal is a great way to engage customers. It is an easy way to directly connect with your audience. Emails often go unnoticed and get deleted without ever being opened. Text messages have a 98% open rate. You’ll never see a marketing email with that kind of engagement.

Another effective use for mobile messaging is in a situation such as an emergency closing. Here you can send a short text alert informing your customers. In cases like these, customers will appreciate the heads up, and will be more likely to come back to you when you’re ready to go. It is an easy way to build confidence and trust with your audience.

Picture and Video Messaging

Photo or video messages can also be used to engage your audience. Visuals are a great way to grab a customer’s attention and can also help break up the repetitive nature of sending out text alerts. You can send out a photo of a new product you may be offering, or even a video advertisement highlighting the quality of your service. It’s just important to remember though that the content needs to be high quality. This is an opportunity to really get creative with your business!

How to do it right

Just as important as the type of messaging you decide to run with is the actual execution. Here’s our top 3 suggestions to help maintain high-quality content.

Be Timely

It’s great to be in touch with your customers, building strong connections is vital to long term relationships! We just don’t want to overdo it. Sending a text out every day will quickly get you blocked, and possibly lose you a customer. We recommend sending out one or two a month to highlight promotions and send out important reminders or information. You can be more frequent or less frequent depending on how pressing an event or promotion might be and depending on the amount of value it provides to the customer. It’s just important to remember bombarding a customer’s phone with messages is not the best way to gain their confidence.

Be Concise

It’s said that average attention span for a person is now as short as eight seconds. Considering this and how much information we process daily, the importance of being concise in your text message to customers cannot be understated. No more than a few lines should be needed to get the information across. A good rule of thumb is quality over quantity. The better you can articulate your message the more responsive customers will be.

Provide Value

This seems like a no-brainer but can be easily forgotten! The texts you send need to be relevant and provide value for your customers. This value could be anything from a discount to a temporary change in your hours of operation. A good way to know if it will provide value is to place yourself in your customer’s shoes. If you were them would you find this information beneficial today or in the near future? If the information really is useful then it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and send it. Enhancing the customer experience is a huge reason to use mobile messaging. This means your message should always try to achieve that.

So, there you have it. Simple, quick, effective tips to put this simple, quick, effective marketing tactic to use for your local business. Still not sure how to integrate mobile messaging into your marketing strategy, or don’t have a marketing strategy at all? Give us a call, we’ll help you get on track!