Text messages have open rates of about 98 percent – a fact that tempts many marketers into throwing caution to the wind and sending out cold SMS to leads in the hopes of soliciting business.

Well, that is illegal in the world of marketing. Texting customers without their consent is a violation of their privacy. Obtaining consent is the first step in building a bulk SMS database.

Let not the impressive click-through rates and open rates lead you into taking shortcuts. You need to know how to best approach it.

Here is a guide to help you do SMS marketing the right way.

What is Cold Texting?

Simply defined, cold texting refers to sending out messages to customers you have no relationship with. If, for example, you purchase a contact list of prospects and text them, what you are delivering is a cold text.

Cold texting is illegal because consent is first needed before texting a customer. Also, SMS, unlike emails, is more personal. Many people are cautious when giving out their phone numbers.

Violating their privacy, as a result, could land your business in trouble.

What Should You Do Instead of Cold Texting?

More than 74 percent of people prefer texting a business if they are familiar with it. You can utilize this by giving prospective customers an easy way to opt into your marketing database.

Here’s how to quickly onboard them:

1.      Use na Op-In Keyword

Depending on your overall goal, create keywords encouraging customers to sign up and opting them to receive future texts.

The best way to do this is through Shortcodes. For instance, you can invite customers to text a keyword to a specific number for offers, discounts, or bonuses. Once they do, they will be added to your SMS database.

2.      Include a Click-to-Text Button on Your Website

If your business or brand has a website, include a click-to-text button that automatically subscribes your prospects to your text list.

When customers click on the button, the SMS app on their phone launches with a pre-written text and a partly filled recipient number (your number).

You can then reply to their messages, follow up on the leads, and kickstart the process of turning them into customers.

3.      Make Your Phone Number Public

Your customers should always have an easy way of reaching out to you. It is, therefore, essential to publicize your phone number so they can text you.

Ensure that the phone number is unobstructed by text on your website and is clear and readily available. Publicize it on social media and other marketing channels you are using.

4.      Integrate With Your Current Marketing Tools

If you have invested in a tool or software that collects prospect information, you can integrate this tool with an SMS API gateway.

Celcom Africa allows you to simply integrate your marketing tools with a powerful SMS gateway to gather lead information for smooth processes and follow-ups. As a bulk SMS provider, Celcom Africa offers you different integration options to ensure every prospect is captured.

With an Effective SMS Marketing Strategy, Cold Texting is Unnecessary

The direct nature of Bulk SMS marketing makes it one of the most effective ways of turning prospects into customers – but you must do it right. Obtain customer permission using the aforementioned ways so you can start building your SMS database immediately.

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