The 2021 Survival Guide to SMS Online

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Ready to send and receive SMS to your contacts? There’s no doubt that more and more organizations are starting to gravitate towards business text messaging for their leads and customers. We’re seeing marketing teams, sales teams, and customer support teams adapting to new technology that allows them to send and receive SMS online, creating a two-way messaging system to strengthen communication with their contacts.

However, when it comes to successfully utilizing SMS online for your business, there are a few critical best practices to take into consideration:

1) Compliance, compliance, compliance

Like with any other types of SaaS platforms, compliance is one of the most important things to understand and prioritize. In order to comply with guidelines for SMS messages, be sure to:

  • Have consent from your contacts. Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), businesses are not allowed to send text messages to consumers without their consent. Examples of contacts giving consent to receive messages include providing their phone number on a website form fill, texting a keyword seen on an ad to a company number, or signing up for your SMS campaign.
  • Always provide an opt-out option. Just like your contacts have the ability to opt-in to receive SMS, they should have the option to opt-out. A simple opt-out example could be putting “Reply STOP to cancel receiving these text messages” at the end of your message.
  • Understand the privacy laws in your country or state. The United States may have different SMS privacy and compliance regulations than the United Kingdom, Brazil, or Australia. It’s important to do your research and verify the laws in your specific location.
opt-out text messaging

2) Create engagement with SMS personalization

For contacts that receive SMS online, you can truly create a unique, engaging experience by using personalization. Sakari’s integrations with Pipedrive and HubSpot allow you to create templates with personalization tokens based on the contact’s name, organization, birthday, etc. Using personalization tokens in your text messages enhances the communication experience and may influence your contacts to engage more when they receive messages from you.

With Sakari, you can also include emojis in your messages and even send multimedia (MMS) messages to the United States and Canada to revamp your message personalization more than ever.

pipedrive first name token

3) Don't spam your contacts

This should be a known rule of thumb. Don’t overdo your messaging- otherwise, you might start seeing a high opt-out rate. Some smart tips to keep in mind when sending messages include:

  • Identify an optimal frequency of messaging for your type of business. The industry guidelines for sending SMS are about 2-6 text messages per month or 1-2 times a week.
  • Make sure the messages you are sending have relevance! If a contact signed up to receive information on upcoming holiday discounts, make sure your texts are focused on that.
  • Be mindful of the timing for when you are sending SMS messages. Typically, businesses avoid sending text messages during the weekends and outside of business hours- don’t be the one sending a demo invite on Saturday at 2 am!

4) Keep it short

If someone signs up to receive SMS from your company, they don’t want four broken up messages coming through to their phone number. Going hand-in-hand with not spamming your contacts, you also want to keep your messaging short and sweet. You can use Sakari’s free SMS Length Calculator to calculate the message segment length and character count of your text message.

5) Use automated SMS campaigns and workflows

Automation makes everyone’s life easier. Sakari’s services allow you to integrate with CRM platforms and then build texting campaigns based on triggers. For example, if you want to send a text message to a phone number immediately after a contact submits a form, you can build an automated workflow that allows you to send an SMS within seconds of that trigger.

ActiveCampaign-Text-Messaging-Workflow

6) Remember to measure your success

Without measurable metrics, your organization can’t verify whether or not your SMS strategy is successful. Be sure to use a tool like Google Analytics to help your company analyze important data, such as:

  • % of open rates
  • % of click rates (if there’s a clickable link in the text)
  • # of new subscribers
  • # of contacts that opted out
  • Average time of day with the most open rates

Send and Receive SMS Online with Sakari

If your business wants to take advantage of SMS online in the future, you can try it for free with Sakari. There’s no credit card required and the initial setup takes about 60 seconds. The free SMS trial plan includes $5 USD of messaging credits for you to try out all the tools and features.

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