• Mindy Gross

What is SMS and MMS?

Updated: Nov 1, 2021

You are likely already familiar with SMS (short message service).

If you receive text alerts from your favorite pizza place or clothing store announcing specials and events, you signed up for their SMS program. SMS is the acronym for Short Message Service. SMS texts are sent over a cellular network and only require wireless plans from cellular carriers to work.

Woman reading text message at coffee shop

SMS has become a useful tool for many businesses in a variety of industries as a communication vehicle to stay engaged with customers and employees.

Studies show that over 90% of SMS messages are opened within the first 3 minutes. This statistic well exceeds the average email open rate of 21.8%. However, we are not saying to nix email; email and SMS can work hand-in-hand, and one can promote the other.

In order to send a SMS message, businesses must have documented consent from a mobile phone user. It is beneficial for businesses to utilize a SMS platform with a variety of opt-in methods.

Through the AGE SMS platform, consumers can subscribe through the following methods:

Keyword: Keywords are the #1 method of collecting subscribers, because it can be promoted across all media. Often-times businesses use their name as the keyword. Consumers text that keyword to an easy-to-remember short code (for ex: 72727) or long code (regular phone number). Through our platform, customers text a keyword to a short code to subscribe. They then receive messages from the business’ unique 800 number. The 1-800 number allows businesses 240 characters per message. Many platforms limit messages to 160 characters.

Kiosk/ Tablet: AGE SMS can provide a tablet where a customer can manually enter their phone number. This is ideally placed at a point-of-purchase location or perhaps at a check-in table for an event.

Unique URL: AGE SMS business partners have a unique URL where they can collect subscribers. This page can be pulled up on a computer, tablet of their own or even a mobile phone. This method is great for trade shows.

Online sign-up added to website: Add a clickable button that routes users to an online kiosk where they can enter their mobile phone number.

Keep in mind that customers opted into your SMS program because they want to stay connected and updated on your products, services and specials. Utilize SMS to engage with them. Invite them to your events. Announce new products. Offer exclusive deals and sneak peaks on products you have not yet announced to public.

SMS is a quick and easy tool to reach out to your customers regularly, but be respectful of their time and make sure your messages are worth their time. Other items to keep in mind:

Frequency: 1 to 2 times per week with a maximum of 5 times per month is safe.

Opt-out method: Always include verbiage at the end of your message that tells subscribers how they can opt out: Reply STOP to cancel.

Timing: Be mindful of when you send the message: between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., avoiding dinner times.

Have fun with SMS! Be creative with weather-related messages and promotions or local events. Announce surprise specials to help move inventory. Share a link to your latest video or blog post. Let them know you value them as a customer and appreciate their loyalty. This doesn’t mean you always need to hold sales—they already see value in your products and services or they would not have signed up for your text alerts. Establish yourself as a reliable and trustworthy source of information. Build a following—a “community” —with your subscribers.

Interested in learning more about AGE SMS, we'd love to hear from you! Contact us today.

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