The coolest thing about text message marketing is that just a few years ago I couldn’t have written this article because the concept didn’t even exist. As technology continues to develop, so do the ways in which we use it. Today, many people have unlimited text plans on their cell phones and in many cases actually like getting text updates and event info. However, there are still a lot of people who don’t like it. So what are the “best practices” for text message marketing?
First of all, text messaging allows DJs to easily support the events they’re booked for by directly inviting their friends and fans. A personal invite from the DJ via text can be a nice touch, but when is it too much? Initially, I would say one text per event is a fair way to go about it, but what about the DJ that has 3-4 gigs a week?
Regardless of how you may feel about text message marketing, it is an essential part of promoting events today. But it is important to be sensitive to the amount of texting as well as the time of day, length, and the language and abbreviations used to promote your events.
Frequency of Texts
I would limit your texting to no more than twice a week. However sometimes DJs have more gigs and want to keep you as informed as possible.
When to Text
Always send out texts during reasonable hours of the day. For example between the hours of 9am to 9pm would seem to be acceptable.
Most text messages contain up to 160 characters. When you exceed 160 characters the message is split up into two messages. Be courteous to your readers by keeping it short and concise in order to keep it within one message.
In order to be concise, it is often necessary to abbreviate or use what they call textspeak. Where “for” = 4, “to, too, and two” = 2, “be” = B, and “you” = U… just to name a few. While these abbreviations help save space, make sure you only those that have obvious meanings. and still try to keep it professional. Here is a great list of text messaging abbreviations: http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/textmessageabbreviations.asp
Services vs Actual Text
Many people just send out texts right from their phone (actually text messaging) but those who have big promotions may choose to move on to a text messaging service where all you do is type your message online and it shoots to your whole list at once. This is a great way to live let me tell you. However, there are some drawbacks. While I would much rather pay a service to handle this for me, there is something to be said for the way people respond to mass texts vs texts directly from you. I’ve found that when I send texts directly from my phone, I get a much better response from when I use a service. People know you’re hitting them directly making it a more personal invite. Even if you’re sending it to 10 or 20 people at once, the message is still coming from your actual phone. Promoters with hundreds or even thousands of phone numbers don’t have much of a choice but to use the services. However, if you have only a few hundred names you may be able to create groups in your phone to speed up the process and keep it more personal.
Always unsubscribe someone who asks you to stop sending texts. They are annoyed with your texts and you will only make things worse by continuing. Sometimes it’s hard to understand why an actual friend doesn’t want your texts but there can be many reasons; they pay for every text sent and received (not everyone has an unlimited texting plan), they already get you e-mails, they simply don’t text, or they’re not likely to show up. You could be sending out texts to 500 people but only 350 of them are actually worth sending it to because they read it and may actually come. So by them unsubscribing, you’re weeding out the useless texts anyways. One drawback of services is that people can unsubscribe themselves accidentally simply by responding.
I’ve been using a service for some time now and I really love the convenience of it. However, as I mentioned earlier it just isn’t as personal and therefore not as effective. I was recently texting about an event to generate RSVPs and got nothing. So I decided to text about 100 select people from my phone directly asking them if they would like me to RSVP them. The response was immediate and overwhelming. As a result, I will be cancelling my service (and saving some money) and will move back to personal texting from my phone. It will take a lot longer but I know that my numbers will increase because of it.
Where do you stand on sending and receiving mass texts to promote events?