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Nonprofit SMS Marketing

How To Use Storytelling in Your SMS Messages

A story can convey your message compellingly and is more likely to increase engagement with your audience—and believe it or not, it’s possible to tell a complete story in 150 characters or less. 

Stories are everywhere, not just in books. Businesses and organizations have their own story to tell, and direct and effective SMS text messages are the latest platform where they can share those stories. 

Why Use SMS and MMS Text Messaging Marketing

SMS marketing is an ideal channel for rapidly sharing time-sensitive promotions and information with millions of people simultaneously. More than 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of being received, making text messaging a powerful tool for connecting with audiences. 

There has never been a more direct and effective line of communication for marketing than SMS text messaging. In fact, 78% of consumers say SMS is the fastest way to get in touch with them. With that kind of reach, putting every character to work to maximize the effectiveness of your message is imperative.

Some of the more traditional forms of marketing, such as print ads or TV commercials, don’t provide the benefit of immediate feedback that can help you adjust your strategy in real time. But getting that kind of insight is possible with text messaging marketing. Using the up-to-date metrics for each message, you can iterate your campaign strategy and methods on the fly—with little or no additional costs—until you reach your goals. 

Many organizations are competing for the same audiences and dollars. Using the most effective and efficient tools available to reach supporters is more critical than ever. Mobile marketing campaigns are one of the most effective fundraising methods compared to widely used, traditional marketing efforts such as sweepstakes, events, and auctions. We found that for every dollar Tatango clients invest in building and operating a texting program, they net an average of at least $5 in donations.

You can do much more with SMS and MMS text message marketing beyond promotion, such as hosting a giveaway or contest, offering support, and including images or GIFs.

How to Use a Storytelling Structure in Your SMS Messages

A basic storytelling structure includes a beginning, middle, and ending. Any good story starts with a hook to draw in your audience. Continue engaging your audience by diving deeper into your cause and expanding your story with more information. Once your audience becomes invested, conclude your story with a moving and satisfying ending. Here’s how a storytelling structure unfolds in SMS messages:

  1. The Beginning

    You only get one chance to make a first impression, and regardless of what another popular idiom would have you believe, sometimes people do judge a book by its cover. A single, compelling or unexpected sentence will capture your audience’s attention.

    Although you’re applying a storytelling template to your SMS text messages, remember to take advantage of everything SMS offers! Personalize the beginning of your message using the subscriber’s name, and use other details provided at sign-up and through interactions and surveys to tailor your story for each subscriber.

  1. The Middle

    Once you’ve hooked your subscriber with a strong beginning, keep your story concise as you begin offering more information to sustain their engagement.

    Text message marketing isn’t limited to text. Visual elements are very powerful. Generate interest using embedded GIFs or photos. The design experts in the Tatango Design Studio, a free service available to our clients, will help you enhance your text messages with eye-catching media that supports your campaign’s goals.

  1. The End

    The ending of a story told in SMS messages is typically an effective call to action infused with a sense of urgency to help your campaign achieve results and gain information as quickly as possible. Create a call to action that wraps up your story and elicits an immediate response from your audience.

Tell a Story with Your Next SMS Campaign

If you’re ready to maximize your fundraising potential, SMS and MMS text message marketing are a must-have. Learn more about using storytelling in your SMS campaign to raise more money—contact the text message marketing experts at Tatango today.


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