Welcome to Tatango! You’ve taken the first step toward optimizing your SMS and MMS marketing campaigns. You’re not alone on this journey—the Tatango team will be with you every step of the way. If our 14 years in the industry have proven anything, it’s that SMS and MMS text message marketing are here to stay, and we hope you are, too!
We know you’re excited to send your first text message, but before you do, there are a few things to take care of. And, you’re in luck! Our Customer Success Team (or CSM) of political text messaging experts is ready to walk you through every step.
Let’s Talk SMS and MMS Marketing
By adding SMS and MMS marketing to your toolbox, you’re already ahead of the competition. In the past, more traditional forms of advertising such as direct mailers, commercials, and email newsletters reigned supreme. Now there’s something far more efficient at your disposal: text message marketing.
With text message marketing, you can effectively reach thousands or even millions of customers at once. It’s the perfect channel for sharing time-sensitive promotions or information. In fact, more than 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of being received, which makes it a powerful campaign tool for reaching subscribers.
Compare that to the other most recent alternative, the email newsletter, with an average open rate of only 22.71% and an even more dismal average click-through rate of 2.91%. The evidence is clear—text message marketing is an advertising game-changer with no sign of going away, especially since 97% of Americans own a cell phone. Text message marketing allows you to connect directly with your audience and personalize your messages in ways that are impossible with social media, email newsletters, and commercials.
To get started, you’re going to need subscribers. But before you can start getting subscribers, you’re going to need something called a short code.
The Low Down on Short Codes
An SMS short code is crucial to a text message marketing campaign because it’s one of the ways your supporters will remember your campaign and, more importantly, you. But what is an SMS short code? In simplest terms, it’s a five- or six-digit phone number used by brands to run their text message marketing campaigns. Consumers opt into campaigns by texting an SMS keyword to a company’s short code.
There is a waiting period of four to six weeks when registering your SMS short code. But don’t worry. Tatango handles the entire short code provisioning process for you, and as you wait for your SMS short code to be activated, there’s plenty of work to do on your SMS and MMS text message marketing campaign. Your onboarding list will include many suggestions to help you prep for your upcoming campaign.
In the first 24 hours, we get to work provisioning your short code so you can focus on…
Growing Your Subscriber List
One of the best things you can do while you wait for your short code to be approved is to develop a strategy for growing your subscriber base. The more subscribers you have, the more donations you can earn, votes you can win, and awareness you can spread.
To grow your subscriber list, you can promote your short code and keywords across all of your other promotional materials, such as billboards, podium signs, yard signs, flyers, advertisements, social media, and more. By the time you update your website and get your materials back from the print shop, you’ll be ready to start using your short code.
Once you’ve designed a incentive for people to join your subscriber list, it’s time to begin…
Designing Your Text Messages
Another component that you can get in motion are your text messages themselves.
Many of our political clients and advocacy organizations do extremely well with a welcome campaign. For example, when a subscriber opts in for the first time, you can map out your welcome sequence, from sending an automated double opt-in text message, to asking for more subscriber information like an email address or zip code to segment your text messages.
The Tatango Design Studio is a free service for our clients that designs compelling imagery for organizations to send in their text messages—GIFs, videos, images, and even audio files. You can work with the Tatango Design Studio to increase your text message through eye-catching imagery based on your campaign’s goals.
SMS Rules and Regulations
With Tatango, you won’t have much to worry about regarding the rules and regulations for SMS and MMS text message marketing. Tatango is an expert on text message marketing compliance and will help make sure your campaign meets compliance requirements.
As a quick overview of the governing powers that be, two main organizations regulate communications and set up regulations to protect consumers from spam text messages and phone calls:
- The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), governed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, known as CTIA
The TCPA helps protect against spam, unwanted phone calls, and unwanted text messages. Election-related campaigns must do two things to comply with the TCPA.
First, they must obtain written proof that each text message recipient has consented to receive text messages from them. Written consent can be obtained in several ways, such as via a web form, at point of sale, through a mobile device, or even with pen and paper.
However you collect subscriber sign-ups, be sure to include the disclaimer: “By participating, you consent to receive text messages sent by an automatic telephone dialing system.” Because the TCPA protects against automated calls or text messages, failure to include this disclaimer means your election campaign is sending spam text messages, and you risk incurring millions of dollars in fines and litigation fees.
The second requirement of the TCPA is that any organization sending text messages must ensure recipients are aware that consent for receiving SMS messages is not a condition of purchase.
The CTIA also oversees all aspects of short codes, offering guidelines and best practices to help protect consumers from spam text messages and phone calls. While CTIA guidelines aren’t laws, failure to comply may result in the suspension of your short code.
A political campaign must include the following in their opt-in and opt-out texts to comply with CTIA regulations:
- The program name or description
- How to opt out, sent at least once a month
- How to find more information
- Recurring-messages disclosure
- “Message and data rates may apply” disclosure
And the following shortcodes must allow a subscriber to opt out:
Rest assured, you don’t have to remember all of this. Our team will keep you on the right track as you establish your campaign. And you can always browse our resources or FAQs, check out our Instagram account for tips, or browse our vast library of informational videos on our YouTube channel!
See The Tatango Platform in Action
Watch this demo of the Tatango SMS marketing software:
As you begin crafting your text message campaigns, you can familiarize yourself with the platform, which is built for marketers and doesn’t require any coding knowledge. Any questions, and our Customer Success Team is here for you. As one client said: “It’s easy to reach the executives. You don’t get that with every company.”
Tatango for Your Text Marketing Strategy
There’s no need to fear SMS and MMS text message marketing if you’re a Tatango customer. We’re excited to support you on this journey. Contact the text message marketing experts at Tatango today to learn more about how you can add Tatango to your advertising plans or if you have any questions.