General Questions About Text Messaging & SMS Marketing
New to text messaging? Unfamiliar with the basic concepts of mobile marketing like bulk text messages and opt in rules and regulations? We'll cover all of the basics to get you marketing like a pro in just a few minutes.
- What is a text message?
- What is SMS?
- Is there a difference between email and text messaging?
- Can everyone receive text messages?
- What does it cost for a consumer to receive a text message?
- How long can a text messages be?
- What is a short code?
- What is a Keyword?
- What does it mean to Opt-In?
- What does it mean to Opt-Out?
- Who regulates text messaging?
- Can I change the number or set a name that you send my text messages from?
Questions About Club Texting's Text Message Marketing Service
Club Texting offers a powerful, affordable bulk text messaging platform. Our web-based software is so easy to use that you'll have your first mobile marketing campaign running in no time. Have questions before you get started? We've got answers.
- What is the difference between Express and Standard Delivery?
- What countries do you support?
- How do consumers Opt-In to my Club Texting account?
- How can I promote my Club Texting text messaging service to my customers?
- What kind of text messages can I send through Club Texting?
- Can I receive replies to the text messages that I send?
- Which cellular carriers do you support?
- How do I access my Club Texting account / Do I need any special software/hardware?
- How long does it take for my contacts to receive the messages that I send?
- Is there a limit to how many messages I can send using Club Texting?
- How much does Club Texting cost?
A text message is a short message that can be sent to and from a cellular phone. When someone says text, texting, or SMS, or if you see TXT in print, all of these are referring to text messages.
SMS is an acronym for Short Message Service. It is a worldwide standard for communicating textually between cellular phones.
While most phones can send and receive email, email is not the same as text messaging. There are many differences--for example a text message is sent to a phone number, while an email is sent to an email address.
Nearly every cellular phone in use in the United States (and the world) can receive text messages. Most wireless carriers include text messaging in their standard plans.
Some carriers do not charge their customers to receive text messages. Others include a certain number in their standard plans--these usually cost less than ten cents a message.
A standard text message is limited to 160 characters. Characters means letters, numbers, spaces, symbols and punctuation. Our system allows 160 characters for Express Delivery messages and 130 characters for Standard Delivery messages.
A Short Code is similar to the address (URL) of a website. It is a unique location to send messages to, that all cellular carriers are aware of. You combine a Short Code with a Keyword to form a call-to-action address. An example would be: 'Text KEYWORD to SHORTCODE to join our VIP invite list.'
A Keyword is a short word (which may include numbers) that customers send a text message to, in order to join your list. An example would be: 'Text KEYWORD to SHORTCODE to join our text messaging list.'
To Opt-In is to join a list. This can be done by sending a text message containing your KEYWORD to our SHORTCODE, or by entering your phone number into a web-based form. This action signifies that a customer has asked you to send them a message.
A subscriber Opts Out when they quit your list. Users can do this quickly and simply by replying to any text message you send them with the word STOP.
Unfortunately it isn't possible to send a message from a name as phone calls and text messages always come from a phone number. There are two different kinds of phone numbers: a regular ten digit number like the one you have on your cell phone and a short code, which is a special five or six digit number like ours. For a message to appear from a name it must be stored on your phone’s address book. If you notice when you get a text message or call from a person who is not in your phone book it shows up from their ten digit number and not a name since it is not stored on your phone; the same applies to a short code.
Express Delivery messages are sent from our short code that is directly connected to the major cell phone carriers. Express delivery speed and reliability is comparable to sending a text message from one cell phone to another. Express messages are limited to 160 characters per text in the US & 130 characters per text in Canada.
Standard messages are sent out through the Internet using SMTP Email to Text technology and are NOT SUPPORTED BY THE CARRIERS. Deliverability rates are for the most part consistent, but can be unpredictable since messages can be trapped in SPAM filters. We provide this method as a legacy service for those customers who need to reach smaller carriers. As the carriers do not support this delivery method, we cannot offer support for Standard messages. Standard messages are limited to 130 characters per text in both the US & Canada.
Club Texting supports the United States and Canada. We have various short codes in each country. An account can only be set to deliver messages to one country. If you need to send messages to both the US and Canada, please create two accounts. See US pricing here and Canadian pricing here.
There are three ways for a consumer to opt-in to to your account. If you rent a Keyword, they can text that Keyword to our short code to join your list. All a customer has to do is text your Keyword to your assigned Short Code. For example, if your keyword were XYZ, all your customer needs to do is send XYZ to your short code. To Opt-Out your customer can reply to any message you send with the word STOP. We also offer web signup widgets that you can add to your website or Facebook Page. Finally, if you already have a list of opted-in phone numbers, you may upload that list.
Promoting your text messaging and mobile marketing campaigns requires little or no investment on your part. Your campaign message to consumers is simple and can be added to the promotions you are already running! Simply add the text, 'Join XYZ's Text List To Find Out About Upcoming Events. Send the Word XYZ to (your short code) Now!'
Here are a couple popular examples of ways you can promote and build your Club Texting list:
· Call-To-Action signs within your venue. These can be placed anywhere from plasma screens, bathrooms, the front door, on tables, and even at Point of Sale registers (behind the bar).
· Include your opt-in message on all your promotional items such as event fliers, email campaigns, website, business cards, and magazine and print ads.
· DJ "shout outs" instructing customers to join your text messaging list.
Additionally, you can incentivize your patrons to join your Club Texting text messaging list by providing them with special codes for promotional drinks or complimentary admission. These promotions can be tailored to your needs and are only bound by your imagination.
Finally, please note that you must follow the carrier guidelines:
If you owned a dance club you might send a message like this: Sasha and Digweed spinning this Friday night at Crobar. Alex at the door for reduced admission before 12 am, 530 West 28th Street, NYC.
Your contacts can reply to any message that you send. As long as they reply within twelve hours of the time that you sent your message we will deliver that message to you Club Texting Inbox.
Club Texting is certified and supported by all of the major cellular carriers in the United States and Canada. Visit our coverage page for a full carrier coverage list.
Since Club Texting's text messaging software is web-based, all you need to access our service is a computer with an internet connection and a web browser. There is no special software or hardware to purchase or install.
Messages are sent instantly and arrive within 1 - 2 minutes of you sending them. If a customer's phone is turned off, or is in an area without coverage (such as inside an elevator), their carrier holds the message and delivers it as soon as the customer re-enters a coverage area.
There is no limit to how many messages you can send using our text messaging service. However, best practices indicate that you should not send more than one message per day to your subscribers. More frequent messaging can result in high Opt-Out rates for your list.
You can choose from a variety of monthly packages or simply stick with a pay-as-you-go plan. Click here to view pricing plans and open your free trial account now.