Dos and Don’ts of fruitful bulk communication
Bulk text messaging and email campaigns can be great for marketing and staying in front of your target audience. But it can be tempting to send bulk communications without “doing your homework” first, so to speak.
Businesses generally communicate through emails and SMS for effective bulk communication but social media is on the rise.
With so much technology to communicate at our fingertips, it’s hard not to get excited and overshare the love we feel for our businesses.
However, by not following best practices for this type of communication we can alienate current and prospective buyers, or even land our business in hot water for solicitation.
Here are some dos and don'ts for effective bulk communication to help businesses connect with their subscribers and stay aligned with their company’s mission and vision.
Do: Get Consent
Make sure your target audience has opted-in to your email or marketing SMS campaign before adding them to your bulk communications list. This means getting express consent and offering a simple opt-out solution.
Using an opt-in list will help ensure that you maintain regulatory compliance with CAN-SPAM laws and that your IP address won’t be blocked.
Simply collecting the phone number of a prospective buyer does not mean you’ve gotten express consent to send bulk SMS text messages, so make sure this process is very clear for both parties.
Consent must be given in writing. Think of this as pitching a deck (think: proven communication templates) to a potential investor. You should know how to manage consent on your website so the user has a good interaction experience.
Dot all of your ‘i’s and cross all of your ‘t’s when it comes to written consent. Providing your subscribers with information on how often you plan to message them, or if data rates may apply, for example, will help ensure you stay compliant and help instill trust in your subscribers.
Don’t: Solicit or “block the exit”
Many consumers state their number one reason for not trusting businesses as gathering information without their consent, then using this information to send unsolicited communication.
It is also imperative to provide an exit or “opt-out” option on every communication. No one wants to feel forced to receive unwanted messages with no way to unsubscribe.
Incorporating prompts to get customer feedback in your copies can be a great way to find out if your cold leads are wanting to opt-out.
Do: Mind the frequency and timing of your communication
While there is no universal rule for communication frequency, texting or emailing too often may just annoy your subscribers and make you come across as a spammer.
When it comes to communication the timing of your content also matters.
Who is more likely to read a text message at 3 PM over the summer - a college-aged student on a break from classes, or a working mother?
On another note, infrequency can also hurt your communication efforts.
If you are planning on sending an email campaign and are just getting started or have been inactive for some time, it’s important to “warm-up” your IP address before sending a massive amount of marketing emails out of the blue. Otherwise, you run the risk of having your IP address blocked.
Warming up your IP address is normally a fairly natural process when your company is still in its growth phase, but if you haven’t sent a mass of emails in a while, start slowly.
Don’t: Spam your subscribers, especially at odd hours
Too many emails and messages is a sure-fire way to get your audience to hit the “unsubscribe” button.
Furthermore, text messages are normally read within minutes. So avoid sending messages early in the morning or late in the evening of your subscribers’ day, as this will only cut into their personal time and negatively impact their view of your business.
If you especially are in the business of using a VoIP, you need to know the imaginative boundaries of reaching out to your customers/leads.
Do: Make sure your bulk communication has a universal appeal
There’s almost nothing less appealing to a subscriber than receiving messages that are completely off-base and not related to them at all.
Having multiple personalities (think: The Minds of Billy Milligan) when it comes to drafting copy’s is not what we call universal!
Remember to keep your messaging broad enough that it would appeal to anyone opting in to receive communication from your business.
Don’t: Waste your communication on useless or boring “filler” content
Have you heard the phrase “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? Your subscribers expect to be treated with this same logic.
If your subscribers checked the box to opt-in, it means they are expecting the inside scoop at the very least. Keep your marketing content fresh and creative, and offer your subscribers something of value every time.
Not providing valuable information or deals worth their time is a sure way to lose them. Also paying attention to communication barriers early proves to be lucrative.
Do: Add a clear call-to-action
Sometimes in the haste to communicate, we forget why we wanted to in the first place - to ask for our subscribers’ business.
If your subscribers don’t know what they’re supposed to do next, you may as well have sent them a daily cat fact for all the good it will do your business!
Adding a clear call-to-action (CTA) will help guide your subscribers to take the desired action, whether it’s to take advantage of an amazing deal or to attend an event that will drum up more business for your company. Always provide all of the necessary details, such as links or promo codes.
Most importantly - adding a CTA means nothing if you do not appropriately identify your brand!
Don’t: Leave them hanging
Not adding a clear call-to-action may only confuse or even annoy your subscribers. An ill-timed message with no clear purpose is sure to grow your unsubscribe list.
Bulk communication is an integral part of your customer service experience.
Following best practices when it comes to bulk communication will strengthen your customer relationship which will, in turn, allow you to stay in front of your competitors while ensuring you remain compliant with regulations.
This will also allow you to gain the trust of your subscribers, in turn helping you bring your business’ vision and goals to life.