Overview

SMS stands for "Short Messaging Service," or refers as text messages. SMS marketing is actually a broad term and covers 2 types of text messages: SMS and MMS.

MMS stands for "Multimedia Messaging Service" and lets you attach images and GIFs to your messages. Each MMS counts as 2 message sends normally.

In this guide, let's explore how you can get started with SMS/ MMS in AVADA!

Why should you use SMS/ MMS?

As a matter of fact, SMS and MMS messages are the most widely used types of mobile messaging.

But what does SMS marketing offer that other marketing tools don't?

It is quick to send: no design needed, short copy.

It is quick to read. More than 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of receipt.

It stands out. This channel is not as highly-saturated as social media or email.

It generates revenue.

These are four primary reasons why SMS marketing is so attractive to marketers.

AVADA's tools enable you to centralize your marketing strategy into one platform, while expanding your reach beyond the inbox. Using customer data, such as preferences and behaviors, you can achieve true personalization of every message you deliver, driving more clicks and conversions.

No matter if you are looking to start an SMS marketing strategy from scratch or already have a clear vision for how you are going to use SMS to nurture relationships with your audience, there are several key steps that you will need to get set up with AVADA.

7 steps to get started with SMS/ MMS in AVADA

Before you get started, you should read our following articles:

- TCPA Compliance Checklist for Sending SMS in US/CA

- How to Set up AVADA SMS Compliant with TCPA/ CTIA

There are 7 key steps to getting started with SMS/ MMS in AVADA, which will be outlined in more detail in this guide, including:

Choose your SMS plan

Set up SMS messaging in your account settings

Update your terms of service and privacy policy

Collect SMS subscribers

Create and send SMS campaigns

Use SMS messages in automation workflows

Analyze SMS performance

Step 1. Buy SMS credits

Once you have decided you'd like to use AVADA to send SMS messages, the first step is to buy your SMS credits. The price is based on the countries that you want to send your messages to.

From the AVADA app, click on your account name at the top right corner, then choose SMS Credit.



Read our guide on How to Buy SMS Credit to Start Sending SMS?

Step 2. Set up SMS messaging in your account settings

Next, it's essential to configure SMS messaging in your account settings. You can do this by heading to Settings > SMS.



In this section, you can buy a number to send your messages, and choose the default sender number. You're able to choose either a long-code or toll-free number. In addition, AVADA lets you set AUTO REPLY MESSAGE to auto reply when customers reply to your messages with special keywords.

You should read How to Buy an SMS Sender Number and Set up Auto Reply SMS Messages for more information.

Step 3. Update your terms of service and privacy policy

Before starting collecting SMS and MMS subscribers, you want to make sure you also update your terms of service, privacy policy, and any other publicly facing legal document you have.

See detailed guides here

Step 4. Collect SMS subscribers

You must get explicit consent from your audience before sending them SMS messages - even transactional ones. Thus, even if you have phone numbers in your AVADA account, this does not mean you can send to them.

Moreover, SMS consent is different from email consent. When collecting SMS consent, you must have language that clearly indicates that if someone opts in, they agree to receive SMS marketing from your brand at the number they provided.

There are several ways to collect SMS subscribers in AVADA, such as:

- Creating a signup form

- Collecting consent at checkout (for certain integrations only)

- Using keywords

Read the detailed guide right here.

Step 5. Create and send SMS campaigns

You have grown your SMS subscriber list. Now, it's high time to send your SMS campaigns. Creating an SMS campaign with AVADA Marketing Automation is simple. All you need is a short and compelling message.



SMS messages are perfect for time-sensitive reminders and promotions, such as flash sales or expiration reminders. So, look for opportunities like these to send your first message. Of course, how you use SMS is completely up to you.

No matter which messages you send, keep the following points in mind:

- Make sure your recipients understand whom the message is coming from (such as by mentioning your brand name)

- Include opt-out message

- Include contact information (for Canada)

- Include a link

- Keep the message concise

- It is recommended to send only between the hours of 9 a.m to 8 p.m in the recipient's local time

- Do not use any prohibited content, such as words related to sex, hate, tobacco, alcohol, firearms, or CBD

Find out more about creating an SMS campaign with AVADA.

Step 6. Use SMS messages in automation workflows

Another way to effectively use SMS messages is to incorporate them into your marketing automation strategy.

Studies show that triggered messages, be them texts or emails, can perform up to 60 times better. Moreover, texts deployed alongside other communication channels - like emails, push notifications, or social media - perform even better.

Why?

Because they can reach the right audience at the right time with the right content via the right channel.

Another great thing about automated workflows is that they help decrease your workload. You can set up them one, monitor their effectiveness, and make improvements only if needed - all the while they continue to send and generate revenue in the background.

Below are a couple of examples:

- A welcome series to your new subscribers. Let's say, in your welcome email, you offer a 10% off incentive for the first purchase. Some subscribers will use it, others won't. To encourage non-buyers to use your code and purchase something, you could send a reminder via SMS about the offer's pending expiration.

- An Order Confirmation workflow. This workflow is becoming more and more popular among retailers. A simple reminder of an order confimration can significantly contribute to overall marketing revenue. This type of message can be a single text, email, or a combination of both.

- A cart abandonment series. The same can be applied to your cart abandonment series. This automated workflow is one of the most profitable messages in E-commerce. By setting up a few reminders of items left in the shopping cart, you'll see a significant spike in your monthly revenue. Below is a sample workflow:



Most of the best practices for SMS campaigns apply to workflows: don't use prohibited content, keep it concise, include opt-out language, include a link, and clearly indicate whom the message is coming from.

Read more: How to Send SMS Automation in AVADA?

Step 7. Analyze SMS performance

Once you have an SMS strategy up and running, it's time to review your analytics and iterate accordingly.

Read our article named How to Use AVADA's Reports?
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