Have you been thinking about texting to your members? You really should because
- 80% of adults send or receive text messages
- 97% of smartphone owners use text messaging at least once a week
- 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of delivery
We’ve heard the excuses:
- “My members would view it as an intrusion.”
- “They’ll see it as a drain on their data plans.”
But with a little planning and member self-management of their choices, you can put those excuses and others to rest. Use this guide for best practice management before beginning your texting program.
This cannot be overstated. There are legal issues related to texting to mass audiences covered by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. It is important that you have the consent of your member before texting to him or her. You can create an opt-in form on your website and put a notification on your membership application to cover this. Send an email to your current members driving them to the opt-in page and clearly spell out the frequency at which you will text.
You should create a way of tracking this opt-in in your AMS so you are certain to only text those who have explicitly indicated they want to participate.
You must inform your members at least once and upon opt-in that their phone data plans may charge a fee. Be sure to put “Message and data rates may apply” in a communication to members. It can be placed on your application and on the opt-in page.
Don’t text too often
About 2-4 texts a month would be tops. Any more than that and you may annoy your members. Stay within those limits. And be aware: others have been sued for sending more texts than they stated they would so be vigilant on this.
Have an easy opt-out
On your opt-in page, also have an opt out mechanism. Members need to know that they can stop these messages at any time.
Tell them what to expect
Your members will be more apt to opt in if you can tell them what kinds of text messages to expect from you. Calls to action for letter writing or early bird registrations, for example, would be the most relevant to most members. Don’t send frivolous messages; only send something of value. If your customers are willing to give you permission, give them something worthwhile in return.
Send only during business hours
Don’t be sending your messages at 2 a.m. No one would appreciate that. Consider separating your international messages from your domestic ones, so that you can choose the optimum time for each.
The time has come to text. Don’t be intimidated by the process, be inspired by what is possible.
Do you have iMIS? Learn about Member TextXpress, an option that will work for you.