4 Rules of Texting for Artists

photo-1436831135709-48bdc150cce5.jpgSMS marketing is one of the most interesting areas for not just businesses in general, but also for artists. Especially in the age of smartphones, where platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat are fighting for everyone’s attention, SMS is the leading app that is used on a smartphone. In fact, 97% of Americans are using SMS at least once a day. When you look at the statistics bit closer, it is evident why texting is so effective for business as well; just watch the behavior patterns: 80% of Americans text, which makes it the most common cell phone activity. This means that when people pick up a phone, they would rather text than talk. When you are on the Subway, T, metro or whichever public transportation you use, it is very likely that most of those people you see buried in their phones are using that wonderful app we call texting.

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If we zoom in a bit closer to the statistics, the numbers are bit more compelling. Text messages have a 98% open rate, which means that almost every single text you send are being read by someone. To put this into perspective, emails have a 20% open rate. To even further delve into the text and email comparison, text has a 45% response rate, whereas an email only has 6%. So the numbers speak for themselves. But there is a catch: Emails are widely used for business purposes, and texting is usually considered more personal – sort of a space where individuals talk to one another privately. So, when we are talking about SMS marketing, there are huge rules in terms of how, when, why, what, where and who of texting from a business perspective. It is not impossible, but when taken care of how it is done, SMS marketing can make wonders for artists.

Now that we have a general idea of the significance of SMS marketing, we can start thinking about what are some tangible ways an artist can think about starting their own SMS campaign. When we are running into unexplored territory for us artists, before we think about ‘what to do’, it might also be really helpful to explore ‘what not to do’. Not only this will give us the basic playing field for the SMS marketing campaign, of all people we should know that limitations only spark more creativity!

Here are four basic rules that you should use to make your SMS marketing campaign more effective.

1) Always consent getting your fans’ phone numbers. By sending out unsolicited texts not only you are doing something illegal, in violation of carrier rules for text marketing, but also you are basically making your campaign a spam. Having such an effective tool such as SMS marketing go to waste like this would be a shame. So, the best way to build your Fan text database is to have Fans opt in automatically through a Text Marketing Service (like the service Adva Mobile offers). These text marking companies insure you are always compliant with the rules. People are happy to be a part of your SMS campaign as long as they have agreed to receive the texts.

2) Avoid sending too many texts. No more than 4 texts a month. On average, people have said that receiving 2-3 texts a month is acceptable, but if you do a weekly campaign and you want to send one every week, I don’t think that would be an issue.

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3) Decide what content you are going to provide to your users. There are many companies who solely use SMS marketing for sending coupons and discounts, but you do not need a smartphone to do that! The world of smartphone allows the user to have a much more advanced experience with video, audio and photo content that is available for sharing. You can reveal your brand new songs, or online teaching videos or certain exclusive content through texts to your most loyal users or fans!

4) Do not use the same voice you used on your platforms on text. Texting is dominated by millennials. Or let me put it this way – two applications millennials pay attention the most are texting and Snapchat. So it is not wise that you use your Facebook voice – a platform for older people – for texting as well. Or using your cool photo caption voice on Instagram on text… It is essential to remember at all times that you are directly addressing a real person, and you would need to select your tone accordingly. So, if you do it right, the prize is big: 77% of consumers with texting capabilities aged 18-34 are likely to have a positive perception of a company that offers text capability.

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Do you use SMS marketing as an artist? How has been overall experience with texting so far? Feel free to comment below!

Alper Tuzcu is a Berklee College of Music and Denison University alumni, and a Boston based guitarist, songwriter and producer. His debut eclectic album ‘Between 12 Waters’ featuring 8 different vocalists is available on Spotify, and you can follow him on Instagram or Twitter @alpertuzcu, or visit his website http://www.alpertuzcu.com

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