It’s a whole new world out there, because SMS marketing has come to Constant Contact! Email has long held the crown when it came to online marketing communications (and still does), but SMS marketing provides a new avenue for small businesses and nonprofits to stay in touch with their audience. However, SMS is a much more highly regulated communication tool, so it is good to be mindful of how, why, and when you’re contacting your audience.
With that in mind, I wanted to provide a few things to keep in mind when setting up SMS marketing with Constant Contact. This list is not exhaustive, but are major call-outs that we don’t want people to overlook.
- In order to use SMS marketing, your business/organization HAS TO have an Employer Identification Number (EIN). If you don’t have one, visit IRS.gov to check for eligibility.
- Your business/organization and you HAVE TO be based in the United States.
- Make sure the content you plan to create for SMS does not fall under our prohibited content restrictions.
Your business name is different from your sender name.
- The business name has to reflect the name listed on your tax forms. If the name does not match, the registration will be rejected.
- The default sender name is what your contacts will see in your text messages. It CANNOT be changed after registration. No exceptions. Make sure you pick the right name and are satisfied with it before finishing registration.
Each SMS message has a 1950 character limit, but are broken down into 160 character segments. We recommend keeping your marketing messages to 160 characters, because:
- Each 160 character message counts towards your billing.
- Longer text messages have a higher chance of being blocked by the SMS provider.
- Your audience is more likely to engage with shorter messages.
- The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in the U.S. prevents marketing messages from being sent between 8:00 P.M. and 11:00 A.M. ET. The system will automatically prevent you from sending during this time.
- The contacts you have curated for your email marketing communications DO NOT automatically overlap with your SMS marketing communications. Any contacts you have prior to successfully registering for SMS, even if you have their phone numbers listed on their profile, have to be given the choice to opt-in for SMS marketing.
- New SMS opt-ins must provide an email address, as well.
- Keep in mind, only U.S. numbers can be collected for SMS opt-in.
- Make sure to choose the “SMS marketing opt-in” option when setting up a lead generation landing page.