Just this morning, I went shopping to pick out some string lights for my back patio. I got to the outdoor aisle, saw the light section and though, "This’ll be a snap!" But I was sorely mistaken. I kid you not, there were at least 15 options. Different styles, different bulbs, solar or electric, green wires or white. Just as I was trying to get my two year old to make the final decision for me, another woman turned down the same aisle. She caught part of the conversation, shook her head a little, smiled and said, “Aren’t there just always too many choices?”
Touché, wise consumer, touché. But, really, isn’t she right? Choosing new pieces for your home, new clothes for your family or new services for your business can be pretty tricky with all the options available these days. Choosing (your first, or a new) SMS or text message marketing software is no exception. If you are looking for a service that will provide for you above and beyond all of your text message marketing needs, offer an outstanding customer support team, and not cost an arm and a leg, I can save you the trouble of reading this post and tell you Clearstream is the way to go. But, if you want to do your own research (nothing wrong with that), here are some criteria that you might like to keep in mind.
Key SMS Marketing Features
The features the SMS marketing software offers should be one of the very first things you look at. The software you choose needs to provide much more than the ability to send mass messages to your contacts. Find out if the software allows you to communicate back to your customers via SMS. Look for a software that includes auto-responses, free inbound messaging and a clear, easy to remember shortcode (which is a number for your customers to use to opt in to the campaign, like 97000). Your text messages should be able to be managed seamlessly from your desktop and it’s a definite bonus if the SMS marketing software offers a mobile app for when you are on the go.
Tracking Your SMS Marketing Campaign
Dan Zarrella said it best, "Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed." Please make sure that you choose SMS marketing software that will provide the valuable data that you deserve and need to know. You should be able to see how many of your messages have been opened and how many of the links in your messages have been clicked on. The best software will also give you the tools you need to monitor your data for you and even provide charts and graphs.
SMS Marketing Campaign Management
It’s also very important to pay close attention to how the SMS marketing software handles campaign management. The platform that you choose should be easy to use and have a sleek, intuitive interface. You should be able to create lists or groups and the software should offer the ability to import contact lists so that you don’t end up spending hours manually uploading customer contact information. Some of the best software also offers the ability to schedule automated messages to send out in the future.
Stellar Customer Support
Even with the best and most intuitive software, you are going to end up with questions. It is imperative that you choose a SMS marketing software that is backed up by an awesome customer service department. Representatives should be available to you via email, phone and live chat and the best companies will be quick to respond with knowledgeable answers to your questions.
Now, Go Get Started!
That’s it! Those are the main things to look for in SMS marketing software. So, go ahead… Get out there and take a look. Compare features and pricing and figure out what company might be best for you.
Choosing software for your business can be a daunting task, but we are pretty positive that Clearstream is the best choice. We’ve got a stellar product with all the features and, just as important, an amazing team working hard every day to make our product work better for you. You don’t have to take our word for it, though. We offer a 100% free account. Check it out. Give us a whirl. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Oh, and if anyone can find a blog post or checklist on how to choose the best string lights for their back patio, shoot me the link, will ya?