Friday, January 6, 2012

Best Practices For Your Group Text Messaging

Texting: All the cool kids are doing it.  Is your nonprofit one of them?

Sending text messages to your supporters is a good way to alert them to news or other information.  There aren't too many people who don't carry a cell phone with them, so chances are they are going to receive your message instantly.  Before you start sending your group text messages, though, it's important to listen to some sage advice.

In her book "Social Media For Good," Heather Mansfield went over some best practices for group text messaging:
  • Add a "Subscribe to Receive Text Alerts!" button on your website, blog, newsletters, social media sites, and other materials.  This will help with your visibility.
  • On a related note, have your text-to-subscribe keyword and short pitch code to your Twitter background.
  • Your text messages should be timely and relevant to current events.  For example, text donations played a large role in raising money for the Haiti earthquake in 2010.
  • Mix up your messages by sending both information and call-to-action alerts.  People don't want to receive too much of the same thing.
  • Send periodic text messages to remind supporters that they can text to give or donate online.  But remember not to overload them with these types of messages.
  • Speaking of which, you shouldn't send more than two or three text messages a month.  These things cost money, ya know.
  • If you have a mobile website (and you should), link to it in your messages.
  • Use a service like bit.ly to track click-through rates from the links in your texts.  This will give you a better idea of the effectiveness of your campaign.
For more tips like this, check our Management Tips page.

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