SMS marketing has become more prevalent over the last few years. Anyone with a mobile phone has access to texting, and companies can leverage texting to promote their products or services.

Many people turn off notifications for email and other social networks, missing alerts about sales or new items. If you want to market in real time, there’s no better option than to send a text message.

“When notifications are served to the user directly on the home screen of their phone or tablet, the impressions are going to be quite significant,” said Yoni Ben-Yehuda, chief marketing officer of Material Good, a luxury boutique that sells jewelry, time pieces, art and accessories. “Geomapping and targeting users in real time with location-based marketing helps to make the content … more relevant than a general marketing campaign that doesn’t consider location.”

Although text message marketing can be effective, it isn’t right for every company. If it’s not aligned with the products or services you offer and the way you connect with your audience, it shouldn’t be used, Ben-Yehuda said.

Brands that use text message marketing need to be careful about crossing the line between helpful and relevant and intrusive and spammy. It’s easy to tip the scale and turn people off with your messages. Here’s how to incorporate texting into your marketing strategy without annoying your customers.

As with email marketing, it’s important to get explicit permission from consumers before sending them text messages. Not only will you be sending messages to an audience that wants this type of marketing, but you’ll avoid irritating those who don’t.

“Only use text messaging as a marketing channel if the customer or potential customer has opted in and supplied you with their phone number,” Ben-Yehuda said. “If you contact users unsolicited, you run the risk of losing your credibility and having them unsubscribe to your messages.”

Example: American Eagle allows customers to sign up for SMS alerts on the mobile site at their own time. When a client feels they’re in control, they’re more likely to be interested.

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