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How to Utilize an SMS Marketing Strategy – ReadWrite

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Frank Landman


If you’re marketing a startup in the modern world, you should be using a wide variety of different channels simultaneously. Today’s audiences consume media in a multitude of different forms, using a number of different mediums to communicate with each other. Most national brands employ marketing and advertising strategies through search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC) ads, social media messaging, email marketing, and even traditional advertising forms like print and radio.

But one of the most effective ways to get in front of your target audience is to use SMS marketing – the art of sending direct SMS text messages to your target demographics.

Why SMS Marketing?

So what are the advantages of SMS marketing? Why would you use this marketing strategy when there are so many other viable options available?

  • Directness. SMS messaging is a direct channel. You aren’t placing an ad on a billboard and hoping your target audience eventually sees it. Instead, you’re sending a message to an individual’s phone number.
  • Immediacy. Texts are also immediate. You can send them instantaneously and your recipient will likely receive a notification immediately that they have a new message to read. It’s a fast, uninterrupted medium.
  • Automation potential. One of the biggest appeals of SMS marketing is that it can easily be automated. No members of your team are writing out and sending messages by hand; you’re relying on a service to send texts at the right time and in the right way.
  • Easy integration. It’s remarkably easy to integrate SMS text marketing with other marketing strategies. For example, you can use SMS texts to get new email subscribers, send people to your social channels, or distribute links to your landing pages.
  • Data access. With SMS texts, you can gather more data about your audience. Not only can you measure open rates and response rates very easily, you can also use SMS messaging to distribute and collect surveys.
  • Higher engagement. SMS texts tend to have higher engagement rates than other communication mediums, such as email.

So what steps can you take to use and improve your SMS marketing strategy?

Choose the Right Service Provider

Your first job is to choose the right service provider. There are many SMS gateways to choose from, and consulting an SMS gateway list can help you figure out the differences in terms of functionality, scalability, pricing, and of course, user ratings and reviews. Choose a platform that gives you access to all the tools you need, support for the number of recipients you plan to send to, and solid reviews and testimonials all-around. With the right platform in place, everything else will be much easier to manage.

Research and Understand Your Target Demographics

Before you start drafting messages and sending texts, it’s important to research and understand your target demographics. Generally speaking, SMS marketing is better for younger audiences, who are more likely to use their phones and respond to text messages. But no matter who you target, you should know which types of messages will work best. Using market research, figure out what times of day will be most effective, what kinds of calls-to-action (CTAs) will work best, and more.

Keep Your Messages Short and Sweet

SMS text messaging isn’t a perfect medium for communication; it becomes unwieldy and annoying when used to convey long and complex messages. Accordingly, it’s a good idea to keep all your outgoing SMS messages short and sweet. There isn’t a strict character limit to follow here; just try to keep your message as concise as possible. Most of the time, one or two sentences should be plenty to get your message across. If you end up writing more, see if you can trim it down.

Always Tie to a Call-to-Action (CTA)

Most, if not all of your text messages should have a built-in call-to-action (CTA) – an opportunity for your recipient to take action and engage with your message in some way. For example, you could encourage your recipient to click a link and visit a landing page associated with your brand or you could ask them to subscribe to your email newsletter. You could also ask them to respond to the message directly. The point is to get them moving – and push them closer to a conversion.

Master the Timing and Frequency

Timing and frequency are vital considerations if you want your SMS marketing strategy to be successful. It’s important to be persistent and follow up with your audience multiple times; most people are only responsive after multiple messages. But at the same time, if you overwhelm your audience with an annoying bombardment of messages, you’ll end up turning people away.

Consider starting by sending a message once every other day, sending around 8-10 messages before you scale back. Then, experiment with different numbers of messages and different timings to see what works best for your brand.

Use a Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)

Written text messages can work well, but if you want to make an even bigger impact, consider utilizing a multimedia messaging service (MMS). This approach incorporates other forms of sent media, such as links to online videos or images. It can make your message much more interesting, engaging, and distinguished from the competition.

Create a Sense of Urgency

If given the opportunity, most people will intentionally procrastinate. They may like the idea of the offer you’re making, but they’ll delay taking action if they feel like they can. You can fight back against this tendency by creating a stronger sense of urgency with your SMS messages. Give people a limited time to respond to your offer, or suggest that your offer will disappear in short order.

Create Marketing Synergy

Good marketing strategies employ synergies to get more out of individual tactics. It’s not enough to roll out an SMS text marketing strategy and hope it’s enough to support your brand entirely. It needs to link together with your other strategies, such as SEO, PPC advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing. Encourage fans from other channels to sign up for your SMS messaging service, and use texts to guide fans to these other channels as well.

Come Up With Exclusive Offers

Why would someone want to be subscribed to your SMS message feed if they’re already subscribed to your email newsletter and other communication channels? Make it enticing by coming up with exclusive offers for your SMS subscribers. For example, you can offer exclusive discounts, freebies, sneak peeks, and other rewards for customers who get SMS texts from you directly.

Use Short Surveys

Startups often fail because they never adapted to serve their customers better. They didn’t take the time to learn about their customers’ wants and needs, nor did they study the competitive landscape to improve their own offers.

Avoid falling into this trap by utilizing short surveys in your SMS marketing efforts. Send your customers brief, 1- or 2-question surveys they can answer with succinct responses, such as a “yes or no” or a numerical rating. You can collect tons of information this way, and use customer feedback to improve your products and services.

Personalize the Message

Many people won’t pay attention to a generic, clearly mass marketed message. If you want to get their attention and attain a higher response rate, you need to personalize the message in some way. That could be something as simple as using their name in the message, or you could send specific messages based on each customer’s previous buying habits or interactions with your brand.

With these strategies, you can craft an SMS marketing strategy that can help your startup grow in visibility, memorability, and influence simultaneously. It’s a bit tricky to get started, but once you set up an automated, scaled campaign, you’ll see massive benefits for your bottom line.

Frank Landman

Frank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business.

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Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending

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Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play


London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs

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Deanna Ritchie


As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations

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Deanna Ritchie


As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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