Is SMS a viable business idea?

7 replies
As I move into the new year I find myself evaluating different aspects of my life, and the financial aspect of my life is really gaining solid attention. I am ready to finally build some degree of financial freedom, or at least a solid foundation and stability. This has me searching for ideas that can help me get to my goal as quickly as possible. One idea I have been giving serious consideration is an internet marketing company for local businesses.


I have seriously been thinking about starting with providing SMS marketing services. From here I believe I could easily expand into other types of marketing and even build websites eventually. I would begin with the SMS, move into building Facebook and Twitter accounts for people, provide increased local search marketing, and other services.


I was looking for more information about how to go about doing this. I ended up on Wikipedia eventually. I found this page Mobile marketing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia which offered a few different ideas about mobile marketing and SMS marketing, but it didn't cover enough information to help me understand what I am really getting into.


I found several platforms online which provide a variety of services. I am not positive I understand the exact pricing of the services though. If I understand this properly, I need to pay a company a fee each month for messages sent, as well as a monthly fee to another website to actually have a network?


My real concern is in relation to the legal side of things. Are there laws about mobile marketing that I should be aware of? If someone agrees to opt in, and I am able to provide methods for them to opt in, do I really have to worry about this? I know I hear local radio stations advertising contests to get people to sign up for a SMS marketing campaign.


Do any of you have any experience in building a business by offering text message marketing to local businesses? Are there things I should know about before I get started? Do you have any advice that would help me build my business as quickly as possible?
#business #idea #sms #viable
  • Profile picture of the author jamesfreddyc
    Originally Posted by bobreynalds View Post

    Do any of you have any experience in building a business by offering text message marketing to local businesses? Are there things I should know about before I get started? Do you have any advice that would help me build my business as quickly as possible?
    Quickness? Then I suggest you really drill down into a niche and come up with alternative offering to simply "SMS Marketing".

    We market ourselves as a SMS appointment reminder service, but we do also up-sell (to a more expensive subscription with higher messages allotment/mo). So for example if a customer is a small dental office that sees 10 patients/day and open 25 days/mo, then we have a package offered for 250 messages/mo. BUT, that is just a starting point / bare minimum number --- if they wanted to incorporate more customer engagement activities then they'd need to step up to the appropriate subscription we offer.

    Point is, we don't make the offer "we are a SMS marketing tool" to prospective customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mo Goulet
    I deal with small businesses and have found the most successful way to introduce text marketing to your community is to offer a free seminar through the Chamber of Commerce.

    I can rent a large room (50 plus people) with a projector/computer overhead for $10 an hour at the local community college campus in the evenings. The local chamber will send a notice for you to all chamber members. Offer a 30 day free trial and keep the cost under $50 a month. If you offer other services like SEO, web design or video services, Text marketing is the BUZZ word today for opening the door.
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    • Profile picture of the author joe ferdinando
      $M$ Marketing

      First you must be compliant to the new TCPA Laws and The Can Spam act!

      Effective Oct 16, 2013: TCPA = Telephone Consumer Protection Act, new law:

      Under the new TCPA Laws as of 10/16/2013 at least here in the USA (don't know if this effects outside usa) - We need a Terms of Service which has the proper verbage for SMS Text Message signup

      Remember we are talking about the Can Spam act also
      You must be fully compliance with the new rule and Can Spam law,
      Every message that is sent out, will Automatically include the unsubscribe info, and biz info.

      New Rule #1: Prior express written consent
      Unambiguous written consent required before telemarketing call or text message. That means consumer must have a clear understanding that they will get telemarketing call or text message from a specific business/advertiser

      New Rule #2: No "established business relationship" exemption
      Established business relationship no longer relieves advertisers of prior unambiguous written consent requirement.

      Verbage recommended to use by TCPA:
      I am confirming that I consent to receive marketing texts, offers, and coupons, sent through an automatic telephone dialing system from "Your businessname", at the "phone number".(Twillio number) I understand that consent is not a condition of purchase. I agree to the conditions listed. We always respect your privacy

      Add to pages:
      1)Your terms of service page should include this verbage
      2)Your SMS terms of service page should include this verbage
      3)When using double optin include this verbage in your confirmation text message!

      If you are using a website signup form then you should have:
      By checking the box I am confirming that I consent to receive marketing texts, offers, and coupons, sent through an automatic telephone dialing system from "businessname", at the "phone number".(Twillio number) I understand that consent is not a condition of purchase. I agree to the conditions listed. We always respect your privacy

      make sure any plugin or service you use has a double opt in feature to use!
      and use the verbage in your optin to cover yourself!

      I myself offer an email to $M$ wordpress plugin which I use for many local clients!

      I also use other sms plugins that use twillio!

      Local Business and marketing $M$

      1) Everyone has a website and will tell you this even if they dont!!!!
      2) The minute you walk into a local business what ever you market to them they will brand you with that. Example if you walk in and try to sell a website even mobile then thats what they will brand you with!
      3) Remember a hundred walked before you and tried to sell them!
      4) Price only matters after you got them interested, if they ask what does it cost then its show time. You show them the packages with differant prices!

      What grabs there attention
      1) Loyalty cards and programs
      2) SMS coupled with Loyalty card programs
      3) SMS programs, systems with appointment reminders, customer waiting notifications and coupon promotion deliverys

      They only want to see how your going to bring them more customer clients and help make them more money!

      So you must show them how $M$ marketing can enhance their business and attract new customers plus retain old customers!

      Thats why Loyalty card programs work well!

      And why Digital Loyalty card programs work even better when you have $M$ coupled in the system!

      Selling SMS and Loyalty card programs is not just a sale its a commitment to help them launch and build there list and program!

      1) Flyers and post cards
      2) QR codes
      3) List build - email, real mail, SMS

      Ok so once you work with and help setup and work with them and build the list you have to help them send out promotions, discounts special deals to there member list

      1) coupons
      2) flyers
      3) emails
      4) mail

      Once you have success you can get testimonials and recommended friends and other businesses coming to you!

      1) word of mouth
      2) refferals

      Hope this helps
      Signature
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      • Profile picture of the author IMBlest
        Originally Posted by joe ferdinando View Post

        $ Marketing

        First you must be compliant to the new TCPA Laws and The Can Spam act!

        Effective Oct 16, 2013: TCPA = Telephone Consumer Protection Act, new law:

        Under the new TCPA Laws as of 10/16/2013 at least here in the USA (don't know if this effects outside usa) - We need a Terms of Service which has the proper verbage for SMS Text Message signup

        Remember we are talking about the Can Spam act also
        You must be fully compliance with the new rule and Can Spam law,
        Every message that is sent out, will Automatically include the unsubscribe info, and biz info.

        New Rule #1: Prior express written consent
        Unambiguous written consent required before telemarketing call or text message. That means consumer must have a clear understanding that they will get telemarketing call or text message from a specific business/advertiser

        New Rule #2: No "established business relationship" exemption
        Established business relationship no longer relieves advertisers of prior unambiguous written consent requirement.

        Verbage recommended to use by TCPA:
        I am confirming that I consent to receive marketing texts, offers, and coupons, sent through an automatic telephone dialing system from "Your businessname", at the "phone number".(Twillio number) I understand that consent is not a condition of purchase. I agree to the conditions listed. We always respect your privacy

        Add to pages:
        1)Your terms of service page should include this verbage
        2)Your SMS terms of service page should include this verbage
        3)When using double optin include this verbage in your confirmation text message!

        If you are using a website signup form then you should have:
        By checking the box I am confirming that I consent to receive marketing texts, offers, and coupons, sent through an automatic telephone dialing system from "businessname", at the "phone number".(Twillio number) I understand that consent is not a condition of purchase. I agree to the conditions listed. We always respect your privacy

        make sure any plugin or service you use has a double opt in feature to use!
        and use the verbage in your optin to cover yourself!

        I myself offer an email to $ wordpress plugin which I use for many local clients!

        I also use other sms plugins that use twillio!

        Local Business and marketing $

        1) Everyone has a website and will tell you this even if they dont!!!!
        2) The minute you walk into a local business what ever you market to them they will brand you with that. Example if you walk in and try to sell a website even mobile then thats what they will brand you with!
        3) Remember a hundred walked before you and tried to sell them!
        4) Price only matters after you got them interested, if they ask what does it cost then its show time. You show them the packages with differant prices!

        What grabs there attention
        1) Loyalty cards and programs
        2) SMS coupled with Loyalty card programs
        3) SMS programs, systems with appointment reminders, customer waiting notifications and coupon promotion deliverys

        They only want to see how your going to bring them more customer clients and help make them more money!

        So you must show them how $ marketing can enhance their business and attract new customers plus retain old customers!

        Thats why Loyalty card programs work well!

        And why Digital Loyalty card programs work even better when you have $ coupled in the system!

        Selling SMS and Loyalty card programs is not just a sale its a commitment to help them launch and build there list and program!

        1) Flyers and post cards
        2) QR codes
        3) List build - email, real mail, SMS

        Ok so once you work with and help setup and work with them and build the list you have to help them send out promotions, discounts special deals to there member list

        1) coupons
        2) flyers
        3) emails
        4) mail

        Once you have success you can get testimonials and recommended friends and other businesses coming to you!

        1) word of mouth
        2) refferals

        Hope this helps
        Wow! Joe, Thanks for the AWESOME and VERY DETAILED post!!!

        It sounds like you are really an expert at SMS Marketing.
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      • Profile picture of the author localseoer
        Originally Posted by joe ferdinando View Post

        $ Marketing

        First you must be compliant to the new TCPA Laws and The Can Spam act!

        Effective Oct 16, 2013: TCPA = Telephone Consumer Protection Act, new law:

        Under the new TCPA Laws as of 10/16/2013 at least here in the USA (don't know if this effects outside usa) - We need a Terms of Service which has the proper verbage for SMS Text Message signup

        Remember we are talking about the Can Spam act also
        You must be fully compliance with the new rule and Can Spam law,
        Every message that is sent out, will Automatically include the unsubscribe info, and biz info.

        New Rule #1: Prior express written consent
        Unambiguous written consent required before telemarketing call or text message. That means consumer must have a clear understanding that they will get telemarketing call or text message from a specific business/advertiser

        New Rule #2: No "established business relationship" exemption
        Established business relationship no longer relieves advertisers of prior unambiguous written consent requirement.

        Verbage recommended to use by TCPA:
        I am confirming that I consent to receive marketing texts, offers, and coupons, sent through an automatic telephone dialing system from "Your businessname", at the "phone number".(Twillio number) I understand that consent is not a condition of purchase. I agree to the conditions listed. We always respect your privacy

        Add to pages:
        1)Your terms of service page should include this verbage
        2)Your SMS terms of service page should include this verbage
        3)When using double optin include this verbage in your confirmation text message!

        If you are using a website signup form then you should have:
        By checking the box I am confirming that I consent to receive marketing texts, offers, and coupons, sent through an automatic telephone dialing system from "businessname", at the "phone number".(Twillio number) I understand that consent is not a condition of purchase. I agree to the conditions listed. We always respect your privacy

        make sure any plugin or service you use has a double opt in feature to use!
        and use the verbage in your optin to cover yourself!

        I myself offer an email to $ wordpress plugin which I use for many local clients!

        I also use other sms plugins that use twillio!

        Local Business and marketing $

        1) Everyone has a website and will tell you this even if they dont!!!!
        2) The minute you walk into a local business what ever you market to them they will brand you with that. Example if you walk in and try to sell a website even mobile then thats what they will brand you with!
        3) Remember a hundred walked before you and tried to sell them!
        4) Price only matters after you got them interested, if they ask what does it cost then its show time. You show them the packages with differant prices!

        What grabs there attention
        1) Loyalty cards and programs
        2) SMS coupled with Loyalty card programs
        3) SMS programs, systems with appointment reminders, customer waiting notifications and coupon promotion deliverys

        They only want to see how your going to bring them more customer clients and help make them more money!

        So you must show them how $ marketing can enhance their business and attract new customers plus retain old customers!

        Thats why Loyalty card programs work well!

        And why Digital Loyalty card programs work even better when you have $ coupled in the system!

        Selling SMS and Loyalty card programs is not just a sale its a commitment to help them launch and build there list and program!

        1) Flyers and post cards
        2) QR codes
        3) List build - email, real mail, SMS

        Ok so once you work with and help setup and work with them and build the list you have to help them send out promotions, discounts special deals to there member list

        1) coupons
        2) flyers
        3) emails
        4) mail

        Once you have success you can get testimonials and recommended friends and other businesses coming to you!

        1) word of mouth
        2) refferals

        Hope this helps
        thanks for sharing this actionable info man
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8894338].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author localseoer
      Originally Posted by Mo Goulet View Post

      I deal with small businesses and have found the most successful way to introduce text marketing to your community is to offer a free seminar through the Chamber of Commerce.

      I can rent a large room (50 plus people) with a projector/computer overhead for $10 an hour at the local community college campus in the evenings. The local chamber will send a notice for you to all chamber members. Offer a 30 day free trial and keep the cost under $50 a month. If you offer other services like SEO, web design or video services, Text marketing is the BUZZ word today for opening the door.
      I had that you could do that for that cheap, thanks for sharing man
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8894336].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WorldIR
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    Join the e-Commerce Revolution here !

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