Contact Cards for SMS Marketing

August 24, 2022 | By Sam Pelton
Contact Cards for SMS Marketing

Personalize Your SMS Marketing with a Contact Card

Marketing efforts are always a challenge.

The dream, of course, is for your marketing to deliver immediate and obvious results. You push out a marketing campaign and boom! An instant boost in sales and revenue.

But the reality is rarely, if ever, so clear cut.

That being said, you’re probably aware that SMS marketing is the most effective way to market in terms of actually reaching people. You may, however, be wondering how exactly to go about it.

Since messages sent from SMS marketing services don’t go through your own business phone number, will people interpret your messages as spam? Will they be confused about who the texts are coming from?

If they’re subscribed to multiple different businesses’ text alerts, their texting inboxes can become a wasteland of unidentified phone numbers.

Unnamed contacts in a smartphone

How can you personalize your SMS marketing messages so that people are more likely to pay attention to your texts?

Contact cards for SMS marketing can help with that!

Contact card workflow

What Are Contact Cards (vCards)?

An SMS marketing contact card works just like vCards (.vcf or virtual contact files) that you may already send to your friends and family.

For example, on a smartphone, if you have a contact you’d like to share with someone else, there’s an easy process.

You can go into that contact’s profile on your phone, click “Share,” and text out a “contact card.” The recipient can simply tap the "card" to easily add the contact to their own phone.

You can do the same thing with your SMS marketing!

Contact cards will allow you to include:

  • an image (such as your business logo)
  • your organization/business name, and
  • a description for your business.

Contact card from Austin's Grill

Then when your customers subscribe to your SMS marketing list, you can send them a text with your contact card. When they tap on that contact card, they can easily add your SMS marketing phone number to their contacts. Your information will then all be preloaded into their phone.

That way, anytime you send a text, they’ll see your business name and image, so they’ll know right away that the message is legitimately coming from you.

Why Should I Use Contact Cards?

Ease Your Mind

Using contacts cards for your SMS marketing helps ease your mind about the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Less wondering whether or not people will be confused by your messages.

Less concern about whether or not people will recognize the number.

All they need to do is tap your contact card to add you as a contact on their phone after receiving the first message. Then they’ll be set to recognize who is sending them messages in the future.

Free Up Your Time for More Important Things

Since contact cards help reduce confusion for your customers, you won’t have to spend as much time figuring out how to clarify things for them.

Fewer explanations will be necessary. Which also means less time and brainpower thinking about how to prevent people from opting out of your SMS marketing due to a lack of clarity.

Instead, you can focus your attention on the actual marketing effort itself and on making it as effective as possible.

Feel Confident that You’re Using Your Time and Money Productively

Putting a lot of effort into an SMS marketing campaign may feel like wasted time if it leads to confusion (since your customers receive messages from a seemingly “random” number).

Or if your customers are subscribed to multiple other text alert systems (also sent from “random” numbers), you may feel like you’re wasting time and money on messages that could get lost in the shuffle.

A simple contact card attached to your message can help you feel confident that your time and money is being used productively, since it will lead to more clarity and more effective messaging.

Be Satisfied with Your SMS Marketing Results

With contact cards, people will recognize who your messages are coming from and will thus pay closer attention to them.

This results in more effective SMS marketing.

More effective SMS marketing means that you will see the optimal return for your marketing efforts - more sales and more engagement.

The more sales that come in from your marketing efforts, the more satisfied you’ll be with your SMS marketing results.

Summary

So to sum up, here is what personalizing your SMS marketing with contact cards can look like:

  • You preload your company information including logo, name, and description.
  • You set up your SMS marketing platform to send out the contact card automatically whenever someone subscribes to your marketing texts.
  • Your customer can then tap the contact card to add your SMS marketing number into their contacts.
  • Your customer will then be able to instantly recognize your marketing texts whenever they come in.
  • This will result in greater effectiveness for your SMS marketing, leading to greater sales!

How Do I Set Up Contact Cards for SMS Marketing?

Maybe the thought of contact cards for SMS marketing sounds like a good idea to you, but you’re concerned it may be complicated to set up.

Never fear!

Contact cards for SMS marketing can be set up in just a few easy steps.

Step 1: Get a Mobile Text Alerts Account

The ability to send contact cards is not a feature that all SMS marketing platforms offer, so you’ll want to make sure to set up an account on a platform that provides this as an option.

If you don’t already have an account for sending SMS marketing, go ahead and set up a free trial with Mobile Text Alerts. That way, you can get a feel for how the contact card feature works (and the rest of the platform features as well).

A free trial will let you quickly and easily run through the contact card creation process.

Step 2: Create Your Contact Card

After you’ve set up your SMS marketing platform account, you can go in and create your contact card.

In the platform, simply navigate to the Settings tab then select "Subscriber Settings", and there will be a link to edit your Contact Card.

From there you can upload your company's information.

Then the form will ask you to provide your company/organization’s logo, name, description, and website. The description and website fields are optional.

The form will look like this:

Contact Cards page in the Mobile Text Alerts platform

Once you’ve filled out all of the information, you can click “Save” to save that info.

PRO TIP: Want to test it out first? Click the "Send Test" button on the Contact Card page and send your contact card to yourself. That way you can see how it looks and make any changes necessary.

Send a test contact card

Step 3: Insert Your Contact Card into Your Welcome Message

The most effective way to use contact cards for SMS marketing is to insert it into your initial welcome message.

The “welcome message” is the message that your customers automatically receive when they subscribe to your texts.

Receiving the contact card in this initial message will allow your customers to add your number as a contact in their phones right away - thus, helping to ensure that they will pay attention to future messages.

Instructions

A. Click the "Attach to Auto-Response" button on the Contact Cards page. Contact cards attach to auto-response button

B. Add or edit a "keyword" and select the "Automatically Include Contact Card" toggle. Automatically include contact card

The workflow would look something like this:

  • Your customer signs up for your SMS marketing by texting in a keyword or scanning a QR code.
  • Your customer receives an automated message welcoming them to your text alerts, which includes your contact card.
  • Your customer then taps the contact card to easily add your number to their contacts.

Contact card example

Step 4: Get People to Subscribe to Your Texts

You’ve set up your SMS marketing platform account.

You’ve created your contact card and have inserted it into your automatic welcome message for when people subscribe to your texts.

Now the only thing left to do is to get people to subscribe to your SMS marketing list so that they can receive that welcome message with your contact card!

Here are a few tips to get people to subscribe to your texts:

  • Provide customers with a tangible incentive for subscribing - See examples below:
    • “Sign up for our texts and get 20% off your next purchase!”
    • “Register for our texts, and receive a FREE [fill in the blank]!”
    • “Subscribe to our texts and you’ll get entered into a giveaway for a free [fill in the blank]!”
  • Make sure to communicate the value people will receive upon subscribing - See examples below:
    • “Don’t miss out on exclusive deals and discounts!”
    • “Be the first to know about new products and events!
    • “Get VIP treatment as a part of our text club!”

The combination of incentivizing people to subscribe (so that they know what they’re signing up for) and including your contact card in the initial welcome message will help make sure your texts are expected and effective.

Learn more about How to Get People to Sign Up for Text Alerts.

What Other Ways Can I Use Contact Cards?

Although the most effective way to use contact cards is in your welcome message to customers immediately upon subscribing, there are other times you can use them as well.

1) Send Contact Cards to Current Subscribers in a Database That Already Exists.

You may have already built up and established your customer base within your SMS marketing platform, yet have never sent them a contact card.

In a situation like that, you can still insert your contact card into a message and send it out to all your current subscribers in a mass text so that they can save your contact information for future messages moving forward.

You could send out your contact card as its own separate message and announcement, or you could “tack on” your contact card to another text you might be sending to your customers.

(Having the contact card as its own separate message would generally be recommended over the “tack on” method, since marketing efforts are most effective when there is only one call-to-action per message.)

How to Send Your Contact Card In a Mass Text 1) In the platform, on the Send a Message page, click the "Insert Into Message" dropdown 2) Select "Contact Card" 3) Now you're ready to send your message!

Insert contact card into message

2) Send Contact Cards When Your Information Changes.

If you’re ever in a situation where your business information changes, you can send out a new contact card to your customers so they can update their contacts.

This could happen if your business undergoes a name change or a logo change, or if you want to change your SMS marketing phone number for one reason or another.

In cases like these, you can send out a simple SMS announcement of the change including the contact card.

3) Send Contact Cards To Remind People To Add You as a Contact.

Even if you include the contact card in your initial welcome text to your customers, not everyone will follow the instructions to tap the card and add your number as a contact.

Recognizing this, you can send out “reminder” texts with your contact card letting people know to add your number as a contact if they haven’t already.

You may want to do this if you start to get the sense that people are getting confused by your messages.

For example, if you ever get a response along the lines of “Who is this?” to your SMS marketing - that would be a cue letting you know to go ahead and send that customer your contact card so that they can add you as a contact.

What Other Features Are Needed?

In order to take full advantage of SMS marketing with contact cards, here are a few other features you’ll utilize.

Subscription Options

Contact cards for SMS marketing will work best when combined with effective subscription options that allow your customers to be able to easily sign up for your texts.

Having easy opt-in methods helps remove barriers to your customers wanting to receive your marketing texts. Fewer barriers means more subscriptions, which means more people purchasing from you!

Here are some different ways contacts can be added:

  1. Customers can text in a particular “keyword” for your account to your designated account number - This will automatically subscribe them to your SMS marketing list.
  2. Customers can scan a QR code that comes for free with your SMS marketing platform - The QR code will open up their text message app on their phone, and all they need to do is hit “Send” to subscribe.
  3. Customers can sign up by filling out an online form
    • This online form is automatically generated for your account for free, and it is customizable to be able to include your brand’s logo and colors.
  4. If you have opt-in consent from a particular customer, you can add them into the platform or mobile app individually.
  5. You can add whole lists of opted-in customers by importing a spreadsheet of phone numbers into the platform.
  6. You can set up integrations to add in customers from other services that you use via API or by taking advantage of the integration website Zapier.com.

You may use one, several, or even all of these options to get customers loaded into your SMS marketing platform.

Auto-Response Welcome Messages

A couple of the above mentioned opt-in methods (the keyword and the QR code) work in conjunction with auto-response welcome messages.

This means that whenever someone subscribes themselves to your SMS marketing list via one of those methods, they will automatically receive a confirmation “welcome” text.

As mentioned previously, the automated welcome message is the most powerful use case for your contact cards.

In the platform, edit your keywords and affiliated QR codes from the Opt-in Keywords page and toggle the "Automatically Include Contact Card" option to "On." Then anyone who registers for your text list will be able to easily add your phone number to their contacts.

Sending and Scheduling Capabilities

This may go without saying, but the ability to not only send messages but to schedule them ahead of time in your SMS marketing platform can be a huge help.

As it relates to contact cards, if you ever want to send a message outside of the discussed “welcome” message (that sends immediately when your customers subscribe to your texts), you can schedule the message to send at the exact day and time that you’d like it to go out.

Scheduling your message ahead of time enables you to have more flexibility and control over when your message is sent.

Conclusion

Contact cards are a simple way to help bring a boost to your business.

By including an easy way for your customers to add your SMS marketing number as a contact in their phone, you can help remove confusion and help ensure they will pay closer attention to your messages.

And more effective messaging means your marketing efforts will yield better, more satisfying results.

Get a free 14-day trial and try contact cards today!

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