3 Common Errors That Will Ruin Your SMS Marketing
You worked hard to get those customers on your SMS marketing list. But now they are unsubscribing like crazy, or maybe just no longer responding to your messages. What happened? Maybe you’ve committed one of the following common, but easy to fix, errors that can completely drive your customers away.
- You included a misspelled keyword in your message. The message you sent was perfect with a clever keyword. But you received zero replies. Then you hear about the calls to customer service where people complained that the keyword didn’t work. You read the message again and notice it was spelled wrong. Ouch. Between human error and the autocorrect features on just about everything, a misspelled keyword is not only likely but probable. Always have at least two people review the message before you send it. One of them should be someone who isn’t working on that campaign so they have an objective eye. If you’re a small business and you are the only one in the marketing department get anyone else around to review it. It’s a small mistake that’s very easy to fix before the message is sent. Afterwards not so much. Will your customers forgive you? Why take the chance they won’t?
- The offer you sent can’t be used. Beyond spelling errors, you might send an offer before it is valid, or maybe after it expired. Perhaps there was a miscommunication between your marketing department and the website department and the coupon code hadn’t been activated. Or the POS system in store hadn’t been updated appropriately. Whatever the reason, it’s an awful feeling for the customer to have when they don’t get the deal they wanted. Keeping track of timing, and all the moving parts of a campaign is challenging for sure. But since SMS messaging is so simple to do (like sending an email), it can be easy to forget about making sure everything else is lined up before sending out the offer. Make sure you have a checklist and review process in place. Better to get it right the first time than to send out an apology message later.
- You send too many messages. If you followed SMS best practices, you told your customers how many times you send them messages per month or week when they signed up to your list. If you send more than that, people will get irritated. They’ve trusted you with their personal mobile number and they are likely to feel like you’re spamming them with too many offers. Or worse, if you’ve committed one of the errors above then you send them apology messages and more offers. Remember every message gets their attention. That’s the power of SMS messaging. Don’t abuse the power, even for good reason, or your customers will start opting out.
These simple errors can cause more than simple embarrassment for you and your company too. They could upset your whole marketing strategy. Say you send out a message with the wrong keyword. Now you have to send out an apology message that includes the correct keyword. You look bad, but that’s not all. Assume you promised to send only four messages per month, but now you’ve just used one of those up for your apology. Your next campaign was a series of three messages introducing special deals on a new product launch. But you’ve already sent two messages that month (the one with the error and the apology).
What do you do? Well, you send them five SMS messages that month, or you push off the next campaign until the following month. But then you have to adjust every campaign that comes after that…and so on. You’ll have to judge the impact of each option, but the point is there is no painless way to fix it. You can violate the trust your customers put in you by sending extra messages or you can change all your marketing plans.
Fortunately these types of errors really are avoidable. Plan, type carefully, and have at least one person from outside the campaign review every message prior to sending.
If you would like to read about more errors to avoid, or see great examples of best practice just browse our archive of Mobile Marketing blog posts.
Just for fun, I asked people in a marketing focused Facebook group to share the worst SMS marketing messages they’ve ever received. I was expecting a deluge of responses, but actually only a few trickled in. But those horrible SMS marketing messages are out there…the comments on my post proved it even if no one wanted to share (I guess they’re all shy).
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