Copywriting Principles for SMS Marketing
In a recent blog I covered how to create urgency in your SMS marketing messages. It didn’t feel right to leave out a few other key components – the U companions. In copywriting circles they are often called the 4-Us. They are: Urgent, Useful, Unique, and Ultra-specific.
So to make sure I don’t leave anything out, here I’ll show you how to use the others in your SMS messaging.
- Unique – is everyone running a sale on women’s shoes? what can you do different?
- Useful – the message needs to relate to the reader. By segmenting and tracking your list you can know if you’re sending that women’s shoe sale to women … or not.
- Ultra-specific – saying “Sale on women’s shoes” is not as good as “25% off women’s shoes”. The specificity helps drive the purchase decisions. That is it will help justify the women’s desire for more shoes no matter how many she already has (and yes I’m a woman so I understand these things).
Tying these all together in one advert or headline to an advert is often challenging, but doing it in 160 characters (or up to 456 characters if you’re using fastsms) can be even more so.
The key of course, is to understand your product or service and the market you’re trying to reach with the text message campaign. Making an offer useful for instance, completely depends on who you send the messages to. As mentioned above, if you send a text about a sale on women’s shoes to your entire list, most men will likely ignore it (if you send too many they may well unsubscribe too). If you’re able to segment your list so the men don’t get irrelevant messages, but instead get one focused on men’s products you’re conversions will go up.
Having a unique twist to your SMS marketing or message can be one of the more difficult things to define and implement. Let’s say just before Valentine’s Day florists may all be offering roses at a discounted price. If every offer says two dozen roses delivered for £15, a customer has no incentive to choose a particular one. Being unique could mean offering a better discount, adding a vase or other perk, or even in how the message is crafted and delivered – something different from everyone else. Perhaps the text message could include a link to a short video ad with the ability to order right on page. Maybe the SMS message is sent in a funny or humorous way that grabs someone’s attention. This is where creative marketing comes into play and the challenge to make it deliverable within the character limit.
Being ultra-specific is potentially the easiest part of the 4-U’s to include in your message. Use specific numbers and names whenever you can. If your sale is only on a certain brand of product with a certain discount, include all of that if you can fit it into your text message. For example, “10% off Clarks, today only” would be ultra-specific with the discount and the brand name.
Integrating all of the 4-Us will help any marketing campaign. Meeting the challenge of doing so in an SMS marketing message could really help conversions take off.
Whilst social media has gained the attention of many small businesses as a marketing technique, SMS marketing has become a highly beneficial way of keeping your customers and clients close and building solid working relationships. According to research, 90% of text messages are read within three minutes, meaning SMS marketing shouldn't be overlooked when it comes to your advertising and customer service strategies. SMS marketing may be an ideal tactic for your business marketing, so here's a list of what to do and what not to do to ensure you're making the most of your campaign.
You need concise, memorable and high-impact content with a clear call to action in your SMS messaging. That, in a nutshell, is what's needed to achieve with any marketing or engagement communications in any form. But this is never truer than with an SMS campaign when your business text messaging has to rely on a small window of recipient attention.
If you aren’t seeing a positive response from your SMS marketing then your list may be thinking of it as spam and just ignoring it like they do much of their email. So take your latest marketing messages and examine them again with these four questions in mind.
One mistake some marketers make is assuming people will know what to do when they read an SMS message. After all, they’re short and to the point right? How confusing could they be? On the other hand, when writing every other form of marketing they know that calls to action need to be clear. So, just because you don't have much room, it doesn’t mean you get to leave out your call to action! Saving space and being brief is important though, so take a look at three of the best SMS marketing CTAs you can use.
A/B testing in SMS messaging is something that sounds vague and possibly complicated. But with a little knowledge it’s something you can do for your organisation. We make it simple to understand and share some tools to make it easy to do.
Good copywriting is something marketers understand. But it's easy to forget the basic principles when running SMS marketing campaigns. You only have 160 characters after all (or 453 characters if you're using fastsms). While there are many elements to successful copywriting, there's one element that is often either overlooked or over-used. What is it? Urgency.
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).