More Examples of Calls to Action in an SMS Message
In my last blog I shared two examples of SMS marketing messages I received and how their call to action worked, or not. This time I want to share two more examples to help you in crafting your SMS marketing messages. First though, here’s a quick review.
A call to action is the part of a message (usually marketing in nature) that tells the reader what you want them to do. It needs to be clear and easy to do. And in an SMS message, it has to be short too.
Now on to the examples. Note that I’ve replaced the links in the actual messages with “[LINK]” so you know where they were in the flow of the message.
This first message came from a cinema ticket vendor:
VIP ALERT: Buy INSURGENT tix now and get a FREE eBook of Divergent: [LINK]. Not a VIP? Sign up for FREE: [LINK]
What do you think? Pretty clear isn’t it? But which link do they want you to click on? The first link is for people already signed up for the VIP program. The second link is for people who want to sign up for the VIP program. So is the message about selling tickets to the movie or about growing their VIP list?
One of the golden rules of copywriting (the business of crafting marketing messages in written form) is the call to action should be singular. Could a message like the one above work? Yes it could. But what if they sent one message promoting tickets to their existing VIP list, and another to the regular list members focusing on growing the VIP list?
Chances are both messages would do much better because they would be more targeted. But I’m assuming they actually segment their lists so they know who is on the VIP list and who is on the regular one. If they don’t, they should.
Crafting one message, with two calls to action, sent to a broad range of people who may or may not be interested in either offer isn’t a formula for success. Focus your messages on a single call to action. If you need to reach different groups then make sure you can segment your list so each gets the appropriate call to action. Don’t try to fit it in all at once. The message may work to some extent anyway, but you’re hurting your chances for achieving even higher ROI.
Here is the final example I want to share, and the only one I found to have a good, clear call to action and also be a great SMS message in general. But it isn’t from a retail company sending a marketing message. It’s from my son’s dentist. I’ve substituted identifying information for the office in brackets:
Nathaniel – you are overdue for your dental visit. Please call [Dentist name] @ [Dentist number] to set up an appointment.
See? It’s simple, straight to the point, and offers all the information you need to act on their call to action. And it even tells you in the message what to do! On my mobile, the phone number is actually clickable so all I had to do was click on it to call the office and make the appointment.
It’s easy to assume people will know what to do after they read your SMS message. And undoubtedly many will. But remember that people read their messages on the go. They may be running to catch the Tube, feeding the baby, or out looking for a job. While the read rate for SMS messages is almost 100%, you may not have their full attention when they read it. Do your best to make it clear what you want them to do, so they can do it without having to think too much!
What do you think? Did I pick the most effective message as the best, or do you think one of the other examples (including the ones in my previous blog) is better?
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.
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.
Here's some ideas on what you can do to help your SMS campaigns to do better. Use the following checklist to see if you’re using all your possible channels.
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).
SMS messaging offers some of the highest click through rates in mobile marketing. But did you know it could be even better? See how one retailer improved their click rates by offering their customers different options in their messages. Then see how you can do the same.
In order to gain success with SMS marketing, certain strategies need to be put in place. Here are a few top tips on what not to do when marketing your business through SMS messaging.
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.