SMS Marketing Best Practice: Do’s and Don’ts
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.
1. Use company name
When sending SMS to your clients, ensure you provide your company name, so the recipient knows who the text has been sent from. There’s nothing more annoying than receiving a text message from a strange number with no name attached. Some customers may even delete your text without reading, believing is a spam. To brand your message with your company name, you will need to change the sender name (text label) or add the name of your company at the end of the message to avoid any confusion.
2. Personalise the content
Although it’s obvious to your client that you won’t be writing individual text messages to each and every contact on your list, a message that is tailored to them can help you hold their attention. One simple technique would be to use their name within the content of your message so they feel a valued part of your company, rather than just one of a very large number. Another way is to ensure you personalise it to their interests or location, such as sending offers for their nearest branch or centered around products of which you know they have an interest.
3. Grab attention immediately and give purpose
It’s a known fact that attention spans are shorter than ever before, so ensuring you get the main point across in the first line of the message is essential to keep customers gripped. Keep your text concise and catchy and ensure you provide a good enough reason to be contacting them within their own time. Junk messages won’t forge trusting relationships with your clients; therefore, be mindful of the content of your message.
Always make sure your message offers an incentive which they can then act upon; for example – a freebie, offer, prize or discount code. If your message has no purpose whatsoever, you will not only annoy your customer, but they may decide to opt out of your text campaign.
In order to give meaning to your messages, always ensure you provide clear instructions so your customer can act upon offers with ease. For example, you should give a short brief on how to claim the offer or prize, and provide any contact details or website links that should be followed. Failing to provide instructions within your message will leave your SMS with little point to it.
4. Call to Action
You should always try and end your SMS message with a call to action, to leave a lasting impression on your customer. Try and provide a sense of urgency if you are marketing an offer, for example by using phrases such as ‘limited time’ and ‘last chance’, so they act quickly. Without a CTA, your message may be easily forgotten if your customer doesn’t feel the need to take immediate action.
1. Use abbreviated speech
Avoid using abbreviated text speech within your SMS marketing campaign. Not only could this come across as confusing to customers who are unfamiliar with terms, but it can also be quite an amateur approach which may devalue your brand. Text speech may be effective when used occasionally towards younger audiences if your business is targeted towards this age-range, however, if your business focuses on a wider audience, it would be best to avoid abbreviations and slang completely.
2. Emoticons and exclamation marks
Similarly to the point above, while the use of emoticons and exclamation marks may come across as friendly and inviting, using them too excessively will take the attention away from your message and may make it come across as too spammy. Use these techniques sparingly if you believe they are appealable to your target audience. Using them within your SMS campaign is a much more colloquial way of communicating with customers rather than presenting a professional business tone, therefore you will need to take into consideration your relationships with specific clients and whether it would be an appropriate technique to use for your specific campaign.
3. Send every text to every subscriber
To avoid harassing every single client, segment your subscribers into groups so you are able to send relevant SMSs to particular individuals which may be of more interest to them. The use of SMS within marketing is a much more personal technique than via email for example, therefore try not to spam customers with texts that are irrelevant to them.
You may not be aware, but having an opt-out or STOP option is also a requirement when using SMS marketing. If your customer feels they would no longer be interested in receiving your texts, they have every right to put a stop to direct marketing. Inform them of this option within each text, or give them an unsubscribe link to follow.
4. Make your message too lengthy
Texts only consist of a very small 456 characters, therefore it’s important to explain your main focus within your text without a bombardment of information. Send one main point per text and keep it brief.
5. Don’t send the same offer every week
If you choose to use the same offer on a regular basis, your SMS campaign will essentially be considered spam mail which will infuse negative connotations with your brand. Text your customers with a variety of offers to keep them guessing and even excited to open their SMS message on a weekly or monthly basis. You should be providing them with new sources of information so they remain interested in your brand.
If the information you are providing within your text can be found on your website, be sure to express this and provide a link which can be followed.
If you would like any more information on business text messaging and our SMS services, simply get in touch on 0800 954 5305 or use the live chat button.
Because they are so short, word choice is important in SMS messages. You need to convey instructions and the benefits of following those instructions in few words. If you’ve ever struggled to find just the right one, check out our list of action inspiring words for SMS messaging.
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