With each year that the mobile phone market continues to grow, SMS marketing services become more relevant than ever. Not only can mass text marketing deliver pertinent messages to your customer base in seconds, but it’s been proven to increase conversions and response rates across the board.
In order to help you get the most out of using an SMS marketing service, we have put together a quick guide with a few best practices we have learned from running various SMS campaigns. With this knowledge under your belt, you will have the expertise you need to maximize your use of SMS marketing services and make a difference in the lives of your customers.
Timing is everything
The first thing you need to understand about SMS marketing services is that timing is everything. Due to the almost instantaneous nature of SMS messages, the timing of said messages can either be a benefit or detriment. With close to 95% of text messages being read within 2 minutes, marketers need to be conscious of when they are reaching their audience.
A good rule of thumb here is to 1. only engage with customers during normal business hours, and 2. limit messages to when customers can take immediate action. For instance, sending an SMS just before lunchtime with a coupon for your restaurant would be an example of good timing. Whereas sending the same message just before bed is significantly less likely to have a positive impact.
Use triggers and short codes
However, when it comes to creating value and increasing conversions, timing is just a basic best practice. In order to have the best possible text message marketing experience, both for you and your customers, you need to use all of the tools at your disposal, such as trigger and short codes.
First, let’s talk about triggers. As we just reviewed, with SMS marketing services, timing is everything. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to manually send messages to your customers at just the right moment. This is where triggers come in. By setting up automations beforehand, you can automate your messages to be sent when customers partake in the specified activity.
Then, you can include a short code within the message in order to increase your chances of converting the customer. Short codes such as HELP and INFO allow customers to interact with your company via SMS to find what they need. Using marketing automation throughout this process makes it easy for you to get your customers what they need, leaving them more satisfied than ever.
Be relevant and specific
In the same way that mathematicians are constantly building on their previous work, SMS marketing services improve the more you tailor your messages to your audience. With each message, you need to be relevant to the customer’s needs and provide a specific solution. Like we mentioned earlier, unless the next steps can be taken immediately, you probably don’t need to send that SMS.
However, when you can use business text messaging in a way that is relevant to your customers, you are far more likely to be successful. Thankfully, most SMS marketing services allow for segmentation of your audience. By creating different customer personas and matching them with the proper message, your marketing efforts will be much more effective.
Always include a call-to-action
One of the biggest mistakes that first-time SMS marketers make is forgetting to include a call-to-action with every message. After all, if you take the time to craft a relevant message, send it at the right time to the right audience, and then give them nowhere to go, what was the point? SMS marketing is the most actionable mobile marketing tool at your disposal, don’t forget that.
Instead, craft each message with the call-to-action in mind. This can be something as simple as “Check out our website for more information” or as complex as “Tell us about your most recent customer service experience.” Regardless of the call-to-action, including one with each message is vital to the success of your campaign.
Use normal, straightforward language
Another common mistake that SMS marketers make is using “text message language” for their business text message campaign. Even though the format of SMS feels informal, one of the quickest ways to lose subscribers is by forgetting the professional relationship you have established with your customers.
Although it might be more difficult to fit normal, straightforward language into your 166-character message, leaving out extra words is a much better alternative to sending a messaging with abbreviations like “LOL” or “FTW.” Keep it professional, keep it consistent, and your customers will thank you for treating them with respect.
Don’t get lost in the details
When you are trying to get your message across to your audience with such limited space, it can be difficult to include all of the details you want. Here is our advice: don’t. Part of the lure of SMS marketing services is that you can’t include everything, leaving your customers wanting more and thus following your call-to-action.
Once you begin to understand the ins and outs of SMS advertising, you will learn how best to craft messages so that they entice without telling the whole story. Include only details that are relevant to your customers and let them follow through to find the rest of the information, showing that they are truly interested.
Measure results and learn from them
Our final piece of advice for maximizing your usage of SMS marketing services is to measure the results of your campaigns and then learn from them. While it has become commonplace to track user engagement metrics, far too few companies actually do something with the information they gather. Our advice is to review these metrics regularly and apply them to future campaigns.
Ultimately, this is what will set your SMS marketing campaign apart from the competition: the dedication to continuous improvement. By learning from bother your success and mistakes, soon your messages will be able to convert even the most stubborn of customers. Soon you will see just how important these metrics are to creating a successful campaign.
As you begin to work with SMS marketing services and find your groove when crafting messages, don’t forget what you learned. Each of these tips or best practices we reviewed are based on years of experience doing exactly what you hope to do, so stand on our shoulders and make the best campaign you can.
In the end, it will be by learning from others as well as yourself that you will be able to accomplish your goals. So get after it, you never know what might be just around the corner.
Co-Founder, Gleantap & Mastera