15 Best Practices for SMS and Text Marketing

The ability to send text messages is still one of the most popular features of mobile phones. It’s also one of the most engaging when interacting with consumers since smartphones are all around us. You can send a text marketing message to your best customers. Despite more advanced app creation and technology, SMS technology has remained strong.

Text messages are opened and read within three minutes of being delivered nine out of ten times. However, if your company regularly sends ineffective, irrelevant, or delayed text messages, you’ll notice those figures drop, and opt-outs rise.

Short Message Service (SMS) marketing is a low-cost, high-yield marketing technique that uses text messaging to deliver information or provide it to clients. There are a few reasons to give it a go, including that most documents are read somewhat and that its starting cost is reasonable. When used effectively, it creates a powerful communication channel with mobile consumers.

Here are some of the best practices for SMS and Text Marketing!

1. Pay Attention to the Message Itself

When crafting your text marketing message, it’s essential to pay attention to the content and make sure it is valuable for your customer. Sending irrelevant information or spammy texts will only lead to opt-outs and unhappy customers.

Marketers have just 160 characters to work within text messages. As a result, strive for a succinct and clear statement that expresses your message and adds value to the receiver. They may have shown interest and agreed to receive your texts, but it’s as simple for them to opt-out if you’re wasting their time.

You should strive for as much relevance and personalization as possible in your email marketing, just like any other marketing communication form. Avoid abbreviations in your text to save space; it can appear unprofessional. Instead, focus on creating a concise, impactful helpful statement for the receiver.

2. Consider Including an Exclusivity Aspect

Another way to ensure that your text marketing messages are read and appreciated is by including an exclusivity aspect.

As a marketer, you’ll have more luck with clients if they know about an exclusive deal or special offer that is only available via text message. It’s not as easy to leave a company when you’re being offered exclusive deals from time to time through your mobile device, and it also encourages customers to open your messages as soon as they arrive.

Including an exclusivity aspect also helps to create a feeling of importance and urgency around the text messages you send, which can encourage customers to visit your store or website as soon as possible.

Remember that customers respond favorably to inside information or a deal on something they’ve been hesitant about buying.

Make the most of this by creating a sense of exclusivity around your offers. Send these coupons, even if they aren’t as unique as they appear, to your SMS marketing list.

Make your clients feel like part of a “lucky few” by:

  • Branding your text campaign as a VIP Member Campaign
  • Mentioning people by name and offering them a discount as recognition for their loyalty to your company
  • Sending out fresh clients coupons and special offers, which are “only accessible to new members.”

3. Get Permission

As with any other form of marketing, always consent from your customers before sending them a text.

SMS Consent is when a customer agrees to receive marketing materials from a company. It is mandated by law for companies to solicit customer consent before adding them as recipients in any text marketing campaign.

If you don’t do this, you could be wasting money and harm your company’s reputation for being unreliable or untrustworthy.

Be willing to disclose the cost of the texts and what they’re used for. Please include this information in your permission agreement so that customers know from the start that they will be receiving texts from you.

Make sure you also have a system in place to unsubscribe customers who no longer want to receive your messages. Ideally, this process should be automated and easy for the customer to use.

SMS keywords are one of the most frequent methods for obtaining consent to receive promotional messages. Many businesses send a non-promotional text, such as an order update, to their customers, asking them if they want to participate in future promotions. They may consent by texting an SMS keyword (“YES”) to the given number.

There are several alternatives for encouraging people to sign up, but it’s crucial that the “What’s in it for me?” is clear. “Why should I care if your company texts me? Free tacos, right? Deal.” Add a text message sign-up option to your website. Request that your email list and social media followers sign up for your SMS updates.

Make sure that opting in is easy and that customers know what to expect when they do.

4. Personalization should be a part of your strategy.

Customize any auto-generated text messages to the best of your abilities. You may do this by referring to the contact by name in your messages. When personalizing an SMS campaign, avoid including sensitive information such as a person’s address.

SMS marketing allows your company to go above and beyond the call of duty by customizing messaging and connecting with clients one-on-one via text. Take advantage of this by making sure your recipients feel like a unique contact, not just another line on a mailing list. Customers prefer to receive personalized messages and are more likely to move through the sales funnel.

There are a few different techniques to personalize SMS marketing:

  • Include the customer’s name in your text messages. Use the first name to keep things friendly.
  • Mention a client’s activities, such as a recent purchase, shipping news, or an appointment reminder.
  • Customize the message to appeal to their local market, referencing current weather or sports teams.

Take customization further by dividing your customer list and sending tailored messages to specific individuals. Promos, for example, could be sent just to consumers who bought from a collection of items, such as shoes. Customers who purchased a specific product, such As purple-striped shoes

5. Consider using a brand-friendly shortcode

Over 160 million text messages are sent worldwide every minute, so your consumers constantly receive communications. Your brand must be readily recognized to stand out among other communications.

Including a company’s logo is one way to make sure that your text marketing is easily recognizable. You may also want to consider using a branded short code number to display your company’s name or product in the message.

A shortcode definition is a five- or six-digit number that is used to send text messages. By using a shortcode, you can bypass the need for consumers to remember a long phone number. Branded shortcodes also look more professional and are easier to remember than standard phone numbers. 

This unique identifier makes it easy for customers to remember who sent them the text and encourages them to respond.

Also, keep your branding consistent. Make use of a template. Maintain the same colors, typefaces, and photos across all of your online properties, emails, and text messages.

6. Make your program visible

Sending a message is only the beginning. If you want them to respond to your offer, they must see value in what you’re saying — either in the information you provide or the offer they receive.

To create campaigns that your consumers will interact with after the open, consider the following:

  • Create coupons and special offers only available to your SMS marketing list.
  • Customer segments and activities create tailored offers (which makes the campaign more personal).
  • Adding variety to your campaign by alternating your offers is an excellent way to prevent stagnation or boredom.

7. Frequency of texts

Send two to four texts a month, one every week or two weeks. You are keeping in touch while not being overly clingy. Every customer and company, however, is unique. Keep an eye on your engagement rates and measurements to determine your ideal frequency.

Remember to avoid swamping your customers with texts from your business. It can quickly take away from the feeling of exclusivity and turn them off from your campaign altogether.

The CTIA has rules to prevent consumers from being bombarded with promotional texts. Customers will only listen to you as long as it was a good experience for them. You may want to speak with them twice a day, but they may only want to hear from you once a week. Don’t be excessive!

Related Article: Optimal Frequency of Sending SMS Messages 

8. Keep your texts short, essential, and enjoyable

Texts that are too long can be off-putting to consumers who want quick updates or notifications. Please use more images instead of text when possible.

It is best practice if you use the most basic text. Words like “join,” “start,” or “today” can be easily understood by your customers.

Make sure that your shortcode is easy to remember. Keep it short and straightforward with no numbers or special characters at both ends of the phrase.

SMS is an efficient, personal way to connect with your consumers. With only 160 characters at their disposal, make sure your message is to-the-point and has a lot of value so that your consumer will want to respond favorably.

Keep it short and digestible in a few seconds, as this is what mobile text messages are designed to be.

9. Encourage people to opt-in.

To receive your text messages, customers must first opt-in to your program. It is quickly done by texting a keyword to a shortcode number.

Ensure that the keyword is easy to remember and prominently displayed on all of your print and online marketing materials.

There are various ways to collect opt-in. You may also want to consider running a contest or giveaway to generate more opt-ins. Your customers are more likely to receive your messages if they have already opted-in. And, it would help if you let them know which keywords they need to text to join your campaign. Otherwise, they may never know how to sign up!

Try to incorporate these three sections when you send messages:

  • Customers have certainties, which are usually best met with honesty. Tell customers upfront how often you plan to send messages and what information they will receive.
  • Customers should be able to opt-out of SMS marketing communications. Be sure that they always know how to stop receiving SMS marketing messages from you.
  • The call to action (CTA) is a request for the consumer to take action. Every message should have a short statement and a call to action (CTA) that encourages consumers to participate. “Click here to confirm your enrollment.”

10. Timing

Be considerate in your delivery after informing recipients how many messages to expect from you when they sign up. It’s critical to communicate with consumers regularly so that you remain relevant, but you don’t want to send them at times when they’ll be ignored or, worse, annoy them. According to studies, the best time to send marketing text messages is around 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm during a mid-day break.

Timing your messages also allows you to test various messaging styles for future campaign improvements, such as whether it’s wise to send surveys early in the customer journey or later.

You don’t have to implement any scheduled messaging; instead, you may set up all of the messages at once and have them sent automatically. When a consumer performs a specific act, the campaign is activated. 

Create a drip campaign to notify new consumers about new products or services they purchase. Make sure each message provides value for clients to unsubscribe from your list. For instance:

  • Expound on your company’s mission.
  • Use social media to gain new followers.
  • Include relevant blog articles or resource pages.
  • Make a fantastic incentive available to everyone.

11. Urgency

To encourage clients to react more quickly to your emails, include an expiration date. It will assist you in obtaining outcomes or information as soon as feasible.

Creating a sense of urgency in your marketing encourages your consumers to take advantage of discounts before they expire. Create a scarcity mentality and use words like:

  • While supplies last
  • Limited time offer
  • One-time only
  • Today only

If people don’t respond right away, they’re more likely to forget about it, and subsequent texts will push yours down the inbox, making every message appear urgent.

12. Customers should be given value.

There’s never a circumstance when it’s acceptable to send someone a text that accomplishes nothing. If you do so, you’ll undoubtedly receive opt-outs.

Every text must be doing something useful for the person on the other end in some way, whether it’s offering a fantastic bargain on an item, providing helpful information, or sending shipping notifications. If it doesn’t, you’re going to have a hard time convincing them not to unsubscribe.

13. Segmentation

To create the most relevant content for your subscribers, you’ll want to break them into groups according to interests and behavior.

That’s where segmentation comes in. When you divide your list into segments like these, you can send out messages customized for each cluster. You can even promote products and services that will be most relevant to their needs.

SMS marketing gives you access to information and data about your customers that any other marketing medium is almost unparalleled.

You can also gather demographics, site preferences, and mobile device usability data. Given a near-immediate group to A/B test different promotion and marketing strategies, you’ll be able to do all of this. For this approach to work, you’ll need an SMS analytics platform.

Use the data you collect to enhance promotional messaging and keep your marketing informed as new information becomes available. To increase conversions, for example:

  • Customers who open your messages more quickly than others should be prioritized for sending time-sensitive promotional SMS campaigns.
  • Adjust your delivery time if you find that most of your customers respond to messages in the morning rather than the afternoon.

With all of this information, you’ll be able to see which customer segments are most engaged, which message types have the best CTR, and whether SMS or RMM work best for different kinds of ads.

14. Include disclaimers

Including a disclaimer in your text messages can help protect you from any legal issues that may arise.

You must include a statement that “Mgs and Data rates” may apply with your text messages to inform the client they might be charged for their text (the same as any other) by law. You must also provide a legal opt-out alternative. It’s a good idea and allows the consumer to unsubscribe at any time via text message. The opt-out option and, in some cases, taking it is all it takes to establish trust and credibility for your business. Say, “To unsubscribe, text STOP.”

Since SMS messages are seen as direct communication, it’s essential to let customers know that they’re not confidential. If you don’t include this notice, there’s always the potential for customers to misinterpret your texts and file a lawsuit.

The disclaimer will let your customers know that they only see the text because they opted into it and that none of your messages are intended to be confidential or legal advice. It can make receiving future readers less worrying for them.

15. Associate the appropriate keywords with your company

Ensure you’re using the correct keywords when sending SMS messages to your customers.

Your keyword will make it possible for you to track each text in your database or analytics, ensuring that they’re getting the intended message. If you misspell something, use a different word choice, or use incorrect grammar when texting, your message won’t be sent.

Make sure you also test different keywords with your campaign to see which ones work the best. You’ll want to use a keyword that’s short, easy to remember, and relevant to your company.

How do the Best Practices of Text Marketing Help to Create SMS Marketing Strategies?

Applying these best practices of text marketing to your campaign helps to make it a success by creating SMS marketing strategies that are effective and reliable.

The best practices for text marketing help create SMS marketing strategies for online businesses. The customer base is better segmented with a text message. Texts can be timed more effectively. The data collected from readers allows companies to refine messaging based on the successes or failures of their campaigns.

Some of the benefits businesses will enjoy with a more effective SMS marketing campaign are:

– Increased customer engagement, as texts are more likely to be read and responded to than other forms of marketing communication

– More immediate feedback, making it possible to test different strategies and messages immediately

– Easier to track conversions and ROI, as each text message can be associated with a campaign or promotion

When should You use the best practices for SMS Marketing?

The best time to apply these best practices for SMS marketing is NOW!

It’s becoming more challenging to contact customers as their tastes evolve. They’re replacing old acquisition and retention channels with newer, more convenient brand interactions on their own time.

Marketers can’t rely only on traditional methods to engage their customers. They must diversify their channels, not just for consumer preference but also from a marketing performance standpoint.

Consumers consider personalized text messages a more direct method of interacting with companies—whether for help, behind-the-scenes peeks, or upsell information. They’re keen to get texts throughout the customer journey, from sourcing savings before purchasing to keeping in touch after they’ve finished purchasing.

Do the Best Practices Prevent the Mistakes that are made in Marketing?

Yes! Text marketing best practices help prevent some of the most common mistakes when communicating with customers via text.

By making sure you’re using the correct keywords, testing different messages and strategies, and including a disclaimer, you can avoid many potential problems and SMS Marketing Mistakes.

This way, your SMS marketing strategy will be more successful. More so, your customers will appreciate the more relevant messages they receive.

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