SMS marketing can be a compelling and low-cost strategy to engage
your customer base, but it’s critical that you get it right. A mistimed,
unclear, or unwanted message can quickly turn a promoter of your brand
into a detractor. Follow the steps below to ensure you’re staying within
the legal bounds and effectively engaging your customers.
1. Get Permission
Before you can legally send SMS marketing messages to subscribers,
you need to get their permission. Breaking spamming laws could cause
unwanted penalties—or worse—reputational damage. Getting
permission, however, is quite easy. Have your subscribers send you
their consent via a short code, SMS, email, or snail mail.
2. Set expectations
As you can imagine, customers aren’t too happy when they receive a
misplaced marketing message. In fact, studies show that 7 in 10 people
immediately unsubscribe when a SMS marketing message is not
relevant to their interests. Be sure to make it clear to your customers
what text messages they can expect to receive from you. An effective
way to do this is through your auto-reply.
3. Include msg & data rates
Although text messaging may be free for the majority of your
subscribers, that’s not the case for everyone. You’re required by law to
include how much an SMS communication may be costing your
subscribers. Adding message and data rates to your correspondence
will ensure both you and your subscribers are protected.
4. Provide an opt-out
Consumers need to know they can opt out of marketing campaigns
whenever they like. Simply offering an option to “text stop to cancel” is
5. Don’t go text crazy
Customers do not want to be bombarded with daily texts from brands.
Choose the appropriate frequency to send your messages. We
recommend no more than four a month. It is also a good practice to
inform subscribers how many text messages they are likely to receive
from you when they initially subscribe.
6. Show courtesy
No matter how much your customers like you; they don’t want to receive
text messages from you in the middle of the night. Be thoughtful about
what times of day you send SMS marketing messages, especially when
your target audience is in a different time-zone.
Also, remember that one of the key advantages of a bulk SMS service is
that it prompts immediate action from the recipient. Choosing a time of
day that your customers are most likely to react is a best practice.
7. Use natural language
Because of the limited number of characters available to you through
text message, you may be tempted to use abbreviated language to save
space. Remember, some of your customers may be SITD (still in the
dark) when it comes to certain text lingo. Use “text talk” carefully,
sticking to well-known language that is easily understood.
8. Offer value and keep it fresh
Like all effective marketing campaigns, text message marketing should
provide value to the recipient. Messages should be relevant, and offers
should be new and exciting. Don’t make the mistake of resending the
same marketing messages over and over again.
There is an art to effective text message marketing, but this guide should
give you the basic rules and tips to get you started on a winning
campaign. Good luck!
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