8 Steps To Getting SMS Marketing Right

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 sufficient.

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!