SMS marketing is proving to be a power tool. Statistics show that the open rate of promotional text messages is over 75%, the response rate is around 45%, and ROI has huge potential – if you’re deploying text messages effectively. It’s important to avoid making these common SMS marketing mistakes.

One of the reasons why SMS can be so successful is because it encourages a two-way conversation and elicits an immediate response. Furthermore, text messaging can be highly personalized.

If you´re using SMS as part of your marketing bundle, you’re already on the right path to increasing revenues. But perhaps you need to make a few tweaks.

One of the ways to make SMS marketing more effective, is to cut out things that don’t work. And that´s what we´re concentrating on today.

Six common SMS Marketing mistakes to Avoid

1. Failing to Obtain Permission

Some marketers wrongfully assume that obtaining a phone number constitutes permission to continue sending customers promotional text messages. Sadly. It doesn’t.

Before you even start an SMS marketing campaign, you need the consent of consumers. This is simply legal-eze. You have to give consumers a choice to “opt-in” or “opt-out”.

This can be done in two ways:

  • If you already have the phone numbers of consumers in your records, send them an SMS with an offer and give them the option to opt-in or opt-out of receiving communications from you via SMS
  • Create an advertisement with an offer and ask customers to quote the designated short code.

It should be noted that when people respond, they must still be given the option to opt-in to further communication from you via SMS.

2. Don’t Forget A Relevant Call-to-Action

This is perhaps a common marketing mistake to include in an SMS article, and as marketers you will probably know how easy it can be to forget to include a call-to-action.

As you will know, some SMS messages will include a short code. This is the classic CTA of SMS mobile marketing. However, not all promotions include a short code, and regardless of the marketing channel you use, customers always need to be guided to the next step.

Not only do you need to remember to include the SMS, the instruction also needs to be relevant. This is because SMS messaging has limited space so you can´t explain why you are sending a promotional text message.

If a recipient is left wondering why they have received a text message, they are not going to respond and may even think negatively about your brand. A relevant CTA confirms, or reaffirms, why you have sent the message.

3. Using Text Language

Although texting has developed a language of its own, it´s the digital equivalent to street slang and looks unprofessional coming from a business. So avoid the LOL’s and BOGOF’s. Also avoid emoticons.

The fact of the matter is there are so many text-shortcuts that not everybody knows them all. Don’t risk confusing your customers by using abbreviations and acronyms they don’t understand.

4. Be Considerate

Texting is a very personal channel. Sending promotional messages directly to somebody’s mobile handset calls for etiquette. This includes the times of day you send messages and the number of promotions you send out over a reasonable period of time.

First of all, don’t send automated text messages out at untimely hours. The best times of day will vary from one business to another, but be considerate enough not to send a text when your customers are likely to be in bed. If you are targeting overseas customers, take time zones into consideration.

Secondly, avoid sending too many text messages. Consumers are bombarded with ads left, right and center everyday. The last thing they want is to be receiving an overload of marketing texts to their mobile phone.

Again, the frequency in which you send text messages will vary from business to business so apply common sense. Also, bear this in mind if you are using geo-targeting technology.

Brands that send too many irrelevant messages lose customers. Consumers want to receive personalized marketing, so only send your contacts promotions about products and services they are most likely to be interested in.

5. Don’t Only Use SMS For Selling

SMS is a versatile platform that can be put to a number of beneficial uses. With this in mind, refrain from using the channel purely for sending promotional texts.

While SMS is a responsive marketing channel that helps to generate sales, if the only messages you send are ads, customers eventually get bored and are more likely to auto-delete your messages or unsubscribe.

It is prudent for brands to take advantage of SMS by using the platform to communicate with your audience in productive ways.

As a matter of fact, a growing number of brands are using SMS as a customer service tool. Customers are grateful when you send them confirmation by text, appointment reminders, or reservation details.

You can also use texting to provide information about the company; events, a new blog or just to let them know you’ve just sent the latest newsletter to their email.

If you own a restaurant and use SMS to increase sales, why not also use it to send a link to your menu a couple of hours before your guests are due to arrive. This way, your customers can look forward to their meal before they even arrive.

6. Use the Wrong SMS Partner

The digital marketing space is flooded with SMS marketing providers. Finding the partner that can deliver the right solution for your business is an important choice to consider before you sign up for the service.

As a general rule, stay away from service providers that offer bargain rates. Their services are probably sub-standard as well. Ideally, you will need a package that has a sufficient number of features and security measures that suit your marketing strategy.

A good SMS partner will seamlessly integrate mobile technology into your existing systems. You should be able to slot SMS marketing into your sales funnel comfortably and use the service effectively at several touchpoints along the customer journey.

For more advice about common mistakes and SMS marketing, and to ask how we can help increase your revenues, contact JookSMS today and speak with one of our friendly advisors.

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