Text message marketing can be highly lucrative, but it is easy to miss out on some of the benefits by simply misusing the channel. As with any advertising campaign, there are certain best practices by which to abide in order to get the most out of the channel. Whether you have a long-running campaign or are just about to start a new one, be sure to follow these do’s and don’ts of SMS marketing.
Build a strong foundation for your text marketing by avoiding common mistakes.
Don’t Only Use Text Messaging Once
One of the largest mistakes companies make is only using text message marketing once. They set up a program to support another marketing campaign or for a singular purpose, such as a text to win contest. Then, once that campaign is over, they simply forget about the channel. When this happens, companies miss out on a way to engage with customers and build relationships. It is important to develop an ongoing strategy that leads to a successful, long-running program.
Do Limit How Often You Text
As with any campaign, it is easy to go from being a welcomed message to losing subscribers by simply sending too many texts. To avoid this, limit the frequency of your messages. Studies have found the ideal number is around two to four per month. It is beneficial to track your campaign to see the frequency which works best for your customers.
Don’t Send Long Messages
It may appear okay to send long messages to smartphones, but stick to 160 characters.
Text messages are limited to 160 characters. Even though some smartphones no longer break up longer texts, the message itself is still sent in chunks of 160 characters. When longer messages are shared as multiple texts, it can lead to confusion, missed messages, and increased fees to your subscribers. Furthermore, these broken texts appear less professional than a concise text sent in one message. Therefore, stick with messages under the 160 character limit; if you have more to say, then simply send a link to a message on your website.
Do Text Your Subscribers As Promised
When your subscribers opt in to your campaign, they should have access to the terms and conditions. This contract details the program, including the frequency of texts as well as the intended content. Since this is a contract, you must abide by what you promise to your customers. For example, programs that promote sending out appointment reminders cannot be used for marketing purposes, including sending offers and deals, unless the customers are clear that the two are related. If you use your text message marketing service as promised, then you avoid alienating customers.
Don’t Send the Same Message
Your team should develop a variety of messages rather than relying on one type.
One very common mistake companies make with SMS marketing is simply sending the same message over and over again. However, this causes the message to lose its impact and efficacy. If customers know that they will continually receive the same message, especially if it is an offer or deal, then they will no longer feel as motivated to act right away. The program also loses its value, and you will see an increase in the number of people opting out of the campaign.
Do Provide Value
When you develop the content for your text messages, it is best to focus on creating value for your subscribers, according to Marketing Profs. Every message should have some innate benefit, whether it is providing information, an appointment reminder, or an offer or discount. If you send out offers, they should be exclusive to the channel. As long as subscribers continue to receive a benefit from your text messages, they will continue to remain a part of the program.
Don’t Forget the CTA
Include CTAs, such as Buy Now, Come in to Save, and Redeem Today.
Texts are by nature short, which can cause marketers to place less emphasis on the call to action. This is a big mistake. Texts have a high open rate, but you gain little benefit if subscribers do not know what action to take. Therefore, always create messages with a clear and concise call to action. It does not take much room, and many of the best CTAs naturally fit with your intended message. Additionally, it is beneficial to include a text call to action on your other marketing channels to boost their efficacy, as well as increase your mobile subscribers, according to Mobile Marketer.
By following these best practices, you can make sure that you get the most out of your text message marketing campaign. If you are interested in boosting the effectiveness of your text marketing efforts, then read this helpful FireText blog post to discover what to do about it.