In these days of enhanced connectivity, SMS is undoubtedly a powerful marketing tool. With over 90% of texts received being opened within three minutes, it is no wonder that consumers themselves find SMS marketing an effective way of getting their attention.
Despite its proven record of success, though, just any SMS marketing approach will not do.
If you are considering incorporating this proven communication channel into your existing strategy, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Below, we have gathered seven foolproof best practices for your SMS and text marketing strategy.
1. Get consent
With a response rate of 30%, it might be tempting to send out text messages to just about everyone. Unfortunately, though, unsolicited SMS are not likely to be received enthusiastically. This is why you should make sure everyone on your SMS marketing list has agreed to receive your texts. Exclusive offers to SMS subscribers, coupons, and contests are all effective strategies to get consent from your customer and prospects.
2. Consider two-way communication
With audiences becoming more receptive to SMS every day, two-way communication is a great way to keep them engaged, quickly identifying customer preferences, and speeding up purchases. Companies worldwide are choosing to implement automated two-way communication as it is an easy-to-use, cost-effective approach to growing ROI.
3. Keep it straight to the point
Text messages are, by nature, short. Make sure you choose the right communication style for your brand, are concise, and have all the right keywords. The content of your texts should never be superfluous and it should really add value to your customer base. Additionally, it is important to provide a clear opt-out option. As a rule of thumb, being as transparent as possible with your policies will result in increased customer loyalty.
4. Adopt a shortcode
Growing engagement often involves making things easier for your audience. Adopting a catchy shortcode number – a 5-digit phone number of your choice – will effortlessly improve your response rate. Furthermore, shortcode services allow for faster message delivery, giving you a noticeable advantage when carrying out time-sensitive campaigns.
5. Aim for personalization
When delivering messages to a broad customer base, you run the risk of becoming impersonal. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to make sure communication with clients maintains that one-on-one feeling. Dividing your audience into custom segments, for example, can help you make sure your prospect only receive messages that are specifically relevant to them.
6. Use branded links
Most CTAs will include links to your website or social media, but you won’t want to use a big, clumsy URL with many UTM parameters, especially when you only have 160 characters. Although it is tempting to use a generic URL shortener, it would be wiser to develop a personalized short link that includes your brand’s name.
Moreover, branded links receive up to 39% more click-throughs when compared to generic short URLs.
7. Track your progress
We have already mentioned the unprecedented benefits offered by instant SMS communication. Among them, you will find real-time tracking of your marketing campaign. Getting instant insight into your results will help you adjust your strategy accordingly. Moreover, SMS messaging is an effective channel for satisfaction surveys, providing your customers with an opportunity to share their thoughts.
8. Be timely
Almost as important as the content and style of your SMS is timing. Sending out messages too early or too late increases the risk of your audience being either too busy or uninterested to check them out. Even worse, wrong timing can potentially alienate your prospects and lead to opt-outs. For this reason, it is important to brainstorm a convenient time to send out notifications about a product or an offer. Whilst this may vary widely depending on specific circumstances, in general, it is best practice to stick to business hours.
SMS marketing, when used right, can get your message out like no other channel. Following the above best practices will help you avoid common mistakes and improve your chances of running a successful campaign.